Going for the Gold

Robert Hirsch
President & CEO
Go for the Gold!” has been BEMA’s rallying cry throughout 2004. It reflects what the members of BEMA, the baking industry suppliers association, have known all along, and that’s BEMA offer of a gold standard of service to its members and the baking industry.
Going for the gold means offering unparalleled opportunities and advantages to members, while also giving back to the industry in significant, meaningful ways.
Our $1 million pledge to the Grain Foods Foundation demonstrates BEMA’s clear commitment to the industry.
“We knew that some of our customers were being significantly affected by the low-carb craze,” said D. J. LeCrone, former BEMA chairman. “The worst part about it was that they were being affected for no good reason. We know that grain-based foods are a key to a healthy diet. So, we made the decision to make sure the true story about the value of carbs got out. We put our money where our mouth is.”
As suppliers to the baking industry, we always have espoused and demonstrated these principals, but never more directly than during the past five years. In 2000, the BEMA leadership agreed to change its management from a part-time management company to a full-time headquarters. With a staff devoting each business day to the business of BEMA, the organization has been more able to “Go for the Gold.”
Since the management change, BEMA has created a comprehensive scholarship program. Anyone in the baking industry is now eligible for funding to finance continued learning opportunities in the form of workshops, seminars and courses at educational institutions. BEMA is cultivating knowledge and investing in the future of baking.
Striving for the highest standards of service to our members means supporting industry-wide initiatives and organizations that are working to strengthen our industry. That’s why BEMA funds courses, provides scholarship dollars for students and supports classroom instruction for the American Institute of Baking. Also, BEMA provides financial support to the American Bakers Association, Independent Bakers Association, Wheat Foods Council and a host of regional and state baking organizations. We’re all in this together.
BEMA works in the best interests of equipment manufacturers, product and service suppliers, and bakers. Most recently, we provided leadership in securing ANSI accreditation for the bakery equipment sanitation standard and assisting in the transfer of BISSC management to AIB. BEMA understands the needs of its members and customers.
With a record like this, it should be no surprise that our members were willing to stand at the side of bakers to form the Grain Foods Foundation. “Go for the Gold!” means reaching for the best. The directors and members of BEMA are totally supportive of one of the most exciting developments in the industry. It gives us great satisfaction to know that our funds are not an expense but an investment in the ultimate well-being of our members and their customers.
It’s one more way BEMA lives up to a gold standard of service to members and the industry.
Visit www.bema.org for more information.