Doug Wittich, George Weston Foods
Doug Wittich, a retired George Weston executive, is the first Canadian to receive the honor.

HOUSTON — At the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA)’s 2016 Dairy-Deli-Bake Seminar and Expo, held June 5-7 in Houston, John Cheesman, IDDBA chairman and vice-president, business development for Clyde’s Donuts, Addison, Ill., presented Doug Wittich with the association’s Chairman’s Award.

Mr. Wittich spent 43 years in the wholesale baking industry, holding various positions in three different George Weston companies — Weston Bakeries, Ready Bake Foods and Maplehurst Bakeries — in both the United States and Canada.

He was instrumental in growing the in-store and frozen bakery business for Weston, beginning in the late 1970s in Eastern Canada.

“Doug built and led a technical sales team that was highly instrumental in the growth of both Weston’s frozen business, and the growth of the overall in-store bakery business in Eastern Canada,” Mr. Cheesman said.

Mr. Wittich’s commitment to the frozen and in-store business for Weston resulted in the development of Ready Bake Foods, the frozen dough division of George Weston Ltd., where he was named national sales manager, and in 1991 he helped expand the business into the United States. In 1992, Maplehurst became part of Ready Bake.

A graduate of AIB International, Mr. Wittich has been dedicated to the IDDBA organization, having served several terms on the board.

“This award is given to an individual who has made an extraordinary commitment to serving the dairy-deli-bakery industry with vision and dedication,” Mr. Cheesman said. “It is given this year in recognition of a lifetime of service and contribution to the bakery industry … Doug’s passion for the grain-based food business was unsurpassed in his 43 years in the industry.”

In his emotional acceptance, Mr. Wittich thanked the association, saying, “This is unbelievable.”