The Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) board of directors has appointed Patrick Criteser as the association’s new president and CEO. Criteser, who will be the 103-year-old dairy cooperative’s eighth chief executive, will officially assume the role of CEO on Aug. 20. He succeeds Harold Strunk, who retired as CEO of TCCA in June.
Criteser is a native Oregonian with a passion for and understanding of what it takes to run a manufacturing company with Northwest roots and a strong local heritage. He has spent the past eight years in the coffee industry, most recently as president and CEO at Coffee Bean International, a Portland, Ore.-based coffee roaster with a 40-year-old local heritage. Criteser is an experienced executive with a 20-plus year leadership history and track record of growing and positively changing companies large and small. While at Coffee Bean International, he grew sales more than 300 percent, establishing the company as one of the leading specialty coffee roasters in the U.S.
Prior to his role at Coffee Bean International, Criteser held management and strategic development roles at some of the world’s most respected brands, including Nike, Walt Disney Co., and Procter & Gamble. He also spent time as a principal at SmartForest Ventures, a Portland-based venture capital fund, where he led the firm’s investments in several companies. Criteser has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School.
Joe Rocha, chairman of the TCCA board of directors, said the board is pleased with the opportunity for Criteser to join the Tillamook executive team.
“Over the past several years, we have worked very hard to build a solid foundation that will enable our cooperative to grow and succeed into the future,” he said. “We feel strongly that Patrick’s leadership expertise and history of successfully growing very solid companies make him extremely qualified to lead TCCA toward continued future success and growth.”
Established in 1909, the TCCA is a cooperative of approximately 105 dairy farming families guided by century-old values of quality, cooperation, integrity, stewardship and responsiveness. Quickly becoming one of the top dairy brands in the country, Tillamook is most famously known for its award winning, naturally aged Tillamook cheddars and also offers a variety of other cheeses, ice cream, butter, sour cream and yogurt.