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WILLIAM LEE BARAN, Ph.D.

WILLIAM LEE BARAN, Ph.D.
Class of June 1961
INDUCTED 2017

Dr. Baran has been a research food scientist for 53 yrs. and for the past 40 with the food service industry. He has provided direction within the quick-service restaurant segment for the development of nutritionally oriented products, as well as serving both academia and government groups in many capacities. He has published fourteen papers and holds one patent.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Dr. Baran has a Ph.D. in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Michigan State University. He received an Associate of Arts degree from Wright Junior College, Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Food Technology from Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. Dr. Baran, an Eagle Scout, has served as Scout Coordinator for Audubon Troop 573 and District Representative for the Eagle Board of Review. He is a member of the Shrine Pipes and Drums and has served as piping instructor for Explorer Post 909. Other community activities include The American Legion, and various fraternal organizations.

Dr. Baran has published fourteen papers and holds one patent. He has been a member of the Institute of Food Technologists since 1965, has served as IFT Scientific Lecturer (1983-1988), has served on the Foodservice Division Short Course Planning Committee and presented a paper on distribution in foodservice (1983), has served as Chairman of the IFT, Foodservice Division (1985 and 2006) and three years on the Executive Committee of IFT, Foodservice Division (1990-1993), and served as a board member of the IFT Foundation Committee (1996-1999; 2001-2003), The Committee on Global Interests (1993-1996), and Chairman of the Foodservice Division — Short Course Program (1994-1995). Elected Fellow of the Institute July 2003. He is a member of Sigma XI, Gamma Sigma Delta and Phi Tau Sigma.

An Eagle Scout, he served as Scout Coordinator for Audubon Troop 573 and District Rep.  for the Eagle Board of Review. He is a member of the Shrine Pipes and Drums and has served as piping instructor for Explorer Post 909. Other community activities include The American Legion, and various fraternal organizations. He is a Compatriot at the Palo Verde Chapter of Arizona Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) and presently serves as the AZSSAR State Secretary. He is active with the Arizona Bernese Mountain Dog Rescue and trains dogs in performance activities.

Dr. William L. Baran was the Chief Food Innovation Officer for Kahala Corporation in Scottsdale, AZ. After joining Kahala Corporation he returned as a Faculty Associate/Consultant, Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness. Prior to joining the faculty at Arizona State University, he was Director of new products and quality assurance for the Krystal Company. Prior to joining Krystal Company, Dr. Baran was Principal Officer of E-Business Solutions an internet consulting company located in Phoenix, Arizona. He also served as a consultant for Sun Orchard fresh juice company and as Director of Product Research and Development for Chick-fil-A, Inc. His management responsibilities include new-product development, quality assurance and technical services.

Some key accomplishments:

  • Conceived Waffle Potato Fries and managed the team that implemented the product throughout the chain. Increased volume from 600,000 to 38 million pounds in twelve years.
  • Developed the Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich that increased chain-wide sales by $40MM in five months after introduction, representing 15% of total sales.
  • Developed biscuit breakfast program featuring a chicken biscuit. Product now represents 40% of breakfast sales and is rated as best in the industry by an independent research firm.
  • Built menu as it now exists. Independent consumer rating best in industry for four major products. Resulted in a positive sales increase continuously over fourteen years.
  • Directed chain roll out of Chicken Tenderloin Strips. Generated more than 10% of total sales. Considered best new product ever introduced by Chick-fil-A.

Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Dr. Baran was Director, Research and Development for the Marriott/Gino’s Company. He joined Gino’s in 1978 as a Manager of Food Technology, was promoted to Director of Food Technology in January 1980, and subsequently became Corporate Director of Research and Development in July, 1980. Before joining Gino’s, Inc., Dr. Baran had been a Group Leader and Senior Group Leader with The Quaker Oats Company in Barrington, Illinois. Dr. Baran served as a milk and food consultant with the U.S. Public Health Service (FDA), serving as a Lieutenant (Senior Grade), and directed the administration of the Federal Interstate Milk Shippers Program and Food Service Sanitation Program in the Southeastern states.

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