BEMA-U celebrated its first class of 34 graduates for Transformational Leadership during September in both Chicago and Kansas City. The three-part program took participants through a journey of developing self-awareness and a personal brand statement, to the nuances of managing functional teams and creating an authentic leadership strategy. This unique program structure allowed participants time between sessions to apply their learnings, and to collaborate with key contributors to create action plans aimed at transforming their workforce. “The goal of BEMA-U is to provide purposeful training for the entire industry unlike any other,” says Kerwin Brown, BEMA president & CEO. “We have created something that can change lives and impact our member companies and their customers in a positive way.”

The class participants represented a wide cross-section of the industry, including both bakers and equipment manufacturers. The roster included participants from Corbion, DuPont Health & Nutrition, Fred D. Pfening Corporation, Shick Solutions, BBU, Champion Foods, Hearthside Foods, Mid-South Baking, and Richmond Baking. “BEMA-U’s Transformational Leadership training has given me the tools to understand both my dominant leadership type and that of those I interact with,” says participant, Bill Donovan, systems engineering manager, at Shick Solutions. “It has helped me to accept that we each have unique strengths which, when they are recognized and aligned, create organizational synergies.”

Janelle Crawford, strategic marketing lead, DuPont Nutrition & Health feels that BEMA-U will help her to be known as “a strong, impactful leader who connects people, resources, and ideas to create & execute strategic plans that deliver results.”

BEMA-U is planning a second transformational leadership class, among other offerings, for 2018.