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New England Regional Cheese Competition Judges

John Miller

John Miller has been making award winning artisan cheeses since the year 2000. He is a ten generation dairy farmer- native to Massachusetts. His artisan cheeses have won top honors at American Cheese Society as well as at world level competitions in the United Kingdom. John’s creation Jersey Maid Neige en ete, a mold ripened triple cream has won gold medals back to back in the UK at Trinity, Jersey Island.

John has been breeding Jersey Cattle continuously since 1971. He is currently owner of Winertplace Farm in Leeds, Maine, where he makes cheeses and yogurt from cows and goats. John has consulted as far away as Lima Peru
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John Greeley

John Greeley was manager of the John Dewar & Co. Cheese Division 1982 - 1993. He started Sheila Marie Imports in 1990. SMI imported cheese from Europe, Canada and New Zealand. John created the "Great Cheeses of New England" program for the New England Dairy Promotion Board and also created local cheese programs for many Northeast retailer chains between 1999 and present.

John sold SMI to Atlanta Foods International in 2006 and renamed Gourmet Foods Society. He was the ACS Competition and Judging Chairman for 15 years and developed all of the 116 category definitions for the ACS.

He also judged in the UC Cheese Championship in Wisconsin.

Between 2004 and 2007 he developed and operated New Zealand National Cheese Competition - Champion of Cheese Awards as a Master Judge. John is currently ACS Judging Chair Emeritus and trains Technical and Aesthetic ACS Judges for the annual Competition.

John has degrees in Cheese Making and Cheese Grading from Washington State University (Master of Cheese) in the International Guilde des Fromagers. Jon was honored to receive the American Cheese Society Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
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Shawn Hockert

Shawn Hockert started his career in 1995 as a herdsman for Westfield Farm in Hubbardston, MA, makers of Capri brand goat cheeses. After a year at Westfield Farm performing many aspects of animal husbandry as well as some cheese making functions, Shawn moved to Boston and took a position as a cheese buyer for Bread & Circus.

Within six months he accepted a position at Seacrest Foods where he has been since 1997. Seacrest Foods is a distributor to retail of cheeses and specialty foods servicing greater New England and the metropolitan area of New York City. While at Seacrest, Shawn has been involved with all aspects of distribution, including customer service, logistics, sourcing, quality control, purchasing, sales and marketing and is currently the Sales Manager.

In his role of sourcing and sales, Shawn has traveled extensively throughout the US and Europe, visiting cheese producers of a wide array of styles and traditions. Throughout the many years of experience tasting cheese and striving to understand the nuances of production that lead to flavor components, Shawn has nurtured a passion for understanding what makes a quality cheese.
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Phil Peterson

Philip Peterson was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Early work in foodservice began with fast food, but quickly transitioned to a position at the famed Zingerman's Delicatesssen.

His time at Zingerman's sparked a love of food that was nurtured through his time at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), and inspired his next move: At the turn of the century Phil moved to Boston to work with another Zingerman's alum, Rene Becker at his acclaimed backery, Hi-Rise Bread Co.

From there, he transitioned into the procurement and sales side of the food biz, taking a job with Specialty Foods Boston. At Specialty, along with general management, Peterson focused on meat, cheese and seafood -- sourcing products from as close as his background -- greater New England -- to as far-flung as Europe and Hawaii.

This passion for getting the source of the product continues today in his position as Global Purchaser for our group of restaurants. Phil's days are filled with trips to Maine to pull lobsters out of the ocean, early mornings in the New England Produce Center, daily visits to the Boston Fish pier, as well as the meat packing center of Newmarket Square. In short; if you want it, Phil will find the best of it for you.
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Tyler Tripp

Tyler Tripp was discovered by Ihsan Gurdal, owner of Formaggio Kitchen, while running a seafood restaurant and surf shop in Westport, Massachusetts. He migrated to Boston, where he learned the art of being a Cheesemonger in the busiest shop in town. Shortly thereafter, he was named "Chef de Cave" for the famous underground cheese caves below the store. He spent five years personally tending to all of the attributes and temperaments of nearly 500 cheeses from around the globe. He would teach classes about cheese affinage to the public on a weekly basis. Tyler eventually became part of the Management team at Formaggio.

In 2015, Tyler was hired as a Cheese Buyer at Sid Wainer and Son, a food distributor in New Bedford, MA. There, he pioneered a new cheese program, touted "The Great American Cheese Program," sourcing domestic cheeses directly from farms all over the country. In 2016, Tyler was named Cheese Category Manager for the 500 employee company. He leads the staff in cheese education, assists in sales for major accounts, and specializes in procurement. He is always on the receiving dock inspecting every batch of cheese that arrives.

Tyler spends much of his free time visiting farms, making cheese, and helping tend to herd throughout the Northeast. His favorite cheese is Colston Bassett Stilton.
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Kerry Kaylegian

Dr. Kerry E Kaylegian is the Dairy Foods Research & Extension Associate at the Pennsylvania State University, Department of Food Science.

Kerry provides technical support to the dairy industry and delivers outreach programs focused on improving the safety and quality of dairy products. Kerry directs and lectures in short courses on dairy preventive controls and food safety, cheese making, dairy basics for artisan processors, pasteurizer operations, cultured products and fundamentals of food science, and assists with the ice cream short courses.

Her research focuses on improving quality and safety of artisanal cheeses, and on the functional and nutritional properties of milk fat as an ingredient. Kerry judges dairy products at several national competitions, chairs the Pennsylvania Farm Show Cheese Competition, and coaches the Penn State Collegiate Dairy Products Evaluation Team.

She is the faculty advisor for the Pennsylvania Association of Milk Food and Environmental Sanitarians (PAMFES), the Pennsylvania Cheese Guild, and the Penn State Cheese Club.

Kerry received the 2015 American Dairy Science Association Foundation Scholar Award for research and teaching in Dairy Foods. Her degrees are in Food Science with an emphasis on dairy products, she has a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellowship from Cornell University.
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Stephanie Ciano

I am the Vice President in charge of purchasing and key account manager. I started officially working in the cheese business in 1995 after graduating from Tulane University. I handle all importations into the USA for both ocean and air freight consolidations as well as Artisans Domestic cheese purchases.

I have worked for four years on the American Cheese Society Certification Committee in the development and running of the Certified Cheese Professional Exam. I am a Prudhomme member of the International Guilde des Fromagers since 2002 and a member of the Confrerie de Selles sur Cher since 2000 (French Goat Cheese Society).

I have been an American Cheese Society presenter, volunteer, and judge (2016). I was also a judge at the World Cheese Awards in San Sebastion, Spain in 2016.
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