MADISON, Wis. -- Carol L. Christison, who over the course of her 31 years of leadership built the Madison-based International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) into one of the industry’s most well-respected trade associations, died on March 4.
Christison left an executive position with The American College of Sports Medicine to join IDDBA and quickly embraced the association's vision to be the essential resource for relevant information and services that add value to all food channels in the dairy, deli and bakery categories.
Under her leadership, the IDDBA staff grew from one part-time bookkeeper to nearly 30 employees. The association also grew its corporate membership from 100 to 1,500, and from less than 1,000 attendees to an average of nearly 9,000 at its annual seminar and expo that takes place every June.
Christison also dramatically transformed the association’s organizational structure to meet new demands and opportunities, while enhancing self-sufficiency. She was renowned for her creativity, humor and quick wit, with her annual industry trends presentation always being a highlight of the IDDBA expo.
"Carol has built an effective, committed team and our operations have grown and improved every year thanks to her inspiring, innovative leadership," said daughter Lucie Arendt, IDDBA's senior vice president and one of its first employees. "We will miss Carol’s professionalism, creative mind and friendship."
In addition to her daughter, Christison is survived by her son David; eldest son Jim passed away in 2013. Visitation is set for Wednesday, March 12, with a Celebration of Life service taking place on Thursday, March 13. Details can be found at www.gundersonfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology research fund, which supports research in gynecologic cancers.
The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association is a nonprofit membership organization serving the dairy, deli, bakery, cheese and supermarket foodservice industries. IDDBA celebrates 50 years of service this year.