After overhauling its trade show structure, moving association headquarters and reorganizing staff, the Retail Bakers of America (RBA) is looking to the consistent leadership of its newest president, Mike Kalupa, owner of Kalupa’s Bakery, Tampa, Fla.
Kalupa began his tenure as RBA president last month at the Southeastern Retail Bakers Association convention in Jacksonville, Fla. But, he has been in the bakery business more than 28 years, a long time member of the national and regional bakery associations as well as an elected board member.
“RBA has gone through a lot of changes, which are never easy whether you are in a company or an association,” Kalupa said. “I think we’re at a point now where we can start looking ahead.”
He says the association plans to focus on several areas: 1) Helping bakers with the business side of managing their bakeries 2) Offering members tangible products to help market their bakeries 3) Providing top-notch education at its trade shows 4) Connecting bakers through the RBA Web site and Baker-to-Baker e-group.
“In the past, RBA members were very product driven. ‘What’s the formula? How do you make it?’ Today, the product is not necessarily the issue,” Kalupa said. “The real issue is how do we help the baker drive incremental sales? We have to assume today that the baker knows how to bake.”
Kalupa says he is particularly proud of the renowned cake decorating talent RBA helped line up for the American Retail Bakery Exposition to be held in Las Vegas, September 9-11 this year.
For more information about RBA or the American Retail Bakery Exposition, visit www.rbanet.com.