TIA doubles down

by Shane Whitaker
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After reviewing results from the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA)’s annual convention and expo last year, Jim Kabbani, the association’s CEO, said, “I had to do a double take.” The numbers showed new records across the board — the highest number of attendees, most exhibit sales and sponsorships, and the highest hotel room uptake.

“One of the highlights of the show was obviously its location,” Mr. Kabbani said. So after doing that double take, he decided to double down and hold TIA’s 23rd Annual Convention and Expo, Sept. 10-11, again at Caesars Palace. “The large exhibit hall, along with specially discounted room rates at this luxury property, proved to be a big factor,” Mr. Kabbani added.

The event is the most important for tortilla and flatbread manufacturers because it is the only show that focuses exclusively on their needs. TIA expanded its outreach to flatbread producers because so many commonalities exist between tortilla production and flatbread processing.

This year’s event kicks off with a golf outing at noon, Sunday, Sept. 9, at the Rio Paiute golf club. A welcome reception and raffle follow from 6 to 8:30 that evening back at Caesars Palace.

On Monday and Tuesday morning, general and educational sessions will include business topics of importance to tortilla and flatbread manufacturers. Four new board members will be elected during TIA’s annual members’ meeting at 10 a.m. Monday. Also at this time, two individuals will be inducted into the TIA Hall of Fame, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the tortilla industry.

Attendees can enjoy a luncheon on the sold-out show floor that will feature more than 60 exhibitors. The expo begins at noon both days and runs until 5 p.m. Monday and 4 p.m. Tuesday. A Monday evening reception starts at 6:30, followed at 7:30 by the TIA entertainment banquet, which will include singing, comedy and Cirque du Soleil-type acrobatic acts.

Historically TIA’s annual convention has been held in September and its technical seminar in May, but the association will make a permanent change to this schedule starting next year. In 2010, the association switched events to co-locate its technical seminar with the International Bakery Industry Exposition (IBIE) that took place during September in Las Vegas. The TIA Board of Directors believed this rotation should be maintained permanently so that the association could continue its partnership with IBIE every three years, Mr. Kabbani said.

Beginning next spring and going forward, TIA’s annual convention will be in late May. The 2013 TIA Technical Seminar will be co-located with IBIE, set for Oct. 6-9, 2013.

For more information or to register, visit www.tortilla-info.com.      

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