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Embattled Dairy Names Turnaround Specialist

August 20, 1998|Lee Romney

The Copeland Beverage Group board of directors named a turnaround specialist as president and chief executive to help the troubled Los Angeles dairy avoid default on a $10-million Los Angeles Community Development Bank loan. Robert W. Townsend is expected to appoint a turnaround team to assess the depth of the dairy's crisis and report to the federally funded bank in about a week, said Robert C. Kemp, the bank's chief executive. The bank, which aims to create and preserve inner-city jobs, has wagered more on the dairy than any other lender and is currently keeping it afloat with regular cash infusions. Last week, the dairy board's ousted owner Kevin Copeland from his post as CEO. Townsend is a management consultant specializing in the food industry. His clients have included Alta Dena Certified Dairy, Driftwood Dairy, Hollandia Dairy and Santee Dairy, which sold its facility to Copeland.

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