Approximately 20% of attending companies at the Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds’ (BEMA) 2014 Annual Meeting, held June 19-24 in Bermuda, were wholesale bakers and snack producers. Each year, this percentage continues to increase, creating meeting attendance that is a blend of vendors and customers in a venue designed to help them connect in ways that will benefit the overall industry, according to president and CEO Kerwin Brown.

The meeting featured two customer panels. Tim Cook, Shick USA, moderated the Sweets, Snacks and Co-Pack panel, which comprised Dave Watson, Pepperidge Farm/Campbell Soup Co.; Tom Howe, Baptista’s Bakery; and John Macy, John Wm. Macy’s CheeseSticks. The panelists discussed innovation and provided insight into the level of investment each company provides to foster innovation in its culture.

Speaker panel at BEMA 2014 Annual Meeting

The Family-Owned Bakeries panel comprised Joe Turano (right), Turano Baking Co.; Lenny Amoroso (second from right), Amoroso Baking Co.: and Michael Morabito (second from left), Morabito Baking Co. Moderated by Damian Morabito (far left), Topos Mondial, the panel discussed issues unique to family-owned bakeries in business for three or more generations as well as their biggest challenges in today’s market.

BIF (Baking Industry Forum) addressed several topics at BEMA’s Annual Meeting and created specific tools related to the topics, which can be found on

Jeff Dearduff, ARYZTA NA, helped suppliers understand the myriad certifications and audits that bakers face. A guide to these certifications can be found at

Jeff Teasdale, Pepperidge Farm; Pat Wilkens, Schwebel Baking Co.; Mike Fronczak, Dawn Foods; and Mike Day, Banner-Day walked the audience through an ideal project lifecycle. Day wrapped up the project lifecycle portion with a “top 10” list of things he learned as a supplier while working on the presentation.

Butch Hendrickson, owner, NCC Bakery, Jamaica

BIF also presented a follow-up to information on safety presented at the 2012 BEMA Annual Meeting; a safety checklist has been finalized and is now available at

BEMA also hosted Butch Hendrickson (right), owner of NCC Bakery in Jamaica, who talked about the importance of cultural influences on running a business in Jamaica.