Throughout the years, there have been countless people who have built their careers at DFA – on farms, in plants, in the field or in offices.
Jennifer Collins, recently named director of corporate and commercial marketing, found her way into DFA while employed by an outside vendor.
As a brand manager for Kansas City-based advertising agency Sullivan Higdon & Sink, Collins was introduced to dairy.
“The agency was selected to represent the Borden® brand, which is marketed by DFA. We became an extension of the DFA Borden team,” Collins says. “I actually worked from the DFA office two days a week, and was closely tied to consumer brands, marketing and corporate communications.”
Collins helped develop and launch the 2008 Friends of Elsie campaign, a marketing and advertising program that featured member-owners on their farms talking to consumers and encouraging them to be “Friends of Elsie,” the beloved Borden mascot. The campaign resulted in a more than 13 percent increase in core volume growth in that year’s test markets.
Collins was also pivotal in helping her then-agency grow their relationship with DFA to include representing DFA brand Cache Valley®. During that time, Collins was also strengthening her own relationship with DFA. When an opening on the consumer brands team at DFA became available, Collins decided it was time to make the move, joining DFA as an associate brand manager.
“I always wanted to be a part of something bigger,” she says. “DFA gave me that opportunity. I love working for dairy farmers. Over the years, I’ve visited a number of our member-owners’ farms and have met them face to face. I am inspired by the commitment they have for their land and animals. I am committed to working hard to ensure they can continue to do what they love and feed the world.”
In her first role at DFA, Collins was heavily involved with activating marketing plans. She was quickly promoted to senior associate brand manager, and took on more responsibility, including strategy development. Her role expanded from cheese brands to include butter and beverages before she was again promoted to brand manager.
As brand manager, Collins was responsible for brand strategy for cheese, butter and beverage brands, and oversaw brand reputation while providing focus and vision for the brands.
While working with the consumer brands team, Collins was involved with the launch of the “Savor the Good Stuff” campaign for Cache Valley, expanding food service business for Plugrá®, and overseeing in-store marketing for Borden Cheese. She also helped develop the domestic marketing campaign for Sport Shake in the New York and Florida markets, and an international marketing campaign in Haiti.
Often serving as project manager, helping teams from various departments work together on common projects, she also facilitated and activated programs and directed agency partners. Considering her start as an agency partner, Collins had come full-circle. She says her time with DFA has allowed her to focus on personal and professional development. “I’m always seeking to become a better version of myself. DFA supports that type of growth and development along our career paths. If you want to grow in this company, we find a place for you to make that happen.”