The Biscuit and Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (BCMA) will host its 86th annual technical conference May 1-3 at the Fairmont Dallas hotel in Dallas, TX. This year’s conference will emphasize a number of new programs and changes happening at BCMA while remaining strongly focused on education for the cookie and cracker professional with production and technical sessions. Attendees can also expect expert panels, a tabletop exhibit and networking events that remain the hallmark of the conference. Alistair Hirst, senior vice-president, US snacks supply chain, Kellogg Company, will begin the conference with the state-of-the-industry presentation at the opening general session.

At the technical conference general session, Mr. Hirst will provide insight into the cookie and cracker industry, focusing on various aspects that affect BCMA members. The conference breakout sessions will feature top speakers from the industry such as R. Carl Hoseney with R&R Research Services, who will present “Cookies 101: Role of Principal Ingredients,” and Terri Volpe with Diagnostics, who will present “Flour Quality for Optimum Performance in Biscuit Production.” Additional speakers include Blake Hutzley, R&D manager, Kellogg Company, explaining mixing principles and Albert Koch, director of engineering, Kraft Foods, who will address the issue of sanitary design.

In addition to moving the technical conference to earlier in the year, a new sustainability summit will follow immediately on Wednesday, May 4. The summit, which will also be held at the Fairmont Dallas, will focus on practical strategies and attainable goals for bakeries to use with regard to sustainability within their facilities. Bakery vendor presentations will discuss specific energy management projects initiated and their results, and a small tabletop show will demonstrate the latest sustainability innovations. This event is open to non-BCMA members.

A number of awards will be presented at this year’s conference. The association’s Vander Heide Award will recognize the cookie and cracker manufacturing course graduate who received the highest GPA for 2010, and the BCMA safety awards will honor bakeries that improve workplace health and safety. BCMA will also host the first Energy Star Industry Awards Ceremony. Walt Tunnessen, national program manager, Energy Star, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will present the award to the first cookie and cracker bakeries to earn the Energy Star label, a program BCMA worked closely with the EPA to develop for the industry.

A golf outing will be held at Cowboy’s Golf Club, the only NFL-themed golf club in the world, and attendees will enjoy a Monday night event with dinner at the Circle R Ranch.

For more information on the technical conference and sustainability summit,, phone BCMA at (443) 545-1645 or email Kerry Kurowski


This year’s BCMA technical conference will be located in the famed Dallas Arts District. The area is a result of a 30-year vision to relocate Dallas’ art institutions to the northeast corner of downtown Dallas and “stimulate the cultural and economic life of the region.” Today the district is home to artists and restaurants, and it is a destination for the performing arts and architecture with buildings designed by I.M. Pei, Renzo Piano, Edward Larabee Barnes and Brad Coepfil, all Pritzker Prize-winning architects. For more information and a list of events in the Arts District,