July 6, 2020 – Julie Kanak of Diversified Search has recently assisted Fresno, CA-headquartered DairyAmerica in the recruitment of Patricia Smith as its new president and CEO. She brings a wealth of experience to the role, having served in a number of senior leadership capacities over the past 20 years in the dairy processing and food ingredient industry.
“DairyAmerica sits at the forefront of one of the most exciting opportunities of our lifetime,” said Brad Anderson, DairyAmerica board of directors president. “Patricia is the right person to lead DairyAmerica into the future, given her visionary leadership experience and proven ability to drive results.”
Ms. Smith recently served as president and CEO of Valley Milk LLC, a privately held dairy processing and ingredient company. Prior to that, she held key leadership positions with Roquette America and Fonterra. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Iowa State University, with a bachelor’s degree in food technology.
“I am honored to lead this extraordinary company as DairyAmerica’s chief executive officer,” said Ms. Smith. “I look forward to working closely with our talented team. Together, we will capture the next waves of growth for DairyAmerica by remaining focused on providing quality dairy products around the globe.”
Established in 1995, DairyAmerica is a federated marketing cooperative association organized for the purposes of marketing dairy products. The organization supplies quality dairy products regionally, nationally and internationally to its ever-expanding and diverse customer base.
Headquartered in Philadelphia, Diversified Search is the largest U.S. female-owned and founded firm in the executive recruitment industry. It has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Diversified is the U.S. partner of AltoPartners, an international alliance of 58 independent executive search firms that spans 35 countries across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
Diversified has a track record of identifying, assessing and recruiting leaders to the education, non-profit, and arts and culture sectors. In 2019, the firm acquired Koya Leadership Partners, a premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven leadership. Many of Diversified’s consultants have served as education and non-profit administrators and leaders, giving them firsthand knowledge of these environments and organizational dynamics.
Ms. Kanak serves as a managing director in Diversified Search’s Chicago office, where she contributes expertise in global business, banking and natural resources. She is active in the industrial, life sciences, consumer and retail, and natural resources practices, as well as being a key member of the board, CEO and CFO practices. Ms. Kanak has recruited board, general management and financial executives for public, private equity-backed and family-owned enterprises. Her clients range from Fortune 500s to emerging companies. Her banking activity encompasses senior-level placements in coverage/corporate finance, treasury, risk management, investment banking and capital markets for the world’s leading financial institutions.
Prior to joining Diversified Search, Ms. Kanak spent four years with DHR International and Kincannon & Reed. That work complemented her 26 years in banking and corporate finance, where she principally focused on agribusiness, food and energy. The bulk of her global corporate and investment banking career was spent as North American head of AgriFoods at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank. Her career also includes more than 10 years as a global banker and senior executive with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and State Bank of South Australia in New York and Chicago.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media