Gary J. Prince is a visionary leader. His extraordinary 40 year journey in the baking industry began on a route in Saskatchewan and concluded in the Presidency of the largest baker in the history of the US baking industry. Along the way he had the good fortune to work with leaders, such as Daniel Servitje, Dick Currie and Galen Weston, who believed in his capabilities and placed their trust in him. Gary’s remarkable career is characterized by long term focus with an emphasis on strategically investing and building: in bakeries, distribution centers, route structures and, importantly, in people and teams. No matter the size of the business he was running, he has always had an abiding belief in the local nature of this business and relied on local leaders to set the course in their markets and make a difference.
After an extremely successful career in Canada, the last two years of which were at the helm of Weston Bakeries Ontario, Mr. Prince came to the United States in 1994 to lead Stroehmann Bakeries, at the time a struggling Mid-Atlantic regional baker. After exploring the sale of the company, he instead decided to turn the business around. He and a small, committed team did so rapidly and with striking success, achieving profitability in 1996 by focusing on the core, eliminating waste and building a winning, results-oriented culture. What followed would not have been possible without the successful turnaround that team engineered.
In 1998, Mr. Prince led the acquisition of Maier’s Bakery, rapidly integrating it into the Stroehmann system by building scale and density which ignited a further step change in growth and profitability. This set the stage for the major acquisition in 2001 that led to the establishment of George Weston Bakeries: Bestfoods Baking and its great brands of Entenmann’s, Thomas’, Oroweat, Arnold and Brownberry. From 2001-2009, Gary presided over one of the most successful bakers ever, growing and enjoying margins that had never before been achieved.
In 2009, Grupo Bimbo acquired George Weston Bakeries and Daniel Servitje named Gary Prince President of the new Bimbo Bakeries USA. He took his leadership to yet another level following the acquisition of the Sara Lee Fresh Bakery business in 2011. Gary was now responsible for a $6 billion business with 71 bakeries and almost 14,000 routes with service to every city, village and town in America. He was personally the integration and transformation architect, ensuring BBU was positioned to succeed and win for many years to come.
Gary J. Prince’s tireless pursuit of excellence and his many accomplishments has shaped the US baking industry. His contagious passion and inspirational leadership energized his people and encouraged his teams to meet challenges and opportunities head on, always focused on doing what was right for the business. He announced his retirement in late 2014, at the same time learning of his well-deserved induction into the Baking Hall of Fame.
Click on the images below to view .pdf files of the inductee’s biography and plaque.