BEMA bolsters staff to support new initiatives

by Staff
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OVERLAND PARK, KAS. — Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA) announced the addition of two new full-time positions: Kyle Brost, program development manager, and Jennifer Prusa, director of meetings and education.

The appointments are the result of an October meeting when BEMA’s board of directors voted to create a new educational offering that provides professional development for the entire baking industry. BEMA’s board based its decision on feedback from members, a desire to build on the association’s core competency and an effort to connect the industry in new ways, said Kerwin Brown, president and chief executive officer of BEMA.

“The board has opened the door to what’s next for BEMA,” Mr. Brown said. “We knew we needed to assemble the right resources to fully execute this new offering. With the addition of Kyle and Jennifer, we’ve positioned the BEMA staff to fully execute the board’s initiatives.”

Mr. Brost has consulted with organizations across numerous industries and of all sizes — from $2 million in revenue and 10 employees to $55 billion in sales and 250,000 employees — giving him unique insight into what drives success, Mr. Brown noted. He is Lean Six Sigma-certified and also has owned and operated two businesses. He received both a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s in business administration from the University of Kansas.

“My role at BEMA is to ensure that we continually strengthen our members through the flow of information and knowledge,” Mr. Brost said. “This includes listening to our members, identifying opportunities and building value-added programs. We operate in a world where information and knowledge are distributed and change so quickly, that the flow of information and knowledge is more important than the storage of it. Trade associations are a key channel for the flow of knowledge.”

As president of Chameleon Resources, Ms. Prusa had been the contract meeting planner and marketing coordinator for BEMA since 2005. As director of meetings and education, she will spearhead BEMA’s initiative to increase meeting and education offering from four to six events or more annually.

Ms. Prusa has been a meeting and event professional in the Kansas City market for 22 years. She began her career in the baking industry in 1997 as marketing coordinator at Shick USA. She received her bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University in New Orleans.
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