The American Bakers Association (ABA) will honor the 2017 recipients of the Vander Heide Award and the Phelps Award on Oct. 29, 2018, at the ABA Technical Conference in Indianapolis.

The Vander Heide Award is presented every year at the Technical Conference to the Cookie & Cracker Academy’s Cookie & Cracker Manufacturing Course graduate who receives the highest score (or grade point average) for the graduating year. Presented for the first time last year at the Technical Conference, the Phelps Award is awarded to the graduating student with the second highest grade point average in the course, established in honor of the course’s dedicated pioneer Kathy Kinter Phelps. The awards are typically kept as surprises to the honorees until the unveil at the Technical Conference.

“The Vander Heide Award and the Phelps Award recognizes excellence in baking manufacturing education,” said ABA president & CEO Robb MacKie. “We are pleased to honor professionals in the industry who have strengthened their technical understanding of cookie and cracker baking to become an effective leader in manufacturing processes.”

The Cookie & Cracker Manufacturing Course is the advanced training program for the industry, where students develop a solid understanding of the main principles of an effective manufacturing process and the science and theory behind it. Graduates possess the technical information necessary to manage or supervise a bakery shift, department or manufacturing facility. The two-year course has approximately 100 students enrolled at any given time.