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A New Year Brings New Vision & New Leadership for Quality Dairy

Wednesday, January 3, 2018  
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Quality Dairy is ringing in the new year with a new vision for the iconic Lansing-based company, led by a newly appointed leadership team. Thomas Buschert will serve as Quality Dairy CEO, Jeffrey Schook as COO, Ken Martin as President and Alan Martin as Chairman of the Board.

Gregory Martin and his business partner founded Quality Dairy in 1936. What began as an innovative alternative to milk delivery eventually grew to serve as Greater Lansing’s neighborhood food store. For more than 80 years, the Martin family – including Gregory, his wife Pauline and their five sons – has carried on QD’s legacy, providing Lansing with their favorite donuts, milk, ice cream, chip dip and more. The new leadership structure leverages both the experience and vision of Quality Dairy’s owners and the fresh perspective of other accomplished business professionals.

“I’m honored to continue Quality Dairy’s legacy of strong leadership,” says Ken Martin, President. “A successful family business requires an incredibly strong mother and father who sacrificed much while instilling the core beliefs that have served this family business well. The experience and passion of this team is a testament to the tradition of excellence at Quality Dairy, and we’re excited to move QD forward with even more fresh ideas.”

Those fresh ideas are already becoming a reality at the Quality Dairy in Holt. After a fire in October caused significant damage, plans are now underway for a newly remodeled store. Quality Dairy is also exploring plans to add to its line of customer favorites with new, innovative products.

“Change takes time, but investing in our stores and developing new products are just the beginning,” says Buschert, CEO. “We’re all incredibly excited to be a part of Quality Dairy’s future, building on its long history of high-quality products, excellent customer service and community support.”

The latest example of that community support is QD’s sponsorship of the GREENLIGHT Project, which benefits the Lansing-based House of Promise to fight human trafficking. 

“Being a good neighbor has always been a cornerstone of business for Quality Dairy,” says Martin. “Moving forward, we want to do even more to engage our customers in the causes we see as vital to the Greater Lansing community.”

Buschert joins Quality Dairy with almost 30 years of experience in business and finance, working with both small businesses and global corporations. Schook had a 20-year career in the automotive industry before joining Quality Dairy 12 years ago, and has served as Director of Manufacturing Operations for most of his time with QD. Ken Martin started working for Quality Dairy in 1968, and has served as a board member in addition to roles in the dairy, bakery, maintenance and sales departments. Alan Martin, also a board member, began his career at Quality Dairy in 1960, making significant contributions in ice cream and milk operations before leading real estate and property management for QD.

In addition to the new leadership team, Quality Dairy also expanded its board of directors for the first time, appointing two Lansing business icons – Ray Tadgerson and Todd Thomann. Tadgerson is the former president and CEO of the Lansing-based architecture and engineering firm C2AE, and Thomann is the general manager of Kentwood Office Furniture.

While second generation family leadership is still going strong, third generation leadership is on the horizon. Ken Martin’s son, Jesse, is actively involved in the company, and plans are being developed for other family members to join him in carrying the QD mantle for years to come.

Founded right here in Lansing, family-owned and operated for more than 80 years, Quality Dairy is proud to serve as greater Lansing’s neighborhood food store. Quality Dairy makes the lives of Lansing families a little easier – and a lot happier – with 30 convenient locations offering delicious donuts and iconic ice cream, along with other premium dairy products, fresh baked goods and more.

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