The American Society of Baking (A.S.B.) will induct five industry leaders into the Baking Hall of Fame on Feb. 26 during a special ceremony at BakingTech 2018, to be held in Chicago. They are:
- Cordia Harrington, The Bakery Cos.
- Connie B. Lane and William O. (Bill) Mead, Campbell Taggart, Inc.
- Michael L. (Mike) and Lawrence L. (Larry) Marcucci, Alpha Baking Co.
“The baking industry and its allied suppliers continue to provide us with excellent candidates” said John Del Campo, chair of the A.S.B. Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee. “The committee thanks all those who nominated individuals for the coming year’s honors. It was an extraordinary list.”
Cordia Harrington, CEO and president, The Bakery Cos., Nashville, Tenn., exemplifies entrepreneurial spirit, unwavering optimism and a tireless work ethic. She has excelled in three different fields: first as a top-selling real-estate agent, then as a successful quick-service fast food franchisee and, today, as owner and operator of a multi-plant bakery business with wholesale operations in Tennessee and Georgia. She’s delighted to be known as “The Bun Lady” and is also active in efforts to nurture and promote the next generation of baking industry leaders.
Connie B. Lane, former president, and William O. (Bill) Mead, former chairman and CEO, The Earthgrains Co. (previously Campbell Taggart, Inc. and today part of Bimbo Bakeries USA), Dallas, Texas, formed the second largest bakery in the U.S. by the 1980s. They were the first to apply computer analysis to cost controls, bakery efficiency and organizational structure. The executives invested substantially in new technology to open new markets, specifically taking pan variety bread to national distribution. They foresaw the promise of whole grain breads, ultimately renaming the company after the brand of its market-leading products. They served in leadership positions with industry groups, including the American Bakers Association (A.B.A.) and the American Institute of Baking (A.I.B.).
Michael L. Marcucci, chairman, and Lawrence L. Marcucci, president and CEO, Alpha Baking Co., Chicago, took their years of experience in the family’s business, Gonnella Baking, and set out on their own. While still in their 20s, the cousins acquired two local bakeries in the late 1970s and set them back on a profitable path. In doing so, they not only helped preserve Chicago’s rich wholesale baking heritage but also added new technologies, new products and plenty of new customers in new distribution channels. Today, the independent business comprises six productive, well-capitalized businesses. Innovative and entrepreneurial, the Marcuccis also found time to give back to the industry, serving as officers and board members of A.B.A., A.I.B., A.S.B. and the International Baking Industry Exposition.
“These individuals all showed magnificent leadership and represent the best qualities of compassion, forward thinking and personal judgment,” Mr. Del Campo said. “Speaking for all members of the evaluation committee, it is an honor for us to look at their accomplishments. They inspire our future by their examples.”
Since its launch in 2006, the Baking Hall of Fame will have enshrined 80 individuals. They come from all walks of life in the baking industry: from bakeries, allied equipment and ingredient suppliers, schools, service organizations and publishers. Their accomplishments can be read at www.asbe.org, under “Hall of Fame.” This website also offers form and instructions for nominating industry leaders for future Baking Hall of Fame induction.