OVERLAND PARK, KAS. — BEMA earlier this month presented lifetime achievement awards to Bob Kirkpatrick and Candida (Candy) Taylor for their service to the baking industry.
Mr. Kirkpatrick, retired president of Rondo, Inc., has been a member of BEMA since 1981 and served as the association’s president in 1998. In addition, he has been a member of the American Institute of Baking board of directors and the Retail Bakers of America advisory board.
Mr. Kirkpatrick was credited with helping create financial independence for BEMA, increasing membership by 50%, and improving the group’s relationship with the American Bakers Association.
"If you have the ability to take from an industry, you should also give back to it," Mr. Kirkpatrick said in accepting the award. "You need to apply your talents in a way that leaves things better for those that come after you."
Ms. Taylor’s career in baking came after a career in practicing law failed to pan out. After graduating from law school, Ms. Taylor was unable to find a position as an attorney in a difficult economy. Instead, she joined Pak-It manufacturing as a sales representative, and later was promoted to executive vice-president. After a buyout, she became general manager of AMF, Inc.’s Atlanta bakery division and then vice-president of marketing for Baker-Mate, Inc.
In 1989, she and her husband founded Taylor-Made Systems, Inc., which sells baking equipment on behalf of manufacturers.
She has been a member of BEMA for nearly 30 years and was president in 1995.
"We developed a scholarship program and reached out to other organizations," Ms. Taylor said of her time as part of BEMA. "We began doing things for other people instead of just for ourselves."
In addition to BEMA, Ms. Taylor has been active in the American Society of Bakery Engineers and the A.B.A.
"I’m very grateful for the opportunities given to me and therefore wanted to serve the industry well," she said. "I think when someone has been good to you, you should turn and do the same for someone else."