Business 100 – 2015

McClelland, Kent

Kent McClelland/Shamrock Foods

Kent McClelland is the third generation in his family to lead Shamrock Foods Company, which is comprised of Shamrock Farms – one of the largest family-owned and -operated dairies in the U.S. – and Shamrock Foods – one of the ten largest food distribution companies nationwide.

Kent’s leadership and vision have expanded the thriving business from coast to coast, opening new food distribution centers in Portland and Sacramento, and a new dairy manufacturing facility on the East Coast. The company was founded in 1922 by Kent’s grandfather W.T. McClelland, who emigrated from County Down.

Kent shares his family’s passion for Irish culture, supporting his father, Norman McClelland, in his campaign to construct a state-of-the-art library at the Phoenix Irish Cultural Center. He actively maintains contact with Irish relatives and friends through Norman and Frances McClelland’s extensive research into the family genealogy, including the publishing of four books of the progenitor families, and numerous reunions in Ireland and the United States. In 2012, the company celebrated its 90th anniversary in Shannon, Dublin, and Belfast, with customers and friends.