Examples in leadership excellence

by Nico Roesler
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This year's inductees will be honored at ASB's annual technical conference in Chicago.
 

 

Four industry leaders who demonstrated a history of vision, innovation and leadership in various segments of the industry will join the Baking Hall of Fame. This year’s ceremony will be held during the American Society of Baking’s (ASB) annual technical conference in Chicago on Feb. 27.

The inductees are Albert L. (Bud) Cason of Bud’s Best Cookies, Birmingham, AL; Murray and Marvin Lender of Lender’s Bagel Bakery, New Haven, CT; and Joe Schwebel of Schwebel’s Baking Co., Youngstown, OH.

“This year, as in previous ones, the selection committee gathered an impressive list of nominees,” said John Del Campo, Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee chair and general manager, baking division, Repco. “All were extraordinary candidates. It’s rewarding to know that so many outstanding individuals have served or continue to be active in our industry.”

Mr. Del Campo said this year’s class exemplifies the industry’s diversity, which is also the theme for BakingTech 2017. “We have inductees from not only the traditional bread category but also cookies and bagels,” he said.

The inductees bring the total members of the Baking Hall of Fame, created in 2006, up to 76. Those honored in the hall come from all sectors of the baking industry — from bakeries, allied equipment and ingredient suppliers, schools, service organizations and publishers. Hall of Fame sponsors are Repco, The Long Co., Mother Murphy’s, Bundy Baking Solutions and Burford Corp.

Mr. Cason was one of the first cookie producers to recognize the potential of contract manufacturing. In the 1970s, large consumer products goods companies were moving out of manufacturing activities to concentrate their resources on marketing, and he jumped on the opportunity. In the course of doing so, he arguably invented the mini-cookie category by being the first to master mass production of these bite-sized treats. His nomination wasn’t based solely on his industry expertise but also his contributions to his community and church, where he gives generously to their causes, charities and initiatives.

Brothers Murray and Marvin Lender, first-generation Americans, brought a small family bakery to national recognition. They paved the way for other bakers to add ethnic specialties to the diversity of products offered by the commercial baking industry. Bagels may not have ever become an American breakfast and sandwich staple without the Lenders. Following their bakery careers, both immersed themselves in local and national charity work.

Mr. Schwebel literally grew up in his family’s bakery. He combined his education in business management techniques with baking’s daily disciplines by riding bread routes and working directly with customers and shoppers. He eventually turned the bakery into a regional power by leading with action-based solutions that kept the industry ahead of the ebb and flow of consumer trends. For example, when the low-carb craze threatened commercial baking in 2004, he helped establish and fund the Grain Foods Foundation. He also served on the boards of the American Bakers Association, Quality Bakers of America and AIB International before his death in 2012.

“The lives and careers of these individuals provide wonderful examples of excellence and leadership,” Mr. Del Campo said. “They represent the best qualities of compassion, forward thinking and personal judgment.”

To learn more about these inductees, visit www.asbe.org.

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