At the American Bakers Association’s recent Executive Leadership Development Committee (ELDC) meeting in Washington, Pepperidge Farm president Irene Britt reminded that there are differences between millennials, Gen Xers and baby boomers. However, she stressed, it’s not a generation gap. It’s all about how people interact and, for Pepperidge Farm, about building a culture with the right attitude.

“Millennials are a unique generation,” she said. “On one hand they have a strong sense of nostalgia, and this translates into a love of the brands of their childhood — though they are looking for present day twists. On the other, they are the first generation of true digital natives. They are on the go, getting their information and communicating from a variety of screens and platforms, and are looking to their peers for recommendations and advice,” she said.

Joanie Spencer, Baking & Snack managing editor, who was in attendance, said it’s less about understanding entire generations and more about achieving a common goal and treating one another with respect.

Ms. Britt explained that no matter where we work in the industry, we all got here on the shoulders of giants. Those who follow us will stand on our shoulders, so we must be strong enough to carry them. It’s the foundation of her “reach down and pull up” mentoring style. Ms. Britt believes each of us is here to write one chapter in a grand tale, but we must not lose sight of the “big shoulders” who set the foundation.

Find out more in Ms. Spencer’s editorial in the October Baking & Snack.