BEMA will hold its 2016 Winter Summit Feb. 27–28 in Chicago. The annual event will kick off four days of meetings, presentations, exhibits and networking opportunities for baking industry professionals, as the Kansas-based association once again convenes at the Hilton Chicago one day prior to the American Society of Baking’s BakingTech 2016, which will run Feb. 28–March 1 at the same venue.

The Winter Summit begins for the full membership and guests at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, with the BEMA welcome reception at the 720 Lounge, located in the hotel lobby. The event is complimentary for bakers and their customers.

Sunday, Feb. 28, begins with a continental breakfast from 7–8 a.m., which attendees can take to their committee meetings. Membership, safety and sanitation, and marketing committee meetings will run from 8–8:45 a.m., while scholarship, international, and convention and programs committee meetings will be held from 9–9:45 a.m.

The general membership meeting, held from 10–11 a.m., will feature an International Baking Industry Exhibition (IBIE) exhibitor update for the October trade show in Las Vegas. IBIE chairman Mike Cornelis and representatives from mdg (Marketing Design Group) will provide timely information for IBIE exhibitors as they head into this IBIE show year, including tips for marketing their booth and making the show successful for them.

The Baking Industry Forum (BIF) presentation, also held during the general membership meeting, will focus on the challenges the baking industry faces as it adapts to trends and customer preferences. Its 2016 project, to be introduced at the meeting, will ask industry members, “What can the history of the baking industry teach us about solving present challenges?”

At 11:15 a.m., attendees can participate in Sunday’s hour-long BEMA-U, a preview of the Strategic Project Management workshop. Complimentary for bakers and their customers, the interactive session will give attendees a glimpse of the type of training BEMA-U will provide at its two-day Strategic Project Management course in April. BEMA has selected the consultants at Afterburner to present and teach its Flawless Execution toolkit, which includes specific strategies to improve situational awareness and mutual support, using crosschecks and checklists, and much more. Charles “Chaz” Campbell, the most-senior member at Afterburner—and a former brigadier general with more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Air Force and the Florida Air National Guard—will be the presenter of the Feb. 28 preview.

BEMA members and their guests can relax at a luncheon from 12:30–2:15 p.m. Award-winning comedy magicians David & Leeman—David Blatter and Leeman Parker, from Los Angeles—will entertain attendees. The comedy duo were top 12 finalists on the most-recent season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and have also appeared on NBC’s “Today” show.

For more information about the BEMA 2016 Winter Summit, including registration and hotel details, visit