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 Workforce Engagement: Culture Change at the Operator Level
Jeremy Bowen, Snyder's-Lance

Jeremy Bowen is the director of operations for the Snyder's-Lance Charlotte, NC manufacturing facility, where he is currently leading a major change effort that includes more than $80 million of capital investment combined with significant cultural transformation.  Bowen is leveraging an intentional leadership model to support his vision, creating a high-performing team in the midst of change.  Prior to his current role, he served in various manufacturing leadership positions at General Mills and Procter & Gamble.  He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.


 From Smart Phones to Smart Plants
Robert Burgh, Nexcor Technologies, Inc.

Burgh_RobertRobert Burgh is president of Nexcor Technologies, Inc., a software provider for food manufacturing plants worldwide.  He first learned the baking business in his family's wholesale hearth plant in Trenton, NJ.  He has held engineer positions in several bakeries after attending K-State and AIB BME #3.  He founded Nexcor in 1983 to develop a CMMS for bakeries.  In 2000, the AIB contacted him to develop santitation management software.  He is a member of ANSI Z50.2 committee to update standard sanitary design of bakery equipment.


 Validation of Baking as a Kill Step to Reduce Salmonella in a Hamburger Bun
Laksmikantha Channaiah, AIB International


Lakshmikantha (Kantha) Channaiah obtained his Ph.D from Kansas State University (KSU) with a specialization in food-safety microbiology.  He has over 14 years of experience in food safety microbiology areas.  He has been credited with various food-safety microbiology research grants worth more than $6.5 million.  He has published articles in peer reviewed journals and food magazines.  He has worked for US FDA sponsored research projects and developed food stafety training modules specially designed to train FDA food inspectors based on the new FSMA act.  At AIB Interntation, Kantha is responsible for developing microbiology course materials, teaching, consulting, and execution of kill-step validation research projects. 


 Microalgae: A New Way to Combine Texture and Nutrition in Baking
Kristen Coad, Roquette America, Inc.

Coad_KristenKristen Coad is an Application Senior Specialist in the Food Applications group at Roquette America.  She is responsible for new product development, technical assistance to the Human Nutrition Business Unit, and new project development within the Bakery and Frozen Dessert market segments.  She has over three years experience within the food industry in research and development in whipped icing and toppings, bakery, gluten free applications, and frozen desserts.  She holds a B.S. from Iowa State University in Food Science and is currently pursuing her M.S. in Food Science from the University of Illinois.




 The Art of Steam Use in Breand and Roll Ovens
Mike Day, Banner-Day

Day_MikeMike Day is President of Banner-Day located in Saginaw, Michigan.  Banner-Day specializes in custom combustion, automation and temperature control system solutions for large scale commercial bakery ovens and electric impedance pipe heating systems for commercial and industrial process piping system applications.

Mike joined Banner-Day in 1993 and during his 21 years with the company he has served in numerous roles throughout the organization including Field Service Technician, Assistant Field Service Manager, and New Equipment and After Market Sales and Service Manager.  He served as President of the company since 2011.  Active in bakery industry associations, he is a current member of the Board of Directors for BEMA and has contributed to the Bakery Industry Forum as a committee member.  He is also a 15 year American Society of Baking member.  Mike earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Vermont in 1989.

 Face Your Future: Crisis Planning Panel Discussion
Gini Dietrich, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Dietrich_GGini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm.  She is the lead blogger her at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.  She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR.  Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.



 Individual Impact of Baking Automation
Jim Ervin, Natural Ovens Bakery


Jim Ervin is currently the General Manager of Natural Ovens Bakery, a division of Alpha Baking, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.  His baking career began in 1995 with Schwebel Baking in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio and included experience working for Interstate Brands Corporation in Henderson, Nevada; Sara Lee in Paris, Texas; and J&J Snack Foods in Moscow Mills, Missouri.  He was among the first to receive the Professional Baker status from ASB and has been both a presenter and Session Chair at previous ASB conventions.  Ervin's formal education includes work in a dissertation to complete a Ph.D in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University as well as a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and an Associate of Arts from Prairie State College.


 Oven Waste Heat Recycling & Energy Balancing
Scott Houtz, Air Management Technologies, Inc.

Houtz_ScottScott Houtz has been a Certifed Energy Manager for over 25 years and has been involved in providing innovative energy and heat transfer solutions to the baking industry for over 20 years.  He is the President of Air Management Technologies, Inc. located in Lewisburg, PA, which has provided guaranteed turnkey solutions to the baking industry throughout North America, and Worldewide through strategic alliances.





 Recreating Texture when Gluten is Removed
Janae Kuc, Gum Technology a Business Unit of Penford Products

Kuc_JanaeJanae Kuc is the R&D Manager at Gum Technology, a business unit of Penford Food Ingredients.  She manages the Gum Technology R&D team and offers R&D development and problem solving for customer projects involving beverages, functional foods, baked goods, gluten-free product development, dressings and sauces and other food based categories.  Ms. Kuc has a keen interest in the food industry and attended the University of Arizona where she received a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.




