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Engineered by Design Panel Discussion
Todd Allsup, The Stellar Group

allsup_photoAs Vice President of Food & Beverage Sales for Stellar, Todd is responsible for sales and marketing in the Food and Beverage industry.  He has over 27 years of experience in the construction industry, including P&L responsbility, design engineering, project management, construction field support, and operational management

During the past 12 years, Todd worked closely with food and beverage companies to understand their business and capital needs, then developing Stellar solutions by aligning the right mix of resources to deliver best value.  He is responsible for commercial negotiations and executive level customer support on each Stellar Food & Beverage project.

Todd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil Engineering from the University of South Alabama.

Dale Andersen, Delkor Systems

Dale_Andersen_Hi_RezDale Andersen is President and CEO of Delkor Systems, a leading U.S. manufacturer of packaging machinery based in St. Paul, Minnesota.   Andersen joined Delkor in 1988 as a sales manager, and made the big leap in 1999 when he purchased the company. 

Over the past 10 years, Delkor has become one of the fastest-growing packaging machinery manufacturers in North America, with an average organic growth of 20 percent annually.  Andersen attributes Delkor’s success to the company’s strong emphasis on innovative product development, with a focus on designing packaging lines that offer intelligent processing and are adaptable to changing marketplace needs.

Andersen is currently a board member of the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (PMMI), which sponsors Pack Expo.  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in Food Science and Technology, and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management.


Enzymes: New Innovations, New Capabilities
Troy Boutte, DuPont Nutrition and Health

Troy Boutte is currently Group Manager for Bakery and Fats and Oils Innovation at DuPont Nutrition and Health in New Century, Kansas. Troy has been developing ingredients for the baking industry for 20 years with a major emphasis on enzymes and emulsifiers.  Troy is a frequent contributor to bakery trade publications, presents frequently at AIB and is the holder of serveral ingredient patents. 

Troy recieved a Ph.D. from Washington State University.

Discover Unknown Profits in the Racks
Marc Braun, PCData

M.BraunMarc Braun was born in 1968 in Chicago IL, a son of German immigrants. Marc spent extensive time in Europe growing up. Work has taken him many places in Asia and Latin America. Before starting at Pcdata in 2007, Braun worked for the Royal Dutch Airlines, Nissan and Danaher. Braun moved back to the United States in 1996 with his Dutch born wife Nicole, with whom he has 3 wonderful kids; Maxime (16), Corben (14) and Xavier (12). When not working he enjoys the outdoors and simply spending time with the family.

Braun is President of Pcdata's North American division, the world leader in logistics automation solutions for the baking industry. While responsible for the overall business performance of Pcdata's North American business, he spends much of my time in the field speaking with existing and potential customers about improving their distribution models.

Braun has a masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from Technical University of Delft (The Netherlands).

Wheat Improvement: Creating Chords for the Future from Notes of the Past
Brett Carver, Oklahoma State University

Carver_HeadshotBrett Carver is a Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University and is holder of the Wheat Genetics Chair in Agriculture, a position endowed by a local wheat miller, a grain cooperative, a wheat research state board, and most recently, Mr. Boone Pickens.  Carver's research encompasses a contemporary winter wheat breeding and genetics program, dedicated to developing marketable cultivars for the Great Plains.  Special Emphasis is placed on adaptation to dual-purpose management systems and end-use quality suitable to domestic and international customers.  Professional gigs incude chairing the National Wheat Improvement Committee, a consortium of academic, private, and USDA researchers dedicated to wheat improvement, and serving on the advisory committee of the Wheat Foods Council.  Carver has released 18 hard red winter and hard white cultivars, including Endurance and Duster, which have led all varieties in acres planted in Oklahoma since 2010.  He has written nine books or book chapters and more than 120 articles in peer-review journals.  He is the editor of Wheat: Science and Trade (Wiley-Blackwell, Ames, IA 2009), a comprehensive reference book for graduate students, wheat researchs, processors, and practitioners.  Carver is a Fellow of the Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy.

Research & Development
Theresa Cogswell, BakerCogs, Inc.

