Ken Embers’ career path is one of the most unique and storied imaginable. Born and raised in McPherson, Kas., Mr. Embers graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in sociology, joined the Army in 1966, and served as a Huey gunship pilot and platoon leader in Vietnam from 1968-69. He then traveled to France where he studied at the University of Grenoble. Upon his return to the United States, he taught English as a second language (E.S.L.) at the Manhattan Adult Learning Center, became a beekeeper, served as president of the Kansas Honey Producers Association for two years, served as a VISTA volunteer for two years, and was the first president of the Downtown Manhattan Farmers Market.

In 1986, Mr. Embers joined AIB as an E.S.L. and math teacher, then served as director of admissions, director of financial aid, and veterans affairs officer.

“My time at AIB has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with the baking industry worldwide,” Mr. Embers said. “I’ve enjoyed working with American and international students, and communicating and networking with AIB grads and AIB industry partners and customers. It has been fascinating to work with people from all over the world who all share a common interest in baking.”

Kirk O’Donnell, vice-president of education, said, “Over the years, Ken Embers has established
himself — for many of our students — as the face of AIB. Well over half of our current students are international students, and most speak English only as a second or third language. Ken has always made the extra effort to get to know our students, to help them with English, and to be the first person that they contact when they have concerns.”

Mr. Embers refers to his retirement as “graduating” from AIB. He plans to continue with his extensive volunteer and E.S.L. work, work with the Libraries of Vietnam project, and enjoy visiting friends with his wife, Pat.