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Cheryl Smith joins Dairy Farmers of Ontario

Former Parmalat executive has been tasked with building key stakeholder relationships, among other tasks

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Cheryl Smith is joining Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) as chief executive officer, effective Aug. 19.

The former Parmalat executive, and 2018 Star Women in Grocery winner, will lead DFO’s executive team and will focus on “driving the organization’s business interests, building key relationships with provincial and national stakeholders, and strengthening partnerships with processors,” according to a press release announcing Smith’s appointment.

“As we face many challenges of the future, we felt having a leader who understands consumers, the food chain and the interconnectivity of our dairy industry has great benefit,” said Dairy Farmers of Ontario chair of the board Murray Sherk, in a press release. “[Cheryl] is a forward-facing thinker with an acute understanding of the opportunities ahead. We have every confidence Cheryl will make great contributions to DFO and our industry at large.”

Smith spent two decades at Parmalat where she held various marketing and executive vice-president roles. She was serving as general manager of the cheese division when she stepped away from the company last May. Prior to joining Parmalat, Smith led businesses for Unilever and Rogers.

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