A flour miller by education and a baker by profession, Theresa has been a baking industry professional for over 30 years.  Starting her career as a research baker, selling bakery ingredients and working for retail bakers and their suppliers, Theresa has spent most of her career in areas of Marketing, Research & Development.  Her responsibilities included Product Development, Innovation, Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Affairs.  In 2007 Theresa left the then Hostess Brands and started her own consulting business BakerCogs, Inc.  Theresa enjoys helping her clients, both domestic and International, determine the value of new technology, application of technology and how to market the technology to new markets.  She also does fundraising for the Baker's National Education Foundation to fund the BNEF professor at Kansas State. Theresa has been married to her husband Phil for 35 years and enjoys spending time with ther daughters, Leah & Katie, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Improving Culture by Driving Processes
Derek Contreras, Bimbo Bakeries, USA

Derek_Contreras_PhotoDerek Contreras is a Resource Leader for Bimbo Bakeries USA, in Rockwall, TX. Derek joined the organization in September of 2011 as an Integrated Process Management Intern, then in 2012 as a Regional Process Improvement Engineer for the South Central Market Area. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from St. Mary’s University where he is currently an Adjunct Professor of Industrial Engineering. Derek is a member of Institute of Industrial Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. He has over four years of experience in the food industry working for Frito Lay North America, Direct Source Meats, and Bimbo Bakeries USA. His hobbies include playing fantasy football, playing baseball, and baking large quantities of bread.



Food Safety Risks: Equipment Design in the Baking Industry
 Jennifer Frankenberg, SAGE Food Safety Consultants

JF_Headshot_1SmJennifer Frankenberg is the Vice President of SAGE Food Safety Consultants. Her food industry experience includes regulatory compliance, recall administration, BRC, sales and marketing, and ingredients procurement. Her involvement has ranged from working with regulatory agencies on issues such as product questions, recall activities, and food-borne illness investigations to performing dairy plant inspections to ensure regulatory compliance and high sanitation standards. She is trained in HACCP for the Dairy and Juice Industry, pathogen microbiology and control of pathogens, and is a Certified Food Safety Manager. She has developed dozens of recall and crisis management plans, as well as other food safety and quality documents. Currently, she is facilitating the revision and updating of the ANSI Z50.2 standard for sanitary design of bakery equipment.



Natural Resources: Pending Water Shortage
Kacey Fung, Bimbo Bakeries USA

FungKacey Fung is a Regional Environmental and Sustainability Manager at Bimbo Bakeries USA. In this role, Ms. Fung leads a balanced and strategic focus on sustainability and environmental compliance. Ms. Fung has responsibility for corporate-level sustainability strategy, goal setting and sustainability project implementation.  Additionally, she is leading a project to create the company’s global carbon footprint management system.

She has more than 15 years of EHS experience in a variety of roles and industries including the chemical and heavy manufacturing industry prior to transitioning into the baking industry. She received her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University.




Emerging Risk Management Issues for Food Companies
 Ian Harrison, Lockton Companies, LLC


Global head of Lockton’s recall practice Developing the Product Recall/Contamination and Guarantee risk management and insurance areas for Lockton clients and prospects throughout the world.

Ian has over 20 years of worldwide experience in assisting clients in this specialist area as both an underwriter (AIG and Beazley Syndicate) and broker (Willis, Miller and Lockton).

Ian holds an MBA from Cass Business School in London and a degree in Law and International Relations from Canterbury, Kent.



Healthcare: Is Obamacare Causing Intensive Care?
Mark Holloway, Lockton Companies, LLC

HollowayMark Holloway has 25+ years of experience in Health and Welfare employee benefits.  He provides technical advice related to health and welfare benefit plans to Lockton Benefit Group professionals and their clients throughout the country.  His expertise is in a variety of compliance-related issues including health reform, HIPPA, COBRA, Section 125, discimination testing, FMLA, state insurance laws and legislative and regulatory issues at the state and federal levels.

Mark is a well-known and frequent speaker on many employee benefit topics,  he was a keynote speaker at the Health and Welfare Plan Management Conference for Mid-Sized Employers.  Mark has written a number of articles and is a member of editorial board of adivsors for the Benefits Law Journal.  He currently serves as co-editor for the Federal Benefits Developments column for the Benefits Law Journal.

Mark received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Hartwick College, his J.D. from Wake Forest Univeristy, and hs L.L.M. in Taxation from Villanova University law School.  He has completed the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist (CEBS) program sponsored by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.


