Inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2015
Beginning her 36-year career as an intern with Richardson Brands Co., Kathy currently serves as vice-president of Premier Specialty, LLC.
Born April 13, 1958, to Kate and Howard Cooper in Philadelphia, she grew up with siblings Howard, Karen and Michael and graduated from Cardinal O’Hara High School, in Springfield, PA, in 1976. Kathy went on to Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s University Academy of Food Marketing, graduating with a bachelor of science in Food Marketing in 1980.
The following year she married Jim, and together they have three children: Brian, Mary-Kate and Thomas.
She began her Richardson internship in 1979 after answering an ad posted to a bulletin board. She was subsequently promoted to marketing coordinator and remained with the company through its acquisition and merger with Leaf, Inc., staying on until 1984.
That year she became a brokerage account manager at Candee Sales before joining Golick Martins, Inc. in 1989 as an account manager. During her decade-long career at the brokerage she received a string of promotions, eventually being named vice-president. In that time, she opened Golick Martins’ Philadelphia and Washington/Baltimore offices.
In 1999, she joined Eisman Gleit Four Star as an account manager, moving on in 2001 to join Burdette Beckmann, Inc. as an account executive, a position she held until 2013. She then handled the Northeast for Just Born, Inc. as a regional sales manager, but left the company in 2014 to take her current position.
Throughout her career, Kathy has garnered industry accolades, including a Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) Candy Ambassador award and Broker of the Year honors from Standard Candy and Just Born.
Her industry involvement began in 1990 with the Philadelphia Candy Club, of which she served as secretary. She has also been a member of the Baltimore Candy Club, National Candy Brokers Association, and CDA Distribution Channels Board. Kathy serves on the National Confectioner Association (NCA) Broker Advisory Panel, is a State of the Industry Conference ambassador, a Confectionery Foundation tour guide at the Sweets & Snacks Expo and a NCA Young Professional Network mentor.
Kathy is affectionately known as “The Candy Lady,” at the Capital Area Food Bank, where she regularly donates products. Other community involvement includes helping Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Work Camp Group and volunteering with SOME (So Others Might Eat), a program to help the poor and homeless.
Once the captain of her high school track team, Kathy likes to remain active and enjoys golfing and swimming.