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Chief Executive Officer

  • Thursday, September 8, 2022
  • 5 Minute Read   


For 103 years, Dairy Council of California (DCC) has been advocating for and providing nutrition, health and wellness education for children and their families in California. Funded by California’s dairy farm families and milk processors, Dairy Council of California is a nutrition education organization overseen by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). It is the dairy community’s philanthropic contribution to community health, supporting nutrition education in school and community settings to help children and families make healthier choices.

Dairy Council of California believes collaboration is vital to improving community health and that collaborative efforts have a larger impact on the health of children and families than any individual organization working on its own. Their Let’s Eat Healthy Initiative brings together individuals, community organizations and registered dietitians and nutrition experts in support of the cause to elevate the health of children and families in California and beyond through the pursuit of lifelong healthy eating habits. Additionally, DCC establishes and fosters partnerships with educators, foodservice professionals, health and wellness providers and community leaders to provide trainings, support and nutrition education resources to teach the importance of nutrition and how to eat utilizing healthy eating patterns that are individualized and culturally appropriate. These collective efforts educate more than four million people in California each year.

Since its inception more than a century ago, Dairy Council of California has progressively advanced as the environment, nutrition research and education models have evolved. Today it offers a variety of programs including curriculum consistent with Common Core standards for students from kindergarten through high school, community education materials and programs, and a mobile dairy classroom that teaches not only nutrition education but also gives students a hands-on introduction to where their food comes from.

Dairy products are the #1 agricultural commodity in California. As a leader in nutrition education, Dairy Council of California proudly features an in-house nutrition science team that collects, analyzes, and communicates current research and trends on nutrition education and healthy eating patterns. Through this work, Dairy Council of California incorporates and leverages the latest in nutrition science to educate, equip and empower stakeholders with sciencebased, applicable, credible, and relevant nutrition information and resources.

The CEO provides executive leadership including developing and implementing strategies and plans that will maximize the utilization of organizational resources and create the strongest impact in achieving DCC’s vision and cause. The role is responsible for the day-to-day management, growth, and sustainability of the Council. This position provides executive supervision, training and direction to the staff and motivates and guides volunteers to operate within the annual budget (currently $6.5 million per year) and to achieve the objectives set forth by the Board. The CEO will maintain maximum strategic agility and apply appropriate solutions considering the complexity of an assessment-based organization with approximately 1,100 producers and 130 processors. This position will accomplish required duties and fulfill necessary responsibilities under the guidelines of the CDFA.

The CEO reports to the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors. The position currently leads a team of three direct reports with a total team of approximately 40 staff working corporately on a hybrid remote schedule and with members located throughout California. The CEO is also responsible to the CDFA who governs DCC as a marketing order of the state.


Strategic and Operational Leadership

  • Keep the vision, cause, values, goals, organizational outcomes and challenges in the forefront of all stakeholders facilitate understanding, involvement, commitment with a predisposition towards action.
  • Maintain an inclusive working relationship with the Board of Directors, staff, and educational and industry partners that emphasizes open dialogue, complete transparency, and a unified approach.
  • Set the tone and ensure retention of values by setting an example and reinforcing the values in others. Instill a passion and spirit of commitment throughout the organization with a strong accountability for results.
  • Develop, implement, and monitor the long-range and formal strategic success planning process.
  • Present success plan and budget to the Board of Directors; regularly provide progress reports and recommend adjustments as needed.
  • Monitor issues likely to impact the organization and develop and implement plans to manage identified issues.
  • Maintain an intentional focus on maximizing resources, utilizing partnerships, and driving significant return on investment for industry funding.
  • Develop and oversee industry communications and plan for industry 2023 continuation hearing (every five years).
  • Be a charismatic and energetic spokesperson for the organization; ensure that DCC and its programs are communicated with a strong, positive image.
  • Stay abreast of the latest nutrition education trends; report these findings and recommend changes as appropriate.
  • Ensure oversight and compliance with CDFA regulations and all applicable federal, state, and local laws.

