Class of 2021
Doug Simons had his start in the confectionery industry cleaning the freezer floors at Enstrom Toffee & Confectionery during college. Now, 40 years later, he is president of Enstrom, working alongside his wife Jamee and his sons Doug Jr. and Jim, the fourth generation of the family-owned company.
Doug was born in London on April 22, 1955, to Morris and Jean, and grew up with an older brother, Michael. As a young child, he immigrated to the U.S. with his family, settling in Colorado, where he attended Arvada West High School, graduating in 1973.
Doug had ambitions of becoming a professional musician and went on to attend Mesa College, in Grand Junction. It was there he met Jamee Enstrom during an after-party for a college theatre production where he played in the pit band. He graduated from Mesa College in 1975 and married Jamee on August 27, 1977.
After graduation, Doug went to work for Coors Porcelain as a Production Expediter, until, in 1979, Jamee’s father Emil asked both him and Jamee to join the family business. When the opportunity came, Doug was proud to take advantage of it, noting the company was rife with opportunity.
Doug’s in-laws have had the greatest impact on his career, teaching him the value of high ethical standards in business and the importance of giving back to the community. He adds that Enstrom founders Chet and Vernie were an excellent example of how to always be the best and enjoy life.
Around this time the Enstrom family was expanding, with Doug and Jamee welcoming sons Doug Jr. and Jim.
Doug has been active in the industry throughout his career. He was on the board of Retail Confectioners International from 1991 through 2000 and served as the group’s president from 1999 to 2000. He hosted the association’s Western Regional Conference in Grand Junction in 1998.
Doug has also served several terms as an NCA director and currently sits on the board. In addition, he chaired the 2010 Western Candy Conference in Hawaii and was the group’s president the following year.
Doug advises others to get involved, noting the knowledge gained from associating with other companies, both big and small, is very rewarding and provides the insight to continue to grow both your company and the industry.
Looking back, Doug is proud to see how Enstrom has expanded into a multi-faceted, fourth-generation company. He says bringing his sons into the company, representing the fourth generation, is one of the top accomplishments of his career.
Through it all, music has remained a part of Doug’s life and he still plays with JT and the Big Dogs and The Dubious Brothers band.
Doug says it is a great honor to be recognized by his peers for something that he loves. And as for the next 10 years . . . he will be helping his sons move the business into a new facility that will carry them into the future.