UK – Karen Dear has been promoted to the chief executive of the Craft Bakers Association (CBA) effective April 3, 2023, Bakery and Snacks has reported.

Founded in 1887, CBA is a leading professional organization working with the government and other bodies to safeguard the future of the craft bakery sector in the UK.

Karen, who was previously Director of Operations and has worked at the CBA for nearly 23 years, will be responsible for driving the growth and expansion of the CBA and its services.

“We are delighted to announce that Karen Dear has been appointed chief executive of the CBA in recognition of her dedicated service and leadership to the organization,” said Nick Harris, CBA’s chairman.

According to Nick, Karen is the best fit for the role following her passion for raising the profile of this hardworking industry, and as CEO, she will be consulting with the government to ensure the craft bakery sector’s voice is heard.

He, further noted that she intends to maintain her personal contact with members, as noted on the association’s website.

Working with members and talking to members about their business issues and wider industry concerns is one of the most rewarding aspects of the job”.

Accepting the role, Karen said that she was looking forward to taking on the challenge at what is an exciting time for the CBA.

My new role will enable me to focus on growing the organization, whilst also ensuring CBA membership continues to be valuable to all our members and industry supporters,” she said

Futureproofing the business

Once she resumes the office, Karen’s first agenda is the upcoming CBA Business Day which will take place on Wednesday 14 June, the first event in four years designed to ‘empower bakers to future-proof their business’.

The program includes presentations from industry experts on key topics, including consumer attitudes to craft bakeries and how to make the media work for your business.

Among the expected are the British Baker editor Amy North, Howard Saunders, retail futurist speaker, and Dr. Devon Petrie from the National Bakery School who are envisioned to offer insights, expertise, and advice to help businesses prepare for the year ahead.

The event will also see CBA president Neil Woods step down and Patrick Wilkins take in as national president for 2023/24.

“It’ll be a great opportunity to showcase all that the craft baking industry has to offer and acknowledge the resilience and importance of the industry, especially during the challenging times we have all faced recently and continue to do so,” Karen added.

Finally, Karen noted that the CBA is looking forward to thanking the outgoing national president, Neil, for his outstanding work and welcoming the incoming president Patrick.

She also commended Patrick’s capability for the role noting that the CBA is sure that he will be a great addition to the association.

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