The American Society of Baking (A.S.B.) will induct four industry leaders into the Baking Hall of Fame on Feb. 27, 2017, with special ceremonies during BakingTech 2017 to be held in Chicago. They and their affiliated organizations are:
• Albert L. (Bud) Cason, Bud’s Best Cookies, Birmingham, Ala.
• Murray and Marvin Lender, Lender’s Bagel Bakery, New Haven, Conn.
• Joseph (Joe) Schwebel, Schwebel Baking Co., Youngstown, Ohio
“This year, as in previous ones, the selection committee gathered an impressive list of nominees,” said John Del Campo, chair of the A.S.B. Baking Hall of Fame Evaluation Committee and general manager of Repco – Bakery Division, Salina, Kas. “All were extraordinary candidates. It’s rewarding to know that so many outstanding individuals have served or continue to be active in our industry.”
Albert L. (Bud) Cason, founder and chairman of Bud’s Best Cookies, was one of the first cookie producers to recognize the potential of contract manufacturing. In the 1970s, he saw that large consumer packaged goods companies were moving out of manufacturing activities to concentrate their resources on marketing. He reinvigorated a modest bakery concern in the Southeast to serve that need. In the course of doing so, he practically invented the category of mini-cookie by being the first to master mass production of these bite-size treats, now found at convenience stores all around the country. Later, he added full-size cookies and, most recently, wafer products to the product line of his lively business.
Mr. Cason is also very active in his community and church and generously supports their causes, charities and initiatives. He is a co-founder of the Cookie and Snack Cracker Bakers Association. He served on the board of the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturer’s Association (B&CMA), and he is currently involved in the merger of B&CMA and the America Bakers Association (A.B.A.).
Murray and Marvin Lender, owners, Lender’s Bagel Bakery, brothers and first-generation Americans, took a small family bakery to national standing. They paved the way for other bakers to add ethnic specialties to the broad diversity of products offered by the commercial baking industry. Bagels would never have become an American breakfast and sandwich staple without the Lenders.
Murray was Mr. Outside and led the company to launch the frozen baked goods category. Marvin was Mr. Inside and ran the operations and finances. Both guided progress in bagel-making technology, and their engineers invented much of it themselves. They were pivotal in leading the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association for many years. After selling the business, Marvin went on to become a national figure as president of the United Jewish Appeal, and he continues his charity work with a focus on international projects. Murray concentrated his efforts on charities in his hometown of New Haven, enriching the lives of those residents until his death in 2012. Lender’s Bagel Bakery is now part of Pinnacle Foods.
Joseph (Joe) Schwebel, president, Schwebel Baking Co., was schooled in baking from the day he was born and led his family’s bakery for more than 25 years. A graduate of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Schwebel combined his education in business management techniques with baking’s daily disciplines by riding bread routes and working directly with customers and shoppers. A shrewd and competitive businessman, he turned Schwebel’s into the regional power it is today and served his community and industry to their betterment. He believed in action-based solutions, and many of these became industry-accepted courses of action. For example, when the low-carb craze nearly broke the back of the commercial baking industry, he helped establish and fund the Grain Foods Foundation in 2004.
Mr. Schwebel served on the boards of the A.B.A., the Quality Bakers of America and AIB International. He had high faith in people, strongly supporting the A.S.B. and mentoring many on his staff to serve as speakers and officers of the society and leaders in the industry. His grandmother Dora Schwebel, the company’s founder, was inducted into the Baking Hall of Fame in 2009. Mr. Schwebel passed away in 2012.
“The lives and careers of these individuals provide wonderful examples of excellence and leadership,” Mr. Del Campo said. “They represent the best qualities of compassion, forward thinking and personal judgment. The committee feels honored to have looked at their accomplishments. They inspire our future by their experience.”
Since its launch in 2006, the Baking Hall of Fame will have enshrined 76 individuals with the 2017 class. They come from all walks of life in the baking industry — from bakeries, allied equipment and ingredient suppliers, schools, service organizations and publishers. Their accomplishments can be read at www.asbe.org/hall-of-fame/baking-hall-fame-inductees-year.
To start a nomination for future honors, please visit www.asbe.org/about-us/nomination.
The American Society of Baking is a community of baking professionals who are dedicated to improving the industry, their companies and themselves through education, leadership development and networking. Visit www.asbe.org today and become a member.