Ag Leadership Council
Barbara O’Brien is President of Dairy Management Inc., (DMI) where she leads and has oversight of the strategic planning and daily operations for the dairy checkoff program. Barb continues to serve as president of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, a precompetitive forum that advances collaboration among dairy companies, farmers and others in the dairy community to help guide the industry’s future. As a member of the DMI executive team, Barb instills an aggressive sales mentality, spearheads programs and operating structures for business development, partner management, sales planning and insights. As part of the checkoff business plan evolution, Barb led the translation of farmer priorities into industry-wide category strategies for growth. Her skills are instrumental in engaging the industry on behalf of U.S. dairy farmers, to a common end: to increase trust and sales for dairy among today’s consumers.
Prior to joining DMI, Barbara directed Burson Marsteller’s Chicago-based healthcare consultancy and provided executive-level counsel for Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical clients including Procter and Gamble, Dow Corning, Quaker Oats, and Abbott Labs, establishing new business strategies for growing clients’ market share. She went on to co- found a healthcare consultancy that served the business and marketing planning needs of Chicago-area hospitals and health systems, and companies in the medical device, pharmaceutical, food and nutrition segments.