Industry Information Is Not Only What You Find But Also Where You Find It
Lauire Gorton, Sosland Publishing

lgortonMs. Gorton joined Sosland Publishing in January 1983 as Editor of Baking Equipment and Bakers Digest and as Associate Editor of Milling & Baking News — all business magazines serving the grain-based foods industry. Editing duties for the Baking Directory followed soon after, and in 1985, she supervised the launch of a new Sosland venture: Baking Buyer, now a monthly merchandising and business magazine serving the retail baking and in-store markets.

In recent years, Sosland Publishing’s magazines have earned larger audiences throughout the grain-based foods industry. In 1988, the company recognized the many production and distribution similarities between the snack and baking industries and re-positioned its bimonthly Baking Equipment as a new monthly magazine, Baking & Snack under the editorship of Ms. Gorton. Baking & Snack is, today, the industry’s leading monthly publication.

In 1998, she was promoted to Executive Editor of Baking & Snack, a role that gives her additional responsibilities in content development for the magazine and other Sosland properties. For example, she writes Baking & Snack’s weekly Formulations Update e-newsletter and contributes to the joint Baking & Snack/Milling & Baking News website,

Ms. Gorton recently finished updating the fourth edition of “Baking Science & Technology,” a college-level textbook originally written by E.J. Pyler. Volume I came out in November 2008, with Volume II in late 2009. The project was an extensive revision of a 20-year-old book, a project which she also describes as “two volumes, 1,600 pages, 8 pounds.”

At the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association of Cereal Chemists, the group’s Milling and Baking Division named Ms. Gorton their 2013 Myron D. “Mike” Baustian Memorial Award winner for service to the division and industry.

She recently estimated that she has visited about 500 different baking and snack production facilities during her career, some more than once. Although most of her current assignments involve features about ingredients, R&D and new product formulating, she continues to visit and write about readers’ plants to describe their operations and technology choices.

Prior to joining Sosland Publishing, Ms. Gorton was Editor and Publishing Director of Baking Industry, a monthly business magazine produced by Putman Publishing Co., Chicago. Before that, she was associate editor of a foodservice business magazine, Cooking for Profit.

A native of Wisconsin, Ms. Gorton is a Big Ten graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated with honors.

Ms. Gorton is a member of several scientific and industry associations including the American Association of Cereal Chemists, the American Society of Baking and the Institute of Food Technologists. She is listed in “Who’s Who in America.”


Building Sustainability into our Busines
Janelle Kearsley, Walmart Stores Inc.

Janelle_KearsleyJanelle Kearsley is the Senior Director, Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement at Walmart Stores Inc.  In her role, Ms. Kearsley is responsible for sustainability communications, Walmart's Global Responsibility Report, emerging issues management and stakeholder engagement.  Janelle has fifteen years experience enhancing economic, environmental and social performance global value chains, products and services.  She was a founding member of Walmart's Sustainability Office and is a recipient of Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  Previously, Janelle was the Senior Director, Private Label Merchandising Fresh Grocery for Walmart.  She was responsible for the financial performance, sourcing and brand management for the Fresh Grocery Private Label portfolio.  Before joining the Private Label team, Janelle was the Director of Corporate Sustainability and an original member of the Sustainability team established in 2005 as part of Walmart's drive to incorporate social and environmental sustainability into its business practices.  Prior to joining Walmart, she spent five years in International Finance and Brand Management with the General Motors Corporation in Detroit, MI.  Born in Chatham, Ontario, Canada, Janelle earned her B.A. in Marketing from Michigan State University, and received her MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.


Glimpse into the Future Panel Discussion
John Khoury, Custom Foods, Inc.

John Khoury is President and co-owner of Custom Foods, Inc., De Soto, KS, a manufacturer of frozen dough products for restaurant chains and food distributors throughout North America.  A 30 year veteran of the baking industry, Mr. Khoury has held technical and plant management positions with Penny Curtiss Baking Co, Heinz Bakery Products, Sara Lee & Archer Daniels Midland.  Mr. Khoury has a Bachelor of Science degree in Bakery Science and Management from Kansas State University and is a graduate of the American Institute of Baking’s 20 week Bakery Science & Technology course.  Mr. Khoury was on the board of directors of the American Society of Baking from 2004 - 2011, and was the Chairman of ASB in 2009 / 2010.  Additionally he is currently on the Board of Directors of the K-States Baker’s National Education Foundation as well as the American Institute of Baking.  He is a regular speaker at both AIB & K-State and Custom Foods is a regular tour stop for both institutions.  John resides in Lenexa, KS with his wife Angie and two children.  He enjoys golf, coaching kid’s sports, exercising and muscle cars in his spare time.     


