These days, employee turnover is a common problem in bakery plants. And while automation can accommodate for a lack of labor, there’s another side to that coin. Not having the right expertise in a plant can make for a challenging installation.

That’s what happened at Bud’s Best cookies when the company installed a sugar wafer line and fourth cookie production line in 2017. So, Al Cason, president and chief operating officer, turned to a friend, Bruce Linkletter, a consultant with a lot of experience with sugar wafer production. While Mr. Linkletter helped get the line running, he also introduced the company to his former colleague and close friend Rob Myers, who would become Bud’s Best’s sugar wafer director.

“Bruce told me, ‘Rob Myers will be the best person you can get, not only for this position but also for your company. I know him, and I know what he’s made of. Rob could come in and help sugar wafers, and it will help your entire operation by having somebody like him,’” Mr. Cason recalled. “I had never heard an endorsement like that until I heard Rob tell me about his brother.”

Mr. Myers’ brother, Scott, joined Bud’s Best in 2018 as shift manager. And shortly thereafter, Terry Helms, who had also previously worked with Mr. Linkletter and the Myers brothers, came on board as vice-president of manufacturing. Today, Scott Myers is production superintendent.

“Our leadership team — and company culture — has come light years in a short amount of time,” Mr. Cason declared. And he credits it all to the call he made to Mr. Linkletter.

Shortly after he left the sugar wafers in Rob Myers’ hands, Mr. Linkletter was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He passed away earlier this year.

Mr. Cason said he will never forget what Mr. Linkletter’s work ethic and strong industry relationships did to chart the course for Bud’s Best to sail smoothly into the future.

“It was because of Bruce that we found Rob, who recognized challenges that his brother could help us with,” he said.

With the Myers brothers, the addition of Mr. Helms and with the expertise of Joe Tampio, general manager, Bud’s Best has its leadership dream team.

“And it all spawned from Bruce,” Mr. Cason attested. “He was a true gentleman and friend.”