The American Bakers Association (ABA) has named the recipients of the Vander Heide Award and 2017 Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence.
The Vander Heide Award is presented every year at the Technical Conference to the Cookie and Cracker Academy’s Correspondence Manufacturing Course graduate who receives the highest score (or grade point average) for the year. The award was presented to Benjamin Colon. A Food Scientist at D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Company, and Gulf War Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Colon achieved a grade-point average of 98.21. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Science from York College of Pennsylvania, worked for McCormick & Co. for 14 years, and has been working at D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Company since 2013.
“The Vander Heide Award is a legacy award of the Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing Course, and it recognizes some of the strongest food manufacturing professionals in the baking industry,” said senior advisor to the president & CEO: B&CMA Transition & Development Dave Van Laar. “On behalf of the American Bakers Association, I commend Ben for his diligence and commitment to strengthening his career, his company and the baking industry as a whole through education.”
The 2017 Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence is part of the Safety Awards Program, which was established in 1988 to raise awareness for the importance of safety in the workplace. The safety awards recognize and reward those member bakeries that demonstrate a healthy and safe work environment.
The Safety Awards Program is based upon the Days Away, Restrictions and Transfers (DART) Incidence Rate. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics annually reports the total incidence rates by industry case types. This information is used to determine both the Safety Contest and Recognition Award winners. The Chairman's Award for Safety Excellence represents the best overall record among member bakeries.
The 2017 Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence was awarded to the following companies:
- Bakeries with less than 200 employees for demonstrating an outstanding commitment and dedication to employee safety and excellence in achieving a DART incidence rate of 0 for the year 2016.
- D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Company, Inc. – Cuba, N.Y.
- Newly Weds Foods - Erlanger Division, Erlanger, Ky.
- Bakeries with less than 500 employees for demonstrating an outstanding commitment and dedication to employee safety and excellence in achieving a DART incidence rate of 0 for the year 2016
- D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Company Inc. - Santa Ana, Calif.
- Kellogg Company - Wyoming Bakery, Wyoming, Mich.
- Newly Weds Foods - Cleveland Division, Cleveland, Tenn.
- A Bakery with less than 800 employees for demonstrating an outstanding commitment and dedication to employee safety and excellence in achieving a DART incidence rate of 0.407 for the year 2016.
- Kellogg Company - Cary Bakery, Cary, N.C.
- A Bakery with more than 800 employees for demonstrating an outstanding commitment and dedication to employee safety and excellence in achieving a DART incidence rate of 0.306 for the year 2016.
- Kellogg Company - Jackson Bakery, Jackson, Tenn.
“The Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence recognizes facilities that demonstrate exemplary safety practices, and the American Bakers Association applauds these bakeries’ achievement and dedication,” said ABA president & CEO Robb MacKie. “These bakeries set the example for the industry, and ABA is tremendously proud to call them members.”
Recipients of the Award of Safety Merit and the Certificate of Safety Achievement were also recognized.
Next year's Technical Conference will take place October 28-31, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana.
The American Bakers Association (ABA) also bestowed the namesake of and inspiration for the Phelps Award to Kathy Kinter Phelps. She was most recently the former assistant director of education and membership at the American Bakers Association, but most know her as an integral pillar of the Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA) for 20 years and the pioneer of the Correspondence Course.
This newly created annual award will be presented to the graduating student with the second highest grade-point average in the Correspondence Course. The student with the highest grade-point average is awarded the Vander Heide Award.
“Kathy has been the backbone of cookie and cracker education over the years and saw it through to the standard it sets today. She supported the students through their training and cared about their professional development," said senior advisor to the president & CEO: B&CMA Transition & Development Dave Van Laar. “She took an interest in each member and diligently served them with professionalism and personalization. Her dedication to the members and the industry is exceptional; she will be dearly missed.”
“We will miss her passion, dedication, and can-do spirit to the biscuit and cracker community,” said ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie. “In many ways, Kathy was the face of B&CMA. She was an incredible ambassador for the industry and the association, so it is fitting to recognize her exemplary work.”
“It’s been my honor to work for all of you. The past twenty years have flown by, and I’ve always had your [the members’] best interests at heart,” said Phelps. “You meant the world to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”