Celebrating National Baking Month

Bread production inspires all of us at AIB International. Simply put, we love bread. To get across our passion for the baking industry, we asked a few of our top executives about their bread pride, and why did they want to be a part of this career path.

- Andre Biane, President and CEO

1. Why did you choose a career path in the baking/food industry?

My entire career has been in the food and beverage industry. Nearly all of that time has had a link to fermentation. I graduated from UC Davis with a degree in fermentation science. My industry career started in wine then migrated to beer and finally to baking. Everyone needs food and the baked goods category has something exciting for every business function, from sales to brand marketing to manufacturing to R&D to engineering to high tech. Also, from an opportunity standpoint it is global in nature. Global for both the companies that operate in this segment but also career opportunities one can pursue.  It’s also globally relevant and exciting when you consider the different ethnic and cultural food trends that shift and merge from one part of the world to another.   

2. What is the number one thing you love about the baking industry and why?

Who doesn’t like baked goods? It’s a food that touches all of the human senses, tastes good and is healthy for you. The baking industry is fun and yet challenging.  I can be very creative when it comes to designing and developing new products --  that’s fun. It’s also rewarding to see those new products fly off the retail shelves or out the restaurant door and the smiles on consumers from enjoying them.

- Brian Strouts, Vice President of Baking & Food Technical Services

1. Why did you choose a career path in the baking/food industry?

I think it's more of a case where the baking industry chose me! I was that typical college student with three changes of my major trying to ‘find’ myself. I had been recruited by the Kansas State University Grain Science department as a high school senior so in some ways it was a natural fit for me to end up as a Baking Science & Management major. I had a great mentor/master baker as my boss at the first job out of school. He instilled in me the passion that it takes to have a career in the baking industry. 

2. What is the number one thing you love about the baking industry and why?

My favorite part of working in the baking industry is the constant of change and challenge. Working in a technical capacity most of my career almost every day was a new opportunity to learn something new or teach something that I had learned along the way. Giving back to the industry is a common thread with many bakers. I am humbled by the opportunity this career has afforded me to give back after 35 plus years.

- David Fliss, Vice President of Client Development

1. Why did you choose a career path in the baking/food industry?

I chose a career path in the baking/food industry for a couple reasons. 

1. Good economy or bad economy, it is recession proof. People have to eat, regardless of economic profile. The eating habits might change based on economic conditions, but people have to eat. 

2. I started out as a teenager working in a bakery in Queens, New York and knew immediately this is where I belonged. I started out as a bagel baker and 30 years later I am an executive of a global food safety and bakery training organization.

2. What is the number one thing you love about the baking industry and why?

The number 1 thing I love about the baking industry is the global culture/creativity which is universally shared. In most cities in the United States you can find freshly made corn tortillas which are just as good as the streets of Mexico. In Mexico, you can find pizza made from Italian semolina which mimics the best pizzerias in Italy. In England now it's common to find your standard American products such as white pan bread, hamburger and hotdog buns, and some of the best Naan this side of India.

As you can see from our top executives their love for the baking industry came from a number of different backgrounds. That's why we created a platform called Certified Bread Specialist - Industrial that delivers e-learning and instructor-led seminars. With flexibility and diversity in mind, we developed a product that embodies the very concept of joy for the baking industry.