In 1977, when William S. Hoover was persuaded to become president of the American Institute of Baking (now known as AIB International), this once venerable institution was on shaky ground. At its historical headquarters in Chicago, it had lost a swath of support, prompting baking’s leadership to adopt a do-or-die approach to reviving this education and research arm. Dr. Hoover came to the AIB’s helm with one of the toughest tasks ever faced by an industry executive.
His sudden death serves as a reminder of all he achieved. In his 17 years as AIB president, he not only did what had been expected of him in reviving the institute’s fortunes, but he went beyond to build both services and prestige on a global basis. In Manhattan, Kansas, where the AIB moved under his guidance, he bolstered student enrollment, research work and sanitation services to a degree unparalleled for an organization dedicated to serving grain-based foods. His own background in leading the Grain Sciences Department at Kansas State University provided a powerful base for broadening AIB’s scope and boosting its services.
There are few individuals whose careers have been so strongly tied to the evolution of two such important institutions and whose many successes were solely for the benefit of the industry and its members. Dr. Hoover brought his high reputation and wonderful skills as teacher and scientist to the ultimate benefit of those he served. His accomplishments will be remembered long after his death.