Frankenmuth, Michigan and a Bavarian-themed village was the annual fall conference gathering place for four of the IAOM districts from September 19-21. More than 170 attendees participated in the three-day event, which included a golf tournament, social and networking events, a day of technical offerings and a tour of the nearby Michigan Sugar Company, an agricultural cooperative based in Bay City, Michigan that specializes in the processing of beet sugar.
Wolverine District Chairman John Steinfort facilitated the successful networking event of the Niagara, Ohio Valley, Southeastern, and Wolverine districts at the Bavarian Inn Lodge.
The Inn, full of old world and European flavor, boasts 13 riverfront acres, horse-drawn carriages and a covered bridge, an indoor waterpark and four indoor pools.
The Fortress Golf Course hosted 53 golfers in gorgeous temperatures on day one of the event. Considered one of Michigan’s most beautiful golf courses, The Fortress defends itself with oversized greens and challenging bunkers. It is located within walking distance of downtown Frankenmuth. The tournament was sponsored by Chantland MHS and Kice Industries.
Later that same day, participants gathered in the spacious, indoor courtyard of the Lodge for a kick-off social event.
A full day of technical and what’s new presentations earmarked the conference gathering Thursday. Steinfort welcomed conference goers and, during lunch, IAOM President Jeff Hole provided an update on international activities and an overview of challenges the milling industry faces.
Tom Sargent, IAOM director of professional development, reviewed a variety of resources and training opportunities for IAOM members. He also noted ongoing updates to the IAOM mobile app, iaom365 which can be downloaded from the Apple or Google Play stores for free.
Technical speakers and presentation titles during the morning included Ron Galle, ADM; Sanitary Transport Best Practices, and Joe Mlynek, Progressive Safety Services LLC; OSHA 1920 Subpart D – Changes to Working Ladders and Surfaces.
Various allied trades supporters had the opportunity to provide brief presentations during both the morning and afternoon sessions. These 10-minute offerings by each speaker utilized a popular What’s New theme often seen at other IAOM conferences.
Presenters for this hour included representatives from Cordano Packaging, Bühler, Food Protection Services, Premier Tech Chronos and Bratney Company. Jerry Zolkowski, DNV GL, presented Capitalizing on Available Energy Rebates, while John Steinfort, Star of the West Milling, ended the morning session with Modernizing the Mill Flow. Afternoon presentations included Stacy Payne of Chelsea Milling, Paul Mosher of Gardner Denver, Shawn Thiele of Kansas State University, and Daryl Cooper of Valcom.
A special presentation by 2016 IMEF scholarship for professionals recipient, Alisa Crawford, provided an update on her activities at her Dutch wind mill at Windmill Island in Holland, Michigan to end the day. The mill arrived from the Netherlands in 1964 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. She utilized the scholarship to purchase the IAOM Correspondence Course in Flour Milling. Crawford is the miller and events coordinator at the facility since 2002, and is the first Dutch-certified miller in the Americas. She is also the first woman admitted to the Dutch Professional and Traditional Grainmillers Guild.
Breaks during the day were sponsored by Food Protection Services and Industrial Magnetics. Lunch for attendees was sponsored by MPI Magnetics and Bühler.
A table top exhibition featured the industry’s leading equipment manufacturers and service providers.
Each District met for a business meeting and to elect new officers for the coming year. That evening, members joined together again for a very successful Bavarian themed banquet. During the banquet, president Hole presented Royal Denning the Benefactor Award from the IMEF, the philanthropic partner of IAOM, for reaching the highest plateau for individual giving to the foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the grain milling industry through educational programs, professional development efforts and research projects.
On the final morning of the event, 30 attendees boarded a bus, traveling to the Michigan Sugar Company’s processing plant in nearby Bay City, Michigan. Split into a number of groups for a tour of the facility, participants were walked through the step-by-step processing of sugar beets into a finished product. Late September marks the start of the beet harvest and truck traffic into the mill was constant. Founded in 1906, Michigan Sugar sells beet sugar under the brand names Big Chief and Pioneer.
District Leadership No changes in the Ohio Valley District officers occurred. Present officers include Director LaVern Huepenbecker; Chairperson Ed Gwirtz, The Mennel Milling Co.; Vice Chairperson Kenny Stice, Siemer Milling Co.; 1st Executive Committeeperson Steve (Red) Michel, Star of the West; and Secretary/Treasurer Tom Reed, REPCO.
The Niagara District saw no changes in leadership as well. Leaders include Director Drew Stewart, ADM Milling; Chairperson Daniel Rowe, Ardent Mills; Vice Chairperson Mason Reid, Wilkins-Rogers, Inc.; Secretary Spencer Hickey, Corbion; Treasurer Darryl Tateishi, DT Grain Processing Systems Inc.; and Allied Trades Chairperson Don Elton.
The Southeastern District also saw no changes. Director Stephen Banks, Grain Craft; Chairperson Dustin Mariman, Wilkins-Rogers, Inc.; Vice Chairperson Charles McLean, Bay State Milling; Secretary/Treasurer Bill Lindquist, Corbion; and Allied Trades Representative Art Creason, Creason Companies.
The Wolverine District elected as its 1st Executive Chairperson Gary LeGore, Knappen Milling Co.; No changes in its remaining leadership occurred. Director Regan Doyle, King Milling Co.; Chairperson John Steinfort, Star of the West Milling Co.; Vice-Chairperson Patrick Nellenbach, Star of the West Milling Co.; Treasurer Wes Lentz, Chelsea Milling Co.; Secretary Tom Carpenter, Corbion.