Administration Staff

John A. Lucey
Director of CDR, Professor of Food Science
John has a Ph.D in Food Science and over 20 years of research experience. He previously worked in Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand. As CDR Director he provides leadership to CDR staff to help CDR move forward and live up to its reputation as a world-class research center focused on applications, outreach and education. He is also a professor in the Food Science department and conducts research on the functionality of dairy foods. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and 20 book chapters.
Phone: 608-265-1195, Cell: 608-509-2399 | email | Director's Corner

Mark Johnson
Assistant Director, Senior Management Team, Distinguished Scientist
A wealth of knowledge, Mark has been with CDR for more than 30 years. Honored with the NCI Laureate Award and many other awards, Mark is a resource for both staff and industry. As CDR Assistant Director, Mark is a close advisor to the Director and often represents CDR when the Director is traveling. Mark has a Ph.D in Food Science. His research interests include developing, manufacturing and ripening protocols for unique cheeses, the study of cheese characteristics and cheese defects. He also enjoys “talking cheese” with cheesemakers and sharing experiences and insights into the cheese industry.
Phone: 608-262-0275 | email

Tom Szalkucki
Senior Management Team
Tom is a key member of the administrative staff and works to keep everything running smoothly at CDR. He manages research grants, progress reports, contracts and other business related materials and issues. He also works to keep everything on schedule and is responsible for managing CDR’s physical and pilot plant upkeep. With a M.S. in food science and nutrition and more than two decades of experience at CDR, Tom is an invaluable resource, assisting with everything from administration to the editing of technical documents.
Phone: 608-262-9020 | email

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

Debra Wendorf Boyke
Senior Management Team, Communications Coordinator
As the Communications Coordinator at CDR, Deb manages industry relation activities, plans technical events, coordinates communication work projects and company trainings, plus she oversees all CDR communication outreach efforts. She comes to CDR with more than 30 years of industry experience in the dairy and agriculture industries with a degree in Dairy Science and an emphasis in Agricultural Journalism. She also currently serves as the Executive Director for the U.S. National Committee to the International Dairy Federation. Deb is proud to work with the knowledgeable staff at CDR to promote and assist the dairy industry.
Phone: 608-262-2217 | 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

Carmen Huston
Department Administrator
As Department Administrator, Carmen’s role is to keep CDR running smoothly. She is responsible for everything from human resources and payroll to financial records and grant submissions. With over 32 years of experience as a University employee and nearly 21 years with CDR, Carmen is well versed in the many facets of the system. She enjoys her work as it offers her a wide variety of projects.
Phone: 608-262-3416 | email

Jeff Henslin
Financial Specialist Senior
As a Senior Financial Specialist, Jeff assures that all financial and purchasing aspects of CDR are running smoothly. With more than eight years of experience on campus and more than 20 years in industry, Jeff is well versed in the many aspects of accounting and finance. In addition to providing accounting services, Jeff also greets CDR clients at the front desk and helps with events and other special activities. He enjoys the opportunity to work with CDR clients and particularly enjoys the challenges and opportunities that his role presents. When he’s not working Jeff can be found cheering on the Packers, cooking or running his own landscaping business.
Phone: 608-265-2117 | email

Donna Christen
Financial Specialist Senior
Donna has more than 13 years of experience working as a financial specialist for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She started her UW career at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Dean’s office in business services, then went on to work with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center in Engineering and then a few other departments in the School of Medicine and Public Health and CALS. In her role at CDR, she assists with billing, purchasing and helps monitor and track CDR’s financials. Donna enjoys working with the staff in CDR and is happy to be part of a department that works closely with industry. When she is not working with numbers at CDR, she can be found doing crossword puzzles, playing softball, walking the dog, or spending time with family and friends.
Phone: 608-265-9113 | email