Brewing Up Inspiration: Brooklyn Brewery Founder Steve Hindy Speaks to Associate Degree Graduates

Steve Hindy
Ted Rich

Ted Rich Delivers Address at Baccalaureate Commencement

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Hyde Park, NY – Steve Hindy, the co-founder, chairman, and president of Brooklyn Brewery, was the keynote speaker at associate degree commencement ceremonies at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park, NY campus on Friday, September 27, 2013. A day earlier, Ted Rich, senior vice president at Rich Products Corporation, delivered the address at the college's baccalaureate graduation held at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie.

"I can't say enough about the generosity of those in the culinary world," said Hindy, citing relief efforts after September 11, 2001 to Superstorm Sandy and the recent flash flooding in Colorado. He then told 72 recipients of degrees in culinary arts and baking and pastry arts, "You're joining a generation of people whose job it is to nourish others."

Hindy learned about brewing beer as a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press, based in Cairo. (He was sitting behind Anwar Sadat when the Egyptian president was assassinated at a parade in 1981.) Back in New York City in 1988, Hindy started a microbrewery with a neighbor, selling the beer out of the back of a van. Brooklyn Brewery now produces 180,000 barrels a year.

Speaking to bachelor's degree recipients on September 26, Rich encouraged the 114 graduates to take advantage of the mentors they have had at the CIA, invoking the relationship between young Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

"Young Jedis of the culinary arts, bring your ideas and passion to the many kitchens you will enter, but resist the dark side of conformity," advised Rich, who is responsible for customer relationships at the company founded by his grandfather in Buffalo, NY in 1945. Originally selling non-dairy whipped topping, Rich's now has more than 2,000 products for the foodservice and retail industries. The Apple Pie Bakery Café on the Hyde Park campus is sponsored by Rich Products Corporation.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images

Photo 1: Brooklyn Brewery's Steve Hindy delivers the commencement address to associate degree recipients at The Culinary Institute of America's Hyde Park campus on September 27, 2013. (Photo credits: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 2: Ted Rich speaks to baccalaureate graduates of The Culinary Institute of America during commencement ceremonies held at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, NY on September 26, 2013. (Photo credits: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 45,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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