MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — Brian L. Strouts, vice-president of baking and food technical services at AIB International, has announced his retirement after nearly three decades with the organization. He will remain with AIB through the end of the year.
“Brian’s leadership has been key to the success of the baking industry and our business,” said Andre R. Biane, president and chief executive officer of AIB International. “I sincerely want to thank Brian for his loyalty to AIB International and I wish him all the best in his retirement.”
After graduating from Kansas State University in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in bakery science and management, Strouts joined Entenmann’s Bakery, where he worked in quality systems for eight years. He later joined Vista Baking as quality assurance manager, a position he held for three years.
Strouts joined the AIB in 1991 as head of research and technical services and was promoted to vice-president in 2013. During his career, Strouts worked alongside the American Bakers Association, Kansas State University and others to spearhead the development of several Baking Process Kill Step Calculators.
“Working at AIB International has allowed me to experience the world of baking, traveling to every state in the United States and 20 countries globally,” Strouts said. “Working with bakers around the world has been a privilege and a continuous learning experience.”
Strouts has been an active member of several industry organizations, including the American Association of Cereal Chemists International, the ABA’s Food Technical Regulatory Affairs Committee, the American Society of Baking, and the Wheat Quality Council. He also has authored several of the AIB’s technical bulletins and has presented on the AIB’s behalf at many technical meetings and conferences.
With Strouts’s retirement, Valerie Olson, senior director of bakery consulting and food labeling, will step in to lead AIB International’s baking initiatives in North America and Latin America.
Prior to joining the AIB in 2014 Olson was manager of the Sensory Analysis Center at KSU for more than two years. She earlier was a food technologist and sensory panel leader at Senomyx, Inc., and also held the position of assistant product and consumer scientist at Kellogg Co. and product development assistant at the Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Olson will report to Stephanie Lopez, vice-president of operations, Americas. Lopez’s and Olson’s roles will expand with Strouts’s retirement.