James M. Finelli
Class of 2012
James M. Finelli was born on August 21, 1942, in Allentown, PA, to James Sr. and Carmella.
He graduated from Parkland High School in Orefield, PA, in 1960 and studied business management at Pennsylvania State University.
Jim served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1962 to 1968 at Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, Little Creek and Camp Pendleton.
He married Susan at St. Frances Church, in Allentown, in 1964 and they have two children: Kim and Kris.
Jim began his industry career in 1969 as a sales representative for Mars, Inc., where he worked until 2000, earning the title National Sales and Marketing Director for the Military. He continued his education by participating in Mars’ executive MBA program at the University of Virginia.
While at Mars, Jim was honored with numerous awards, including induction into Mars Tie Club after he developed presidential candy boxes for Ronald and Nancy Reagan. He received multiple Candy Category Captain awards from the Defense Commissary Agency, and multiple Vendor of Year awards from the Army Air Force Exchange Service.
He was Vice-President of Sales for The Foreign Candy Co., Inc. from 2001 to 2002 when he joined The Promotion In Motion Cos., Inc. as Vice-President of Sales. He is set to retire this year.
Jim credits Gene Auchter, Joe Masperi and Phil Joyce, who hired, mentored and promoted him, as having the biggest impact on his professional career.
Jim says advocating candy permissibility and enjoyment as part of a well-balanced diet are his biggest day-to-day business challenges. Being surrounded by talent and gaining support from his family have contributed to his success.
Some of Jim’s other confectionery achievements include serving six years on the commissary and exchange committees and serving two years on the board of directors for the American Logistics Association while with Mars. He has been with the Research and Development Associates for 20 years and served on the military’s Meals Ready to Eat committee, expanding candy in troop rations, from 1982 to 2000.
Jim enjoys donating and packing candy for the troops. He has volunteered yearly for the Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots and has participated in the White House Easter Egg Roll.