This week Scott Bentley took over the helm of World Dairy Expo as general manager.
Mike Holschbach, president of the World Dairy Expo board of directors, introduced Bentley at a press conference last week - his first official appearance since being named to head the organization.
"World Dairy Expo has both a mission and a vision statement," Holschbach said. "Part of that vision is to continue to be the leader in the global dairy industry by providing new innovations and technologies to better serve our attendees.
"As with any healthy, vibrant company, sometimes opportunities present themselves to evolve the staff and restructure roles to better fit that vision. We are excited to share our new staff leader today."
Bentley comes to World Dairy Expo most recently from a position as global supply manager at ABS Global in De Forest. He had also earlier held positions at that company of global dairy product manager, district sales manager and had worked in the acquisition of dairy sires.
Prior to that, he was field service manager at the American Jersey Cattle Association.
In an interview, Bentley said he is thrilled to become part of an event that he's been a fan of all his life. "I've been in the dairy industry for 25 years and this is the premier event not only in the United States but it is also known throughout the world.
"The dairy industry looks at World Dairy Expo as the place to go. The opportunity to be part of that was a dream come true for me."
In addition to overseeing the staff of 11 that put on World Dairy Expo each year, Bentley will lead WDE Management, which is in charge of the North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge, Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, the Dane County Fair and Wisconsin Rural Opportunities Foundation.
He said it is gratifying to work with the highly functioning staff and he also looks forward to working with state and county officials to keep the momentum going for new buildings at the Alliant Energy Center.
"From the perspective of World Dairy Expo we'd like to have the opportunity to have world-class pavilions for world-class dairy cattle and exhibitors."
His first steps will be to get up to speed for the one-week project that keeps his staff busy for the other 51 weeks of the year.
Bentley said he hopes to achieve and exceed the five-year strategic plan for Expo and exceed the expectations of the event's stakeholders. "I want to ensure that this event is where new technology is brought to the forefront."
Bentley, 50, grew up on a Guernsey dairy farm in Ames, IA and earned a Dairy Science degree at Iowa State University, then a Master's in Business Administration from Purdue.
"The board is excited that our new general Manager has varied experience in the dairy industry, including dairy cattle show management, commercial trade show and business management," Holschbach said.
"He has experience working with dairy producers and management teams in both corporate and cooperative environments. His understanding of working collaboratively with dairy producers, exhibitors and industry partners will be helpful as we continue to grow and evolve Expo," he added.
Holschbach thanked Bob Kaiser, who had stepped out of retirement to serve as interim general manager while the board and a search committee found a permanent general manager.
"His professionalism, attention to detail and ability to work with a diversified board and staff have kept World Dairy Expo 2013 on track to become the Center of the Dairy Universe, Oct. 1-5," Holschbach said of Kaiser.
The search for a new general manager began last year after former general manager Mark Clarke left to become the head of the Alliant Energy Center - the home of World Dairy Expo and other large events including the Midwest Horse Fair.
Kaiser said that the committee in charge of selecting a new general manager had a "deep pool of qualified applicants" and the process stayed on schedule.