Marlene O'Connell | Membership & Development Director
Marlene O’Connell joined the Retail Bakers of America as Membership and Development Director in April 2016. Marlene brings a strong background in data management, development and relationship marketing. In the recent past, she has worked with the Concordia University Chicago Foundation in Annual Giving and Operations. Prior to that, she was with S&H Citadel/Carlson Marketing Group an incentive marketing company. While there, Marlene helped develop and manage incentive and loyalty programs for a variety of clients.
Lee Ann Adams, CMB | Certification & Education Coordinator
Chef Lee Ann Adams earned her Bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Communications Disorders and the graduated summa cum laude from Johnson & Wales University with her Associate’s degree in Baking & Pastry. After a wonderful career in various baking positions, she joined the faculty at The Culinary Institute of America as an Associate Professor of Baking & Pastry. While at CIA, she was named Faculty Member of the Year in 2006. Chef has also taught at The Pennsylvania College of Technology, Paul Smith’s College, and Erie Community College. Lee Ann is a member of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America where she was a member of the Board of Directors, Director of Education for Camp Bread 2005 & 2007. She competed for a position on the Guild sponsored Team USA for The Coup du Monde de la Boulangerie in 2001, 2003 and 2007. She was a three-time national finalist and the team alternate in 2003. Chef is also a Certified Master Baker and a Certified Hospitality Educator.
Lynn Schurman, CD | Education Director
Lynn is from Cold Spring, MN and co-owns the Cold Spring Bakery with her husband, Dale, and brother-in-law, Brian. The bakery was established in 1946 by Dale's parents and presently includes one retail location and 4 wholesale routes which focus on serving small supermarkets. Lynn has always had a passion for education and has served on her local school board for over 28 years. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a masters in counseling. Lynn focuses on providing the education program for All Things Baking, IBIE and works with the New York and New Jersey affiliates to provide programing at the Atlantic Bakery Expo. She also coordinates the Creative Decorating Competition.
Bernadette Shanahan-Haas | Director of Operations
Bernadette Shanahan-Haas stepped into the role of Director of Operations for the Retail Bakers of America in February of 2013. Bernadette comes to the RBA with a strong background in organizational management, marketing, and development. Over the past 15 years, she has worked with companies of all sizes including national destinations and regional economic institutions. Most recently, Bernadette has worked as the Fundraising/Marketing Director with the Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn, as well as the Executive Director of the Professional Women’s Network for the Chicago Southland.
Paul Sapienza | Director of Finance
Paul is from Elmont, N.Y. and is the second generation in the baking industry. In 1973 he took over a retail bakery from his parents, which also had a wholesale division manufacturing Italian pastries. The retail store is managed by his wife, Roseanne, and son, Andrew. In 2007, Paul merged the wholesale business with the Brooklyn Cannoli Company which continues to manufacture under the Sapienza Pastry label. Paul also served as past president of the New York State Association of Manufacturing Retail Bakers. He holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting.
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