Baking industry professionals ready to experience the “The Best Week in Baking” will have to travel to Chicago this winter to attend the American Society of Baking’s (ASB) BakingTech 2014. The annual event will be held March 2-4 at the Marriott Downtown Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel. Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA), meanwhile, will hold its Winter Summit one day earlier, on March 1, at the same venue.

Themed CHANGE, “Improve—Adapt—Overcome,” BakingTech 2014 will kick off at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, with the ASB MarketPlace. Located in the grand ballroom on the hotel’s seventh floor, the MarketPlace will feature a wide array of companies showcasing the latest products and services in the grain-food-based industry. It will be open daily from 4-6 p.m.

Other events scheduled for Sunday evening are an invitation-only New Baker Reception from 6:30-7:30 p.m., an informal ASB Happy Hour from 6:30-9 p.m. and a Young Professionals Social Event at 7:30 p.m.

A full day of events will greet BakingTech attendees on Monday, March 3. The day will begin with the annual, invitation-only Baking Hall of Fame Reception at 7:30 a.m. This year’s inductees are Donald R. Shaffer, founder of Shaffer Manufacturing Corp.; Mariano, Eugenio, Renato, Umberto and Giancarlo Turano of Turano Baking Co.; and John J. Watson, former president and chairman of Watson Inc.

The opening general session will begin at 8:30 a.m. with an annual ASB business meeting, the Baking Hall of Fame ceremony and a 50-plus member recognition. Karl Schoemer, founder and president of VisionQuest, and Erik Wahl, a graffiti artist, author and entrepreneur, will also present keynote addresses.

Four technical breakout sessions will fill Monday afternoon. “Operations 1: Controlling Your Costs” will address improving culture by driving processes; recent developments affecting baking oven NOx emissions; packaging materials; and resource conversation and inline quality monitoring in bakeries. “Ingredients” will cover enzymes; wheat improvement; research and development; and global ingredient trends. “Inspections/Regulations” will look at what to do before the inspector arrives; the future of quality inspections; food-safety risks and bakery equipment design; and emerging risk management issues for food companies. “Beyond the Packaging Room” will focus on alternative fuels and delivery vans; profits in racks; independent distributors; and explosion prevention.

The Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (ATBI) will hold its early bird breakfast on Tuesday, March 4. This year’s guest speaker will be Wayne Cook, a motivational speaker, athlete and national spokesperson for Outback Steakhouse. Tickets for the hour-and-a-half-long event, which begins on 7:30 a.m., can be purchased when registering for BakingTech online or via mail.

Tuesday’s four technical breakout sessions will begin at 9:45 a.m. “What to Do About Humans” will look at finding and motivating the right people; healthcare issues; and the impending worker shortage. “Disruptive Innovation—What We Can Learn From Other Food Segments” will examine cookies and crackers in soup; out-of-this-world ideas; and bread and beer. “Commodities/Resources” will focus on the impending water shortage; resources; and the Food Safety Modernization Act and how it will impact audit systems. “Operations 2: Engineering/Automation” will cover how to unlock bakeries’ hidden robotic potential; automation; and a panel discussion on factors bakers should consider when expanding or building a facility.

The closing general session will begin at 1 p.m., following a networking lunch at 11:45 a.m. John Khoury, Custom Foods Inc., will moderate a panel discussion titled “Glimpse Into the Future.” The “Women-in-Powered” panel discussion will be led by Theresa Cogswell, Bakerscog Inc. Janelle Kearsley, Walmart Stores Inc., will discuss “Sustain Your Sustainability.”

For current information and to register, visit

BEMA’s Winter Summit will feature two BEMA U educational sessions: “Speaking for Your Audience” by Jody Cross of LeadersSpeak will help attendees begin conversations with audiences large and small. Henry Givray, president and CEO of SmithBucklin, is tentatively scheduled to talk about leadership.

During this year’s Baking Industry Forum Panel, bakers from Kroger, Lewis Bakeries Inc., Pepperidge Farm and Flowers Foods will discuss energy needs in the industry. The Baker’s Panel will focus on introducing attendees to new movers and shakers in the industry, while members of the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) committee and service groups will review IBIE 2013.

Registration information and more is available at



MarketPlace Show Hours


Sunday, March 2         4 p.m. -6 p.m.

Monday, March 3       4 p.m. -6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 4       4 p.m. -6 p.m.