About Us

Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC purpose is to develop, grow and support business units in order to maximize long term profits and sustainability to our stake holders.

Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC's management and employees are committed to producing high quality and safe dairy products. This commitment extends from our incoming materials to our final product. Each employee is tasked with seeking ways to continually improve our food safety and food quality management systems. Our goal is to operate within all regulatory requirements and to exceed customer requirements.

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.

Santana Manzanares
Human Resource Manager

Santana Manzanares joined the company in August of 2020 as the Human Resources Manager at CDFSW, LLC. She has received her Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern New Mexico University, as well as her Master of Science in Organizational and Human Resource Development from Abilene Christian University. Prior to working with CDFSW, she was the Human Resources Manager for a food manufacturing company, an agriculture biotech company, as well as a HR Compliance Manager in the oilfield industry. Currently, she lives in Lubbock with her husband and young son. She enjoys attending sporting events, baking, and spending time on the ranch with family.

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.

Richard Allen

Richard has worked for Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest since June 2020. He earned his BBA with an Accounting major from the University of Michigan – Flint and MBA from Oakland University (in Michigan). Over the last 10 years, Richard has worked mostly in manufacturing environments in similar roles. During that time, he also earned his CPA and CMA certifications and is currently studying for the CFA exam. Those roles have taken him from Michigan to Texas (crossing the border to Mexico), Alabama, Wisconsin, and back to Texas. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, travelling, and spending time outdoors.

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.

Ashley Burgess
FSQA Manager

Ashley is the current Food Safety and Quality Assurance Manager for Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest, LLC. Ashley graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition. She is a South Carolina native and has been with the company since July 2021. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her 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.

Tracy Kemp
Environmental Health and Safety Supervisor

Tracy Kemp has been with the company for 4 years and recently accepted the position of Environmental Health and Safety Supervisor at Continental Dairy Facilities Southwest. She has been in the industry for almost 10 years, starting as Quality Assurance before coming to Continental Dairy Facilities. Tracy is working on her degree in Occupational Safety at Eastern Kentucky University. She also loves to travel and see new places but more importantly try the food! Tracy comes from a big family so that is one of the most important things to her. She loves being a mom and has three great kiddos and 2 fur babies.

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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