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BEMA, Overland Park, Kan., introduced a new format, the Baker Viewpoint, at its 2011 Annual Meeting, held June 23-28 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The question-and-answer session featured industry experts such as Allen Shiver, president of Flowers Foods; Dan Bailey, vice president, North American operations and managing director, Asia Pacific for Fresh Start Bakeries; Rick Teeny, owner of Teeny Foods; Barry Levin, chief executive officer of Snak King; and Hakan Esen, managing partner at Doruk Group Holding in Instanbul, Turkey.
In addition to answering questions about commodities, capital investments and the return on those investments, panel members provided information on their individual company’s operating philosophy and future plans.
Additionally, the Baking Industry Forum (BIF), a group of five bakers and five suppliers who work together to address industry issues, presented their views on a number of issues. Don Osborne, bakery team leader at Intralox, presented information on Arc Flash, a type of electrical explosion that results from a low impedance connection to the ground or another voltage phase in an electrical system. Jeff Dearduff, director of U.S. bakery operations East Balt and a contributing columnist for Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, addressed ways to manage spare parts inventory. Dave Hipenbecker, director of network strategy and project engineering for Kroger Co., spoke about the importance of equipment safeguards and provided examples of recent improvements. Jack Lewis III from Lewis Bakeries suggested that suppliers gather feedback from bakers on sanitation issues. And, Jeff Teasdale, engineering manager at Pepperidge Farm, Inc., described the equipment provider’s role in commercialization of the baker’s product.
BEMA’s annual meetings are designed to bring together bakers and suppliers in a relaxed atmosphere to network and form relationships. This year, BEMA hosted an opening reception, a 60’s theme party, beach party and the black-tie Oscar-themed Chairman’s Dinner, in addition to the business sessions. At the Chairman’s Dinner, Mike Cornelis, vice president of international sales for American Pan, passed the gavel and welcomed incoming chairman, Matt Zielsdorf, vice president of sales for The Peerless Group.
BEMA also welcomed Gilda Loeb and Yvonne Belshaw, whose families were instrumental in establishing the Belshaw-Loeb scholarship fund, which awards individuals from the baking industry with the opportunity to attend AIB courses.
Other presenters included Beth Thomas, author of Powered by Happy, who addressed BEMA members and their families on the importance of finding happiness in the workday.
In addition, association leaders, including Jeff Dearduff, chairman of American Society of Baking; Robb MacKie, president of American Bakers Association; Judi Adams, president of Grain Foods Foundation and contributing columnist for Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery; and Jim Munyon, president of American Institute of Baking, provided updates on their respective associations.