The American Bakers Association (ABA) is pleased to announce “A Conversation with Mario Somoza and José Andrés: Leadership in a Crisis” to be held on Oct. 2, 2018, at the NextGenBaker Leadership Forum with the ABA and Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (ATBI) Boards of Directors. President and CEO of Pan Pepín and ABA Board member Mario Somoza, along with internationally recognized chef and humanitarian José Andrés, will lead a conversation about how the food industry can take action during times of crisis. They will lead a thought-provoking dialogue about leadership and the critical role of the food industry in the disaster relief and rebuilding process. Somoza and Andrés will reflect on the lessons learned when serving the Puerto Rican communities following the destruction of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“We are honored to have Mario and José join us to share their personal stories that exemplify the altruistic nature of the baking industry, and the food industry overall, when catastrophe strikes,” said ABA president & CEO Robb MacKie. “The baking industry’s resilience is commendable and yet unheralded. As we will hear once again, the baking industry is on the front lines of helping devasted communities get back on their feet. We are so fortunate to bring two important perspectives of leadership during crisis situations to attendees.”

Based in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, Pan Pepín is dedicated to baking and selling fresh bread, buns and tortillas for the retail and food service markets, primarily under its own brand, as well as supplying the largest supermarket chains on the island with their private label products. Somoza joined Pan Pepín in 2006 after spending three years as marketing VP of B. Fernández, where he helped lead marketing efforts for brands such as Budweiser, Kellogg’s, Heinz and Hormel. Prior to that, Mario spent a few years as the general manager of the New York office of Dieste, a Hispanic advertising agency that is part of the Omnicom group. Pan Pepín has been recognized as one of the 20 Best Employers in Puerto Rico on three occasions, and it was the first bread and bakery in the Caribbean to achieve SQF Level 3 certification.

Twice named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list, and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, José Andrés is an internationally-recognized culinary innovator, author, educator, television personality, humanitarian and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup. A pioneer of Spanish tapas in America, he is known for his avant-garde cuisine and award-winning group of 31 restaurants throughout the country and beyond, including two-Michelin starred minibar by José Andrés. His work with his non-profit World Central Kitchen has earned global respect – notably, his team served over 3.6 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

Register for the event here: