Class of 2015
Born in Reading, PA, to Barbara and Russell, on March 23, 1962, Bryan grew up with older sister Kim and younger brother Jeff and graduated from Muhlenberg High School in Laureldale, PA, in 1980.
He attended Albright College through 1983 and Virginia Commonwealth University in 1984, and that same year Bryan joined brokerage Sheppard & Wallace Co. as a salesman. “Selling candy seemed like a dream job — and it turned out to be true,” Bryan recalls. Within two years, he became vice-president.
He opened his own brokerage, Dunbar, Shade and Assoc., in 1986, which he sold to Rogers American Co. in 1994, becoming vice-president of its Virginia-West Virginia region before the company was bought by Marketing Specialists Corp. in 1996.
He married Lisa Gathright in 2002, and the couple have two children, Carson and Cami.
Also in 2002, Bryan launched Bryan Shade & Assoc., Inc. and in 2004 he started B&B International, Inc., serving concurrently as their president and co-president, respectively, until selling both businesses to Burdette Beckmann Inc. in 2014.
Also in 2004, he co-founded the Hong Kong-based sourcing company Sunrise Global, Inc.
Currently a consultant with Burdette Beckmann, Bryan describes his formula for success: “In the brokerage business, the biggest challenges are staying relevant and adding value. Our goal has always been to be a resource, not an expense for both our manufacturers and customers.”
Industry peers note Bryan has been a passionate steward of the category, actively working to help reform U.S. sugar policy by writing to and meeting with legislators to gain support.
Committing to hard work, meeting as many people as possible and appreciating the industry — a path he suggests newcomers to the business follow — Bryan has amassed Broker of the Year awards from Bee International, Inc., The Topps Co., Inc., Ferrero USA, Inc. and Just Born, Inc. He has also been recognized with American Licorice Co.’s Spirit of Partnership Award, Storck USA, L.P.’s Account Executive of the Year and Atkinson Candy Co.’s Million Dollar Award.
Bryan has been a broker member of the National Confectioners Association for more than 20 years and became a mentor in its Young Professionals Network in 2014. He is a long-time supporter of the NCSA, and has served on the broker advisory panels of Just Born and Ferrara Candy Co., Inc.
Away from the business, he and his family are involved in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Maybeury Elementary School, the Washington Pink Tie fundraiser and the Greater Richmond ARC.