Meet Irv Holmes:

Irv-HolmesIrv Holmes has had a long and successful career in the branded Consumer Products industry acting as a Vice President, President, and CEO of multiple companies and organizations. Irv has cultivated his professional experience year after year with record levels of growth in sales, revenues, and profits. Irv is a Virginia Tech and Duke University graduate, which gave him the collegiate knowledge that launched his career. Irv graduated with honors from Virginia Tech with his bachelor’s degree in architecture. While at Virginia Tech, Irv acted as the President of Pi Kappa Alpha and was a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi. Upon his graduation in 1975, Irv enrolled in Duke University’s School of Business. In 1977 Irv graduated with his MBA in marketing.

Challenge Dairy Products:

irv-holmes-challenge-dairy-productsIrv Holmes is the President and CEO of Challenge Dairy Products, located in Dublin, CA. He has held this position since 2007, prior to which he was the Senior Vice President of the brand. Irv directly oversees 175 employees and net sales of over $300 million. Irv is also directly responsible for marketing, sales, and distribution company wide to retail grocery locations around the country, foodservice customers located in California, and major food manufacturers. Irv has grown Challenge Dairy Products into a major player in all dairy products in the United States, while directly building the company to become the leading brand of butter in the Western U.S. Challenge Dairy Products is the largest foodservice dairy distributor in California which serves well over 2,500 customers.

While working as an authoritative leader at Challenge Dairy Products, Irv Holmes was directly responsible for delivering year after year of revenue growth and profit in retail and foodservice divisions measured at record levels. Irv worked day and night to build his company by doubling sales volumes and expanding their geographic retail reach from 14 states to a whopping 40. When Irv saw room for improvement he decided to expand the company to include an Export Division, which lead to $60 million in sales. He also went as far as to create a new product pipeline for retail divisions.

Not only did Irv work his very hardest for the benefit Challenge Dairy Products’ customers and clients, he also gave back to the global food economy by developing Humanitarian Food Aid products. These products were distributed through UNICEF and USAID. Because of Irv’s dedication to his work and improvement of the company, he has recently been named as the President of the American Butter Institute.

Irv’s Professional Experience:

Prior to joining the Challenge Dairy Products family, Irv worked for Del Monte Foods as the Senior Vice President for Customer Marketing and Sales Development. Irv worked for Del Monte Foods from 1990-2004 and grew the business just as he currently does at Challenge Dairy Products. Irv directly managed a department of 120 employees and oversaw $3.1 billion in net sales. Irv had many responsibilities in this role which encompassed many different facets of the company and traversed different departments. He worked directly on sales strategy for the whole company, planning, budgeting, and analysis. He also oversaw trade promotion budgets, customer service, sales information, and more. Irv led innovative projects that provided Del Monte Foods with tangible assets that propelled their business further ahead, and that are still in place today. Some of the projects Irv oversaw and developed included new trade promotion strategies, efficient savings plans, web-based trade promotion management software, post merger sales integration activities,  and more.

Before Irv’s long and successful career at Del Monte Foods, he held numerous other jobs around the country. After graduating from Duke University in 1977 Irv began working at Brown & Williamson CO. in Louisville, Kentucky. Irv was a Marketing Analyst and Assistant Brand Manager for Kool Cigarettes. After two years at Brown & Williamson Irv left the company to pursue a career as the Group Product Manager/Product Manager of golf equipment at AMF Ben Hogan Company. Irv didn’t have to move too far for his new job, but did relocate to Fort Worth, Texas. After about four years in that role Irv made his way into the foodservice industry starting with James River/Crown Zellerbach in San Francisco, CA. He started out as the Group Marketing Manager of Consumer Tissue Products and grew into the role of Director of Regional Marketing for Consumer Paper Products. And lastly, before joining Del Monte Foods, Irv worked with Dole Food Company for about three years. Irv began as the Director of Sales Operations/Assistant National Sales Manager for Dole packaged foods. In his last year at Dole, Irv acted as the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Dole Dried Fruit & Nut Co.