"The biggest change you're going to see is that RBA will be spending 80 percent of its time on member services and education and 20 percent on a tradeshow, rather than the other way around," Fraser said. "We were spending too much of our resources on the show."
The Retail Bakers of America recently announced that it hired the Association Management Group (AMG) to provide management services to the association. Under the agreement, Bernard Reynolds, executive vice president, will lead a new staff focused on education and member services. AMG will provide the RBA staff with professional services in finance, marketing, technology and communications.
"Reorganizing staff and refocusing the Board's energy on serving the needs of America's retail bakers is the logical next step in our strategic plan," said Fraser. "Last year the Board of Directors approved consolidation of the trade show, merging Marketplace with the Atlantic City Bakery Expo in 2006 and the newly formed western bakery expo in 2007."
With the New York and New Jersey retail baking association partners, the industry shows were renamed American Bakery Expo with scheduled fall dates through 2010. The Retail Bakers of America will co-sponsor these shows and provide the professional bakers education program consisting of workshops, demonstrations, speakers, bakery tours and competitions.
"The Board understood that show consolidation would shift RBA's focus and staffing needs from being a trade show production business to a member service association," said Fraser. "To help us make this organizational transition quick, efficient and effective, we sought the professional services of a management company dedicated to not-for-profit associations."
AMG will work with Reynolds and his staff to upgrade the association's Web site and offer new on-line services, improve telephone service with live receptionist response to all member calls, create a membership campaign to attract new members, launch a public relations campaign aimed at retail bakery customers to create more sales for members and develop information and services to help bakers grow their business. The association will continue to improve current services, such as Insight, Formula Database and e-groups.