Bakers Journal

Longtime IDDBA president Carol Christison passes away

March 6, 2014
By Bakers Journal


March 6, 2014, Madison, WI – Carol L. Christison, longtime International
Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) president died on March 4, 2014.

March 6, 2014, Madison, WI – Carol L. Christison, longtime International
Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) president died on March 4, 2014.

Carol L. Christison replaced retiring International Cheese
& Deli Association Executive Director, Willard T. Reese in December of 1982
at the Madison, WI-based organization and over the next 31 years built the
association into the leading organization in the industry. The association
later became known as the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association.

Carol had left an executive position with The American
College of Sports Medicine to avoid relocating her family and quickly embraced
the vision of the Association –which is to be the essential resource for
relevant information and services which add value to all food channels for the
dairy, deli, and bakery categories.


“Back in the ’80s, Carol Christison added a real spark to
the association including our annual business meetings in Door County where a
mixture of business and fun was the order of the day,” said a former board chairman.
Starting with only a part-time bookkeeper, the organization has grown to a
staff of nearly 30 employees; from 100 corporate members to 1,500, and from
less than 1,000 attendees to nearly 9,000 at the Annual Seminar & Expo.
Having served on industry committees including Random-Weight UPC and
Traceability, these voluntary roles were true testaments to Carol’s dedication
and commitment to retailers, distributors, brokers, manufacturers and others
who share a common purpose to better the industry.

Carol Christison expanded and changed the organizational
structure to meet new demands and opportunities and to be more self-sufficient.
She was also well known for her creativity, her annual industry trends
presentation, and her abilities in creating a top-notch program for the annual
seminar. Ms. Christison was also responsible for writing key promotional pieces
and leading the annual research study.

Lucie Arendt, senior vice-president and one of the first
employees of the IDDBA, said, “Carol has built an effective, committed team and
our operations have grown and improved every year thanks to her inspiring,
innovative leadership. We will miss Carol’s professionalism, creative mind and

Voni Woods, 2013 board chairman and senior director of deli
at Giant Eagle Supermarkets, addressed Carol in this introduction at last
year’s annual meeting: “You are a leader and visionary and disciplined
strategic thinker. You are amazingly perceptive about people and talent. You
are a Woman to reckon with in the Industry of Leaders and you do it with such
grace and confidence…always with that humor of yours which is scaring me
because I ‘get it.’ You have been a mentor and role model and such an
inspiration to many, including me. I am grateful to know you, thankful that the
Lord has watched over you and look forward to your next 30 years."

“We will most assuredly miss her professionalism and her
friendship,” echoed William Klump, current Chairman of the Board and senior VP
of marketing at Butterball. In a previous letter to the Board Mr. Klump had
stated, “We are grateful for all that Carol has accomplished in her 30 years of
service. She has been a key factor in the growth and success of the
Association. Carol has been at the center of the IDDBA’s transformation into a
leading organization, benefitting the whole industry.”

Carol is survived by daughter, Lucie (Norm) Arendt, and son
David; eldest son Jim passed away in 2013. Visitation is set for Wednesday,
March 12 with a Celebration of Life service on Thursday, March 13. Details may
be found at

Carol and her family suggest, in lieu of flowers, memorial
contributions be made to the UW-Madison’s Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology research fund, which supports research in gynecologic cancers.
Contributions to this fund significantly help advance cutting-edge research to
find new ways to detect the cancer earlier, as well as improve the outcomes and
quality of life for women and their families who face these cancers.

UW Foundation Fund #12902096, Lock Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI

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