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hipenbeckerI was fortunate enough to join the baking industry back in 1979. I soon learned that early mornings and hard work were not only expected, but a way of life. Through these past 34 years I learned the true meaning of hard work and the value of organizations like ASB.

ASB has been steeped in traditions, procedures, and industry knowledge since its founding in 1924. We are comprised of a very dedicated group of individuals, who are proud to be part of the baking industry, and we should be; after all we have been feeding the world for centuries. However as we look around things aren’t the same as they were even a few months ago. 15 years ago who would have believed that the power of your desktop computer would be housed in your cell phone? Who would have believed that you can actually watch somebody on your computer or phone live while you have a conversation with them?

And like technology our beloved industry is changing too. The names on bakeries and factories in this industry are changing, even as we speak. Names like Hostess, TasteeKake, Turkington, are being replaced by other names which will take us into the future.

Things like bankruptcy, consolidation, merger, drought, health care reform and global changes are becoming everyday headlines in our baking news. Somehow we still survive, and somehow we still continue to feed the world.

It is for this reason, we have chosen “Change – Improvise, Adapt and Overcome” as our 2013-2014 Baking Tech theme. This is a tough industry, but we have learned to improvise through drought, we have learned to adapt to consolidations, and we have overcome the changes to things such as health care reform and mergers.

But I ask, from where is the next generation of bakers coming? Some have said it is a dying breed, but I say we are still only scratching the surface of the talent our young people have to offer. So how do we attract and retain young professionals into the baking industry? These are all changes we must face going forward. Change is now a constant, and it’s coming at us faster than ever.

During this next year we will focus on these issues and more, as we continue to revive the excitement and pride this industry has to offer.

ASB is no different I describe this organization and its membership as a group of professionals with a touch of yesterday mingled with the promise of tomorrow.

We are in the midst of dramatic Change in the baking industry, and for us to continue to feed the masses, we must “Improvise, Adapt and Overcome"

Dave Hipenbecker
ASB Chairman

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