Bittel to chair at Whole Grains Council

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — Michael Bittel, senior vice-president and general manager of the flour division at King Arthur Flour Co., has been named chairman of the Whole Grains Council. He will fill the role previously held by Bob Brown of Frito-Lay until April 21, at which point Mr. Bittel will seek formal election to a two-year term as chairman.

Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for the W.G.C. and Oldways, its parent organization, said Mr. Bittel’s energy and passion for whole grains have been evident since King Arthur Flour became one of the early founding members of the W.G.C. in July 2004.

"Michael is a strong believer that whole grains are a delicious way to enjoy better health, and we look forward to working with him," Ms. Harriman said.

Mr. Brown’s departure from the chairman’s post just shy of his term ending was the result of a shift in job functions at Frito-Lay that left him no longer working directly with whole grains, the W.G.C. said. In his new position, Mr. Brown will be working on international nutrition projects for Frito-Lay.

The W.G.C. will hold its next whole grains conference April 20-22 in Alexandria, Va. The conference, titled Make (at least!) Half Your Grains Whole, will feature a mix of science updates and culinary examples, with an added twist. The conference also will include interactive sessions to facilitate information exchange: school food service directors will be able to tell manufacturers about their needs, and learn about the food-producers' constraints, for example, and health professionals will be able to meet with media representatives to discuss better ways to reach consumers with health messages.

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