Engineered by Design Panel Discussion
Brian King, A M King Construction

King_PhotBrian King is an entrepreneur and business professional that has spent his career in the construction and design industry.  Brian is the founder, owner and currently the president of A M King Construction, a design-build firm that focuses on the design and construction of projects in the food industry.  Throughout his career, Brian has been directly responsible for the delivery of the design and construction of more than 20 million square feet of complicated and specialized facilities in over 20 states and Europe, with total contract amounts of approximately two billion dollars.  He has worked with multiple companies on a variety of projects, primarily in the food industry including baking, food processing, cold storage and distribution.  His clients include Northeast Foods, B. Roberts Foods, Aldi, Ingles, and Boars Head.  Brian’s projects have won numerous awards, including Food Plant of the Year, ABC Eagle Awards, and DBIA Awards.

Brian holds a Bachelor’s of Building Construction from University of Florida, is a licensed contractor in multiple states, a designated DBIA design build professional and sits on multiple industry and community boards.  He currently lives with his family in A M King Construction’s home of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Engineered by Design Panel Discussion
Jim Kline, The Ensol Group

J.KlineJim is President of The EnSol Group, a consulting business serving the baking and snack food industries around the world. In addition to his engineering and manufacturing experience, Jim has led seminars and facilitated educational programs on leadership and project management in both business and educational forums. He is author of a column appearing Bakery & Snack magazine and was a contributing editor for the 4th Edition of baking industries principle text “Baking Science and Technology”. He is a member of BEMA, and a 28-year member of the ASB. He was co-founder of BIF the Baking Industry Forum, is a participant in the re-write of the BISSC Standards, and is on the Education Advisory Committee of AIB. He has a BA in Applied Mathematics and Physics, and an MBA in International Operations Management.



Out of this World Ideas
Vickie Kloeris, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Kloeris has a bachelor's of science in microbiology and a master's degree in food science and technology, both from Texas A&M University.  Kloeris came to work at Johnson Space Center as a food scientist in 1985.  From 1985 through 1989, she was employed by NASA contractors in positions related to space food processing and provisioning.  Since 1989, Ms. Kloeris has been employed by NASA as the Subsystem Manager for the Shuttle Food System.  In January of 2000, Ms. Kloeris assumed the additional duties of managing the Space Station food system and the Space Food Systems Laboratory.  In her current position as Manager of Flight Food Systems she is responsible for the operation and continuing development of the Shuttle and International Space State food systems.  Kloeris is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists and currently serves on the Advisory Council for the Institute of Food Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University.

The Impact of FSMA on Audit Systems
Maureen Olewnik, American Institute of Baking

Dr. Maureen Olewnik is Senior vice president of Audit and Technical Services at AIB International, with management responsibilities in food safety audit and educational services, cereals related research activities, and food labeling. Maureen completed her BS, MS, and PHD degrees at Kansas State University, working under the mentoring of Dr. R. Carl Hoseney, Karel Kulp, and Dr. C.E. Walker.  Maureen has been a professional member of AACC since 1981 serving on committees including:  AACCI Board of Directors; Cereal Chemistry Board of Associate Editors; Secretary/Chair/Board of the Milling and Baking Division; Chair of the Check Sample Committee; Secretary/Treasurer, Program Chair, and Section Chair in the Manhattan section

In addition to active participation in AACC, Maureen was also a founding board member of the Foundation for the Advancement of Grain Based Foods and of Food Safety Services Providers; serves on the technical board of the World Food Logistics Organization; past board member of the Flour Fortification Initiative; and active member of the American Society of Bakers and the American Bakers Association FTRAC (Food Technical Regulatory Affairs) Committee.  She also works closely with FDA and industry organizations in preparation for the finalization of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
Maureen’s  PhD research was “Predicting Commercial Scale Baking Quality Characteristics of Wheat and Flour Using NIR”. 

