KANSAS CITY — The American Society of Baking (A.S.B.) will induct five industry leaders into the Baking Hall of Fame on Feb. 29 during a special ceremony at BakingTech 2016, to be held in Chicago. They and their affiliated organizations are:
• M. Robert (Bob) Albers, Franz Bakery
• Joseph Baker and Jacob Perkins, Baker Perkins Ltd.
• Pat Callaghan, Pepperidge Farm
• John Shellenberger, Kansas State University
“Each year, the list of nominees grows more impressive, giving the selection committee much to consider,” said John Del Campo, chair of the A.S.B. Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee and president of Brandywine Ingredient Technology, Wilmington, Del. “All were extraordinary candidates.”
M. Robert (Bob) Albers, chief executive officer of Franz Bakery, Portland, Ore., led the company founded by Joseph Franz, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, from a small one-plant operation to become one of the largest family-held baking companies in the United States. He started his career as a sales manager at a large publicly-held bakery, but in 1975, he was offered the opportunity to “go corporate” or join Franz. He chose Franz, becoming vice-president and manager of the company’s single bakery. He led the acquisition and expansion efforts that created today’s Franz Bakery, even absorbing some of the plants of his former corporate employer. The company’s many brands dominate the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Idaho, Northern California and Utah. His colleagues rightly describe him as “a visionary with unusual foresight.”
Joseph Baker and Jacob Perkins (both deceased), founders of Baker Perkins Ltd., Peterborough, U.K., are responsible for a broader range of bakery technologies than any other bakery equipment manufacturer. In the 1860s, Mr. Baker invented a simple flour sifter that revolutionized home baking. About the same time, Mr. Perkins pioneered in steam technologies, setting up a company in England to build steam ovens for commercial bakeries. These 19th century engineers collaborated in building baking equipment during World War I and formed their eponymous company in 1923. Today, Baker Perkins equipment may be found in hundreds, if not thousands, of bakeries from Australia to Zimbabwe. They lived by their motto: “We aren’t satisfied thinking our equipment or methods are the best they can be.” And thus, they pushed bakery technology forward into today’s world and tomorrow’s.
Pat Callaghan, president (retired), Pepperidge Farm, Norwalk, Conn., led the company during one of its strongest growth periods, making it a model of consumer-focused innovation. He also managed an intense expansion in operating facilities and product research. He was concerned not only for the company’s well-being but also for the baking industry’s. When the low-carb trend hit bakeries hard in the early 2000s, Mr. Callaghan pushed back to help create the Grain Foods Foundation, dedicated to sharing the importance of grain-based foods in healthy diets. He served on its board since G.F.F.’s founding and is today an ex-officio member of the board of trustees. He is also well-known for mentoring countless people in the industry. He has often said that the best advice he ever received came from his father: “Make sure you are sharing your success with others and taking responsibility for your failures yourself.”
John Shellenberger, Ph.D. (deceased), department head of Kansas State University’s School of Grain Science and Technology, Manhattan, Kas., built the world’s leading university program in milling and baking by using his education in chemical engineering, milling engineering and biochemistry. He changed how millers and bakers are educated worldwide. From 1944 to 1966, he led the school through trial and triumph. After a 1957 fire that destroyed its facility, he pushed through construction of a new building, dedicated in 1961 and now named in his honor. In 1963, Dr. Shellenberger established the K.S.U. Bakery Management program, allowing students to major in bakery science and specialize in administration, operations or food chemistry. He lectured frequently and contributed papers to A.S.B., including a notable one in 1951 about enzyme technology — a subject then brand new to the baking industry.
“Magnificent leadership characterizes each of these individuals,” Mr. Del Campo said. “They represent the best qualities of compassion, forward thinking and personal judgment. We are honored to have looked at their accomplishments as we considered their nominations. They inspire our future by their examples.”
Since its launch in 2006, the Baking Hall of Fame will have enshrined 71 individuals with the 2016 class. They come from all walks of life in the baking industry — from bakeries, allied equipment and ingredient suppliers, schools, service organizations and publishers. Their accomplishments can be read at www.asbe.org/hall-of-fame/baking-hall-fame-inductees-year.
To start a nomination for future honors, please visit www.asbe.org/about-us/nomination.The American Society of Baking is a community of baking professionals who are dedicated to improving the industry, their companies and themselves through education, leadership development and networking. Visit www.asbe.org today and become a member.