On the road with BEMA | ABA & ATBI Fall Meeting

Kerwin Brown, President & CEO of BEMA traveled to Washington DC, November 28-November 30 to attend the ABA/ATBI meeting. The agenda included several discussions around identifying the most costly and disruptive issues within the baking business. Brown noted, “The networking at this meeting was priceless, as it brought together industry leaders and politicians to talk about current issues.”

Politicians presenting at the meeting included Senator Benjamin Sasse from Nebraska, as well as U.S. Department of Labor Secretary, Alex Acosta.   Senator Sasse shared knowledge around current trends and the impact of the evolving American lifestyle and discussed one of his key platforms, working towards changing the caustic fighting in Washington.  Mr. Secretary discussed workforce development programs and solutions. He pointed out that high school students don’t have to go to college to be successful. We need to help change the mindset.  Kerwin said,  “The meeting with Mr. Secretary provided greater insight into the administration’s push on apprenticeships and jobs based education.”

Kerwin shared a few photos from his trip.


U.S. Department of Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta, bakers and suppliers met to talk about the work-force gap in the industry and the various programs/efforts associations are creating too narrow that gap. Mr. Secretary spoke about demand-driven education and a new focus for the administration around apprenticeships.












Robb MacKie and Christine Cochran giving an overview of the proposed checkoff program for the baking industry.









Lee Sanders of ABA gave an update on the current legislative issues that ABA has prioritized. The top issues included nutrition facts panel, Prop 65 and bioengineered food disclosures.





Kelly Kotche, ABA and Kerwin Brown, BEMA, enjoying the evening ABA/ATBI reception. (photo credit: American Bakers Association)



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