DALLAS — Registration for Nexus, a new event hosted by the American Bakers Association (ABA) and BEMA, is now open. The educational and networking event will be held Sept. 25-28 at the Omni Hotel in Dallas. The event is aimed at all team leaders in the baking industry, not only the executive level, and will provide something for everyone, from operations to human resources. 

"BEMA's focus has always been on collaboration, relationship building, and the business of baking,” said Jim Warren, BEMA chairman and vice president, Exact Mixing Division at Reading Bakery Systems. “It should come as no surprise that an event developed along with our friends at ABA would have the same focus. Nexus. Fresh, different and unique. Now this is exciting."

The four-day event will provide opportunities for professional development and connections between wholesale bakers and industry suppliers as well as internal team meetings through Spark Sessions, ABA’s NextGenBaker Leadership Forum at Nexus, education sessions and a corporate meeting space. Through Nexus, ABA and BEMA aim to provide the baking industry with a networking and educational event in the off years of the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE), the triennial trade show for the baking industry.

Spark Sessions act as team-to-team meetings, where a baker will be paired with a supplier to review challenges, discuss solutions and identify opportunities for the industry going forward. 

"ABA is proud to join forces with BEMA to power an original and affordable event that caters to all team leaders within a bakery, not just the executive suite," said Cordia Harrington, ABA chair and chief executive officer of Crown Bakeries, Brentwood, Tenn. "During the team-to-team Spark sessions, bakers will learn about concepts and plans proposed by supplier partners in direct response to specific challenges our companies submit to meeting organizers ahead of time. It's planned to be a ‘one stop shop.’ " 

Education sessions will address the most relevant topics the industry is facing today through speakers and expert panels. Attendees can expect discussions on workforce, sanitation, automation and trends. 

ABA’s NextGenBaker Leadership Forum will also be hosted at Nexus and feature programming geared toward the baking industry’s rising leaders. NextGenBaker Co-chairs, Lilliana Economakis, division vice president, customer development non-commercial, Aspire Bakeries, Los Angeles, and Bradley Cain, president, Cain Food Industries, will lead the forum, helping attendees cultivate leadership skills, enriching their industry knowledge and building relationships. 

Nexus will also provide attendees corporate meeting space to conduct private meetings with their teams. 

Registration is available online now.