Currently serving as the CEO of the United Dairymen of Idaho (UDI), Karianne Fallow is an accomplished Government Relations and Public Affairs strategist with more than 15 years of experience promoting the interests of numerous well-known brands such as Walmart and Albertsons. Karianne lives with her husband, two children and yellow lab in Eagle, Idaho. They enjoy camping, hunting, fishing and any excuse to be outside.
UDI was established in 1980, with the mission to provide Idaho’s dairy farm families with resources to support a prosperous Idaho dairy industry. Through coordinated marketing and communications programs, nutrition counseling and research programs, UDI builds consumer confidence in dairy farming and dairy products, and encourages global demand for Idaho-produced dairy products. UDI accomplishes this mission through its three member organizations: Idaho Dairy Council, Idaho Dairy Products Commission and the Idaho Dairymen’s Association.
Idaho is the third-largest producer of milk in the United States, and dairy farm families work hard to ensure their cows are comfortable and healthy. Producing over 14 billion pounds of milk, all of Idaho’s dairy farms are family owned and operated.
1) IN YOUR ROLE, WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
I serve as the CEO of the United Dairymen of Idaho, where I am fortunate to lead an organization tasked with inspiring trust in dairy farming and dairy products and building demand for high-quality dairy products around the world. I am passionate in my work for Idaho’s dairy farm families because they believe in feeding the world with safe and nutritious food. That’s my WHY.
2) WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO OVERCOME?
Having joined the industry from the outside, a lot of people doubted my abilities. Establishing a strong vision, communicating regularly and clearly, and doing everything with the highest level of passion has allowed me to overcome the challenge and take our organization to new heights.
3) WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
I’m most proud of being able to say that I work for Idaho’s dairy farm families. To call out a single moment of pride, though, is tough. My team and I have done so much to turn our organization around, build shareholder confidence, tirelessly protect the dairy farmer interests and connect to our WHY that I’m proud of what we accomplish every day.
4) IF YOU WERE STARTING A COMPANY TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD BE ITS TOP THREE VALUES?
Innovation, Optimism and Legacy.
5) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INTERVIEW QUESTION?
“What have you taught yourself in the last year?”It shows the kind of curiosity and passion that I like to have on my team.
6) WHO INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
I find inspiration in so many people every day, I can’t choose just one. I will say that I’m inspired to succeed to show my kids how important the effort is.
7) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY OR APP RIGHT NOW?
My iPhone is my favorite technology. I love being connected all the time. And, I love that I can use it to show my kids the world (via internet, pictures, etc.).
8) FAVORITE GUILTY PLEASURE?
Replacing dinner with a bottle of wine and a cheese board. Often.
9) FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND FREE TIME IS….?
Running and anything outdoors- camping, fishing, biking, hiking, sitting in the sun, walking the dog. You get the picture.
10) CAUSE CLOSEST TO YOUR HEART?
I contribute and work with three causes, but I’m most committed to the Idaho Foodbank. It’s the year 2016, yet we still have adults and children who are going to bed hungry or not knowing where their next meal will come from. I sit on the Board of Directors and find every opportunity to work on initiatives with them. The cause is noble and the work is rewarding.
I also contribute to the American Heart Association (I know too many people dying from or struggling with heart disease.)
Finally, I contribute to Boise Public Radio/ NPR. I love the programming and want to keep it on the air.
11) IN CLOSING, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING LEADERS/CEOs?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Get out of your comfort zone. Take risks. Be a leader worth trusting.