The Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA), Overland Park, KS, has added two full-time employees to its staff: Kyle Brost, program development manager, and Jennifer Prusa, CMP, director of meetings and education.

At its meeting in October, BEMA’s board of directors voted to create a new educational offering that provides professional development for the entire baking industry. The decision based on feedback from members, identified industry needs and a desire to build on BEMA’s core competency and connect the industry in new ways. “The board has opened the door to what’s next for BEMA,” says Kerwin Brown, BEMA president and CEO. “We knew we needed to assemble the right resources to fully execute this new offering. With the addition of Kyle and Jennifer, we’ve positioned the BEMA staff to fully execute the board’s initiatives.”

Kyle Brost, program development manager, BEMA

“My role at BEMA is to ensure that we continually strengthen our members through the flow of information and knowledge,” says Brost (right). “This includes listening to our members, identifying opportunities and building value-added programs. We operate in a world where information and knowledge are distributed and change so quickly that the flow of information and knowledge is more important than the storage of it. Trade associations are a key channel for the flow of knowledge.”

Brost has consulted with organizations across numerous industries and of all sizes, giving him unique insight into what drives success. He is Lean Six Sigma-certified and brings to BEMA a skillset in defining strategy and implementing it through the necessary people, processes and programs. He has also owned two businesses, making him keenly aware of what it takes to solve problems and drive success with available resources.

Jennifer Prusa, director of meetings and education, BEMA

As president of Chameleon Resources Inc., a meeting and marketing services company, Prusa (right) has been the contract meeting planner and marketing coordinator for BEMA since 2005. She accepted the full-time role of director of meetings and education to become part of the team that will grow BEMA’s meeting and education offerings from four annual events to six or more.

Prusa has been a meeting and event professional in the Kansas City, KS, market for 22 years. She began her career in the baking industry in 1997 as marketing coordinator at Shick USA and continued to work with Shick USA, the EnSol Group, the Sanitary Design Workshop and BEMA, among others, through Chameleon Resources.

“I enjoy being part of a team–including both the board and staff–that never settles,” says Prusa. “We are embracing a significant opportunity to serve our members and the industry in new ways, and I am thrilled to be a part of this growth.”