WASHINGTON — During pivotal and challenging periods for the grain-based foods industry, Mark Sabo was a force for positive industry change, said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the American Bakers Association.
Mr. MacKie offered a tribute to Mr. Sabo March 21 during the Allied Trades of the Baking Industry Breakfast during the A.B.A. annual meeting at The Biltmore in Phoenix. Mr. Sabo retired as president of Sosland Publishing Co. in January 2016 following a 42-year career at S.P.C. He was in attendance at the A.B.A. annual meeting.
In his remarks offered at the end of the breakfast, Mr. MacKie highlighted Mr. Sabo’s role in the creation of the Grain Foods Foundation and for taking action to help energize a flagging International Baking Industry Exposition many years ago. The text of Mr. MacKie’s remarks follow:
If I could beg your indulgence for just a couple of minutes this morning. We have one other person with us this morning who really exemplifies what the A.T.B.I. Leadership Breakfast is all about and deserves our recognition. This person has humbly served A.B.A. and the baking industry for over 30 years. His leadership has always been guided by the principle of what was good for the industry was good for his company. Whether it was propelling the industry to address the commodity crisis, take needed steps to improve food safety, spurring his team to actively give back and help strengthen the industry, or creating venues for the industry to share new ideas and find solutions to common challenges, Mark Sabo was a strong, guiding force.
Of his considerable contributions to the baking industry, I would like to emphasize just a couple. The first as the leader of Sosland Publishing to spur the industry to take bold action to address the Atkins Diet head on. We are all familiar with Sosland’s strong editorial content, but many may not be aware of his guidance behind the scenes at the formation of the Grain Foods Foundation. He later reprised this role when G.F.F. required a sober and difficult recalibration of its focus and mission.
Second, and equally important, is Mark’s role in revitalizing a flagging IBIE. His insights and perspectives brought the disparate industry stakeholders together to put IBIE on a path for growth and success. A vibrant IBIE allows the industry to reinvest in itself for future generations. Whether increasing the effectiveness of its policy advocacy, educating the next generation of leaders, or adapting innovative processes and products for the marketplace, IBIE is critically important. As a result of Mark’s unsung efforts, IBIE has rightly assumed a position as a leading global industry exposition.
On a more personal note, Mark’s guidance, insights and candid feedback have been invaluable to me and A.B.A. His willingness to share his wisdom and knowledge have helped make me a better leader. This has translated into a stronger, more effective A.B.A.As you know, Mark stepped down as President of Sosland Publishing in December and we could not let his contributions go unnoticed. We are fortunate to have Mark and his lifelong partner Michelle with us this morning. Please join me in thanking Mark and Michelle for their service to our great industry.