Convention 2023 Reflection: A Lifetime of Service

The act of volunteering attracts individuals who have a mission to give back and their commitment reflects on the strength of an organization. By offering a place to get involved and make a difference, volunteering can become the heart of a service organization.

In 2001, the BEMA Board created the Lifetime Achievement Award to honor those individuals who go above and beyond to impact the organization and the industry in a variety of ways. In 2002, BEMA recognized Ed Meise, Al Formo and Edwin “Eddie” Lanham as the first recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award.

A Lifetime of Service

In 2018, BEMA renamed the award to recognize the lifelong contribution of Fred Springer to BEMA and the industry. Springer is known as a quiet leader and an advisor to many. He is celebrated for recognizing new industry talent and giving them the experience, mentorship and exposure necessary to spread their wings in service to the industry.

All recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award are known for making a mark throughout their career, and these individuals personify the strong sense of momentum that occurs when people see and feel the mission of an organization. These magnetic qualities serve to draw in others as they look for ways to support the organization through activities and service that make an impact.

A Lifetime of ServiceLifelong service is certainly the calling card of DJ LeCrone, the 2023 winner of the Fred Springer Lifetime Achievement Award. “DJ grew up on BEMA, and he’s had a lifetime of work in the industry,” said Kerwin Brown, President and CEO, BEMA. “This is also the first time BEMA has given both a father and son the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2003, DJ presented the award to his father.”

Continuing the family tradition, DJ’s daughter was present at Convention 2023 to surprise her dad when he received the award. This familial connection represents an important point of pride for BEMA by echoing the importance of connections, which are a foundational element of the three pillars of BEMA’s strategic plan.

BEMA is proud to be an organization that not only brings together bakers and suppliers but also unites the families of these individuals. We understand that the sometimes long and arduous hours that our members put into our organization and our industry can only happen with the support and understanding of their family members.

With this in mind, we want to show our deep appreciation and gratitude for the work of our volunteers and the support of their families to make BEMA the organization it is today and will be in the future.

A Lifetime of Service

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

2002 – Ed Meise, Al Formo, Edwin “Eddie” Lanham

2003 – Tom Belshaw, Dale S. Lecrone, Robert Loeb

2004 – Jim Fay

2006 – Bill Pulver, Fred Pfening II

2007 – Dick Pulver

2008 – Sterrett Campbell, Charles Burford

2010 – John van Laar, Robert Zielsdorf

2012 – Don Ivey

2013 – Steve Wright

2015 – Hans van der Maarel

2018 – Fred Springer

2019 – Rick Hoskins

2023 – DJ LeCrone

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