Alternative Fuels and Delivery Fans
Scott Perry, Ryder System, Inc.

As Ryder Fleet Management Solution's Vice-President of Supply Management, Scott Perry leads Ryders' Vehicle Procurement, Parts Procurement, Warranty Operations, Inventory Planning and Management, and Corporate Real Estate Functions for North American operations.  Mr. Perry holds an MBA from the University of Tennessee and has over 20 years of experience in vehicle maintenance operations, logistics and distribution management, carrier and transportation management, and warehouse operations.  He also carries direct responsibility for developing and deploying Ryder's alternative fuel and vehicles strategies for the organization.  He serves on the board of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), the NGVA (Natural Gas Vehicles for America), the Florida Trucking Association, and Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT).

Engineered by Design Panel Discussion
Mike Pierce, The Austin Company

Pierce_colorMr. Pierce was named President of The Austin Company on January 22, 2011, and is responsible to Austin's clients for the successful execution of all projects.

Prior to this position, Mr. Pierce served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Austin's Cleveland Design and Construction Operations.  He also led Austin's Sales and Marketing, overseeing all of the Company's sales and marketing strategies and initiatives.  In January 1995, Mr. Pierce was appointed Director of Business Development for Austin's Aviation Group.  Here, he developed and marketed Austin's aviation resources, design and construction services.  In 1996, he was named Vice President for Emerging markets, where he directed Austin's entry into underserved market niches with long-term growth potential.

Mr. Pierce began his career at Austin in 1980 as a mechanical engineer with Austin's Process Division.  From 1982 to 1986, Mr. Pierce was Regional Sales Manager for the Process Division and was Manager of Business Development for Austin's Central District in St. Louis from 1986 to 1995.  Mr. Pierce is a member of ASB, BEMA, and ABA.  He has been a speaker, presenter, and moderator at numerous industry events on engineering, construction, food and beverage, aviation, sales and marketing. 

Beer and Bread - Parallels We Can Toast To
Brett Porter, Goose Island Brewing

Brett_PorterGoose Island's Brewmaster, Brett Porter is responsible for creative and technical development of Goose Island’s award-winning portfolio of beers.

Goose Island’s Head Brewer since May 2010, Porter was promoted to Brewmaster in April of 2011. Goose Island's third Brewmaster, Porter is poised to continue the company's growth as it sets the stage for the future, "As Brewmaster, my biggest responsibility is making sure there is enough of each of our Goose Island beers to go around.”

"For now, we operate the brewery 24/7 and are putting in place a plan that will help us focus more intensively on innovation. Along with new tanks to expand brewing capacity overall, Goose Island is looking to greatly increase the capacity of our barrel program. 

Prior to Goose Island, the Portland, OR native worked as Head Brewer at Deschutes Brewery, where he worked from 2005 - 2010 and his beers earned more than 150 awards. Prior to Deschutes, Porter was Head Brewer of Portland Brewing/Pyramid Brewing, a position he held from 1993 to 2005 and included the responsibilities of Interim Brewmaster from 1998 and 2000. His resume also includes stints in England as apprentice brewer at Bunces Brewery and Holdens Brewery. 

Porter graduated with a BA from University of Oregon in 1988 and continued at the university, doing graduate work in biology, chemistry and English. A lifelong student of beer, Porter studied beer making at University of California at Davis and was a delegate to the First International Brewing Yeast Performance Congress, took Flavor-activ Sensory Training from 2007 - 2010 and has served as Secretary/Treasurer of District NW MBAA from 2008 to 2010.


Global Ingredient Trends - What's Hot and What's Not
Jeff Reichel, Kerry Ingredients & Flavors

Jeff_ReichelJeff Reichel has been actively involved with the Baking Industry since 1986.  He is currently a Key Accounts Manager at Kerry Ingredients and Flavors.

Kerry is the global leader in the taste and nutrition business, with a North American headquarters in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Prior to Kerry Ingredients and Flavors, for 22 years, he was the National Sales Manager at Mallet & Company.

One of the key groups within the Kerry organization is their global market analysis team.  This department is charged with monitoring what is happening within the food marketplace around the World.  They track which new launches are successful and which are not.  They assist Kerry in their effort to develop new and innovative products that will meet the ever changing market demands.

