Educating the industry at IBIE
Baking Expo’s education sessions target bakers big and small.
BakingBusiness.com, April 30, 2013
by Joanie Spencer

When attending the 2013 International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) Oct. 6-9 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, you can be sure of one thing: There will be something for everyone.

“This year we’ve come up with an education program that meets everyone’s needs because the IBIE audience includes the whole baking industry,” said Lynn Shurman, education director, Retail Bakers of America (RBA) and IBIE Education Task Force member. “We have tracks designed specifically for retailers, others that are of interest to larger operators and then some sessions that will cross over for both retail and commercial bakeries.”

To help attendees select what’s best for them, the program assembles education sessions into tracks such as AIB Technical, Ingredient Trends and Formulations, Business Management and Marketing, and more. Sessions are broken down even further by audience, ranging from general beginner courses to those designed specifically for biscuit and cracker manufacturers as well as pizza and tortilla producers.

In addition to classes, panel discussions will offer insight from some of the industry’s best. “There are big hitters giving you the opportunity to ask questions and dig down into the root of issues inside the bakery,” said Dennis Gunnell, vice-president, sales and marketing, Formost Fuji Corp., Woodinville, WA, and IBIE Education Task Force chair. “Attendees will hear from those who have been in the trenches and know how to keep you — or get you — out of trouble.”

One such panel features Gary Brodsky, recently retired operations executive with East Balt, Chicago; Jim Kline, president, The Ensol Group, Erwinna, PA; and Kerwin Brown, president and CEO, BEMA, and will address bakery plant construction and expansion. Another, led by Jon Anderson, Tim Newbold, and Alfred St. Cyr, all of AIB International, Manhattan, KS, will focus on the latest issues in food safety. AIB will also offer three-part sessions on specific areas of baking technology, with a number of programs presented in both English and Spanish to serve the Latino baking community.

Education sessions will be offered every day of Expo; the schedule is available at www.ibie2013.org/agenda. Attendees can use the search function to find the ones that meet their specific needs based on day, track and audience.

In addition to the general educational program, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) will hold its annual conference during Expo on Oct. 5-6. Attendees can register for the TIA Technical Conference at the IBIE website. Everyone registered for the TIA conference will also receive a badge to enter the IBIE 2013 tradeshow floor. For more information about TIA, visit www.tortilla-info.com.

At this year’s Expo, which is jointly sponsored by the American Bakers Association, BEMA and RBA, education is not limited to the classroom, according to Mr. Gunnell. “Learning is a multifaceted discipline — education is ­everywhere. Attend the sessions that fit your needs, but also look at the demo stages, and get out on the show floor,” he said. “This is the largest gathering of experts in ­baking, so attendees should take advantage of it. You will go home smarter and better able to run your business and thrive in the marketplace.”