Charles L. Kruger

Charles L. Kruger

Class of 2001

An active participant in the candy business for more than 42 years, Charles was born August 12, 1935, in Centralia, IL. He graduated from Sandoval High School in Illinois, then joined the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps were he was stationed in Germany.

In 1958, Charles married Nancy at Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church in Indiana. The couple raised three children – Mark, Sheryl and Robert.

Charles joined McKenzie Quality Poultry in 1953 as sales and delivery manager. Several years later, he accepted a position as retail crew manager and territory manager at Hollywood Brands, Inc. In 1964, he founded Charles Kruger Co. and in early 1997 sold the company to Interwest Brokerage Co. Prior to his retirement in July 1997, Charles was division manager and trainer at Interwest.

According to Charles, the most memorable moment of his life took place in 1989. He explains: One day, before 10 in the morning, I had sold in excess of $1 million worth of products for the companies we represented.

Charles says his success is the result of disciplined determination, along with great organizational skills and a thorough knowledge of the products he sold and the customers he served. Know what you’re representing and serve your customers well. Be organized, be professional and be a good money manager, Charles advises future brokers.

Charles recognizes Dave Levin as the biggest influence in his broker career. He was a tough professional competitor of mine yet always helpful to me.

Honored many times by the industry, Charles was named a National Candy Wholesalers Association Candy Ambassador in 1971 and two years later was honored as a member of the Founders Honor Roll. He also received the Lou Specter Award in 1983, Clarence M. McMillan Award in 1984 and Al Fowler Award in 1985 from the National Candy Brokers Association.