Tom Guerin
Senior Management Team, Research Program Manager
With two decades of experience in the research and development of food ingredients with the Kerry Group, Tom has worked with manufacturers on different applications in countries and markets across the globe. As the research program manager at CDR, Tom works with staff to build on current CDR successes and helping the organization become more aligned with the changing demands and trends of the food industry. He is a native of Ireland and has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the National University of Ireland, Galway. For the past 14 years Tom has been happy to call Wisconsin home where he put down roots and started a family. He is excited to be a part of the CDR team and looks forward to helping the organization move forward in its next stage of development
Phone: 608-982-6548 | email

Dean Sommer
Senior Management Team, Cheese & Food Technologist
Dean serves as a technical resource to the industry regarding cheese, whey products and processing. He assists manufacturers as well as their customers by serving as a consultant and educator. Dean is often involved with trouble shooting, public and private company short courses and is able to consult on issues regarding processing and product defects. He has more than 18 years of experience in the industry, having worked at one of the largest cheese and whey product facilities in the U.S. He also has a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry as well as a Master’s degree in Food Science. He enjoys the constant challenges and continued learning that comes with working at CDR and is honored to serve the dairy industry, helping producers and manufacturers to provide the world with quality nutrition through dairy products.
Phone: 608-265-6469 | email

Mike Molitor
Senior Instrumentation Technologist / Process Pilot Plant Manager
Mike manages CDR’s Process laboratory activities, especially the projects utilizing pasteurization, MF, UF, NF, RO filtration, evaporation and/or spray drying equipment. This includes "fee for service" work for the U.S. dairy related industry as well as projects for CDR, Food Science and our funding agencies. The majority of CDR's process equipment capabilities were improved or built using Mike's process engineering skills. He is available as a technical resource to domestic dairy manufacturers including on-site process consulting for Wisconsin manufacturers. Mike has a B.S. in Chemistry and 18 years of experience working for dairy manufacturing cooperatives with multiple plant locations. Including the six years managing the CDR pilot plant, Mike has over twenty years experience leading R&D, process improvement, scale up and dairy ingredient manufacturing activities.
Phone: 608-265-5919 | email

Karen Smith
Dairy Processing Technologist
Karen specializes in process development, scale up and troubleshooting. She conducts research in milk, whey and whey byproduct separation, concentration and drying. She also develops educational materials for processers and end-users and assists in the organization and teaching of related short courses. Karen previously worked in R&D, quality control and management, operations analysis and has been with CDR as a researcher and technologist since 1998.
Phone: 608-265-9605 | email

Charlie Harrison
Processing Researcher
As part of the processing team, Charlie will be assisting in operations of CDR’s pilot plant. Charlie’s background is primarily in flavor research and chemical analysis. He has performed flavor/volatile analysis of chewing gums, confections, cereals, snack bars, beverages and packaging. He also has experience in developing functional food technologies to be used in various food and beverage applications. Charlie has a B.S. and Master’s in chemistry. He looks forward to applying his food and chemistry knowledge to the world of dairy research and learning more about all the beneficial ingredients that can be derived from dairy.
Phone: 608-890-2995 | email

Mellisa Houfe
Cheesemaker, Cheese & Processing Groups
Mellisa is a licensed buttermaker, cheesemaker and actively involved as the 5th generation on her family’s dairy farm in southern Wisconsin. She also has years of experience in the dairy industry as well as an associate of science degree from MATC in the biotechnology laboratory technician program. Mellisa earned an undergraduate degree in dairy science from UW–Madison and, as a student, worked as a cheese processing technician in Babcock Hall. At CDR, Mellisa assists with the operations of the pilot plant, guiding research and helping with special projects. She is excited to use her diverse skills to assist and grow the dairy industry.
Phone: 608-265-1482 | email