Penn College faculty present seminars at Artisan Bakery Expo

Published 02.16.2024

Faculty & Staff
Business, Arts & Sciences Events
Baking & Culinary

Pennsylvania College of Technology’s baking and pastry arts faculty, joined by nine students, presented several educational sessions at the two-day Artisan Bakery Expo East, held at the Atlantic City Convention Center in New Jersey.

Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, presented seminars titled “Food Safety,” “Sweet & Savory Tarts That Sell,” and “Chocolate 101: Choosing the Right Chocolate for the Right Application.” Chocolate 101 was offered twice.

Chef Todd M. Keeley, assistant professor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts, presented two sessions of a seminar titled “Understanding Yourself and Your Team Members.”

Chefs Charles R. Niedermyer (left) and Todd M. Keeley

Niedermyer and Keeley were among an all-star cast of industry-leading speakers – including a James Beard Award-winner – from across the United States. Penn College baking & pastry arts students rubbed elbows with all of them as seminar assistants.

The students who provided assistance are M.J. Harbron, of Pottstown; Amber R. Harris, of Sciota; Chloe M. Harris, of Williamsport; Sofie E. Howard, of South Williamsport; Emily E.R. Kohen, of Mill Hall; Sydney L. Mahoney, of Roaring Spring; Destiny Y. Martinez, of Lancaster; Autumn B. Stanley, of Lincoln University; and Jalen J.L. Stunkard, of New Fairfield, Conn.

Harbron and Amber Harris are also pursuing bachelor’s degrees in applied management. Howard and Chloe Harris graduated in December 2023.

Both Keeley and Niedermyer hold associate degrees in baking & pastry arts and bachelor’s degrees in management from Penn College and boast decades in the industry.

Keeley has been immersed in the field since he was 3, when his parents started a cake-decorating business. He’s owned and operated a retail bakery and café and served as director of bakery operations at Country Cupboard in Lewisburg. In addition to his faculty role at Penn College, where he began teaching part time in 2006 and has taught full-time since 2013, he serves as a consultant for two local businesses and as an adjunct instructor for the Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts.

In addition to his Penn College degrees, he holds a Doctor of Business Administration: strategic management, a graduate certificate in marketing and a Master of Business Administration, all from Liberty University, as well as a Black Belt in Innovation Engineering, earned at Penn College through the Eureka! Ranch Innovation Engineering Institute.

Niedermyer has taught at Penn College since 2005 and is a recipient of the college’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He was named a 2018 Bake Magazine “Twenty-five” issue top educator, was on Dessert Professional Magazine’s 2017 Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America list, and was a finalist for the U.S. team that competed at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie.

He’s written for and been featured in several industry magazines and is a frequent presenter for events by the Bread Bakers Guild of America, Retail Confectioners International and the Retail Confectioners Association of Philadelphia. His industry experience includes bakeries, restaurants, hotels and clubs, as well as a lead role at the Kentucky Derby, where Penn College baking and culinary students have served weeklong internships for 30 years.

In addition to industry exhibitors and educational seminars, the Artisan Bakery Expo East featured the Cake Decorating Extravaganza, the East Coast Bagel Championship and the Great Northeast Cookie Art & Creativity Contest. Formerly known as Atlantic Bakery Expo, it is the East Coast’s oldest baking industry trade show.

To learn more about Penn College’s baking and pastry arts majors, call 570-327-4505. For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.