Robert Zielsdorf and John Van Laar received lifetime achievement awards from BEMA, the baking equipment and suppliers association.

For decades, Zielsdorf was the owner and the face behind The Peerless Group, which is known around the world for its mixing technology. During his tenure in the baking industry, he built the Sydney, Ohio-based business into a fixture in the baking and food industries by making six strategic moves before finally selling the business to Illinois Tool Works. He was introduced by his son, Matt Zielsdorf, during the ceremony this week.

Zielsdorf also had the honor of introducing Van Laar, for his involvement with the baking, cookie and cracker industries. Both men had been actively involved in BEMA over the years, and both friends shared a common passion, namely the love of flying planes.