Baking & Snack - December 2020 - 10

editorial
A year to never forget

W

When the ball fell in Times Square on New Year's Eve,
2020 had a magical sound to it, but as it finally comes to an
end, a strikingly different number stands out for Theresa
Watkinson, chief operating officer for Aladdin Bakers.
" I'll tell you personally, I know 19 people who passed
away from COVID, " she recalled. " Some of them family
members. Some of them local business owners. Friends,
parents, people I personally knew ... and it's hard. Some
worked at the local bodega that I would stop in on the way
home, and they're not there anymore. It's all so numbing. "
Everyone at the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based bakery was affected as the first wave of the coronavirus hit the nation.
Forget the semantics on whether we're in a second or
third wave, the tragedy continues.
" I don't know how it's going to affect people in the long
run, but for me, it's an issue, and for everyone else here,
it's an issue that we're losing people, " she said.
For operations executives everywhere, safety
has taken on unfathomable proportions in
their minds, while frontline workers persevered in the face of uncertainty about their
jobs and health. But as is often the case, the nation's bakeries " rolled with the punches, " as Ms.
Watkinson likes to say. They adapted and reinvented ways to create a safer workplace.
" I'd say that we're lucky that we've done everything we can to keep everyone safe and have been
successful, " she said. " I'm not saying we haven't had any
cases, but we definitely kept our number low. "

PUBLISHING STAFF
Publisher
Mike Gude
Director of Audience Development Michael Barbee
Audience Development Analyst
Dustin Pickman
Audience Database Specialist
Lindsey Sheridan
Audience Development Coordinator Carlea Schuler
Director of Digital Media
Jon Hall
Digital Advertising Manager
Carrie Fluegge
Advertising Manager
Nora Wages
Advertising Coordinator
Kayley Kerns
Design Services Manager
Elisabeth Spillman
Production Specialist
Marj Potts
Senior Design Consultant
Becky White
Graphic Designer
Brian Peterman
Promotions Manager
Jim White
Promotions Media Designer
Abby Chronister
Sales Coordinator
Whitney Hartman

10 Baking & Snack December 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

If this year taught us anything, it's something that Ms.
Watkinson mentioned that seems so timeless but reads so
differently when seen through a 2020 lens.
" In general, you need to surround yourself with good
people and support them in every way you can, " she said.
" Their success is your success. I never want to see anybody fail. That means I failed. "
Baking & Snack is honored to select Ms. Watkinson
as its 2020 Operations Executive of the Year for demonstrating grace under pressure that redefines crisis management in a time when failure is not an option. She
persevered under extraordinary circumstances while representing those essential leadership qualities that make
up the bulwark of the industry.
As the year ends, hope shines brighter on the medical
front, but difficult times remain for the industry and beyond. Just a couple weeks ago, Aladdin Bakers found itself
co-manufacturing to support another bakery after it had
a COVID-19 outbreak.
" We'll get through this, " she said. " We need to rely on
each other, and this community that is the baking community has to come together and support one another. "
Let's hope Ms. Watkinson's number stays at 19. And
to those special individuals we have lost in this tragedyfilled year, through COVID-19 or not, we'll miss and never forget you. In 2021, remember that everyone's success
is your success and to keep on rolling with the punches.
- Dan Malovany, Editor
dmalovany@sosland.com

EDITORIAL
Editor
Managing Editor
Senior Editor
Digital Media Editor
Contributing Editors:

Dan Malovany
Nico Roesler
Charlotte Atchley
Anna Wiber
Donna Berry
M. Hikmet Boyacıoglu

CORPORATE
Chairman and CEO
Charles S. Sosland
President
L. Joshua Sosland
Chief Financial and
Administrative Officer
Staci Greco
Chief Operating Officer and
Executive Editor
Meyer Sosland
Chief Marketing Officer
Jim Saladin
Corporate Headquarters
4801 Main St., Suite 650, Kansas City, MO 64112
Phone: (816) 756-1000; Fax: (816) 756-0494
E-mail: BakingSnack@sosland.com
Internet: www.bakingandsnack.com

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without written permission is prohibited. Printed in USA


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Baking & Snack - December 2020

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