Class of 2016
Greg Cater says he had simple goals when he was young and initially pursued his passion for working with wood, beginning with owning a cabinet shop out of college. Greg says he loves wood that has a story, and his own story began in Yuba City, CA, on March 13, 1957, born to George and Lavena Cater.
He says the family had humble beginnings, but they knew how to work, and his parents felt very strongly that he and his brother Gary should also know how to work. As a result, their father looked long and hard to find jobs for both of his sons, even when they were young boys.
Greg left Pacific Union College to purchase a cabinet-making business. He met Julie Sconza nine years later and they were married in 1989 in a chapel in Yosemite Valley. Greg then attended several Western Candy Conferences with Julie’s family and says he was “was struck by the unique candy culture and camaraderie within the industry.”
Greg’s first job in the candy business was with Sconza Candy Co., and he admits he never kidded himself about how he got his job, but he never wanted anyone to wonder how he kept it. He says he loved the opportunity to become part of a family business and felt privileged to sustain its history and move it forward. He says that Jim Sconza had the greatest impact on his career because he believed and trusted in him when he was an unproven commodity. “He allowed me to make mistakes and together we had some great success,” he says, including helping put the business in a position to move into a new plant.
Greg remained at Sconza for 14 years before joining Sweet Candy Co. in 2010 as vice-president of business development, where he was instrumental in launching a new business line.
Between the two companies, they share more than 200 years in the confectionery industry, and Greg says their trust in his abilities to represent them has been humbling.
Wanting to have a bigger picture of what was going on in the confectionery industry, and be a part of shaping something that affects the business, Greg got involved early in industry associations and events.
He is active in the Western Candy Association and has served as President and Chair of the Western Candy Conference. Being asked to serve on the Board of Trustees for NCA, he says, was another of his greatest accomplishments, where he chaired the Industry Affairs Committee, among other roles.
Greg and Julie have four children, Gereamy, Courtney, Caroline and Timothy. He enjoys remodeling and renovating homes with Julie, a combination he describes as “brains and brawn.” They love the mountains and spend a lot of time in the Sierras by Lake Tahoe, where the family, sometimes a Sconza group of 13, skies, hikes and bikes.