February 2, 2022

BEMA Board Spotlight with Mark Podl

BEMA: What got you into the baking industry?

Mark: We have been involved in wholesale and retail baking since 1976. Our equipment was durable enough to survive baking environments for ten plus years and we offered lb, oz, lb-oz, kg and g units which was unique for that time. The relationships we built are what really cemented our position in the industry for bench top scales.

BEMA: Why do you love the business of baking?

Mark: The people are the best part. We always start new solutions by visiting our customers to work through any problems they may be experiencing as well as evaluate what their current needs are before we begin product creation.

BEMA: Who do you consider a mentor in the industry? Who has made an impact on your career?

Mark: We made the transition to U.S. manufacturing before the trade war, and we did so as part of a strategic plan to ensure quality, increase reaction time to large orders, and reduce inventory levels.

Also, because of manufacture in the U.S., our entire industrial line qualifies as a NAFTA product, which reduces costs for our dealers in Canada and Mexico.

BEMA: Doran products are designed, engineered and built in the USA. What does that mean for customers?

Mark: Rich Hoskins is one of those people that made you feel like instant friends. He introduced my father and I to BEMA and IBIE with his trademark welcoming smile. He helped us realize the value of serving the baking industry was more about building strong relationships rather than simply providing products. Whenever we were in the same room, he always made time to come over to say hello or make an introduction. Rich embodies what BEMA is all about – family, friendship and service to our industry.

BEMA: What goals do you have for your board membership tenure?

Mark: We are very fortunate to have had such great leadership in the past that allows the current team to build upon their vision and successes. As an organization, we have to continue to grow and adapt to meet the needs of our industry now and in the future. Personally, I feel a crucial area of focus during my tenure will be to continue enhancing our educational offerings to meet the needs of our baking partners and the industry as a whole.

BEMA: What trend are you most excited about in the baking industry right now?

Mark: Connectivity is the most transformative trend in baking. Every device in every plant will be connected to collect data, improve processes, and help to measure success. Yield calculations will be done on the fly and help plant managers experiment with process improvements with feedback down to the batch level. All of this information will be available on any device at any time and accessible to any authorized user who needs it. All of this data can be consolidated in one place for plant-level employees all the way up to the CEO. If any process breaks down, it will be identified instantly and direct plant staff to where they need to mobilize resources.

BEMA: What was your favorite baked good as a kid, and now?

Mark: SuzyQs for me – I really enjoyed scraping the left over SuzyQ from the wax cardboard leaving nothing to waste. Now my favorite is the wide variety of whole grain breads that are healthy and delicious.


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