The Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) has once again raised the stakes for its strategy of focusing on the fastest-growing geographies in the fastest-growing sector of the baking business—tortillas recorded $12 billion in sales last year and are overtaking white sandwich bread as the nation’s preferred food-delivery platform—by placing its bets on Southern California as the destination for its 2016 Annual Convention & Trade Exposition.

Although Las Vegas has been the city of choice for the last dozen TIA Conventions, we are shaking things up by switching for one year to Southern California, clearly one of the world’s main epicenters of tortilla production. There are many reasons why this rotation will greatly benefit all participants. By bringing the TIA Convention to the “backyard” of so many TIA members and potential members, we are creating opportunities for many more to get involved and come to a convention they can drive to, instead of fly to, thus boosting buyer attendance.

This year’s convention will be held at Harrah’s Resort Southern California—located in Valley Center, just 45 miles south of downtown San Diego. It features a world-class casino, 11 restaurants, five nightclubs, three swimming pools and a “lazy river.”

Once TIA members arrive at the convention, they’ll be greeted by numerous unique and exciting features including a totally sold-out exhibit hall; a poolside opening reception with hospitality cabanas, fire pits and tiki huts provided by major exhibitors; and an annual banquet featuring a live performance by international Latino comedy superstar, Paul Rodriguez.

And unlike in Las Vegas, where attendees are scattered all over the city’s many venues, here everyone will remain together in one campus-like resort the entire convention, creating more opportunities for interaction, networking and just plain fun with friends and colleagues. The beautiful weather, fresh air and starry nights will be complemented by the warm hospitality of our hosts, the sovereign Indian nation of the Luiseño tribe, on whose reservation the resort is situated. We have negotiated a special TIA room rate of $139 a night. In addition, TIA is providing free shuttle buses round-trip between the San Diego International Airport and Harrah’s for all attendees.

Rounding out the business and leisure opportunities is an educational program that will provide attendees with practical knowledge about pressing current issues. Sessions will be taught by leading experts on each topic, and attendees will be able to apply what they’ve learned as soon as they return to their factories. Topics on this year’s agenda include business succession and wealth retention for family-owned enterprises, a commodities forecast update, alternative replacements for partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), enzymes’ role and uses in tortilla production, legislative issues affecting the tortilla industry, an immigration update and details on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers (IMAGE) program, how well online learning works for tortilla training, and more.

The TIA Convention is attended by tortilla plant managers and owners, as well as by leading suppliers of ingredients and equipment. If you are in the tortilla business, you cannot afford to miss this exciting, ground-breaking event. If you are in other sectors of the baking business, come and get to know us, so you can see how you can share in the profits and passion of the tortilla industry! I look forward to personally welcoming you. For more information and latest details, visit the TIA website at, or call us at 800-944-6099.