In 1988, Ken Newsome penned these words: “I want to build a company that is special – special in the way it treats its employees, special in the way it treats its customers, special in the way it works to improve its community, and special in the way it competes in the marketplace. It will be loved by those who are a part of it and respected by those who compete against it.”
With a customer focused mindset, Ken leveraged both his forward-thinking vision and business acumen to become a trailblazer in the bakery equipment world.
The relentless pursuit of excellence is the driving force behind Ken’s success. His dream was to build a world-class manufacturing company in his home state of Virginia. In 1996, he put together a team of local investors to acquire AMF Bakery Systems, headquartered in Richmond. Through a series of strategic acquisitions, as well as an alliance with Markel Corporation, AMF has become the world’s largest manufacturer of wholesale bread and bun baking equipment.
The acquisition of Tromp Bakery Equipment moved AMF into specialty items like pastry, pizza, and artisan breads. The combination with Reading Bakery Systems expanded the company into equipment for cookies, crackers, and other baked snacks. The addition of Solbern expanded the company’s offerings into other processed foods.
Ken acknowledges that this success could not have been accomplished without the support of his loving family – wife, Linda, sons David and Alex, and daughters Jennifer and Sarah. They and the 900 teammates who come to work every day to help customers make and ship their products share this honor.