CEO Insights: The Power of Partnerships

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They say time flies when you’re having fun and this year is no exception. By the time you read this, we’ll be a few weeks out from Convention 2023. Events such as Convention, and NEXUS later this year, could not successfully come together without a range of individual contributions and industry partnerships.

Witnessing this mission of service in action is an ongoing pleasure for me. It’s amazing to see how a simple introduction, or a chance meeting, can become fertile ground for great things to happen. I believe this becomes further intensified through the lens of servant leadership when one individual or a single organization set out to improve things for the greater good. Such collaborations help empower and are instrumental in helping others develop and perform at the highest level possible.

For example, what I initially thought of as a chance introduction to Markey Culver of The Women’s Bakery (TWB) has evolved into an important collaboration between the industry and a collective of female bakers in Rwanda. This year at Convention, we’ll hear an update from TWB as they continue to shift socioeconomic barriers and lessen food insecurity for women and their families in Rwanda.


Come as You Are

The ability to be in the right place to serve when you’re needed also continues to be a theme for BEMA as we focus on building partnerships and inclusivity designed to meet the needs of the industry. This year, we’ll kick off Convention with Workforce Wednesday programming featuring a new collaboration between BEMA and Arizona State University (ASU). The virtual workforce sessions on June 21 will address key sustainability issues, the industrial Internet of Things, and opportunities through ASU’s AZNext workforce training accelerator partnership.

The powerhouse Workforce Wednesday programming will be the perfect primer for this year’s keynote speaker who promises to not be your typical business expert. Jeff Havens will share his signature style of relevant business insights wrapped in charismatic, comedic entertainment. This unique blend of business and humor will provide Convention attendees with actionable insights to today’s challenges and demonstrate why business improvements should never be boring.

Then on Friday, we’ll have the pleasure of hearing from John Dyck of CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute. Dyck is known for his pragmatic perspective and guidance of The Smart Manufacturing Institute’s charter to transform the U.S. manufacturing market and increase global competitiveness by democratizing Smart Manufacturing technologies, knowledge and business practices.


Outstanding Contributions

I’m also proud to announce I’ll be presenting DJ Lecrone, a long-time industry contributor, with the 2023 Fred Springer Lifetime Achievement Award. The award celebrates DJ’s decades of service and significant contributions to BEMA and the baking industry. I believe DJ offers the perfect example of servant leadership at work. If you have a fun story about DJ to share or a note of congratulations, please send me a note.

Until then, I’ll be counting down the days until I’ll see you at Convention 2023 in beautiful Montage Palmetto Bluff where we can celebrate our culture, connections and inspiration together.

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