This spring, BEMA’s plan to provide quality leadership and skills education for the baking industry has already reaped benefits, according to the Overland Park, KS-based organization. BEMA-U 2016 began in early April with two programs, “Learn to Train” and “Strategic Project Management.” At these workshops, BEMA made best-in-class training programs available for participants. Its training partners, Renee Rouwhorst and Afterburner, delivered engaging workshops, and attendees came away with well-vetted plans for projects they are currently executing and training tools customized to their training environment and team.

According to testimonials and survey results, the BEMA-U programs also emphasized the importance of training for many attendees. Ken Marx, manager of field services at Shick Solutions, who attended the “Learn to Train” course, said he realized so much value that he wants to make sure his entire service team attends future workshops. Damian Morabito, president of Topos Mondial, who attended “Strategic Project Management” with the company’s director of engineering, Ondrej Nikel, stated that all business leaders should “attend this type of workshop for new skills in planning and execution.”

On April 19–20, BEMA-U piloted “Insights Discovery,” another best-in-class training program, for the next phase of its leadership training workshops. Workshop participants began with a deep dive into their personal working style and its impact on others. In light of these findings, the group then examined eight dimensions of leadership considering their effectiveness in each of these areas and creating strategies for continuous personal development at the individual, team and organizational level.

Emily Bowers, BEMASpearheading BEMA-U is Emily Bowers (shown), director of education and professional development, and a recent BEMA staff addition. Bowers will steward BEMA’s educational programming by working with members to identify their training and education needs. “My plan is to leverage the parallels between market trends and known industry expertise to create relevant, best-in-class training solutions,” she says. “Engaging our members in a thoughtful needs assessment, as well as reflective dialogue, will guide me in the design and development of BEMA’s future educational offerings.”

Bowers’ professional career began in public schools, including experience as an instructional designer at the post-secondary level. In her years as a performance consultant, Emily specialized in project management, program facilitation, train-the-trainer and performance improvement in a variety of business sectors, including education, manufacturing and nonprofit. In her most recent role, Bowers managed the learning and organizational development function for a global leader in the manufacturing of packaging solutions.

The current structure of BEMA-U offers a core offering of courses focused on leadership skills, as well as two technical workshops. While maintaining a focus on leadership development, BEMA plans to provide a variety of supplemental offerings appealing to all audiences in the baking industry. BEMA-U continues with additional leadership workshops Oct. 22–24, 2016 in Kansas City.

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