The first president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, Tipton died Saturday at the age of 78 after a year-long illness.
(Washington, D.C. – October 15, 2013) E. Linwood "Tip" Tipton loomed larger than life during his service to the U.S. dairy industry associations, which spanned 38 years.
The first president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, Tipton died Saturday at the age of 78 after a year-long illness. He leaves behind a lasting legacy of tremendous industry growth, creativity and collaboration while working with all segments of the dairy industry, as well as business associations and the Capitol Hill community.
Born November 19, 1934, Tipton grew up on a Missouri dairy farm and earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture and a Master of Science in economics from the University of Missouri. In 1957, he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Finance Corps.
He started his dairy career early in the 1960s as an economist with the Eastern Milk Producers Cooperative, where he supported efforts to streamline regulated farm milk pricing. Not long after, he was recruited to join the staff of the Milk Industry Foundation and the International Ice Cream Association and began to build a foundation for bringing new cohesion and growth to the industry.
Also at this time, he co-founded a hotel/motel and restaurant chain, which grew over time to more than 30 properties. Tipton served as chairman of the board and CEO and ultimately sold the chain in 2000.
Never Far From Dairy
He never strayed far from the dairy industry, however. In 1980, he founded the annual International Sweetener Colloquium, bringing together food and beverage companies that use sugar to discuss common issues.
In October 1983, Tipton married Connie Eaton Broadstone who also worked for the industry associations, and together they made many contributions to the industry.
That same year, Tipton founded the Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party, and in 1984 he and Connie led efforts to have then President Ronald Reagan proclaim July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This action required two-thirds approval by Congress before a presidential proclamation could be considered by President Reagan. The proclamation, approved by Congress and issued by Reagan in 1984, is still celebrated today. This past July, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama celebrating National Ice Cream Day with a sundae.
Fresh from this success, Tipton founded the Dairy Forum in 1985 as an event for encouraging policy dialogue among processor and producer leaders. The annual forum is now recognized as one of the industry’s premier events, gaining record attendance and attention year after year.
In 1988, he created the International Dairy Show, an industry trade show that today features the newest innovations in technology, packaging, ingredients and services for the dairy foods industry.
Perhaps two of his greatest career accomplishments occurred in 1990. Tipton rallied the dairy food manufacturers to create the International Dairy Foods Association, which brought together the Milk Industry Foundation, the International Ice Cream Association and the National Cheese Institute in an effort to magnify the voice of the dairy processing industry in Washington, D.C.