It is this unique perspective that will enable Jeff to present information on the trends in new launches and to determine what is succeeding and what is not.  What claims are resulting in increased sales and which are not.

What trends are here to stay and what, in the global marketplace, will soon have an impact in the US.


Food Safety: FSMA Update & Impact
Lee Sanders, American Bakers Association

lsandersLee Sanders is Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Public Affairs, as well as, Corporate Secretary for the American Bakers Association (ABA).  Lee leads the ABA government relations team representing the baking industry before Congress, federal agencies, state legislatures and international policy making bodies. She advises association members and industry on critical legislative and regulatory issues while serving as a spokesperson on behalf of the industry. Lee currently serves as is a member of the American Institute of Baking’s (AIB) Scientific Advisory Committee, member of the AACCI International Scientific Advisory Panel and is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Environment and Agriculture Committee. Lee is also President of the Society of Bakery Women. Before coming to the industry 20 years ago, Lee served in a number of government roles including legislative aide to Senator Thad Cochran and as a political appointee in the Administration of George H.W. Bush.

Explosion Prevention
Charlie Seba, Shick USA

SebaCharlie Seba is the Director of Project Management for Shick.  Charlie has worked for Shick the past 13 years as the manager of Mech. Engineering and as a Project Manager for the last 8 years primarily responsible for large Brown and Green Field projects valued over $3M.  Shick is an industry leader in the ingredient handling industry whose core equipment integration focus on the pneumatic and liquid conveying bulks ingredients such as Flour, Sugar, Starch & Misc. Minor Ingredients.  Shick’s typical clients include food ingredient manufacturers, final end product manufactures and mix plants.  Charlie has a variety of exposures to the application of Explosion Mitigation equipment within the food ingredient industry for companies ranging from privately owned to large cooperate conglomerates.  This broad range of exposure has allowed him to experience a wide variety of approaches to managing to the NFPA and OSHA safety requirements.  Mr. Seba holds a Bachelors degree in Mathematics from William Jewell College in Liberty, MO.



HR Crisis: Worker Shortage During the Next Decade with a Case Study
Gary Seiffer, Baker Perkins

Gary_SeifferGary has dedicated 40 years to all aspects of the food industry.  Schooled at Michigan State University in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, Gary then continued his education at The Culinary Institute of America, Texas A&M and AIB. Early in his career he had the opportunity to apprentice in Pastries at the Drake Hotel in Chicago.  During his career, Gary partnered in a large wholesale hearth bread and roll bakery, then went into a second partnership in a bagel factory. 

After selling the business, Gary worked for the Lenders of Lender’s Bagels.  Ultimately he decided in his entrepreneurial spirit to go into sales.  Machinery sales was chosen over ingredients due to his mechanical inclination, and years fixing his own machinery as he realized the challenges all bakers face in the world of automation. His philosophy is simple, “My customers are not in the business of buying machinery, they are in business to make great bread.  My goal is to foster their aspirations.”

Gary has lectured and consulted on behalf of the C.I.A. and A.I.B.  He has authored Technical Bulletins for AIB and for the Bread Bakers Guild of America on various topics of labor and business management. He has been awarded citations by “Associated Craftsmen/Easter Seals Group” and “Project Moore” for dedicated hiring practices.


Still Distributing Using Company Employees?  Letting Go, Raising Profits
John Staker, Distribution Consultants, Inc.

John R. Staker, Esq. has been president and CEO of Distribution Consultants, Inc (DCI) since 2003.  Mr. Staker has worked with DCI (or its predecessor) since 1982 after his graduation with honors from law school and was admitted to the New York State and Federal Bars.  DCI is a professional executive consulting firm dedicated solely to servicing the baking and snack food industry, specializing in route distribution analysis and the design and implementation of full equity, independent-operator distribution systems.

Mr. Staker is a recognized authority on independent distribution in the baking industry and has worked closely with the executive management of all the major bakers in the US and Canada and many regional local bakers.  He and DCI have been the leading drivers of the now dominant means of distributing bakery products in the United States having had a guiding hand in converting literally thousands of employee drivers into independent business people.  John has spoken frequently with legal and businss groups and works tirelessly to protect the industry against governmental regulation and legislation infringing on the industry's freedom of business practices.


