Although Cynthia Waggoner, vice-president, North American Integrated Supply Chain, Biscuits, Mondelez International, credits the support of others for getting where she is today, her own hard work and dedication didn’t hurt the cause.

A 24-year manufacturing veteran, Ms. Waggoner got her start as a second-shift packaging supervisor for General Foods / Kraft Foods and progressed her way through the organization.  Then after the acquisition of Nabisco she was one of the first plant managers from Kraft into Nabisco. “I realized after the acquisition that there were opportunities to share best practices between Kraft Foods and Nabisco,” she recalled. In fact, sharing best practices is a quality of the baking industry that has impressed Ms. Waggoner the most in nearly two-and-a-half decades.

One thing that sets baking apart from most industries is the sharing. Think about it — some of a company’s competitors are also its best customers. “The level of sharing and comradery is unlike any other industry,” noted Ms. Waggoner, who spoke at the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (B&CMA)’s annual conference in Kansas City, MO, earlier this year. “Just look at B&CMA and how competing companies are actually training and collaborating on different types of innovations,” she said.

As a leader whose passion involves collaboration and service, she was a perfect fit to deliver the keynote address at the B&CMA meeting. “Cynthia is a dynamic leader and has had a profoundly positive effect at Mondelez International,” said Stacey Sharpless, B&CMA president. “We knew she would be the perfect speaker to focus our conference on the important goals for the industry. Her message on manufacturing driving success was the guiding principle we wanted to put in front of our members this year, and she did an amazing job at motivating our attendees.”