A. Robert Fortunato
Class of 2012
A. Robert Fortunato was born on November 12, 1952, in Steubenville, OH, to A. Robert Sr. and Eileen, who also raised: Patricia, Rebecca, Mark, Michele, Matt and Greg.
He attended St. Elizabeth High School in Pleasant Hills, PA, and then went to Pennsylvania State University to study law enforcement until 1973.
He married Lyn-Nette in 1978, and they have four children: Anthony, Alexander, Gabriel and Nathaniel.
Bob’s first job in the business was scrubbing floors at the Clark Bar factory during the summer while in school. From 1977 to 1980, he was a confectionery broker for Kramer, George-Antonucci Sales Co., Inc. He was then a partner with Fanzo-Fortunato Sales until 1986, and a confectionery broker manager for Kaye and Silver until 1990. Bob then served as
Vice-President of Confectionery Sales with Martin & Joyce Polens, Inc. until 1995, and held the same title with Williams and Drake Co. until 1997.
Since then, Bob has been the Director of Wholesale Sales for Sledd Co., a convenience channel supplier and food distributor.
He says his parents and wife as well as getting up early in the morning all contributed to his success, adding his father had the greatest impact on his career.
Some of his biggest day-to-day challenges include making decisions not everyone will like.
He jokes that receiving a $17 commission check is one of his most memorable career moments.
Bob would advise a newcomer into the industry to be an expert in category management and to always hire smart people.
A veteran of 34 years in confectionery, Bob contributed as a wholesaler advisor to the National Confectioners Association from 2006 to 2008 and served as President of the Pittsburgh Candy Club from 1994 to 1995. He has also been a Pennsylvania Distributors Association board member since 2000.
In addition, he earned Broker of the Year awards from Phoenix Candy Co., Corn Nuts, Stork USA, L.P., Ferrero USA, Inc., Amurol Products Co., and Pearson’s Candy Co.
Outside the business, Bob is a member of the Immaculate Conception R.C. Church, and enjoys restoring buildings.