Robert Benton

Robert Benton’s extraordinary 43-year career in the baking industry is hallmarked by the design and construction of 10 new bakeries, the redesign and installation of more than 50 major production lines, and support for numerous mergers and acquisitions that helped make Flowers Foods the country’s second-largest baking company.

Despite proving himself to be one of the most knowledgeable and capable engineers in the industry, Robert will be most remembered for his uniquely strong leadership abilities, high ethical standards, and profound knowledge and passion for the baking business. He leads by example and has always been a strong mentor and advocate for bakery team members, as well as numerous other individuals both in and outside of Flowers. He also values partnership and established many long-term relationships with vendors over the course of his career.

Robert started his baking career as an intern while attending the University of West Georgia. He took full advantage of the opportunity to learn basic operations during his internship and upon graduation, accepted a full-time first-line supervisor position at Flowers’ bakery in Tuscaloosa, AL. As he continued to progress into different roles, he demonstrated a deep understanding of the baking industry and business in general. He was named to increasing senior leadership positions, beginning with plant management, and ultimately working his way up to corporate management.

As an industry leader, Robert has devoted time to several industry affiliations including the American Society of Baking (Chairman 2008-2009), Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA), American Institute of Baking (AIB), American Bakers Association (ABA), and International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE). In 2001 he received the honor of being named Baking & Snack Operations Executive of the Year and is honored to be inducted into ASB’s Baking Hall of Fame in 2024.