GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — After taking its annual conference and expo out of the grain belt to Florida in 2008, the International Association of Operative Millers (I.A.O.M.) returns to wheat and flour milling country in 2009. This year’s event will be held in Central Michigan, a region known for its soft wheat production.

The 113th I.A.O.M. Conference & Expo, to be held April 27-May 1 at the DeVos Place Convention Center and Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids is expected to attract more than 850 grain milling professionals and allied trade representatives from across North America and around the world.

"Grand Rapids is a great site for our annual meeting with the conference venue located in the downtown area," said Melinda Farris, executive vice-president of the I.A.O.M. "In addition to the two days of educational programming, exhibition and networking, attendees will have the opportunity to tour King Milling Co. in nearby Lowell. There is also a centuries-old Dutch windmill located within a 30-minute drive from Grand Rapids that is still used to mill flour today. I’m sure many of our attendees will be interested in seeing that as well."

The tour of the King Milling complex, which has been operated by the Doyle family for nearly 110 years, will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. The mill’s production capacity is 8,000 cwts per day, and it produces soft wheat, hard wheat, organic and whole wheat flours. According to the 2009 Grain & Milling Annual published by Sosland Publishing Co., the Lowell mill is one of only seven currently operating in Michigan, a state that had 700 flour mills when King Milling began its operations in 1890.

Conference a three-day event

This year will mark the second in a row that the conference will be a three-day event held in the middle of the week. Prior to the 2008 event in Orlando, it was held over four days. Ms. Farris said most of the millers who attended last year’s conference responded favorably to the new format.

This year’s conference begins on April 28 with meetings of the board of directors and various I.A.O.M. committees as well as the annual Buhler Reception that evening.

The keynote speech will be delivered by Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry Head Dirk Maier, who will discuss "The State of Milling Science at K-State" during the International Milling Education Foundation (I.M.E.F.) breakfast on April 29.

Later that day, the Product Showcase will feature presenters who have a new product or service or are adapting a product or service from another industry to use in the milling industry. The education program begins immediately following the Product Showcase with presentations on four general topics: facility management, quality control, technical operations and employee management (see complete schedule on Page 41).

More educational sessions are scheduled for April 30, the final day of the conference, as well as a special message from Gregory Smith of Chart Your Course International Inc., whose speech is entitled, "Transforming Workers to Winners — What Great Companies Do to Achieve Extraordinary Results."

The conference wraps up with the annual I.A.O.M. Banquet and Awards Ceremony that evening, which is preceded by the Satake Reception.

Expo hours

The latest products and services offered to the milling industry will be on display at the I.A.O.M. Expo, a trade show that is expected to include more than 150 display booths.

Expo hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. No educational programming is between 10 a.m. and noon on Wednesday and 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday so that the Expo may take center stage during those times.

Latin American meeting moved

Representatives from the Latin America District will hold an important planning session in Grand Rapids on April 28 to prepare for its fall 2009 conference and expo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In past years, the Latin American District held its annual meeting in conjunction with the I.A.O.M. conference in North America, but the district’s leadership announced in January that this year’s meeting will be held in South America in an effort to boost attendance and save on travel expenses.

The meeting will take place in Buenos Aires along with Latin American Millers Association’s (ALIM) Annual meeting in November. The district’s leadership said they will be joining the ALIM meeting, but their annual district meeting will take place one day before.

"I would like to stress the importance of this our first event in Latin America and the fact that it will take place together with the annual ALIM meeting, and that we are joining the technical and administrative management perspectives so that in one forum we can provide across the board educational growth to a milling company," said Marco Fava, Latin American district director. "With this step we have eliminated the impediment that many members had in attending a meeting in the U.S."

Although many I.A.O.M. members from North America seemed to like the conference’s new midweek format, Mr. Fava said the change from the weekend format wasn’t well received by the Latin American contingent.

"Those who came up from Latin America had to miss a whole week of work," he said. "When it was on the weekend, they only had to miss three or four days of production."

Registration info

Registration forms are available on-line at I.A.O.M. members who register by March 31 receive a discounted rate of $275. After that date, the cost for members is $325.

The I.A.O.M. web site also features updated information on hotel reservations, exhibitions and scheduled speakers.

I.A.O.M. schedule summary


8 a.m.: Board of directors meeting, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

Noon-1 p.m.: Board of directors luncheon, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Food Protection Committee Meeting, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.


8 a.m.-noon: Board meeting, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

8 a.m.-noon: Exhibitor set-up (three or more booths), DeVos Place Convention Center.

8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Registration. DeVos Place Convention Center.

8 a.m.-5 p.m.: Committee meetings, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.: Exhibitor set-up (all booths), DeVos Convention Center.

Noon-1 p.m.: Combined committee luncheon, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

1 p.m.-4 p.m.: Mill tour: King Milling Co., Lowell, Mich.

1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Latin America District Meeting — Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: Buhler reception, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.


7 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: Registration, DeVos Place Convention Center.

8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.: I.M.E.F. breakfast with keynote address, "The State of Milling Science at K-State," Dr. Dirk Maier, Kansas State University, DeVos Place Convention Center.

10 a.m.: Expo ribbon-cutting ceremony, DeVos Place Convention Center.

Noon-5:30 p.m.: Expo, DeVos Place Convention Center.

12:45 p.m.-2 p.m.: Product showcase, DeVos Place Convention Center.

2 p.m.-4:35 p.m.: Educational programs, DeVos Place Convention Center.

4:35 p.m.-5:30 p.m.: Reception, DeVos Place Convention Center.

5:30 p.m.: Allied Trades committee meeting, DeVos Place Convention Center.



7 a.m.-noon: Registration, DeVos Place Convention Center.

8 a.m.-9 a.m.: Speaker’s Corner: "Transforming Workers to Winners — What Great Companies Do to Achieve Extraordinary Results," Gregory Smith, Chart Your Course International Inc., DeVos Place Convention Center.

9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Global Strategies committee meeting, DeVos Place Convention Center.

9 a.m.-noon: Expo, DeVos Place Convention Center.

Noon-1 p.m.: I.A.O.M. annual business meeting, DeVos Place Convention Center.

Noon-2 p.m.: Expo, DeVos Place Convention Center.

1 p.m.-1:30 p.m.: I.A.O.M. annual business meeting and luncheon, DeVos Place Convention Center.

2 p.m.-3:40 p.m.: Educational programs, DeVos Place Convention Center.

3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m.: I.A.O.M. Leaders meeting, DeVos Place Convention Center.

6 p.m.-6:45 p.m.: Presidents’ reception, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, (invitation only).

6 p.m.-6:45 p.m.: Reception, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel.

7 p.m.-10:30 p.m.: Annual banquet and presentation of Milling Operative of the Year Award by Charles Sosland, Sosland Publishing Co.; and other awards.



8 a.m.-2 p.m.: Post-conference open golf tournament, Thornapple Pointe Golf Club.

This article can also be found in the digital edition of Milling and Baking News, March 24, 2008, starting on Page 41. Click

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