Baking & Snack - June 2018 - 16
Ardent Mills apprenticeship
program nears milestone
Jacob Pierzyna and Zachary Melin became the first two students to
graduate from Dunwoody College of Technology as part of Ardent
Mills' milling certification program. Upon their May graduation, Mr.
Pierzyna and Mr. Melin will continue working with Ardent Mills to
complete on-the-job hours required for apprenticeship certificates.
Brad Allen, vice-president and operations lead at Ardent Mills,
Minneapolis, and Ted Korolchuk, technical fellow, guided the
launch of the apprenticeship program to assist individuals in entering their career free of school loans.
"We worked with Bühler Industries Inc., a company that already
had experience starting an apprenticeship with Dunwoody, to
adapt their program for our apprentices," said Christy Ball, talent
and skills development analyst, Ardent Mills. "Jacob and Zach took
not-for-credit courses and completed on-the-job training in flour
milling to earn Certificates of Apprenticeship from the Minnesota
Department of Labor and Industry."
Ardent Mills found Mr. Pierzyna and Mr. Melin after reaching out to area high school guidance counselors and local leaders with the national FFA Organization, formerly known as Future
Farmers of America, to identify candidates who were bright, eager
and ready to "roll up their sleeves." Bobby Blaser, plant manager
at Ardent Mills' Lake City, MN, community mill, said the apprenticeship program has provided learning experiences for everyone
involved, not just the students.
"The apprenticeship program has helped accelerate the growth
process for key individuals in our plant," Mr. Blaser said. "In turn,
this helps to fill a much-needed role through technical knowledge,
growth and aspirational leadership to enable us to reach our goals."
Schwan's to open restaurant
concept in Minnesota
Schwan's Co., Bloomington, MN, will open its first restaurant concept this summer in Minneapolis. Described as the "ultimate destination for unapologetic indulgence," by Schwan's in a press release, Edwards Dessert Kitchen will be led by General Manager and
Executive Pastry Chef Christina Kaelberer and will serve a menu of
made-to-order options and seasonal offerings such as miso caramel
pudding, vegan chocolate mousse and coconut creme pie puffs.
"I'm thrilled to be working with Schwan's Co. to create and curate
a first-of-its-kind, indulgent dessert destination in the Twin Cities,"
Ms. Kaelberer said. She is a member of Schwan's Chef Collective, a
panel of chefs from top restaurants and cooking shows that identifies trends and helps develop recipes for the company's home delivery and retail grocery businesses. Schwan's portfolio of brands
includes Red Baron, Tony's and Freschetta pizza, Mrs. Smith's and
Edwards desserts, and Pagoda Asian-style snacks.
-Eric Schroeder, Milling & Baking News
Howard Edsel Benson, owner of Benson's
Bakery in Athens, GA, died in March at age
96. He inherited the bakery from his father,
W.H. Benson, and passed it on to his son,
Howard Benson graduated from the
University of Georgia in 1942 and became
a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps,
serving during World War II in England, North Africa and Italy.
Upon returning home, he studied at the National Institute of Baking.
He served his family's bakery and the community for 60 years. Mr.
Benson supported civic and youth organizations and was fundraising chairman for several building projects: Athens First United
Methodist Church, the Salvation Army Chapel, the Boys and Girls
Clubs of Athens, and the YMCA. At age 70 he was a founder of the
Athens/Clarke County Mentor Program. At 80, he began delivering
"Meals on Wheels," a service he continued well into his 90s.
16 Baking & Snack June 2018 / www.bakingandsnack.com
R.B. Jennings Jr., who was involved in the
milling and baking industries for more than
50 years , died April 18 at the age of 77.
He entered the milling and baking industry as a sales manager with Piedmont Mills
in Lynchburg, VA, in 1965. He launched the
Jenco flour brokerage, later expanding to add
bakery ingredients and Jenco mixes such as
Autumn Grain and Old Fashion Mix. He created Thrift Express
Logistics, Inc., to supply bakery thrift stores with inventory items.
In 2003 Mr. Jennings partnered with Crockett Cobble to create
Jennings Cobble, Greensboro, NC, to merchandize flour and bakery products for the wholesale baking industry. Mr. Jennings was
an allied member of the American Bakers Association, the Biscuit
& Cracker Manufacturers' Association, the Independent Bakers
Association, and the Cookie & Snack Bakers Association. For many
years he attended the Sosland Publishing Purchasing Seminar.