The Retail Bakers of America announces the 2012 Class of Emeritus Members include Michael Kalupa and Edward Lee. Kalupa and Lee will be honored during the general session at All Things Baking held in Houston, TX, Sept. 9-11, 2012.

Established in 2007, the emeritus membership is designed to honor those individuals who influenced the association and the industry.  With numerous baking and decorating professionals, and those of the equipment supplier community, who continue to be active and contribute to the Association and the industry, RBA decided to recognize their work by establishing this honor.

RBA’s Board of Directors nominates individuals, highlighting the significant contributions made to the Association and the industry. Members of the Emeritus Member class are awarded an individual lifetime membership.

Mike Kalupa started in the baking industry at a very young age traveling with his father, Bud Kalupa, a salesman at Karp’s Milwaukee Bakers Supply. When his father was transferred to run the Karp’s branch in Phoenix, he worked for his father during summers and weekends. After a short stint in college Mike went to work for Karp’s on a full time basis and was transferred back to Milwaukee to manage the warehouse and transportation department.

In 1979 he and his father bought a bakery in Tampa, FL. After a few years Mike, along with his wife Susan, bought his father’s share and they took sole ownership of Kalupa’s Bakery. 

Mike became very active with the Southeastern Retail Bakers Association (SRBA) where he served on the Board of Directors and was elected president.  

Through his service with SRBA he had the privilege of working with great bakers from around the Southeast United States. Mike was then elected to serve on the RBA Board of Directors.  During this time he was elected to the RBA executive committee and ultimately went on to become RBA President. 

During his tenure on the RBA Board and as its president, Mike provided leadership and shared his knowledge with bakers across the country. “The years on the RBA Board were some of the most fulfilling in my baking career,” said Kalupa.