DENVER – Mozzarella and lactose manufacturer Leprino Foods Company will undergo a leadership transition in late 2024, with president and chief executive officer Mike Durkin announcing his forthcoming retirement.

Durkin said he will retire in November 2024. Leprino Foods revealed executive vice president and chief supply chain officer Lance FitzSimmons will succeed him at that time.

The company described Durkin’s tenure as one featuring transformative accomplishments. He first joined Leprino Foods as senior vice president and chief financial officer in 2011 and has served as president and CEO since 2014. The company noted it expanded its domestic and global manufacturing footprint, restructured its business, and launched its first consumer brand during Durkin’s time in charge.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to Mike Durkin for his remarkable leadership and invaluable contributions,” said Dan Vecchiarelli, chairman at Leprino Foods. “His unwavering dedication and vision have been instrumental in significantly advancing our success over the past decade, leaving an enduring legacy at Leprino Foods and within the dairy industry.”

Durkin chairs the board of directors for the Innovation Center for US Dairy and previously chaired the organization’s stewardship commitment taskforce, which advanced US dairy’s work on sustainability. He also serves as vice chair of the International Dairy Foods Association’s (IDFA) executive council and is a member of the Global Dairy Platform’s global dairy board.

When FitzSimmons succeeds Durkin, he will become the fourth president in the 70-plus year history of Leprino Foods. FitzSimmons first joined Leprino Foods in 2009 and went on to manage nearly every division within the company. Earlier in his career, FitzSimmons worked eight years for Proctor & Gamble. He graduated from Miami University of Ohio.

“We are excited to welcome Lance as our new president in November 2024,” Vecchiarelli said. “His proven track record and dynamic expertise position him to lead us into our next phase of innovation and growth.”