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Industry Leaders to be Recognized During Global CheeseExpo
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/09/2020

The Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association has chosen nine individuals to be recognized next year at CheeseExpo Global Online for their outstanding work in the dairy processing industry.

Mark Schleitwiler will receive the WCMA Life Member Award, which is the group's highest honor. He serves as an industry consultant, most recently having worked as Director for Wohlt Cheese, now a division of Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. From 1988-2017, Schleitwiler worked at BelGioioso Cheese and has since launched his career as an accountant and administrator at Churny Company, a cheese manufacturer and importer.

John Jeter and Don Menzner will be honored as recipients of the Cheese Industry Champions awards. Jeter served as CEO Hilmar Cheese Company for 31 years. Before his retirement in 2015, he completed construction of a second production plant in Texas, and established Hilmar Cheese as a major dairy exporter. Menzner joined Marathon Cheese Corporation in 1960 as a packaging line worker, later advancing to the position of Director of Purchasing. He was named CEO in 1996. Menzner also served as president of the National Cheese Institute's board of directors, and as a member of the National Cheese Exchange Board of Directors. He retired in 2001.

Meanwhile, Distinguished Service Awards will be presented to Craig Linz and Jerry Lippert. Dr. Bob Cropp and Marianne Smukowski will be presented with the Babcock Award for contributions of those in education or affiliate organizations. And the Vanguard Award will go to Steve Buholzer and Ray Palubicki.

The awards will be presented to honorees CheeseExpo Global Online in April 2021.

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