Baking & Snack - April 2016 - 16

ABA and B&CMA actively exploring merger
A merger of the American Bakers Association
(ABA) and the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers'
Association (B&CMA), two groups with combined
histories totaling 235 years, is under active consideration, the associations jointly announced March 20.
The boards of directors of both organizations
have passed resolutions to commence a year-long
process to allow a thorough examination of potential synergies and other benefits of bringing the two
organizations together.
As currently planned, programs of B&CMA
would be enveloped under the ABA structure while
the B&CMA brand would be retained for the group's
technical conference and online learning programs.
Richard G. Scalise, outgoing ABA chairman, announced the agreement during the group's annual
meeting at the Arizona Biltmore hotel in Phoenix.
Mr. Scalise, who is chairman and CEO of Hearthside
Food Solutions, Downers Grove, IL, described the potential merger as "an opportunity to strengthen the baking industry.
"Both ABA and B&CMA are stable, financially healthy organizations serving their constituents with a wide range of successful
programs and services," he continued. "This initiative seeks to build
on each organization's strengths to achieve a stronger future together. We are very excited about possibly building upon B&CMA's
outstanding education platforms to fill gaps in the broader baking
industry's leadership and technical training regimens."

Bill Quigg, a past chairman of B&CMA and president of Richmond, IN-based Richmond Baking,
emphasized the benefits of an alliance with ABA to
"help provide higher levels of service and value for
our members and organizations.
"ABA's extraordinary advocacy program, regular trends research and partnership with the Grain
Foods Foundation on the category promotion efforts of the Grain Foods Foundation would all add
tremendous value to B&CMA members," Mr. Quigg
As currently envisaged, "current B&CMA leadership would join ABA leadership at all levels," the
groups said.
During the year-long process, a transition committee will conduct due diligence, address governance and structural issues, and elicit feedback
from members of each organization. The transition steering committee will include, from ABA, Mr. Scalise; Erin
Sharp, The Kroger Co., Cincinnati; and Robb MacKie, ABA; and
from B&CMA, Mr. Quigg; Todd Wallin, Ellison Baking Co., Fort
Wayne, IN; and Dave Van Laar, B&CMA.
The process will feature webinars and surveys to gain membership feedback. Consideration of a final merger recommendation
is tentatively scheduled for March 2017 with a prospective closing
date of June 30, 2017.
- Josh Sosland, Milling & Baking News

Somoza: ASB the 'largest talent pool in the baking industry'
Quoting entrepreneur and publisher Malcolm Forbes, Mario
Somoza, the new chairman of the American Society of Baking (ASB),
announced the theme of next year's BakingTech conference will be
"diversity," defining it as "the art of thinking independently together."
Speaking at BakingTech 2016 in Chicago on March 1, Mr. Somoza
said diversity also describes how ASB membership has changed and
how the annual technical conference has evolved over the years.
"What started out as a society of bakery engineers has become the
largest talent pool in the baking industry, which now counts among its
members individuals in the sales and marketing field, R&D personnel,
operations and logistics executives, top-level managers, and students
in the food technology, grain and baking sciences, among others," he
noted. "What once was a membership composed of people baking
bread and rolls primarily, today includes a wide variety of products,
including sweet snacks like cakes, cookies and donuts; salty snacks like
crackers and pretzels; tortillas; nutrition bars, and dozens more."
Mr. Somoza, president and CEO of Pan Pepin, Bayamon, PR,
observed that Mr. Forbes' definition of diversity echoes the words
of ASB's vision statement, which is "educating, communicating
and sharing knowledge for the enhancement of our members and
the industry."

16 Baking & Snack April 2016 /

In recent months, he noted, the ASB board has met to outline the
challenges and opportunities facing the industry and identified five
key drivers of change. Those include technology's influence on consumers and production, globalization, health and nutrition trends,
legislation and regulation in regard to food safety, and millennials in
the workplace.

Mario Somoza addresses a full house at ASB BakingTech 2016.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - April 2016