Meet SUDIA’s leadership team
Address: 5340 West Fayetteville Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30349
Main Phone: 1-800-343-4693
The non-profit Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. (SUDIA) is funded by dairy farm families of the Southeast. We work diligently with dairy producers, retailers, schools, sports teams, health professionals, local organizations, state leaders, the media and the public to promote dairy foods and knowledge about the dairy industry. Our efforts encompass nine states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Please meet our dedicated staff.
Doug Ackerman – General Manager
Since January 1, 2017, Doug Ackerman has served as General Manager of SUDIA. He is responsible for managing the organization’s nine-state dairy promotional programs and approximately 50 staff members to help grow sales and consumer demand for dairy products. He serves on several of Dairy Management Inc.’s national committees representing SUDIA.
Ackerman has nearly 20 years of experience in strategic brand marketing, demand generation, advertising and integrated marketing communications in retail and foodservice. His previous titles include Category Marketing Manager at Publix Super Markets and Executive Director for the Florida Department of Citrus.
Ackerman has an extensive military background, having served with the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard for more than 20 years. He earned the Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge for leadership in combat while embedded with the Afghan National Police during Operation Enduring Freedom.
He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Tampa and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Anne Cain, MS, MPH, RD – Director of Communications – [contact]
Anne Cain, a registered dietitian, is the Director of Communications at SUDIA, where she leads a team to plan, develop and manage consumer and industry communications, digital programs, campaigns, newsletters, videos, print materials and special events. Anne spent 24 years at Time, Inc., first as a cookbook editor where she edited over 25 cookbooks and was editor of Successful Living with Diabetes magazine. With the launch of MyRecipes in 2007, she was appointed Senior Food Editor for the website. She received her undergraduate degree from Auburn University, and master’s degrees in both clinical nutrition and public health nutrition from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Mark Farmer, MBA – Director of Marketing and Partner Relations – [contact]
Mark Farmer joined SUDIA in August of 2013. He brings more than 15 years of strategic marketing experience in both the food service and retail sectors. Mark has successfully built and led high-performing marketing teams as the Director of Marketing for the Mellow Mushroom Corporation, CentraArchy Restaurant Group, and as President and co-owner of Rock Back Pizza. Mark has an undergraduate degree from Georgia State University and an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Mark is a native of Atlanta, Georgia.
Bob Midles – Director of Industry Relations – [contact]
Bob Midles serves as Director of Industry Relations for the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, heading the agency’s dairy checkoff outreach to farmers and industry partners. He oversees the Industry Relations team, which serves as a bridge between dairy farmers, dairy cooperatives, regulatory agencies and local distributors, ensuring the needs of dairy farmers are best served. Bob has a storied career in agricultural journalism and marketing, including work on beef, soybean and grain sorghum checkoff programs. Bob has a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Missouri and grew up on a family farm in southwest Missouri.
Mary Martin Nordness, MA, RD, LD, CHES – Director of Nutrition Affairs – [contact]
Mary Martin Nordness is a registered dietitian and certified health educator. She serves as Director of Nutrition Affairs for SUDIA, where she conducts television, radio and print interviews on nutrition throughout the Southeast. Nationally, she has been interviewed for WebMD, Cooking Light, Teen Vogue and Eating Well magazine. Mary Martin served as a National Dairy Council Ambassador for the National Dairy Council for four years and was recognized as “Outstanding Dietitian” of 2013 by the Alabama Dietetic Association. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in nutrition from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.
Barbara Sims – Director of Finance and Administration – [contact]
Barbara Sims has worked with SUDIA for more than 26 years, serving as Director of Finance and Administration for the past five years. Barbara has an Associate of Arts degree in Marketing and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance. Her roles at SUDIA include human resource benefits, payroll, budgeting, finance, and administrative operations.
Molly Szymanski, MA, LD, SNS – Director of School Health and Wellness – [contact]
Molly Szymanski, a licensed dietitian and school nutrition specialist, has been associated with SUDIA for 17 years. As Director of School Health and Wellness, Molly manages a team of school health and wellness managers across nine states and oversees the Southeast administration of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program. Molly is involved in several initiatives to increase in-school access to dairy nutrition and physical activity opportunities, including multiple school breakfast initiatives. She has a Master’s degree in nutrition from Marshall University in West Virginia and a Bachelor of Science degree from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.