OVERLAND PARK, KAS. — Educational sessions and networking events are among the highlights of BEMA’s annual meeting set for June 17-22 in Charleston, S.C.

On June 20, a baker panel will discuss topics of interest to conference attendees. Participants on the panel include Paula Marshall, chief executive officer of Bama Foods; Bill Paterakis, president and c.e.o. of Northeast Foods; and Richard Junge, menu management, food innovation — group manager bakery at McDonald’s Corp. Gerardo Sanchez Cervantes, director of corporate operations for Bimbo Bakeries Mexico, also will participate as BEMA’s international baker representative.

In addition, Rich Berger, Sara Lee Corp.; Rowdy Brixey, Bimbo USA; Jeff Dearduff, East Balt; and Dave Hipenbecker, Kroger, all of the Baking Industry Forum (B.I.F.), will be on hand, with Mr. Brixey providing an update on the American Society of Baking. Other association leaders who will provide updates on their respective organizations include Robb MacKie, president of the American Bakers Association; Judi Adams, president of the Grain Foods Foundation; and Jim Munyon, president of AIB International.

Retired Rear Admiral Tom Lynch, U.S. Navy, will speak to BEMA members and their families about the importance of teamwork on the morning of June 20.

“Each year we listen to our members and work with our committee to bring together a strong group of speakers,” said Kurt Miller, chairman of the convention and programs committee. “Our goal is to create a venue that brings bakers and suppliers together to learn more about each other and gather insight about the industry. In this way, our members can better contribute to growing and shaping the business of baking.”