Educational sessions, networking opportunities and a luxurious environment in which to enjoy both await members of the American Bakers Association, the baking and allied trades industries and their guests, March 16-19 at the 2014 ABA Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.


Thinking Outside the Box to Shape the Future” is the theme of the 2014 American Bakers Association (ABA) Convention, March 16-19 at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Open to both ABA members and nonmembers, the event will once again bring together the baking industry’s elite—bakers, retailers, suppliers and partner organizations—to hear from business and political leaders, learn about the latest trends, share ideas, develop positions on baking issues, connect with industry colleagues and more. This year’s convention will also focus on innovation and address three issues: How innovation is changing the industry; how consumers are influencing business; and how to find the right balance between risk and profit.

Several groups will hold their meetings on Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16: ABA, ABA Executive Leadership Development Committee (ELDC), American Institute of Baking (AIB) International, Grain Foods Foundation (GFF) the Independent Bakers Association (IBA) the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) Committee, the Quality Bakers of America (QBA) and others.

On Sunday, March 16, the ABA will hold an all-membership meeting from 1:30-4 p.m., which will be open to all convention attendees. At 5:30 p.m., new attendees will be able to meet and mingle at a New Attendees Reception and the Miller’s Welcome Reception will follow immediately afterward. Convention goers can also catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues at the event, which concludes at 7:30 p.m.

The Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (ATBI) will hold its breakfast on Monday, March 17, from 7:30-9:15 a.m. Business sessions will follow and run from 9:30 a.m. to noon. At press time, the list of session topics and speakers had not been finalized. Two yet-to-be-determined spouse events will also be held on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Following a barbecue luncheon from 12:15-1:30 p.m., convention attendees will be ready for intellectual stimulation during the afternoon business sessions, which will run until 3:15 p.m. As of press time, the list of session topics and speakers had not yet been finalized.

Attendees can enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvers and unwind after a full day of sessions at a cocktail reception from 6-7:30 p.m. Others may elect to attend the ABA Political Acton Committee (PAC) dinner, an optional, paid event, from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s convention schedule begins with a continental breakfast from 7-7:30 a.m., followed by the start of the PEC Golf Tournament, a shotgun start, scramble-format event. The optional, paid tournament is open to all attendees, spouses and guests, but limited to 150 players. It concludes at 1:15 p.m.

Individuals partial to taking it easy won’t want to miss the ABA’s first-ever “Gameapalooza” from 1-2:30 p.m., an afternoon of relaxation, bocce, pool time, food, socializing and more.

Tennis enthusiasts looking for a more competitive activity will find it on the courts of The Phoenician on March 18 from 2:30-4:30 p.m., when ABA holds its tennis tournament. Prizes and beverages will be provided. Attendees, spouses and guests are welcome to participate in this optional, paid event.

A “March Mayhem” farewell reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday enables attendees to spend the final night of the convention with industry friends and a NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) basketball tournament.

Before heading to the airport or preparing for a long drive home on Wednesday, March 19, convention goers can enjoy a getaway breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m.—and perhaps make plans with old and new friends for a get-together at the next ABA function.

The Phoenician is offering discounted room rates to ABA attendees until Feb. 20. Call 800-955-7352 or visit to reserve a room. The discount code is Wheat2014.

To register for or learn more about the convention, visit



Special Events At-A-Glance


Sunday, March 16

5:30-6:30 p.m. – New Attendees Reception

6:30-7:30 p.m. – Miller’s Welcome Reception

Monday, March 17

7:30-9:15 a.m. – Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (ATBI) breakfast

9:30 a.m.-Noon – Spouse events

7:30-9:30 p.m. – ABA PAC dinner

Tuesday, March 18

8 a.m.-1:15 p.m. – PEC golf tournament

2:30-4:30 p.m. – Tennis tournament

Wednesday, March 19

7:30-9:30 a.m. – Getaway breakfast