The merger of the American Bakers Association (ABA) and the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA) officially went into effect July 1, 2017. As a result, the new ABA welcomed 116 B&CMA member companies, including U.S. and international bakers and allieds, and now offers the baking industry an even stronger advocate for its interests.

ABA was also pleased to welcome the B&CMA professional staff who will continue to provide exceptional service and leadership to the membership:    

  • Dave Van Laar, senior advisor to the president & CEO: B&CMA Transition & Development
  • Kathy Kinter Phelps, assistant director of education & membership
  • Vanessa Vial, manager of eLearning & communications

“It has been my great honor to get to know the membership and professional staff of B&CMA. They represent a community of the highest caliber, and we are thrilled to welcome them into ABA,” said ABA president & CEO Robb MacKie. “Together, we form an organization whose voice is stronger than ever as we work to serve the needs and interests of the baking industry.”

“Over the past couple years, the ABA and B&CMA leaderships have engaged in thoughtful conversations about what would be best for the future of our respective organizations,” said senior advisor to the presdient & CEO: B&CMA Transition & Development Dave Van Laar. “I strongly believe that this merger was the right choice for both organizations and foresee a successful future for the new ABA and our unified membership.”

With the completion of the merger, ABA provides the united membership with a portfolio of enhanced, comprehensive services to meet their needs. Major programs offered include advocacy for regulatory and legislative issues that impact companies’ bottom lines; committees as the forums for members to shape ABA’s interactions with policymakers and set the course for the industry; the Annual Convention – the premier industry event for immersive networking; and education, including the Cookie & Cracker Academy – the complete training path for the cookie and cracker professional – the annual Technical Conference and ABA’s Leadership Development for Front Line Professionals program.