Where Do We FInd the Right People and How Do We Motivate Them to Stay After Training
Don Thriffiley, Flowers Foods


Donald (Don) Thriffiley serves as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Flowers Foods, Inc. in Thomasville, GA.  He has been with Flowers Foods for over 36 years holding a number of positions with increasing responsibilities in a variety of operations and HR roles in the field and Corporate.  He is responsible for Flowers HR function providing guidance to the executive team and board as well as the management teams of the subsidiaries.  Don is very active in a variety of professional associations serving in various leadership roles in the American Institute of Baking, American Bakers Association, Society for Human Resource Management and the American Management Association.  He has his senior accreditation in human resources and is a certified executive coach.  Don graduated from the University of New Orleans and reside in Thomasville, GA with his wife and his two children.



Recent Developments Affecting Baking Oven NOx Emissions
Chris Vandegrift, Selas Heat Technology Company, LLC

VandegriftChris Vandegrift is the Director of Engineering at Selas Heat Technology Company and is based at the global headquarters in Streetsboro, Ohio.  In his current role he is responsible for driving innovation of combustion technologies such as reducing emissions and improving combustion efficiencies.  Chris has been involved with combustion since he began his professional career with First Energy.  His work in the utility industry focused on boiler and gas turbine performance including the reduction of NOx emissions.  He worked with Lehigh University on utilizing neural networks for NOx control with over-fire air and the effects of air:fuel ratio and burner balancing on NOx.  AT GE Lighting he optimized combustion in glass lehr furnaces.  Chris' experience in Quality was attained at GE and Johnson & Johnson where he earned certifcation as Master Black Belt.  Chris holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron and an Executive MPA from the University of Pittsburgh.


The Future of Quality Inspections in the Food Industry is a Mobile Solution
 Jerry Van Oort, Russell Associates

VanOrtJerry 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 of 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.


Cookies and Crackers in the Soup
Dave Watson, Campbell Soup Company/Pepperidge Farm, Inc.

Dave Watson has over 30 years of experience in the food industry, having begun his career as a project engineer at Pepperidge Farm and currently serving as Vice-President, Engineering - International, Baking Technology, Filling & Packaging, at Campbell Soup Company.  He spent 25 years at Pepperidge Farm in various engineering assignments, including project manager for the design and construction of several bakery and biscuit plants, and ultimately serving as Vice-President, Engineering.  At Campbell, he oversees engineering activities across Campbell International and Pepperidge Farm, and leads the Global Filling & Packaging function.  The International responsibilities include leading all engineering activities for Campbell in Europe, Australia, Indonesia, China, and Malaysia.  He earned his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Drexel University and his MBA from Saint Joseph's University, both schools located in Philadelphia.  He has served on the ASB Executive Committee, BEMA BIF Committee, B&CMA, and the IBIE 2010, 2013, and 2016 Committees.


What to Do Before the Inspector Arrives
 William Weissinger, Food and Drug Administration

William (Bill) Wessinger is the Deputy District Director in the Chicago District Office of the US Food and Drug Administration.  He supervises the District's Emergency Response functions and facilitates district integration with state and local health departments through partnership and contracts.  He also assists the District Director with coordination and execution of all FDA civil regulatory operation in the State of Illinois including inspections, investigations, and recalls.  Previously, Mr. Weissinger was an Investigator with the Chicago District Office and a Quality Control Manager for the Kroger Company at Vandervoort's Dairy in Ft. Worth, TX.  He received his B.S. in Biology from Purdue UIniversity in 1997 and his Master's in Food Science from the University of Georgia in 2000 where he specialized in food microbiology.  Mr. Weissinger has co-authored several scientific articles on the survival of Salmonella in regards to specific food.

Resource Conservation and In-Line Quality Monitoring in Bakeries Using Instrumentaion Best Practices
Ola Wesstrom, Endress+Hauser Inc.


Ola Wesstrom, since 2000, has been the Senior Industry Manager for food and beverage at Endress+Hauser USA.  His goals are to conitinually find ways to help the food industry develop new ways to improve quality, food safety and resource conservation through best practices and innovative application of measurement instrumentation and control.  Prior to his current position, Ola held various product management positions for level, pressure and flow at Endress+Hauser.

Ola has an education in Instrumentation and Automation from RiksPappers skolan in Sweden.

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