ASB Names New Executive Director

For Immediate Release

KANSAS CITY, Mo., February 15, 2023 –The American Society of Baking announces Kristen L. Spriggs, CAE, IOM has been named as its next Executive Director to succeed Kent Van Amburg, CAE, who will retire on March 2, 2023.

Spriggs brings extensive association management experience with more than 20 years in membership-based organizations where she led the efforts to build community in partnership with volunteer leaders and staff. In progressive roles throughout her career, Spriggs has engaged in the strategic leadership of events, certifications/professional development, and products/services to support member companies’ operational needs. At the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) where she spent 17 years, she also led the association’s overall sponsorship/advertising to generate non-dues revenue in support for valuable member programs. Most recently she served as the Chief Member Services Officer for the American Society for Quality (ASQ) providing executive leadership of its 60,000+ global membership, 230+ chapters/components, standards development, knowledge management, events both in-person and virtual HQ and Member Units, and sponsorship/advertising partnerships. 

“Kristen’s extensive experience in board and committee governance, event management, as well as leading teams and organizations through transformational change made her the ideal candidate to shepherd ASB into a new era,” said Brittny Ohr, ASB Board Chairman and Chairman of the Executive Search Committee. “We are really excited her passion for innovation and collaborative approach comes at the right time in ASB’s history with the succession of Kent Van Amburg, who brought stability and focus to ASB when he joined the organization in 2010.”

Spriggs, a native Midwesterner and graduate of Indiana State University with a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing, started her first week at ASB meeting with industry partners. “ASB has a strong foundation and, throughout all my discussions with the Board of Directors, I can see there are tremendous opportunities for us to enhance our service to the industry,” shared Spriggs. “I could feel the strong bonds and familial nature among peers that connect individuals to one another in this industry – it was a huge piece of what attracted me to this role,” shared Spriggs. “I’m excited to do this in partnership with the other trade organizations and many other service partners who are invested in our industry’s success.”

Developing relationships and enhancing member value has been a focus of Spriggs’ work throughout her career. Under her leadership, Spriggs helped grow events by 444% averaging 70-points Net Promoter Score during her career at the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.  She has deep experience in board and committee relations as well as governance policy development from her time at NAMIC where she developed and launched its board education program in 2007 and in her work with more than 2,000 active volunteers at ASQ.  She holds the Certified Association Executive designation and IOM distinction from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Additionally she was recognized by her peers as a 40 Under 40 by Connect Magazine and honored as the Association Professional of the Year by the Indiana Society of Association Executives. 

Van Amburg, a graduate of Kansas State University with a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and Purdue University with a M.S. in Agricultural Economics/Public Policy, spent 10 years as a representative for the grain industry before moving to association management. Prior to ASB, Van Amburg served the gas and welding industry. Van Amburg has served the association industry since 2006, with 13 of those years at ASB. His hobbies such as perfecting his sour dough recipe and flyfishing will take centerstage as he and his wife, Nancy, plan their next travel destination. 

Spriggs will assume the role at the conclusion of ASB’s 99th annual BakingTECH event in Chicago, Ill., February 28-March 2, 2023. 


The American Society of Baking (ASB) serves a community of baking industry professionals who have joined together to provide continuing education, networking, opportunities, and professional development. The members include commercial bakers, engineers, food technologists, and the suppliers of equipment, ingredients, and services in the grain-based food industry. ASB, originally founded as the American Society of Baking Engineers, will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2024.  

The United States commercial baking industry employs nearly 330,000 people with industry revenues estimated at nearly $97 billion annually. There are over 600 U.S. baking plants that produce fresh and frozen commercial products daily for retail, foodservice and restaurant consumption. ASB represents members who are either engaged in, involved with, or interested in wholesale or large-scale bakery production, grain science, engineering, research, quality assurance and food safety.