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The American Society of Baking (ASB), Swedesboro, N.J., invites baking industry professionals to experience “The Best Week in Baking” at BakingTech 2013, March 3-5 at the Marriott Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago.

The annual event—this year themed “Plant the Seed,” Knowledge, Opportunity & Growth —will kick off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 3, with the ASB MarketPlace. Located in the hotel’s seventh-floor grand ballroom, the MarketPlace will feature exhibitors showcasing a wide array of products and services in the grain-food-based industry. The venue will be open each day from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The annual Baking Hall of Fame Reception begins at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, March 4. This year, four individuals will be inducted into the prestigious institution and recognized during the open general session for their contributions to the baking industry. They will join 48 past inductees.

Monday afternoon will be filled with technical breakout sessions covering customer satisfaction and adopting social media, nutrition, food safety and managing technology. The sessions will be followed by roundtable discussions with the speakers.

Steve Ford, son of President Gerald R. Ford, will be the guest speaker at the Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (ATBI) early bird breakfast on Tuesday, March 5.

Tuesday’s technical breakout sessions will begin at 9:45 a.m., followed by roundtable discussions with the speakers. Topics slated are attracting and developing talent, changing markets and ingredients.

A Young Professionals Session will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday. During the panel discussion, industry leaders will talk about the lessons they’ve learned during their baking careers and share their secrets for success.

Tuesday’s closing general session, which will run from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., will feature two speakers: James A. Dibble, senior vice president of innovation, Hostess Brands, and Mathias Baum, bakery manager, Exchange EIA Bakery, Army & Air Force Service Europe. Dibble will present “WWII Heritage: The Real ‘Dough’ Boys of World War II,” while Baum will discuss field baking.

In addition to offering showgoers plenty of educational events and the ASB MarketPlace, BakingTech 2013 will provide numerous networking opportunities for industry newcomers and veterans alike. New ASB baker members can learn about what the association has to offer and meet its board of directors, as well as other key members, at an invitation-only New Baker Reception on Sunday, March 3. Networking lunches on March 4 and 5 and a closing reception on March 5 will enable all attendees to meet and interact with the colleagues. For more information, visit