TINLEY PARK, ILL. — As the baking industry continues to evolve, the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) looks to help independent retail bakers stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the industry through support, resources and networking opportunities.

To further its support of the industry, the RBA recently updated its website. The new site is designed to seamlessly integrate RBA’s public facing website with its members-only experience called RBA Connect. RBA Connect is a private, secure community for RBA members to share ideas, ask questions, lend expertise and network with peers. The community features a discussion forum as well as a library for sharing documents, resources, links and more.

“RBA Connect, our ‘social media’ page just for members, is now easier to access and easier to navigate,” said Bernadette Shanahan-Haas, executive director of the RBA. “Once logged in, members will be able to contribute to discussions with other members, click a button and search from a formula library with over 1,000 recipes, and be able to access marketing material for events like National Bakery Day. With a more streamline website, RBA will ensure that our members have exactly what they need to be successful.”

The new site, designed to evolve the functionality and relevance of the RBA member community, includes the following features:

  • Easier navigation and streamlined user-friendly journey
  • RBA’s event calendar now is located on the home page
  • RBA’s blog — Get the Goods — also is located on the home page and is available to both members and non-members
  • New “Find It Fast” and “Popular Links” now are included in the footer of each page to ease navigation
  • Special events such as National Bakery Day and IBIE are highlighted on the RBA’s home page
  • A new page featuring the RBA’s Newly Certified Chefs
  • An updated Resource Tab with some information available to the public and others gated for members access only

“The whole purpose of building this brand-new RBA website is for our members and guests to have a clean, streamline experience when they visit www.RetailBakersofAmerica.org,” Ms. Shanahan-Haas said. “There is so much technology out there for associations and it’s important that the RBA stay at the forefront for our members.”

Once logged into the members-only section (RBA Connect), members will find:

  • A new member dashboard feature with links to help members get involved and manage their membership. This new feature will make it easier to navigate and access content a member is following, such as their own posts or interesting discussions they want to keep track of as they develop as well as explore other RBA resources.
  • A community leaderboard with most active members as well as new look to badges to reward to RBA members
  • The dashboard also includes a “Latest News” feature
  • Member only “Quick Links” giving members direct access to important information such as Baking Industry Research, NBD and RBA’s Affinity and Discount program
  • An upgraded central feed that will show recent activity
  • Suggested contacts
  • Easy access to the RBA’s resource libraries

“Our members are the most important aspect to this new website, and we thought about their needs every step of the way,” Ms. Shanahan-Haas said. “We truly wanted to make it a one-stop-shop for members and potential new members. Once a member is logged in, they can get access to everything they need including ways to renew their membership.”

Ms. Shanahan-Haas said the RBA already has received positive user reviews of the new website changes, and has been told it’s easier to navigate now.

“The site has only been live for a few weeks, and we’ve already surpassed our goal of visitors,” she said. “We are working with our members to make sure they are able to access all the bells and whistles once they are logged into the site. They can access our discussions, our formulas, our marketing materials and even quick and easy ways to register for events.”