[caption id="attachment_11761" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Kevin Imm (Clover Stornetta Farms photo)"][/caption]

PETALUMA - Kevin Imm, who has been chief executive officer of dairy processor Clover Stornetta Farms for five years and working there for 20, plans to retire from company management and ownership at the end of this year.

In a statement, Mr. Imm explained this move as a way to have more "R and R" time with his wife and two boys and, perhaps, become a teacher.

“Teaching has always been a passion of mine,” he said. “I want to inspire young people to fulfill their dreams, and through teaching I can do that.”

Replacing Mr. Imm's job functions will be Matt McConnell, who starts as director of operations July 20, and current Vice President of Finance Mkulima Britt, who will become vice president of finance and operations as of Jan. 1. The role of CEO will be eliminated.

Mr. Imm also will be leaving his position on the board of directors as an owner, and there aren't any plans for a replacement owner, according to spokeswoman Joannie Benedetti. He became an owner in 1996.

Current owners of the company are Dan Benedetti, former president and current board chairman; Gary Imm, former CEO and board vice president; company President Marcus Benedetti, Mr. Britt; Mike Keefer, vice president of sales; and Herm Benedetti, vice president of research.

Mr. Imm started working at Clover full-time in July 1989 as a sales representative for Sonoma County. He rose to distribution manager, operations manager, vice president of operations, chief operating officer and then CEO. Part-time work began at age 12, scooping ice cream at  fairs and later pulling orders from the cooler and freezer for deliveries.

“We are truly happy for Kevin,” said President Marcus Benedetti in a statement. “He has been an amazing asset for Clover, and will be missed. He presided over unprecedented growth in our company’s history, and accommodated it with skill and grace. We understand that he needs to follow his heart and we stand behind him and support him in his new adventures that lay ahead. He will always be a part of the Clover family.”

Mr. Benedetti and Mr. Imm are the third generation of ownership of Clover Stornetta. Their fathers, Dan Benedetti and Gary Imm, took over leadership as president and CEO, respectively, in 1987 at the retirement of founder Gene Benedetti. The second generation started turning over management of the company to the third in 2005.

Gene Benedetti, who died in 2006, started Clover in 1977.