In 2013, the organization that runs World Dairy Expo saw some significant staffing changes, beginning at the top with Scott Bentley, who took over the helm of World Dairy Expo as general manager in June.
The organization also got a new dairy cattle show manager, a new trade show and project coordinator and a new project specialist.
Mike Holschbach, president of the World Dairy Expo board of directors said opportunities presented themselves "to evolve the staff and restructure roles" to allow Expo to better fit its vision.
"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."
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 ABS as 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.
Bentley 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.
He 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 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 management of 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" that juggles various projects throughout the year.
Several years ago WDE Management was formed to take on projects like the Dane County Fair that could keep the large staff busy during times of the year when Dairy Expo was either wrapped up or taking care of itself for the next fall.
Bentley said he hopes to achieve and exceed the five-year strategic plan for World Dairy 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."
Holschbach said the board is excited that it has a new general manager with varied experience in the dairy industry including dairy cattle show management, commercial trade show and business management.
"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.
During a press conference in June when Bentley was introduced, Holschbach publicly 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 Clark left to become executive director of the Alliant Energy Center – the facility that is home to World Dairy Expo and other large trade shows and events.
Stepping on board as the new World Dairy Expo dairy cattle show manager is Ann Marie Magnochi. She will oversee all aspects of the eight dairy breed shows held during Expo. Her role includes processing entries, coordinating awards, as well as lining judges and people to manage breed sales.
Part of Magnochi's role is to work closely with the cattle show superintendents and the committees that make the shows possible as well as helping coordinate several of the youth competitions that take place during Expo.
She has first-hand experience with those youth shows. As a former competitor at Expo she participated in the National 4-H Dairy Judging Contest and later competed in the National Intercollegiate Dairy Judging Contest.
Joining the staff as trade show and project coordinator is Crystal McNett, whose role involves securing contracts with commercial exhibitors, getting sponsors and taking good care of the 850 exhibitors that come to the event each year.
That work goes on all through the year and she has been coordinating with the rest of the staff on customer service. McNett participated in FFA dairy judging and youth showmanship competitions at Expo and was part of the Badger Dairy Club crew that works to make the big show a success each year.
World Dairy Expo also added a new project specialist in Carrie Jo Leum, whose role is to manage details of Expo including meeting rooms, trade events during the show, national judging contests and working with sponsors.
Leum's duties this year will include working with the World Forage Analysis Superbowl.
Like McNett, Leum is an alum of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Badger Dairy Club and has volunteered her time for several years at Expo in various capacities including the media room, where she helped generate press releases during the show.