WASHINGTON — Product development and e-commerce as well as turning around struggling businesses will be topics of presentations by two executives of PepsiCo, Inc. at the annual meeting of the American Bakers Association. The A.B.A. is projecting record attendance at its April 19-22 convention, with more than 500 attendees expected to gather in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Additionally the gathering will feature the Allied Trades of the Baking Industry (A.T.B.I.) 100th Anniversary Gala, a celebration with dinner, dancing and networking.
The A.B.A. program will feature Rich Rodriguez-Mahé, Drinkfinity U.S. director for Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, Inc., who will discuss product development and the e-commerce direct-to-consumer business. Mr. Rodriguez-Mahé will speak at the NextGenBaker Brunch during the convention.
The A.T.B.I. Leadership Breakfast will feature keynote speaker Sarah Robb O’Hagan, who became the president of The Gatorade Co., now a subsidiary of PepsiCo, at a time when the media called it a “flaming mess.” She will share how the pursuit of Gatorade’s strengths turned the business around with new growth avenues and products.
Other notable educational sessions include “Mastering the omnichannel experience” with Neil Stern from McMillanDooLittle, “Food tribes and the future of baked goods” with former director of millennial engagement for Monsanto and current consultant Vance Crowe, and “(in)Security is eating the world: How to build a security program that succeeds” with Michael Coates, the current c.e.o. and co-founder of Altitude Networks and former chief information security officer at Twitter.
Because 2020 is a federal election year, the American Bakers PAC is bringing a “thoughtful, bipartisan perspective” to the political realm to discuss how the outcomes of this year’s elections could potentially affect the baking industry. The American Bakers PAC Dinner will feature two speakers in a “Point/Counter Point” format. Leading the conversation will be journalists who cover the ins and outs of American politics: Mollie Hemingway, Fox News analyst and senior editor at The Federalist, and Juan Williams, a Fox News analyst, The Hill columnist and former Washington Post reporter.
Industry knowledge abounds, and the A.B.A. has created an environment in which bakers can learn from experts and one another to prepare for the future.
“It’s important to take a few days to step away from the daily grind and step into new concepts and practices that will positively impact their business not just today but tomorrow and next year,” Mr. MacKie said.