The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) announced the promotion of Heather Soubra to the new position of senior vice president, strategic initiatives, effective July 1st. Soubra joined IDFA in 2008 and most recently served as chief of staff for the trade association where she directed the organization’s key initiatives and led day-to-day operations of the Executive Office, often serving as strategist and consultant to colleagues and IDFA members to facilitate collaboration and inclusiveness to achieve organizational goals. She will report to Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA.
“When we talk about ‘making a difference for dairy’, we mean going above and beyond to demonstrate value to our IDFA members across the dairy supply chain. Heather brings strategic thinking and a commitment to collaboration that ensures our members always have the tools and resources they need to innovate and thrive in today’s ever-shifting economy. As her work on the successful IDFA People Strategy demonstrates, Heather is committed to putting people at the center of the dairy industry’s growth and success story.”
“I am passionate about cultivating workplaces where people thrive, creating their own paths for achievement while actively building team unity and open communication,” said Soubra. “I am honored and privileged to serve people leaders in the dairy industry with the tools, resources and community to support the creation of more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces, ones that are prepared for the workforce of the future.”
Soubra is the chief liaison with IDFA members and members of the IDFA governance structure. She also leads IDFA program development and execution, including IDFA’s Dairy Forum which convenes 1,000+ stakeholders annually for the industry’s best-in-class thought leadership and strategic sharing of next-practices.
She designed, implemented and leads the IDFA People Strategy. With it, Soubra created a suite of programs focused on leadership and the cultivation of organizational well-being, as well as on building the workforce and organizations of the future. The latest of these programs is the Dairy Diversity Coalition developed in collaboration with Egon Zehnder with the goal of increasing and empowering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the dairy industry.
“I’m excited to continue working with members of the IDFA governance structure to shape our strategic priorities, and lead program development for the Dairy Forum featuring industry’s best-in-class thought leadership and sharing of next-practices,” she said.
Soubra studied international affairs at George Washington University, earned her bachelor’s degree in intercultural communication from George Mason University, and her certificate in coaching from George Mason University’s Institute for Leadership Excellence through their Leadership Coaching for Organizational Well-Being program, designed for business professionals striving for positive change in team and organizational culture. She received her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) coaching credential through the International Coaching Federation (ICF.) She is also a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington where she earned certification in corporate etiquette and international protocol. Soubra and her husband have two grown daughters and are adjusting to life as empty nesters.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.