After shifting its technical conference last fall to co-locate with the triennial International Baking Industry Exposition 2010 in Las Vegas, NV, the Tortilla Industry Association (TIA) is returning the event to its usual spring date and to Southern California this year. As a result, TIA’s 22nd Annual Convention and Trade Exposition, which had been moved to May, will return to its traditional time in September.

Both events will feature significantly upgraded venues: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, CA for the 2-day Technical Conference May 23-24 and Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, for the Annual Convention and Trade Exposition Sept. 12-13.

TIA’s Technical Conference generally focuses on the operational issues associated with tortilla and flatbread production, while the Annual Convention’s education sessions relate to business topics. The Technical Conference features a tabletop exhibit reception one evening, while the convention features a large trade show with exhibit booths from leading suppliers to the industry.

The Technical Conference kicks off with a full day of education sessions on Monday, May 23. Topics to be presented that day include safe handling of ingredients, preparing for a third-party audits, commodity and ingredient pricing and cost trends, and improving supervisory skills. A working lunch will feature an “ask the experts” open panel, and at the conclusion of the educational sessions, a cocktail reception, featuring tabletop displays from suppliers to the industry, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.

TIA always gives attendees ample opportunities to meet and talk with others in the industry. “We want our members to have time to learn from each other’s experiences through networking,” said Jim Kabbani, TIA’s executive director. “We also provide an opportunity to learn first-hand the best practices by going on field trips to several facilities.”

On Tuesday, May 24, conference attendees will board buses beginning at 8 a.m. for a full day of factory tours and training sessions. The first session runs from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. and will be presented by Casa Herrera, Pomona, CA. Next, the group will be hosted by Lawrence Equipment, South El Monte, CA, from noon to 2 p.m., where lunch will be served. The last tour and training session of the afternoon runs from 2:45 to 4:45 and will be hosted by J.C. Ford Co., La Habra, CA, where beer, snacks and refreshments will be served.

Registration for the conference is open and available online. For more information or to register, visit

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