March 31 2022 11:50 AM

Promotes Marty McKinzie to Chief Growth Officer; adds Kay Johnson Smith as Chief Operating Officer

The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.

Nonprofit regional dairy council Dairy MAX, which represents more than 900 dairy farmers in eight states, is pleased to announce that Marty McKinzie has been promoted to Chief Growth Officer of the organization, responsible for business development, industry image and relations, sustainability and organizational development. Dairy MAX has additionally hired Kay Johnson Smith as Chief Operating Officer, leading key areas of the business including consumer marketing, corporate communications, issues management, health and wellness and school marketing. McKinzie and Johnson Smith will report to Chief Executive Officer Mike Konkle, who has served in his role since 2007 and will continue to lead the growing organization.

McKinzie joined Dairy MAX in 2008 as Director of industry image and relations and currently is the Vice President of industry image and relations. He and his team are the conduit connecting Dairy MAX with the dairy farmers it serves, helping them build trust with communities through connections with farm tours, sharing checkoff program successes with youth inside and outside of schools and building relationships with business partners and health professionals. McKenzie has played a critical role in development of industry relationships, fostering growth and understanding through communication and annual one-on-one farm visits.

Johnson Smith joins Dairy MAX from the Animal AgricultureAlliance, based in Arlington, Virginia, where she served originally as Executive Director, then President and Chief Executive Officer for nearly 28 years. In that role, she was tasked with managing the organization’s operations, providing strategic guidance to the agriculture and food industry regarding farm animal issues and engaging stakeholders about the importance of modern animal agriculture.

“Dairy councils are an asset to farmers every day, supporting them in their efforts to provide and market dairy products to Americans,” said Mike Konkle, CEO of Dairy MAX. “The way we see it, dairy farmers have both tough and incredible jobs––and it is our responsibility to meet their expectations and serve them well. The addition of these two roles will help us to be positioned for continued success in the coming years. We look forward to Marty and Kay’s contributions.”

Dairy MAX is part of a nationwide effort to promote dairy, develop new dairy foods, provide educational information and increase consumption. It does so with a team of experts in dairy farming, business, education and health and wellness, working with organizations such as the National Dairy Council (NDC) and Milk Processor EducationProgram (MilkPEP). The organization is a longtime supporter of the Animal Ag Alliance, a nonprofit working to safeguard the future of animal agriculture, and looks forward to continued engagement with the organization into the future.