Relationship Management

  • Promote a DCC value culture that encourages performance excellence and consistently acknowledges productivity and innovation through teams and/or individually.
  • Direct personnel, salary structure, and performance evaluations to facilitate ambitious standards of performance.
  • Recruit, hire, train, and manage a talented and dedicated professional staff necessary to accomplish goals.
  • Evaluate performance and provide coaching and development to employees that encourages entrepreneurial initiative, independent thinking and prudent risk-taking.
  • Review and approve policies and procedures that guide the actions of DCC staff; ensure that all legal and regulatory requirements are adhered to without compromise.
  • Assess current and future staffing levels; develop and implement staffing and succession plans.
  • Interface with representatives of the CDFA and all relevant state, national and related industry organizations.
  • Foster and retain professional relationships with dairy industry stakeholders, industry trade organizations, partners (academic, health/nutrition, education), agricultural businesses, and outside public and governmental agencies.
  • Represent DCC at industry events and through membership and participation in meetings, conferences, etc.

Financial Stewardship

  • Create annual budget that supports strategic direction of the organization.
  • Oversee disbursement of DCC funds, investments, reserves, and monitors budget/financial statements monthly; ensure financial controls are in place.
  • Review and approve contracts, leases, and purchases necessary for administrative and programmatic operations.
  • Oversee the prompt, thorough and accurate reporting of financial assets and activities.
  • Monitor annual financial and CDFA audits and the implementation of financial controls and procedures.
  • Review monthly and annual financial statements for budgetary comparisons, analysis, and action-oriented responses, as necessary.

Program Management

  • Lead and manage programs and initiatives to promote healthy eating patterns that include dairy products.
  • Oversee nutrition research programs, working with research directors, committees, and advisory groups to establish priorities and projects. Establishes and manages relationships with the research community.
  • Establish key performance indicators and develop the necessary metrics to measure the effectiveness of all programs; maximize the value received for each dollar spent.
  • Provide regular reports on program accomplishments to the Board of Directors and the industry members.


  • An undergraduate BA/BS degree is required. A graduate degree in business or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is desirable.
  • A minimum of five (5) years senior management experience with strategic and P&L responsibility in agriculture, food, health, education or nutrition fields.
  • Strong computer literacy with common software programs.
  • Ability to read, analyze and interpret common scientific, educational, and technical reports and then to communicate results to a layperson successfully.
  • Demonstrated problem solver able to analyze complex situations, draw conclusions and exercise judgment to resolve issues within broadly defined practices and procedures.
  • Extraordinary communicator both verbally and in writing. Make presentations to Board of Directors, in small groups, for public speaking events, with media and in response to consumers and dairy industry members. Write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. History of building and leading high performing teams.
  • Experience working with federal or state marketing orders would be desirable.
  • Flexibility to travel 40%+ of the time and a valid driver’s license required.


  • Highly strategic; innovative and creative visionary.
  • Servant leader; creates focused, purposeful teams; able to inspire and motivate others by exhibiting a genuine passion and affinity for dairy, the organization and members.
  • Possess emotional intelligence with strong interpersonal skills; approachable, open-minded, a great listener able to relate equally well with all levels of an organization and with diverse groups, e.g., producers, processors, governmental agencies, staff, industry and consumers.
  • A consensus builder; strong yet diplomatic leader to unite and engage diverse groups through collaborative efforts.
  • Must be entrepreneurial with the ambition and passion to realize the full potential of the organization.
  • Ironclad integrity; impeccably honest and trustworthy, uses discretion regarding confidential issues.
  • Ability to be decisive and fearless.
  • Delegates effectively; monitors results and holds individuals and teams accountable.
  • Difference maker; effective management of multiple projects, achieves outstanding results.
  • Strong work ethic; demonstrates reliability, initiative, and efficiency. Able to work in a challenging environment.
  • Possesses realistic optimism with a desire for continuous learning and development.



The Dairy Council of California is an Equal Opportunity employer and conducts all business in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended and the nondiscrimination regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture as now or hereinafter amended (7 CFR Part 15). Furthermore, Dairy Council of California complies with the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and the Federal Equal Opportunity Act.


Download the job description here

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