Oakhurst Dairy Announces Innovative New Leadership Structure
PORTLAND, MAINE — March 15, 2012 — Oakhurst Dairy, the largest dairy in Maine and the largest family-owned, independent dairy in northern New England, announced today that John H. Bennett, the third brother in the third generation of the Bennett family and the company’s current Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Thomas A. Brigham, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will be named Co-Presidents of the company following a meeting of the Board of Directors in April. As originally planned, President and CEO William P. Bennett plans to transition from day-to-day operations but will maintain an active role in the company’s management as Chairman of the Board.
“My brother Bill’s longstanding plan to transition from day-to-day operations this year allowed us to develop a unique and innovative leadership structure that best positions Oakhurst for continued success and growth,” said John Bennett. “Our family could not be more pleased to elevate Tom Brigham to the role of Co-President. Tom is a highly trusted and valued colleague who has been a member of the Oakhurst senior leadership team for more than 16 years. Together, we bring a collective strength and expertise that will allow us to continue to take the company forward.”
For 90 years and three generations, the Bennett family has owned, managed and operated Oakhurst Dairy and they will continue to do so. Over the last year, following the death of Stanley T. Bennett, II, who served as President and Chief Executive Officer for nearly 30 years, brothers Bill and John Bennett have worked closely together to run the company.
John Bennett joined the dairy in 2004 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing after owning and operating a successful wholesale seafood business on Portland’s waterfront. During John’s tenure at Oakhurst, he has managed multiple areas of the business, and most recently served as the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Tom Brigham brings more than 25 years of senior financial management experience in food-related businesses and has been responsible for all accounting and finance functions at Oakhurst since joining the company in 1995. He has been an integral member of the senior leadership team and most recently served as the company’s Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer.
“I’m honored by the family’s confidence in me to help serve in this leadership capacity,” said Brigham. “I know John and I will make a great team.”
As Co-Presidents, Bennett and Brigham will both oversee the operations and actions of Oakhurst Dairy. John Bennett will have direct responsibility for the company’s Production, Quality, Logistics and IT functions. Tom Brigham will have direct responsibility for the Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Financial and Administrative areas of the business.
“This new collaborative leadership structure, while different from our past governance approach, will allow us to leverage the unique skills of both individuals and make Oakhurst even stronger,” said Bill Bennett. “We will have two individuals, each with deep industry experience, including nearly 25 years collectively leading the dairy. We are confident that this decision will position Oakhurst for the future and allow us to continue to deliver the quality products we’re known for while serving our community.”
Working alongside John Bennett and Tom Brigham will be a strong group of senior managers and Bennett family members who bring many years of experience and service to the company. These include: Althea Bennett McGirr, Director of Customer Service; Jean Bennett Driscoll, Executive Assistant; Priscilla Bennett Doucette and Mary Ellen Bennett Tetreau, who both serve on the Oakhurst Dairy Board of Directors and as members of the company’s Charitable Giving Committee and the Marketing Advisory Committee; Paul Connolly, Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Joe Hyatt, Vice President of Human Resources; and Jim Lesser, Vice President of Marketing & Sales.
About Oakhurst Dairy
Oakhurst is northern New England’s truly local brand of milk. As the region’s largest independent family-owned dairy company, Oakhurst is committed to the health and wellbeing of the community and the environment. For 90 years and three generations, the Bennett family has stood behind every glass of Oakhurst milk, while contributing 10% of profits to local organizations through their Living Natural Goodness program to support healthy kids and a healthy environment – just another reason to choose Oakhurst, The Natural Goodness of Maine. For more information, visit www.oakhurstdairy.com.