Class of 2009
A hardworking self-starter, Dave Klabunde was born May 18, 1950, in San Francisco, where he attended Abraham Lincoln High School and the University of San Francisco. He married Sue in 1972, and together they have two children, Jennifer and Erik.
He began his career at Maillard and Schmeidell Brokers in 1972 as a retail sales manager, and went on to become regional sales manager at McIlhenny Co., and held the same position when he transferred to Nalley Fine Foods in 1985. From 1987 to 1988 he worked for Armanino Foods as sales manager, before taking the position as vice-president of sales for Jelly Belly Candy Co.
In 2003 he became director of trade relations for the NCA. He is currently the director of sales and marketing for Annabelle Candy Co., which he joined in 2006. Dave is currently active with the NCA, serving on the trade relations committee.
Colleagues call him “a great guy with superior communication skills” and the ability to be encouraging and forthright. Many note his creativity and ability to find solutions quickly. Others say he is a person of passion and integrity, has a breadth of experience, and they are impressed by his ability to sacrifice his time and devote his attention to furthering knowledge and progress.
Dave credits 2006 Candy Hall of Famer Russ Albers’ mentoring and friendship and his wife’s support and understanding as the biggest factors in his success. He says his is a great profession because he gets to create jobs, make people smile, and work with wonderful people. He encourages those in the business to show others respect, honesty and courtesy.
While Dave notes the industry has become more information- and data-oriented over the years, he says he hopes people don’t forget to have fun. One of his favorite memories is selling 14 truckloads of Jelly Belly product, which resulted in the company having to rehire several recently laid-off workers to fill the order.
Dave and Sue are active in their church and volunteered in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, as well as in Kyrgystan and on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. He enjoys traveling and skiing.