October 11, 2021
Barbara O’Brien, who was unanimously approved by the Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) Board of Directors to succeed Tom Gallagher as CEO, will assume her new role effective today. Gallagher will remain as an advisor to O’Brien as needed through July 31, 2022.
“With more than two decades of experience providing steady leadership and results for dairy farmers and the dairy industry, Barb is perfectly suited for this new challenge,” said DMI chair and Pennsylvania dairy farmer Marilyn Hershey. “Barb will build on Tom’s strong legacy and refine strategies to support domestic and global growth, drive greater efficiencies and increase positive consumer perception around dairy and dairy farming. Barb will also continue to develop the strong bench of next generation leaders throughout the checkoff organizations so that we are poised for long-term success.”
Gallagher, who has stated his desire to seek new opportunities and expand his teaching commitments, reiterated his confidence in O’Brien.
“I have had the honor of working with Barb for the last 20 years and I have seen the impact she has made on this industry in so many meaningful ways,” Gallagher said. “We have a very strong relationship that will continue, and I look forward to helping her succeed in this role any way needed. The checkoff’s future is very bright.”
O’Brien plans to immediately tap the expertise of DMI staff, along with input from farmers and industry leaders, to seek ideas and contributions that magnify the checkoff’s impact and create efficiencies on behalf of farmer and importer owners.
“As CEO, I am excited to lead the checkoff into the future and to build on the incredible work being done globally, nationally and locally. Our accomplishments over many years are impressive, yet there’s more we can and will do. I look forward to the journey in front of us.” O’Brien said.
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