BEMA Winter Summit 2015 Logo

BEMA, Overland Park, KS, will launch next-level leadership education for the entire baking industry at its 2015 Winter Summit, to be held Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Hilton Chicago in Chicago.

BEMA has engaged The CORPS Group, an elite team of former fighter pilots and corporate executives, to lead attendees through a high-energy, hands-on learning lab devoted to developing the skills needed to build high-performance teams. The session—“Building High Performance Teams”—will be held Sunday, March 1, at 10:15 a.m. It is included in the full registration fee for Winter Summit and complimentary for bakers. BEMA members are encouraged to invite their customers, and bakers are invited to register at

BEMA members can connect with customers at the panel session, themed “Evolving Opportunities in Baking.” Driven by the consumer, baking opportunities are ever-changing and require rapid response from bakers and allied suppliers. Panel participants will discuss how their companies have successfully satisfied both their customers and consumers. Participants include David Foran, vice president, sales and marketing, Little Lady Foods, Elk Grove Village, IL; Peter Cancro, CEO, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Manasquan, NJ; and Rick Stoecklein, vice president, operations, Izzio Artisan Bakery, Louisville, CO.

The 2015 program also features a BEMA-U session, “The Emotional Quotient,” on Saturday, Feb. 28. Presenter Brent Darnell says those who excel in the workplace and beyond are the ones with higher levels of emotional intelligence (EI)—the ability to identify, assess and manage one’s own emotions and those of others to the greatest effect. Darnell will coach attendees in determining their EI and honing their emotional intelligence skills.

Winter Summit also includes several important networking events, including a welcome reception and luncheon. The welcome reception will be held in the Waldorf Ballroom at the Hilton Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 p.m. The event is complimentary for bakers and guests of members.

The BEMA luncheon, held Sunday, March 1, at 12:30 p.m., will feature comedian Rondell Sheridan and the presentation of BEMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Hans van der Maarel, president, International Bakery Consulting Ltd., Ambler, PA, and 1997-1998 BEMA president. Bakers are extended a complimentary invitation to the luncheon; nonindustry guest tickets can be purchased at or onsite for $80.