Inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2003
Mark was born in Cleveland on May 13, 1955 into a third-generation candy business family that includes his father Dick, a 1983 Candy Hall of Famer. Mark attended Bowling Green State University, majoring in business, and in 1974 began working at E. Pellegatti and Co. a candy brokerage his grandfather Emmett founded in 1942. The brokerage later became R.L. Antonucci and Associates.
A high point in Mark’s career came in 1979 when he sold his first truckload of candy. Advancing to account executive, he was promoted to vice-president of sales for R.L. Antonucci in 1982. Mark continued in sales and as a partner as the brokerage merged several times throughout the 1990s.
In 2001, he joined Cleveland brokerage Shankman & Associates, Inc. where he serves as vice-president of sales. He credits his father for teaching him the brokerage business “from the ground up, with his guidance, wisdom and leadership.”
For his sales successes, Mark has been presented broker of the year and regional awards from suppliers including Cadbury Trebor Allen, Inc.; Ce De Candy, Inc.; Peter-Paul Cadbury Inc.; Gilliam Candy Brands, Inc.; Leaf, Inc.; Ben Myerson Candy Co.; R.M. Palmer Co.; and Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc.
Mark collects antique open-stock candy boxes, Beatles memorabilia and autographs of celebrities he has met, including the members of Led Zeppelin, Mr. T and Ronald Reagan. An avid drummer, Mark was in a band in the late 1970s that played disco and rock music at local bars.