Fernando F. Pujals
Class of 2012
Fernando F. Pujals was born on November 16, 1937, in Santurce, Puerto Rico, to Fernando and Aurea, who also raised a daughter Deanna.
In 1955, he graduated from Colegio San Jose de Rio Piedras preparatory school. He attended Georgetown University, before transferring to Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned his B.S. in industrial engineering in 1960.
From 1960 to 1964, Fernando served in the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.
He married Blanca on August 18, 1962, and the couple has three children: Blanca, Fernando and Jorge.
After graduating from college, Fernando began his career at his father’s wholesale candy business Fernando C. Pujals & Bros., Inc. He has been Chairman of the Board since 2006.
He says the opportunity to maintain a profitable family-owned business that continues to provide work for his children and grandchildren has kept him in the industry.
Fernando’s biggest day-to-day challenges have been adapting to supplier consolidation and the emergence of large chains.
His advice to someone entering the business would be to know both the history of your company and your industry. Looking back, he regrets not studying more and says he would have embraced changes in technology sooner.
Ned Mitchell, past president of E.J. Brach & Sons, had the greatest impact on his career, says Fernando, and unconditional family support, good friends, an excellent work team, hard work and reliable suppliers have all contributed to his success.
His honors include a David and Sons Sales Achievement Award in 1998, a Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce Distribution Zenit Award in 2000, and the 2007 and 2009 Walmart Stores, Inc. Puerto Rican Gold Distributor Award.
Fernando has participated in the industry through memberships with the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He also was a National Candy Wholesalers Association member.
He fundraises yearly for numerous organizations including the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Through golf and boating, Fernando says he is able to spend enjoyable time with friends and family when he is away from the business.