Darigold Names Kristi Kangas Chief Operating Officer and Duane Naluai Chief Customer Officer
SEATTLE–Darigold, Inc., the Seattle-based farmer-owned dairy cooperative, announced that it has hired Kristi Kangas as chief operating officer and promoted executive Duane Naluai to chief account officer. The moves come as the 104-year-old dairy farmer seeks to accelerate some processing initiatives aimed at modernizing and globalizing the cooperative, including the construction of a new processing plant in Pasco, Washington, and the reconstruction of a damaged fire. . facility in Caldwell, Idaho.
Kangas comes to Darigold with extensive experience in the dairy and consumer packaged goods industry. Most recently, she served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Readington Farms, a multi-line producer that supplies a variety of dairy and other packaged goods for its parent company, Wakefern Food Corp. – one of the largest retail cooperatives. in the countryside.
While at Readington, Kristi had all operational, financial, commercial and distribution responsibilities. Prior to joining Readington, she held senior manufacturing positions at one of the country’s largest dairy producers and operational leadership positions at a global food production company. She is well accomplished in all facets of operations, including manufacturing, distribution, production engineering, and safety, among others. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration in Strategy and Organizational Behaviour.
Naluai joined Darigold in 2017 as senior vice president of sales and marketing and head of the cooperative’s consumer products division. He was promoted to President of the Consumer Products Division in 2020. In his new role as Chief Customer Officer, Naluai oversees the cooperative’s business planning, customer experience, partner development and national sales functions. and global. During his time at Darigold, Naluai led the development of several new products, including FIT milk, an ultrafiltered lactose-free milk that offers 75% more protein and 40% less sugar than traditional milk, and introduced the emphasis of the cooperative on value-added products.
Prior to joining Darigold, Naluai held senior positions in consumer packaged goods, working with some of the world’s largest packaged food companies, and in professional services including marketing and retail banking. investment. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Commerce and is actively involved in the dairy industry, serving as a member of the Fluid Milk Advisory Board of Dairy Management, Inc., leading efforts to revitalize fluid milk consumption through innovation, effective communication and partnership development.
“We are driving the dairy industry forward, and that means finding new ways to create value for our farmer-owners and our global customers,” said Joe Coote, CEO of Darigold. “Kristi and Duane are proven leaders, with experience and expertise that will be invaluable to us as we continue our journey to modernize our business, build for our future and leverage the strength of our brand to add value to our business both nationally and nationally. in markets around the world.
Seattle-based Darigold, Inc. is the marketing and processing arm of the Northwest Dairy Association (NDA), which is owned by nearly 350 dairy farm families in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Darigold processes approximately 10 billion pounds of milk per year. Darigold produces a full line of dairy products for the retail, foodservice, commodity and specialty markets, and is one of the largest US dairy processors. Darigold, Inc. operates 11 plants throughout the Northwest, processing high quality milk produced by NDA farming families. For more information, visit darigold.com.