WASHINGTON — The Independent Bakers Association held its 40th annual convention June 18-19 at the Washington Court hotel in Washington, providing attendees with information on the economic, legal and governmental aspects of today’s modernization and transformation of the wholesale baking industry.

Representative Diane Black of Tennessee was the keynote lunch speaker on June 18. Ms. Black, along with Representative Bill Johnson of Ohio, addressed attendees with their objectives and predictions for Congress, which includes continuing to focus on tax reform as well as reform of the current U.S. sugar program.

Following the luncheon, Representative Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania and Representative Ron Kind of Wisconsin were awarded the Horst G. Denk Legislative Service Awards in recognition of their efforts to rollback government regulations and programs with practical, bipartisan solutions.

Additionally, the 40th Annual Convention offered information to help baking businesses navigate legal and regulatory demands. Nancy Noonan of Arent Fox, L.L.P. shared tips to prepare for immigration audits, which are on the rise in the baking industry. Joshua Rogaczewski of McDermott Will & Emery guided attendees through a maze of litigation that is shifting the long-term obligations of retiree benefits under collective bargaining agreements. Bill Messenger of the National Right To Work Foundation also presented the top, pending labor rules from the National Labor Relations Board, and specifically a comprehensive review of the proposed “ambush election” rule.

Other presentations from the meeting discussed transportation issues, grain challenges and insight into the implementation strategy of the Food Safety Modernization Act by the Food & Drug Administration. The meeting concluded with the BakePAC Dinner that featured a forecast of the mid-term 2014 elections by Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group.