David “Dave” Fleischer
Class of 2009
A 32-year candy veteran, Dave Fleischer was born December 22, 1953, in Bethlehem, PA, to Tom and Eleanor. After graduating from Penn State University with a B.S. in education, he began working at Alto Corporation, a bakery equipment manufacturer, as a draftsman and sales trainer. He married Linda on Valentine’s Day in 1976, and they have two children, Nate and Sarah.
In 1977, he began his career at Cadbury North America. Starting as a territory representative, he worked his way up from key account manager to director of sales operations, and finally to director of trade development, the position he holds today.
Dave has been honored with Cadbury’s Circle of Achievement Award, and he represented the company in Ghana on a cocoa farming and biodiversity project. He also serves on the Cadbury C.A.R.E.S. committee, which emphasizes corporate social responsibility.
Giving back to the confectionery industry, Dave currently holds positions on the NCA’s Sweets & Snacks Expo and trade relations committees. He is involved with the outreach and business development committee for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and is a member of the American Wholesale Marketers Association.
His favorite piece of advice is from the late management guru Peter Drucker: “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” He remarks that the industry has changed quite a bit, but these changes have benefited consumers overall. Manufacturer and retailer consolidation has greatly affected the confectionery industry, he asserts, but the increased competition has led to products that better meet consumers’ needs.
He notes credit is owed to the customers he has worked with, especially early in his career, and to his managers, who challenged him to learn from his mistakes. Dave admits the encouragement and challenging assignments from his business associates have made him who he is today.
He says his parents and his wife have been terrific influences on his life. He also thanks his children for their support during the family’s five relocations during his career.