Graduates represent baking and supplier companies from across the country.


BEMA-U celebrated its first class of graduates from its Transformational Leadership program during September in both Chicago and Kansas City. The three-part program helped students develop a personal brand statement, understand the nuances of managing functional teams and create an authentic leadership strategy.

The 34 participants represented a wide cross-section of the industry, including both bakers and equipment manufacturers from Corbion, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Fred D. Pfening Corp., Shick Esteve, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Champion Foods, Hearthside Foods, Mid-South Baking and Richmond Baking.

“The goal of BEMA-U is to provide purposeful training for the entire industry unlike any other,” said Kerwin Brown, president and chief executive officer of BEMA. “We have created something that can change lives and impact our member companies and their customers in a positive way.”

The program allowed participants time between sessions to apply their learnings and to collaborate with key contributors to create action plans aimed at transforming their workforce.

 “BEMA-U’s Transformational Leadership training has given me the tools to understand both my dominant leadership type and that of those I interact with,” said participant, Bill Donovan, systems engineering manager, Shick Esteve. “It has helped me to accept that we each have unique strengths that, when they are recognized and aligned, create organizational synergies.”

BEMA-U is planning a second Transformational Leadership class for 2018.