David L. Taiclet
Class of 2017
David L. Taiclet was born on August 28, 1963, in Winamac, IN, a farming community of 200 residents, to Gordon and Dorothy “Dot” Taiclet. He grew up, along with his siblings Teresa, Rebecca, Pamela, Danny and Barbara, working on the family’s small farm and other businesses.
Dave attended the University of Notre Dame on a RoTC Scholarship and graduated in 1985 with a BBA in Finance and Economics and then served four years in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of Captain in the 4th Infantry Division.
In 1987, he married Kathleen Conley and together they have four children, David Jr., John “Jack”, Elizabeth “Dorie” and Claire.
After earning his MBA from Harvard University in 1991 and working for several years with Cargill, Inc., Dave co-founded Alpine Confections, Inc. with his business partner and Harvard classmate Taz Murray. Their initial acquisitions were Utah-based Kencraft, Inc. and Maxfield Candy Co., both family run and operated.
Adopting a favorite maxim, “Nothing happens until something is sold,” the partners focused on establishing a solid customer base, hiring great sales representatives and developing innovative sales programs. During the next ten years, Dave helped Alpine grow from $12 million to $120 million in revenue with acquisitions that included Dynamic Chocolates, Harry London and Fannie May.
In 2006, 1-800-Flowers.com acquired Alpine Confections and the Fannie May, Fanny Farmer and Harry London brands. Dave became the CEO of Fannie May Brands and then President of the Gourmet Food Group where he assumed responsibility for a group of food businesses including Cheryl’s Cookies, The Popcorn Factory and eventually purchasing Design Pac Gifts and Harry and David.
For the past eight years, Dave led the growth of the Food Group organically and through acquisition from $150 million to just under $700 million, with more than $450 million in revenue derived from e-commerce channels.
Dave’s industry involvement includes serving on the NCA Executive Board and being a Charter Member of NCA’s National Chocolate Council. In 2016, he was nominated for the kettle Award.
He is also a 20-year member of the Young President’s organization and world President’s organization. Dave serves as a member of the University of Notre Dame College of Science Advisory Council, the Board of Trustees of Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, IN, and the Board of SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.
Together with his wife, Dave sponsors research at the Harper Cancer Institute, Notre Dame, to further curing cancer, a disease that took the life of his sister Rebecca.
Dave is an avid fly fisherman and golfer, who also enjoys sharing great dinners with friends, travel and stories.