 Key Strategies to a Succesful Vertical Start-up
Rob Rainholt, Burns & McDonnell

Rainbolt_RobRob Rainbolt has over 20 years of experience in food and consumer prodcuts manufacturing.  He serves as the manager of engineering for Burns & McDonnell's Food & Consumer Group.  Before joining Burns & McDonnell, Rob served as both a start-up and manufacturing operations leader at a Fortune 50 consumer products company.  He managed strategic and daily planning functions for total supply chain costs, inventory, productivity, and organizational capability development.  Rob led start-up activities for that compay's largest production site where he managed 30 project start-ups over a three year period. At Burns &McDonnel, Rob manages multi-disciplined engineers and coaches project teams as they plan for successful start-up execution.




 Sprouted Grains
Peter Reinhart, Johnson & Wales University

Peter Reinhart is the author of ten books, including the best selling, American Pie: My Search for the Perfect Pizza. He is also the winner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (as well as James Beard Foundation) Book of the Year Award (2002) for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. His books have also won two other James Beard Awards:Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor (James Beard Award, 2008), and Crust & Crumb(1997).   Another book, Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads Everyday, was nominated for yet another James Beard Award. His most recent book was published in August, 2012, entitled, The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking, and his most recent book, The Bread Revolution, was released in October, 2014.

Peter is the full time Chef on Assignmentat Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, NC, where he teaches courses on baking, as well as on food and culture. In addition to writing and teaching. As the owner of Reinhart Culinary Development, Peter is also a consultant and product developer and consultant for eight major food companies, has appeared on numerous television and radio shows, a culinary and keynote presenter at conferences around the world, and the host of the popular video website, He is also the consulting partner at Pure Pizza, Charlotte’s first organic, farm to table pizzeria, and serves on a number of non-profit boards.


 Face Your Future: Crisis Planning Panel Discussion
Scott Skifstad, Lockton Companies

SkifstadScott Skifstad is Vice President, Risk Control Manager for Lockton Companies.  He is responsible for risk control services, Claim and Loss Control for the Chicago series.  He is also a member of the National Claim Advisory Group.

Scott has more than 28 years of experience in the insurance industry.  Prior to joining Lockton, Scott held various claim management positions at both a regional and national level with St. Paul Cos and Travelers Insurance Companies.

Scott holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin.  Scott's career has enabled him to relocated several time to take on additional leadership duties.  He and his family currently reside in St. Charles, Illinois.


 Unique Use of Flavors in Fresh Bakery Products
Ryan Smith, Kerry

Ryan joined Kerry in November 2012 as Vice President of Commercial Sales for the Sweet and Cereal Technology groups.

He was responsible for the successful formation of a Baking Industry sales team, which encompasses the wholesale baking industry in North America.

Ryan is an active member in the ASB, IBIE, ABA and numerous other baking industry groups.

Prior to joining Kerry, he was a Regional Vice President with AB Mauri Company.


 Past, Present, and Future of Preservatives for Extending Mold-Free Shelf Life of Bread and Other Baked Goods
Jan van Eijk, Lallemand Baking Solutions

vanEijk_JanJan van Eijk holds a M.Sc. in Biochemistry, Microbiology & Food Science from the Agricultural University Wageningen, The Netherlands and a Ph.D in Biochemistry from the State University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.  He has 30 years experience in the baking industry.  From 1984 to 1993, he worked as an R&D project manager in the development of new baking enzymes.  Since 1995, Jan van Eijk is the research director for Lallemand Baking Solutions, where he manages a team involved in the development of enzyme based dough conditioners and yeast related products for the US and Canadian market.





 Training/Education Panel Discussion
Jerry Van Oort, Russel Associates, Inc.

Jerry Van Oort had over twenty-five years experience in the fields of sales and marketing management, operations and general management, employee training and development management with Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 agriculture and food industry companies prior to becoming VP Sales and Marketing at Russell Associates, Inc in 2003.  Jerry became an owner and was named CEO of Russell Associates in 2008.  He has real life management experience in dealing with the demands and requirements of complying with government regulations, the challenges of creating a safe work environment, managing risk and exposure to direct and indirect costs of employee accidents, workers compensation premiums, and product quality and performance liability claims.


 Mimic Egg-cellent Functionality
Sarah Wood, Penford Food Ingredients

Wood_SarahSarah Wood, PhD has 7 years industry experience in product development working on small emerging and large national retail brands as well as ingredient supplier.  She currently holds the Senior Application Scientist position at Penford Food Ingredients and works on developing new product and applications as well as technical support for customers.  She holds MS and PhD degrees in food science from Cornell University and a BS in food science from University of Kentucky.







American Society of Baking
7809 N Chestnut Avenue
Kansas City, MO 64119

Tel: 1.800.713.0462 | Fax: 1.888.315.2612 |
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