James H. Heinz
Class of 2018
James H. (Jim) Heinz was born on September 1, 1947, in Oak Park, IL, to Edward and Laurette. He has five siblings, Edward, Raymond (Buz), Laurette, Joan and Gigi.
When leaving New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL, Jim says he wanted to become a professional baseball player, but the business world called and he graduated in 1971 with a BA in Business with a minor in Chemistry from Lakeland University in Shebogan, WI.
Jim’s first job out of college was selling flavors to candy manufacturers in the Chicago area with Bell Flavors & Fragrances, a company his father acquired in 1968. In 1975, Jim moved into purchasing eventually becoming vice-president of operations/ purchasing. He, along with his brothers Edward and 2009 Candy Hall of Fame inductee Buz, became more involved in the company, eventually running the business after their father passed away in 1987.
Jim was named president in 1995 and added the title of CEO in 1997. Earlier this year he turned over the role of president to focus solely on his responsibilities as CEO.
Under Jim’s leadership, Bell Flavors & Fragrances continued to expand internationally, including acquisitions in Canada, Mexico and Germany, and new business endeavors in Hong Kong, China and Brazil. In 2012, the company celebrated 100 years in business, and was named one of the Top 100 companies in the nation to work for in both 2015 and 2016.
He says he remains loyal to the three qualities that are the mainstay of Bell’s success — ethics, loyalty and personality. He credits his father and his brother Buz, who runs the German operation, as having the greatest impact on his career.
Believing that industries can do far more than any individual company or person, Jim took on leadership roles in several associations. He served on the board of directors and is a past president of the Flavor Extract Manufacturers Association. He is also on the board of the International Fragrance Association of North America (IFRANA) and the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials. In addition, Jim is on the board and a past chairman of the Kettle Committee. He also has served on the Board of Governors for the NCA and on the NCA Nominating Committee.
In 2017, Jim was the IFRANA Eric Bruell Distinguished Service Award recipient.
In the community, Jim is an active volunteer and contributor for Feed the Hungry, Riverside Foundation and Saint Jude’s Hospital.
Jim married Cyndi in 1981 in Evanston, IL, and they have two children, Kelli and Cody, who represent the third generation in the business.
He says he hopes he is described by his peers as “a person who cares about other people and is truly interested in their lives.”
Away from the business, Jim enjoys skiing, golf and reading, and looking ahead, he says when he retires he and Cyndi will travel more.