NCSA Candy Hall of Fame inductee Frank Amato

Frank T. Amato

Class of 2019

Frank Amato could easily be considered the candy industry’s Mr. Worldwide. Born on March 19, 1961, his food industry started early with a high school job at Alpha Beta supermarkets.

Working full-time while supporting himself through college, he moved up the ranks at the grocery chain, eventually becoming Manager of the Grocery and General Merchandise departments for the two largest and highest volume superstores in San Diego County.

In 1990, he joined The Hershey Company as a U.S. Sales Representative, and then on to the company’s International Division where he experienced more than 20 years of success, including establishing a sustainable branded export business for Hershey brands within Latin America.

After his more than two decades at Hershey, Frank would team up with Just Born, Inc. in 2004 where he was tasked with developing an international export business for the company’s key brands.

A big proponent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Access Program (MAP), Frank was able to gain international exposure and awareness to Just Born brands.

Recognizing the impact the MAP program had on Just Born, Frank serves as chairman of NCA’s International Committee as a way to give back, offering advice and assistance to other companies within the industry regarding global expansion.

Frank’s efforts were recognized by Just Born as he was awarded the company’s Leadership Award in 2007 for leading the internal development and execution of an international strategic plan for Just Born brands.

In July of 2018, Frank was promoted to Director of Sales, a position he says is one of his top career accomplishments. In this vital role for the company, he is responsible for all global sales of Just Born brands while managing a high performing internal and external sales organization.

Industry involvement includes serving on NCA’s Sweets & Snacks Expo Committee since 2017. He also served as chair of NCA’s International Committee, having participated since 2011.

Frank and his wife Cheryl are the proud parents of two children, Will and Cady, both of whom recently married.

Outside of the industry, Frank loves to spend time with his family at his cabin in the mountains of North Carolina and has started to learn the five-string banjo with the dream of “picking” for his grandchildren someday.

Asked what the Candy Hall of Fame means to him, Frank responded: “I have so much respect for those in this industry and for all that have paved the way before me, and to have my name put forth and to be accepted by my peers for this incredible honor just goes beyond words.”