At its Annual Meeting, June 22-25 at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA, BEMA hosted a record number of members, including 33 first-time attendees, as well as management and operations representatives from leading baking companies and snack producers. The attendees benefitted from valuable business sessions, including four customer panels, and updates on the Food Safety Modernization Act, the American Bakers Association’s legislative activities and preparations for the International Baking Industry Exposition, to be held Oct. 8-11 in Las Vegas. The customer panels included bakers from Europe, Latin America and niche markets in the US, who shared their perspectives on supplier relationships and the baking industry in their own regions and markets.

In just its second year, BEMA Connect, a business “speed dating” concept, has quickly become a significant part of the meeting. Sponsored by J&K Ingredients and Sosland Publishing, the workshop gives BEMA members the chance to meet one-on-one with bakers in 15-minute sessions at the meeting.

There were numerous other opportunities to network and connect including several evening events, a golf tournament and group tours. For more information on BEMA, visit