Deborah Medeiros Grenon
Class of 2021
The people skills Deborah M. Grenon inherited from her mother and the camaraderie of the confectionery industry, along with a competitive personality that drives her to make the sale are why she has such a passion for the candy business.
Deb was born on October 1, 1955, to John and Dorothy Medeiros in Jacksonville, NC, but later moved to New Bedford, MA, where she grew up with her younger sister Linda.
She graduated from New Bedford High School in 1973 and went on to the University of Massachusetts where she received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1977.
Deb started her journey in the world of candy in 1978 after responding to an ad for a position in food sales with Promark Food Brokers, Inc. She was the first female salesperson in the company and one of only four women in New England at the time that held a sales position in the confectionery industry.
By 1981, Deb was working at food broker Barclay, Brown & Kavanaugh as an account manager and later as a sales manager with Mark Broderick, who she cites as having a tremendous impact on her career. “He saw my potential and mentored me at a time when women were not pursuing this career,” she says. “He instilled many valuable attributes that I carry to this very day.”
From 1990 to 1998, Deb worked for brokerage Chase Kolbin Kavanaugh, which later merged with Pezrow Brokerage, where she was a sales manager and eventually became the vice-president of confectionery sales managing a $40 million dollar department. To this day, this promotion remains one of her proudest achievements.
Recognition of Deb’s achievements have continued through her career. In 2002, while working at Y&S Brokers, she was named Account Executive of the Year for the Amurol Confections account. She also was named Account Executive of the Year for CornNuts for achieving more than 30 percent growth in one year. Deb was the only person to win this award twice. She was also recognized by Ragolds for new distribution and sales volume gains.
Eventually Deb transitioned to working as a manufacturer, spending time at Kandy Kastle and Radz Brands before landing at My Favorite Company in 2013 as National Sales Director. Today she is Vice-President of Sales at the company.
In recent years, Deb has represented both Massachusetts and California at Congressional meetings as part of the NCA Washington Forum. She says it’s important to give back to the industry to keep it flourishing.
True to her word, in 2019 Deb founded and currently chairs the NCA Women’s Leadership Group Mentor Program, which pairs mentors and mentees. In its first year, the program matched 80 women, which surpassed Deb’s wildest expectations.
Being inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame is a reflection of a 40-year commitment to a career that is so much more than a job, says Deb.