PETALUMA, CALIF. — Kent Van Amburg has been named executive director of the American Society of Baking. He succeeds Kerwin Brown, who had been interim executive director since June 2009.

Prior to joining the A.S.B., Mr. Van Amburg was executive director of the Gases and Welding Distributors Association, where he worked with association leadership to increase member participation while restoring the group to financial health, A.S.B. said. He earlier held a variety of senior management positions with medical professional societies and the American Trucking Association.

Additionally, Mr. Van Amburg has worked in the food industry, having held positions at the U.S. Grains Council and the United Soybean Board.

He received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at Kansas State University and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University.

“We are extremely excited to have Kent as the next leader of A.S.B.,” said Rowdy Brixey, chairman of the A.S.B. “His diverse association management experience will help A.S.B. increase value to society members and their respective companies. Kent has the leadership skills, intelligence and energy to build on A.S.B.’s storied history while taking A.S.B. in exciting new directions.”

Mr. Brixey said the A.S.B. was “overwhelmed” by the level of interest and passion of those who applied for the position.

“Society members owe a great deal of gratitude to the candidate review, ranking and selection committees for their dedication and work on this process,” he said. “With over 100 high quality candidates who applied, it was not an easy task.”

Mr. Brixey thanked Mr. Brown for his “tremendous service to the society during this interim period.”

“We will continue to call on him for advice and counsel during the transition period to Kent’s leadership,” Mr. Brixey said.