BEMA panel to feature Corner Bakery founder
BEMA panel to feature Corner Bakery founder
BakingBusiness.com, December 09, 2009
by Josh Sosland

OVERLAND PARK, KAS. — A panel featuring a diverse group of baking executives will highlight the educational session at the 2010 Winter Summit of BEMA. The summit will be held Feb. 27-28 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown.

Participants in the Feb. 28 panel include the entrepreneur who established Corner Bakery, a manufacturing executive from a specialty maker of fresh baked foods and the president of a cookie manufacturer.

Willie Zimberoff, president of Z Baking, Morton Grove, Ill., will share his perspectives as an artisan baker and as the founder, in 1993, of the Corner Bakery chain. Z Baking, established in 2008, supplies artisan bread for the wholesale and restaurant markets.

Other panelists will be George Poulos, vice-president of manufacturing for Alpha Baking Co., Inc., Chicago, and Dave Van Laar, president and chief executive officer of Oak State Products, Wenona, Ill.

"We want the customer panel to reflect diverse market segments so that our members are exposed to opportunities that might exist for them across the industry," said Mark Ungashick, BEMA chairman. "Each of the businesses has a unique story that defines their product and market."

Headlining BEMA’s Feb. 28 luncheon will be television personality Bill Rancic, who prevailed as winner during the first season of "The Apprentice" on NBC.

Mr. Rancic established Cigars Around the World in the mid-1990s in his 400-square-foot studio apartment.

"Today, it is a thriving multi-million dollar national operation," BEMA said. The author of two books on how to succeed as an entrepreneur, Mr. Rancic currently stars in the television program "We Mean Business" on A&E Network, and on "Guiliana & Bill," a reality show aired on the Style Network.

"We think that Bill will bring a unique perspective to the business leaders in the room," said Kerwin Brown, BEMA president and c.e.o. "An entrepreneurial spirit can help every business be successful."

Also featured at the luncheon will be the presentation of BEMA lifetime achievement awards.

A day earlier, marketing and social media will be explored at the Business IQ luncheon. The session will help attendees learn about leading social media sits and their functionality, Mr. Brown said.

"Business IQ is one way BEMA is reaching our goal of providing timely, relevant educational opportunities at our meetings," he said. "Social media are here to stay, and we want our members to have the knowledge they need to make the best use of them."