Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 24

OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR
salesperson who showed him how to put his family
first. Mr. Creighton also was awarded Baking & Snack's
Operations Executive of the Year award in 2002.
" As I was learning how to navigate the blessing and
curse that is working in the baking industry and its demands
on the family, I was able to see a man who has
been successful in the industry, but you can see that his
family comes first, " Mr. Porter explained.
Sitting in the leadership position he holds now, Mr.
Porter aims to spend his time doing what his mentors
did for him: providing opportunities, trusting his team
and helping them be the best version of themselves.
Managing from the heart
While Mr. Porter's leadership style has been heavily influenced
by his heavyweight mentors, he has taken the
WE'RE IN THE PEOPLE BUSINESS
New Horizons Baking Co. (NHBC) is passionate about its
people. It's part of the company culture since Tim Brown,
chairman, took over ownership and a value he's instilled
in Trina Bediako, chief executive officer, and Mike Porter,
president and chief operating officer. In light of the changing
workforce and the crisis that has ensued, Ms. Bediako
and Mr. Porter have been proactive about looking for new
ways they can change the business of baking to better
serve today's worker, rather than expecting today's worker
to adapt to them.
" We've changed how we lead; we've changed how we
operate, " Ms. Bediako said. " Because in order to succeed in
this industry you have to change. "
Part of that change was hiring Mr. Porter's son, Noah
Porter, as an intern. His son, who now works for NHBC full
time in recruiting, spent a summer working in every aspect
of the bakery and evaluating the company's culture from
the eyes of a millennial. His report was eye-opening.
" He said our break room looked like a morgue, " Mr.
Porter said. " People don't know where to park or where
to go on their first day - little things that help people feel
comfortable. He did a presentation for all of us and really
read us our mail. "
It would be easy for a company to ignore the critique of
a college student, but NHBC has since put a marketplace in
the break room to offer employees better food options. The
company is also remodeling its conference room, which
is often where potential or new employees are taken for
interviews and onboarding.
" He told us that he brings new recruits into this conference
room, and it's just dismal, " Mr. Porter said. " So we're
going to make it more modern. "
24 Baking & Snack December 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
lessons they have taught him and made them his own.
Ms. Bediako said it best when she described Mr. Porter
as a coach.
" He provides clear goals and objectives, and then he
gets out of the way and lets the experts do their thing, "
she said. " It's really nice to watch. "
It was a lesson he had to learn the hard way. As someone
with a wealth of experience on the production floor,
Mr. Porter said he had to learn to stop micromanaging
his team and let them do the work.
" I was a perfectionist, and I wanted to make sure everything
was right, " he said. " It's hard to let people do
their jobs, but it is so rewarding to watch them succeed.
When I was micromanaging, I was crippling my team
and not allowing them to be the best version of themselves.
You must trust them and give them the opportunity
to rise to the occasion. "
Today, he tries giving them tools and resources to do
that and then getting out of the way.
" I need you to be the best version of you, " he said. " If
I can get that every day out of everybody, there's nothing
that can stop us. "
While the motivational speeches and equipping is important,
it's not Mr. Porter's only strength as a leader. His
extensive experience working multiple roles within the
bakery have given him the credibility he needs with his
team. He also has earned their trust.
" We all have one goal as a team, but we each have
a different role, " he said. " I'm not going to be the best
at supply chain - I have great people who can do that
- but I understand enough about it that I can support
them well. I can walk the production floor, and I understand
the process, the people and what they're going
through because I lived it. "
Ms. Bediako pointed out the asset Mr. Porter's experience
has brought to NHBC.
" He really brings an amazing amount of operational
and industry knowledge to the business, yet he cares
about the people he works with, " Ms. Bediako pointed
out. " He's respected in the business and the industry, and
that's just as important. "
Every morning starts off with Ms. Bediako and
Mr. Porter making the rounds to greet their employees.
Then Mr. Porter spends each day focused on a
different aspect of the bakery: One day he might be
in meetings with operations, the next he focuses on
supply chain or purchasing. In Norwalk, he tries to
stay off the production floor to give the operations
managers the space to do their jobs and lead their
teams. When he's at one of NHBC's other facilities,
he'll spend more time on the floor to get a sense for
how operations are running. It's all an effort to help
keep the leadership accessible to the employees and
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - December 2022

Baking & Snack - December 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 5
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 6
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 7
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 8
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Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 11
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 12
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https://digitalbs.bakingbusiness.com/sosland/bs/baking-snack-december-2022
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