Scottsdale, Ariz.’s Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will be the venue for this year’s American Bakers Association (ABA) annual convention, April 14-18. Events include a multi-format panel of retail experts highlighting the April 16 business session, a retailer perspective, represented by Stew Leonard Jr. of Stew Leonard’s and Shawn Baldwin of Sam’s Club.

Supermarket News Editor David Orgel will moderate, and consumer expert Todd Hale will also sit in following his independent remarks preceding the panel. “We are very excited to have key representatives from the baking industry’s customer base joining us to explore how consumers are making purchasing decisions with regard to baked goods,” says Robb MacKie, president and CEO of the ABA, Washington. “It’s clear that consumers are responding to the current economic climate with a variety of strategies. This panel, complemented by our sessions on consumer and marketing analysis, will give convention attendees current, relevant guidance to bring home to their companies.”

Shawn Baldwin and Stew Leonard, Jr., join the panel. Leonard is president and CEO of Stew Leonard’s, a family-owned retailer that operates multiple facilities across the Northeast and holds a record in Guinness Records for greatest sales per unit area of a single food store in the United States. Baldwin serves as Sam’s Club’s senior vice president, fresh and freezer cooler, giving him responsibility for fresh merchandising, fresh operations, demos, and freezer-cooler merchandising for Sam’s Club U.S. and Puerto Rico. Since joining the company in 1990, he has held various roles in operations, merchandising, and club management.

The convention promises to once again be a premier industry event. The theme of “Baking Industry United” celebrates each individual’s integral role in the industry. The convention will also bring together hundreds of leaders from America’s baking businesses and their suppliers for networking, idea exchange and working sessions. Registration is open to both members and prospective members. More information may be found at