Phoenix Ice Cream Parlor Mary Coyle
Luconda Dager, 47, is the president of the Velvet Ice Cream Company and the fourth generation of her family to lead the Utica, Ohio-based, ice cream manufacturer. Dager oversees all aspects of the 103-year-old Velvet Ice Cream, which has 125 employees and produces and distributes more than five million gallons of ice cream each year.
Before joining the family business in 1994, Dager spent three years in New York working in the retail fashion industry. She took over the reins as president of Velvet Ice Cream in 2009.
Dager serves on the Board of Directors of International Dairy Foods Association; Midwest Dairy Foods Association; and The Woodward Local Food Initiative. She is also a trustee for Hervey Memorial Library in Utica, Ohio.
Dager and Velvet Ice Cream are strong proponents of philanthropy, giving back tirelessly to the local community through a number of other efforts, including: hosting and supporting the annual Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival and promoting, raising funds for and riding in Pelotonia, which directly benefits cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A frequent speaker and author in the dairy industry and on small and family business issues, Dager is also active in the Conway Center for Family Business. In 2007, she was named to the Columbus Business First “Forty Under Forty” list for influential business leaders.
Dager attended St. Francis de Sales School and graduated from Newark Catholic High School in Newark, Ohio. She studied business at University of St. Frances in Ft. Wayne, IN and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from Xavier University in Cincinnati.