Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA), Overland Park, Kan., will launch 4th Track educational sessions at its 2013 Winter Summit, to be held March 2 and 3 in Chicago. The sessions’ title refers to a fourth set of sessions held during BEMA’s traditional committee meeting time frame, Saturday morning. Members are encouraged to attend two committees of interest to them and then select a 4th Track session.

“This is the biggest change to meeting content we’ve made since we introduced Business IQ,” says BEMA president/CEO Kerwin Brown. “The best news is that 4th Track was born from suggestions from our members and the board.”

BEMA Winter Summit

Attendance at BEMA’s committee meetings has grown at the same time that members were requesting education on new and varied topics. “We felt that 4th Track would help us create another valuable session for attendees and reduce attendance at committee meetings making them more productive as well,” Brown explains.

Inaugural 4th Track topics include “Protecting Your Intellectual Property in a Global Market,” “Maximizing R&D Tax Credits” and “Integrated Safety Solutions to Increase Efficiencies.”

BEMA’s 2013 program also will feature a baker panel on vendor relations on Sunday, March 3. Bakers contributing to the panel include Dave Watson, Pepperidge Farm, Norwalk, Conn.; Joe Turano, Turano Baking Co., Berwyn, Ill.; and Mike Alagna, Nation Pizza & Foods, Schaumburg, Ill.. Scott Fischer, Shick USA, Kansas City, Mo., will lead the panel in discussing topics such as how vendors and bakers can build a mutually beneficial relationship, baker expectations and internal pressures on the baker/vendor relationship.

BEMA’s Sunday educational sessions will also feature a Baking Industry Forum (BIF) presentation on creating a skilled workforce by hiring veterans. Key speakers are Marady Leary, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C., and Scott Dearduff, chief master sargeant, U.S. Air Force (retired).

The Winter Summit also includes several networking events, beginning with a welcome reception at the Woman’s Athletic Club of Chicago on Saturday, March 2, at 5:30 p.m. All members of the baking industry are invited to attend this free event. The BEMA luncheon will feature speaker Michael C. Anthony and the presentation of BEMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Steve Wright of Hansaloy Corp., Davenport, Iowa. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased at