Irv Holmes

Challenge Dairy Products:

Irv-HolmesIrv Holmes of the San Francisco Bay Area has been the CEO of Challenge Dairy Products since 2007. Irv has a had a successful career in the branded Consumer Products industry working on leading national brands at Del Monte Foods, Dole Food Company, and Crown Zellerbach/James River to name a few. Since arriving at Challenge Dairy Products, in Dublin, CA, Irv has increased the overall marketing and distribution efforts, building market share and impacting the competitive landscape of the industry.

While at Challenge Dairy Products, Irv Holmes has consistently churned out years of consecutive revenue growth on a record breaking level. Irv has also led the doubling of sales volume, geographic retail distribution expansion (14 states to 40), created an Export Division, and much more. Irv has grown Challenge Dairy Products into a  business that stands as leader among the branded Dairy Products. With Irv’s strong business experience, thorough knowledge of industry competition, and honed business development skills, Challenge Dairy Products has grown with each year that Irv has held the President and CEO role.

The American Butter Institute:

irv-holmes-american-butter-instituteIrv Holmes was elected President of the American Butter Institute in October of 2014 for a two year term. Irv was extremely excited at the opportunity to follow in his predecessor David Riemersma’s shoes to promote and protect the industry. Irv is joined by two other industry leading professionals: Dean van Tuinen, of Darigold (Seattle, WA) acting as 1st Vice President, and John Ellenberger, of Land O’Lakes, Inc. (Arden Hills, MN) acting as 2nd Vice President

Irv Holmes Professional Experience:

Before Irv Holmes began working at Challenge Dairy, he worked at Del Monte Foods in a number of senior marketing and sales positions, most recently as the Senior Vice President of Customer Marketing and Sales Development. Irv worked at Del Monte Foods for 15 years as the company grew through acquisitions and went public on the NYSE. During this time he gained valuable M&A and business integration experience.  Irv was responsible for the development of sales strategy, planning, budgeting, and analysis of $600 million of customer marketing and trade promotion in his last role at eel Monte. He  also redefined the traditional trade promotion strategy and process to deliver $45 million in trade promotion spending efficiency, and implemented a two-year plan to realize savings in addition to implementing a new web-based trade promotion management software system that improved sales management and reporting capability. Previously, he was the SVP of Consumer Brands Marketing, leading the $1.5B fruit and vegetable business units.

While at Dole Food Company, Irv began as the Director of Sales Operations/Assistant National Sales Manager of Dole packaged food. He held this role for 2 years during which he managed a staff of 11 focusing on different businesses such as Dole Pineapple, Refrigerated and Frozen Juices, and Frozen Novelties. After proving his abilities Irv was promoted to the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for the Dole Dried Fruit & Nut Co.  While acting as the Vice President, Irv managed 18 marketing and sales professionals for the Dole brand.

Before his positions with Challenge Dairy Products, Del Monte and Dole, Irv Holmes held other important roles at leading branded companies within the consumer  product industry. He also worked in sporting goods with the AMF Ben Hogan Company, and in tobacco for Brown & Williamson Co. From 1983-1987 Irv was employed by James River/Crown Zellerbach, first as the Group Marketing Manager and then as the Director of Regional marketing.

Educational and Personal Background:

Irv Holmes completed his undergraduate work at Virginia Tech. There, Irv obtained his bachelor’s degree in architecture with honors. He was also President of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the honor society Phi Kappa Phi. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1975 and enrolled in Duke University’s School of Business located in Durham, North Carolina. Irv graduated from Duke University with his MBA in marketing in 1977.