The American Bakers Association (ABA) honored the 2018 recipients of the Vander Heide Award and the Phelps Award on October 21, 2019, at the ABA Technical Conference in Atlanta, GA.

“The value of ongoing education and training for the skilled professionals in our industry cannot be understated,” said Robb MacKie, president & CEO of the American Bakers Association. “ABA is honored to present the Vander Heide Award to Brian Walesh from the Kellogg Company and the Phelps Award to Andrew Shaw of the Jamaica Biscuit Company. These awards recognize their dedication to the baking industry and their technical expertise in cookie and cracker manufacturing.

Brian Walesh, the 2018 Vander Heide Award winner, is a Process Engineer at Kellogg Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Prior to his eight years in various engineering and food technology roles at Kellogg Company, Walesh worked as an engineer both in and out of food manufacturing. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering.

The 2018 Phelps Award recipient, Andrew Shaw is a chemist and process research & development coordinator at the Jamaica Biscuit Company Limited in Kingston, Jamaica. Shaw has worked in the food industry for almost twenty years working in Human Resources, Finance, Marketing, Quality Control, and Research and Development. He has spent the last fifteen years at the Jamaica Biscuit Company in a variety of positions. Shaw graduated with a Bachelor of  Science in Chemistry from The University of the West Indies.

The Vander Heide Award was established in 1940 and is presented every year at the Technical Conference. The Award is presented to ABA Cookie and Cracker Academy Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing Course graduate who receives the highest score (or grade point average) for the graduating year. The Phelps Award is awarded to the graduating student with the second highest grade point average in the course. It was presented for the first time in 2016 and was established in honor of the course’s dedicated pioneer Kathy Kinter Phelps.

The Cookie & Cracker Manufacturing Course from ABA’s Cookie & Cracker Academy is the advanced training program for the industry. In the course, students master the principles, science, and theory of effective cookie and cracker manufacturing. Following completion of the course, graduates possess the technical information necessary to manage or supervise a bakery shift, department, or facility. The two-year course has approximately 100 students enrolled at any given time.