About Us

Continental Dairy Facilities' Southwest facility is currently in the engineering phase. We will be breaking ground in the summer of 2016. The new dairy facility is projected to begin operations in August of 2018. We will post updates about the construction progress as the details become available.

Meet Our Team:

Steve Cooper
COO / General Manager

Steve currently serves as the COO/ General Manager of Continental Dairy Facilities LLC, where he was involved in the business development and design of a new powder processing plant in Coopersville, Michigan which started operations in March 2012. He brings 40 years of experience and vast amounts of knowledge of the dairy industry to his role at Continental Dairy. During his career in Dairy, Steve has been responsible for plant operations, marketing and logistics as well as the startup of numerous dryers, evaporators, ultrafiltration and butter operations. Steve studied at California State University – Fresno where he received a degree in Dairy Industry.

Jeff Galbraith
Director of Operations

A California native with 15 years of dairy experience, Jeff moved to Michigan in 2011 to continue growing in his career in Dairy Manufacturing Operations. He is currently Continental Dairy Facilities, Director of Operations. Jeff is responsible for the Michigan Continental Dairy Facilities plant and the Texas Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest plant. Jeff started his career in 2001 working for California Dairies Inc. the second largest milk marketing cooperative in the U.S. His career there spanned 10 years starting out as a milk receiver and ending as the Assistant Plant Manager; overseeing the daily operations of one of the largest drying facilities in the nation. Jeff's experience ranges in operations with a vast knowledge in Evaporation, Drying, UF/RO and Butter. He is a very motivated individual who enjoys work and spending quality time with his family.

Ronald I. Thompson, PhD, CFS
Director of Food Safety, Education, & Technology

Ron currently works for Continental Dairy Facilities, LLC/Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC as Director of Food Safety, Education, & Technical Services providing his technical dairy, environmental, food safety and regulatory expertise to the operation of the facilities. Ron has over 25 years of experience in Dairy Foods industry and has been involved in the planning and commissioning of five new milk dryer plants. Ron has developed and implemented quality and food safety systems for dried dairy ingredients, fluid milk, and butter over the course of his career. Ron leads Select Milk Producers, Inc.'s Plant Food Safety Committee and is an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University teaching a class on Food Safety. Ron currently serves as an official lead butter judge to the Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Contest, as a committee and council member for the National Conference for Interstate Milk Shippers (NCIMS), as a Subject Matter Expert for DMI's Innovation Center Plant Food Safety Workshops, as a member of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) Regulatory and IMS Committee, and as a member on the 3-A Sanitary Standards Steering Committee. Ron has a BS degree in Dairy Science from California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo; a MS degree and Ph.D. in Dairy Products Technology from Louisiana State University. Ron also is a Certified Food Scientist (CFS) through the Institute of Food Technologist (IFT). Ron and his wife, Tammy, met at a running group in Holland, MI. They have four adult children; 2 in Michigan and 2 in California. Ron and Tammy spend their free time training for their next marathon, visiting family, and vacationing in Costa Rica.

Haley Welch
Human Resource Manager

Haley Welch has been with Continental Dairy Facilities SW since June 2017, before operations began. She is the Human Resource Manager. She went to Texas Tech University where she received her bachelor's degree in Management. She also has a certificate in Strategic Leadership in Human Resource Development from Texas Tech University. Prior to working with CDFSW, she was the procurement manager for a large multi-site dairy operation. Currently, she lives in Lubbock with her husband and two children.

Lawrence Sosa
Plant Manager

Current plant manager at Continental Dairy Facilities, LLC. I have been with the company since December of 2018. Prior to start of the Littlefield facility in Texas, I have 25 years of experience in the Dairy processing industry. I have a background in cheese making, butter, and powder production. Started career working for Kraft Foods as a receiver and cheese maker back in 1998. In 1998 I started working for California Dairies as an evaporator dryer operator. During my time with California Dairies I moved up from Foreperson to Plant Superintendent. I enjoy motivating people to do their best at work and take pride in working for Continental Dairy Facilities SW. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, especially my grandchildren.

Bruce Born
Director of Finance

Bruce has worked for Continental Dairy Facilities since December of 2012 and currently serves as the Director of Finance. A CPA, Bruce has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance. During his career, Bruce has worked in a variety of industries, including a combined 17 years of previous work for two companies in the food production industry. Bruce studied at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Ml where he received a Bachelor of Economics degree. Bruce enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and spoiling his granddaughter.

Cheslie Stehouwer
Director of Sales and Marketing

Cheslie joined Continental Dairy Facilities in May 2011, after graduating from Grand Valley State University with a degree in Criminal Justice. Continental Dairy has provided Cheslie with the opportunity to learn multiple areas within the company, allowing her to gain valuable experience in logistics, marketing and information technology. She lives in Spring Lake and enjoys running in her spare time.

Kevin Silva
Butter Room Manager

Kevin joined the Continental Dairy Southwest team in November of 2018, prior to production. Kevin was born and raised on a dairy farm. He spent a year in milk manufacturing and 18 years of experiencing with butter and cheese manufacturing. He is from Tulare, CA. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids.

Brent Weatherford
Maintenance Manager

Brent moved to Texas in 2018 to assist with the startup of the newest member of Select Milk Producers endeavors, Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC in Littlefield Texas. He currently serves as the Maintenance Manager and brings over 29 years of experience, 15 in plant processing and 14 in milk production. Brent brings with him a unique capability and understanding of mechanical operation efficiencies and procedures. Brent has also been hazmat trained and certified since 2007. He enjoys spending time with his family, fishing and racing.

Logan Smith
Automation Specialist

Logan is a Texas native who has been building robots and rockets since he was fourteen and volunteers for those programs which led to that interest; BEST, FIRST, and TARC. This earlier involvement led to his attendance at Texas Tech University where he received his degree in Applied Physics. He has worked in the automation and engineering field for seven years and in various industries. During this time, he has been involved in commissioning and starting up multiple sites as well as upgrades and support for others. Logan joined us during the construction of our Texas Facility in May 2018.

Jose Villegas
FSQA Manager

Jose Villegas serves as the Food Safety & Quality Assurance Manager for the Continental Diary Facilities Southwest, LLC. Jose graduated from California State University, Stanislaus with a B. A. Degree in Chemistry. Jose values continual improvement in education which lead him to complete a Master of Science of Quality Assurance program with an emphasis on manufacturing from California State University, Dominguez Hills. Jose has 18 years of experience in food safety and quality assurance managements systems as well as continuous improvement programs in food manufacturing processes. Jose is a California native, and has been with the company since July 2018. He enjoys outside exercise activities to maintain a well work and personal life balance. Jose enjoys spending quality time with his family.

Tim Wilbanks
Warehouse Manager

Tim serves as the Warehouse Manager of Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC. He moved to Lubbock, Texas in 2018 bringing over 18 years of experience in the milk processing industry to assist with starting the new facility. With 13 years of warehousing, Tim brings valuable experience to the team. He enjoys spending time with his family and participating in motocross racing with his two sons.

Jeremy Sims
Environmental Health and Safety Manager

Jeremy serves as the Environmental Health and Safety Manager for Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC. He graduated from Wayland Baptist University with a B.A. Degree in Management. Jeremy has 18 years of experience in compliance, safety, and accounting/auditing within various industries, including aerospace, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and agriculture. He is a West Texas native, and has been with the company since March 2018. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors and with his family.

Saul Salas
Staff Accountant

Saul Salas been with Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC since January 2019 and currently holds the role as Staff Accountant. Saul earned a B.B.A in Finance and Economics from West Texas A&M University. He currently lives in Plainview, Texas with his wife and two children.

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