2003 Dairy Leadership Award

2003-OllerLyndell G. Oller

Lyndell Oller spent 49 years working in the dairy industry, 33 of which were with Prairie Farms/Hiland Dairy companies. Lynn’s leadership and success with these companies were apparent through their growth and achievements under his tenure.

Lynn was born Nov. 2, 1932 to Lester and Grace Oller in Gravelly, Ark. He and his older brother, Harry, spent their early years in the Gravelly area before the family moved to Tulsa, Okla.

Lynn graduated from Will Rogers Hill School in Tulsa in 1950.

In 1951 Lynn met his true love, Connie Costello, and they were married in Tulsa in 1952.

Shortly after their marriage, Lynn began his career in the dairy business going to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Milk Market Administrator and in 1957 he was transferred to New Orleans.

During their 10 years in Cajun Country, Lynn and Connie expanded their family with the birth of three daughters – Kim, Marjean, and Mona. They also have one grandson – Justin.

In 1967 the family moved to Morton, Ill., and in 1970 Lynn went to work for Producers Dairy in Peoria.  In 1973 Prairie Farms bought Producers Dairy and made Lynn general manager, a position he held for 18 years.

In 1990 Lynn was named president and general manager of Hiland Dairy in Springfield. From 1990 until his retirement in 2003, Hiland experienced tremendous growth.

Sales increased 126% as Hiland Dairy grew from three manufacturing plants to six. The number of distribution centers increased from 13 to 26. Hiland’s branded products began showing up on some of the national charts as one of the top selling dairy brands in the country.

In 1994, Ozark Empire Grocers Association named Lynn Oller and Hiland as “Vendors of the Year”. And, in 1998 the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce recognized Lynn and Hiland as “Manufacturer of the Year”.

Lynn served on the Quality Chekd Dairy’s board of directors from 1990 through 2003, the last two of which he served as president of the organization.

Upon Lynn’s arrival at Hiland he made sure the company and its personnel were involved in the activities of the Missouri Dairy Products Association to help promote the industry within the state of Missouri.

The Missouri Dairy Products Association nominated Lynn to receive the Missouri Dairy Hall of Honors Dairy Leadership Award.

Lynn and Connie continue to live in Springfield but also enjoy spending time at their home at Lake of the Ozarks.