With more than 1,000 exhibitors and upwards of 100 education sessions and countless networking events taking place during the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), attendees’ to-do lists can seem never-ending. To help showgoers refine their agendas, Baking & Snack asked industry members from leading bakeries and trade organizations what they are most excited to check out at this year’s IBIE. Here’s what they had to say:

Robb MackieRobb MacKie, president and chief executive officer, American Bakers Association, a co-owner of IBIE: While there is a lot to see and do at the show, there are two events I’m really looking forward to: NextGen Baker’s Global Leadership Forum and virtual reality bakery tours. At the Global Leadership Forum, talented industry leaders from Weston Foods, Grupo Bimbo, Dawn Foods and Flowers Foods will discuss how their companies are leading their multigenerational workforces and reshaping talent programs to meet associates’ needs. The virtual reality bakery tours is another show feature not to be missed. Through IBIE’s partnership with iba, attendees will be able to view 360-degree videos showcasing bakeries from around the world, including Klosterman Baking Co. and More Than a Bakery. And of course, IBIE is the biggest bakery education event in the world with sessions for everyone. We are delighted to be a part of such a tremendous event.

Bob Larson

Bob Larson, chief operating officer and vice-president, Baker Boy: IBIE is our opportunity to connect with suppliers, industry leaders and old friends to broaden our professional network. Great educational and networking sessions along with the opportunity for that new idea that has me asking, “what if?” It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about, see and possibly purchase the next innovated piece of equipment or ingredient. IBIE is definitely one of the can’t-afford-to--miss events in our industry for the Baker Boy team.

KerwinKerwin Brown, president and chief executive officer, BEMA, a co-owner of IBIE: The All-American Tailgate really sets the tone for the show. We’re all about business, but it’s great to mix in some fun, too. It’s a great way for exhibitors to entertain customers and international guests to experience an all-American tailgate. It brings together our community, generates excitement around the event and leaves participants feeling more connected.


David watsonDave Watson, vice-president, Campbell Soup Co., IBIE chair, Attendance & Marketing Task Force: The learning opportunities at IBIE are incomparable—both on the show floor through conversations with suppliers and in the classroom through educational sessions. In fact, IBIEducate will have its largest program ever in 2019 and is now the most comprehensive training opportunity anywhere in the baking industry. My team will specifically be looking forward to the new dedicated day of education on Saturday before the exhibit hall opens. It’s the most efficient and effective way to stay on top of the major issues we’re facing every day.

Robert BentonRobert Benton, senior vice-president & chief manufacturing, Flowers Foods, IBIE committee member: Beyond the innovation on the show floor and learning in the educational sessions, I most enjoy the opportunity to come together with everyone in the baking industry. For me, IBIE means the chance to see old friends—and to make new ones. It’s the best place in the industry to meet with colleagues, share ideas, combat challenges and build new relationships.


Karl ThorsonKarl Thorson, food safety and sanitation manager, General Mills: As a food safety professional, I am very excited to attend my first IBIE. I am most looking forward to seeing the equipment vendors and the advancements they have made in sanitary design, not only from a food safety and quality standpoint but also as it relates to efficiencies of cleaning and changeovers. I am looking to see major improvements to address reduction in planned downtime via adherence to quick changeover principles and helping simplify the sanitation process. 

Jorge ZarateJorge Zárate, global operations senior vice-president, Grupo Bimbo, IBIE committee member: IBIE is truly a global industry event. As a member of IBIE’s International Task Force, I’ve been working with associations around the world to develop partnerships and expand international interest for IBIE. On a personal note, I always look forward to meeting the diverse baking community at IBIE and connecting with friends and colleagues from around the globe.


Tim RamseyTim Ramsey, vice-president, Hearthside Food Solutions, LLC, IBIE Committee Member: IBIE represents an easy and efficient way to talk with thousands of suppliers in a matter of days. It’s an opportunity to ensure we’re not missing out on the latest technologies and how we stay on top of the newest trends and advancements. We value the broad exposure to what the latest and best is in the industry.

Jon DavisJonathan Davis, senior vice-president of innovation, La Brea Bakery: I’m really looking forward to being at IBIE, as this year I’ve been given the opportunity to co-lead the IBIEducate session “The ‘No Funky Stuff’ Revolution in a Clean Label World” and will also get to explore the industry’s latest innovations as a participant. I’ve attended the show in the past, but to be able to speak to clean label foods as it pertains to the work we’re doing at La Brea Bakery in front of colleagues and peers is pretty exciting. If you’re interested in checking it out, stop by the Las Vegas Convention Center September 8 at 8:30am.

IBIE Show floorBernadette Shanahan-Haas, director of operations, Retail Bakers of America, an IBIE partner: All things education. There is so much learning to be had at IBIE with an impressive list of education sessions, hands-on classes, demonstrations and networking.  The IBIE team and RBA has truly upped their game when it comes to education in 2019.  Whether you are a retail baker, a wholesale baker, a cake decorator or facilities manager, we are offering everyone in the industry valuable sessions with tangible learning that can be implemented almost immediately at your work place. We encourage all attending IBIE  to take advantage of the fantastic education at IBIEducate.

Paul BakerPaul Baker, co-founder, St Pierre: This will be our first time at IBIE, so we are excited to see everything. When we launched St Pierre in the US in 2012, brioche and traditional European bakery items were still fairly uncommon. Today, the demand for internationally inspired bakery items is booming, so we’re looking forward to seeing the diversity within the category, as well as just overall innovation and creativity within the industry as a whole.

Joe TuranoJoe Turano, president, Turano Baking Company, IBIE committee chair: The IBIE Committee has been working hard to ensure we’re delivering maximum value to IBIE attendees, and I’m personally looking forward to our new offerings around the artisan movement. The two Artisan Marketplaces in the exhibit hall will bring together the biggest names in baking and feature unique, interactive experiences sure to inspire artisan and specialty bakers and further the passion for their craft.