Doug Boes

Class of 2022

Doug Boes was born on October 27, 1950, in Grand Rapids, MI, to Donald Boes and Dorothy May Loosenort. He recalls that both of his parents instilled the importance of respecting others and his dad especially impressed upon him the importance of financial responsibility.

He graduated from South High School in 1968 and after two years of formal undergraduate education at Grand Valley State University, he left college to pursue a career in sales. He comments that after seeing his dad working in that profession, he knew it was something he would be interested in.

He married, Deb, in 1991 after they met working in the same office. They have five children and 10 grandchildren.

Doug’s first job in the industry was working for Wolverine Sales & Associates Inc. in Grand Rapids. Once he was in the industry, he quickly developed strong relationships with manufacturers and customers and couldn’t see himself doing anything else.

He was promoted to West Michigan Branch Manager by the time he turned 27 and purchased the company at age 32. In 2011, when Wolverine Associates was bought by Shankman & Associates, Inc. Doug became senior vice-president, the title he currently holds. In total, he has spent more than 51 years working in the industry.

Doug says that he has always strived to represent manufactures the way they want to be represented, explaining that there are two bosses that need to be happy: the manufacturer who pays and the customer you sell to. His motto has always been to tell the truth and admit if you make a mistake, which he jokes has served him very well for the “past 50 sweet years.”

During his career Doug has served on broker advisory boards for Perfetti Van Melle USA Inc., Storck USA L.P. and American Licorice Co. He has been a mentor to new and existing employees, helping guide them on subjects including new accounts, manufacturers and processes.

In 2021, Doug received the NCA Golden Candy Dish award, which he cites as being the most memorable moment of his career so far. This award is presented annually to a broker who practices exceptional leadership skills and cultivates partnerships within the confectionery industry and Doug says he felt honored to be recognized by an industry that he had been a part of for so long. In the same year, he was also awarded the Spangler Appreciation Award for 50 Years of Service

Doug’s children describe him as a man of integrity, loyalty and generosity. He loves to spend his time serving others and has chaperoned various mission trips to Guatemala. He and his son went with their church in both 2009 and 2010 with a goal of building homes for local widows. He says that the poverty he encountered there was life changing.

Doug currently lives with his wife in Caledonia, MI.

When he isn’t working, he loves traveling. He and his son have been to 26 of the 30 major league baseball fields and have a goal of seeing all 30. Doug also enjoys boating and playing bass guitar and has spent time coaching Little League softball and baseball.