Allen Shiver elected chairman of A.B.A.

by Josh Sosland
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BOCA RATON — Allen L. Shiver, president of Flowers Foods, Inc., Thomasville, Ga., was elected chairman of the American Bakers Association for 2010-12. Mr. Shiver was elected March 14 at the A.B.A. board of governors meeting at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton.

As chairman, Mr. Shiver succeeded Kenneth (Chip) Klosterman Jr., president of Klosterman Baking Co., Cincinnati, who completed a two-year term.

Other officers elected were Gary Prince, president of Bimbo Bakeries USA, Horsham, Pa., first vice-chairman; Harold (Robin) Alton III, president and chief executive officer of Pan-o-Gold Baking Co., St. Cloud, Minn., second vice-chairman; Albert Lepage, chairman, Lepage Bakeries, Inc., Augusta, Maine, treasurer; and Mr. Klosterman, immediate past chairman.

The nominating committee was chaired by Renato G. (Ron) Turano, chairman of Turano Baking Co., Inc., Berwyn, Ill.

In remarks to the board of governors, Mr. Klosterman credited the industry to helping dodge a number of legislative/regulatory “bullets.”

“When we met last year, card check appeared imminent, and we faced a serious risk from cap and trade, food safety and health care legislation,” he said. “The efforts of people in this room and many like-minded people across the country helped turn the tide. Maybe some would say that this was the kind of gridlock that is natural in D.C. I disagree. The key was raising our voices and voices like ours.

“What if all four pieces of legislation had passed? If we don’t speak up, who will? If we don’t lobby, who will?”

Mr. Klosterman described as the “end game” upcoming November elections and encouraged the baking industry to step up its efforts.

“The time is now,” he said emphatically. “The time is right now!”

Shiver credits Klosterman’s focus

In acceptance remarks, Mr. Shiver encouraged broader participation in the A.B.A. and pledged to carry forward the association along the course begun by Mr. Klosterman.

“A.B.A. is on an upswing,” Mr. Shiver said. “My promise is we will keep up the momentum. Chip’s clear vision of the mission of A.B.A., combined with his energy level, and leadership skills has taken our organization to a new level of effectiveness. Chip helped focus the A.B.A. on the most important issues baking is facing. “

Noting that he has been involved in the A.B.A. most of the 32 years he has been involved in the baking industry, Mr. Shiver said the importance of the A.B.A. to Flowers was demonstrated repeatedly.

“As incoming chairman, I would like to challenge each member to get your people more involved in A.B.A.,” he said. “One of the best ways is to serve on one of the six different ABA Committees.

“At Flowers, through the years, we have found it very beneficial to involve our rising stars in A.B.A. at the committee level. I am confident you will see the same positive return on your investment that we have experienced at Flowers Foods.”

Citing a promising statistic regarding involvement in the A.B.A., Mr. Shiver noted that the 2010 annual meeting of the A.B.A. was attended by more than 50 first time registrants, not including their spouses.

G.F.F. sharpens on-line focus

Also on the March 14 program was a presentation by the Grain Foods Foundation featuring remarks by Judi Adams, president of the foundation, and members of the Mullen team.

Kristin Patterson, a vice-president and account director at Mullen, said the past year for G.F.F. activities was “all about on-line and connectivity.”

She said that 86% of women now have a social networking profile, and that the overwhelming majority consider this a very important part of their lives.

“In one survey, 90% of women said they would give up chocolate before they’d give up their social network,” Ms. Patterson said.

Launched last September was the foundation’s “Go with the Grain” campaign. Ms. Patterson said the tagline unites the industry, guides programming and reassures consumers. The tagline will facilitate the introduction of the “daily 6” pitch for consumers to consume at least six servings of grain-based foods per day, playing off the 5 a Day program of produce industry.

Monica Higgins, an account supervisor at Mullen, said the fall launch of the campaign with television star and exercise specialist Bob Harper, allowed the foundation to connect with a wide range of reporters after the launch.

Stories printed and broadcast generated 260 million media impressions. In addition, 100,000 entries were received for a Bob Harper sweepstakes competition, and 65,000 visitors have gone to the new G.F.F. web site,

Because the 2008-09 Bread Art Project was such a success, the foundation will continue the program, partnering with Share our Strength, a group focused on reducing childhood hunger.

Discussing the thought leadership portion of G.F.F. activities, Ms. Adams said the group focuses on issues management, rapid response and proactive research.

Low-carb renaissance?

Issues of concern at present include coverage of a new low-carb book published recently and continued interest in low-glycemic eating.

Ms. Adams said Mullen has been tracking interest in the new Atkins book since January.

“They’ve concluded that, while Americans may have a short attention span, it isn’t that short,” she said. She noted that the prominence of vegetables in the new Atkins regime could make the diet less appealing to men, who were large followers of low-carbohydrate dieting earlier in the decade.

Finally, Ms. Adams updated the group on the 2008 public service announcement, “The Bread Trail,” which uses humor to encourage women to eat bread as a source of folic acid. Since release, the p.s.a. has recorded 300 million consumer impressions, equating to $8 million in advertising value.

“The Bread Trail has delivered an 80 to 1 return on investment ratio,” Ms. Adams said. “It was a wise investment."
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