A.S.B. names Baking Hall of Fame inductees

by Laurie Gorton
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SWEDESBORO, N.J. — The American Society of Baking has named Donald R. Shaffer, founder of Shaffer Manufacturing Corp.; Mariano, Eugenio, Renato, Umberto and Giancarlo Turano, Turano Baking Co.; and John J. Watson, former president and chairman of Watson, Inc., as its 2014 inductees to the Baking Hall of Fame.

Mr. Shaffer returned from service in the U.S. Navy during World War II and found his professional home in the baking industry, working for manufacturers of commercial bakery mixers. He started as a draftsman and progressed into top-level management positions. When the entrepreneurial bug bit in 1986, he and his sons launched Shaffer Manufacturing Corp.

He developed several new technologies that substantially improved bakery operations and was granted a patent for cooling jackets for high-capacity horizontal mixers. Mr. Shaffer also pioneered dual-drive, all-stainless and open-frame horizontal mixers. In 2007, the company was sold to its current owner, Bundy Baking Solutions. Mr. Shaffer also led his community as a member of several local service and veterans organizations. He died earlier this year.

Turano Baking Co., now a multi-plant, multi-million-dollar family owned-and-operated enterprise started out in a space of just 1,000 square feet when brothers Mariano and Eugenio Turano decided to make a living for their families with something they loved: the Old World bakery recipes they brought from their native Italy.

Under the second generation — Mariano’s sons Renato (Ron), Umberto (Tony) and Giancarlo Turano — the business expanded into a 100,000-square-foot site at Berwyn and similarly sized facilities at Bolingbrook, Ill., Villa Rica, Ga., and Orlando, Fla. The Turanos have served as officers of national baking industry and many local organizations. Ron Turano was also elected to the Italian Senate to represent Italians living overseas. The company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012 with its third generation now in key management roles.

Mr. Watson, retired president and second-generation chairman of family-owned Watson, Inc., West Haven, Conn., worked tirelessly to improve the nutritional health of the American population, helping to shape the scientific and regulatory guidelines within which the baking industry now works. His company innovated with soluble enrichment packs that ensured error-free dosing of vitamins and minerals. Under his direction, the company pioneered in premix technology.

He was president of the American Association of Cereal Chemists and served on the American Institute of Baking’s board of trustees and scientific board. He also consulted with the World Health Organization on nutritional anemia matters around the world. He died in 2008.

The 2014 class will be officially inducted at A.S.B.’s BakingTech, set for March 2-4 in Chicago. For more information on the conference, visit www.asbe.org.
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