James S. Bourne
Class of 2012
James S. Bourne, son of Stanley and Alice, was born May 16, 1954, and grew up in Brockton, MA, with siblings Robert and Jane.
Jim graduated from Oliver Ames High School in North Easton, MA, in 1972 and attended Massasoit Community College, where he earned an associate degree in Business Administration in 1975. He also earned an associate degree in Electronic Engineering from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 1982.
He married Sandra on November 27, 1976, and together they have four children: Matthew, Stefanie, Jenna and Jamie, a grandson, Cooper, and granddaughter, Tristan.
Jim started in the confectionery industry when he was 22 years old, building chocolate tempering machines and enrobers in Alan Hilliard’s basement, for the then owner of Hilliard’s Chocolate System. As the business grew, Jim took over supervising the production and installation of the machines, and purchasing raw materials and components.
Working his way up through the company, Jim eventually bought Hilliard’s in 1985, growing it into one of the major suppliers of chocolate equipment for the retail candy business.
Jim is currently President and Chairman of the company and says that since he has worked with customers from day one, they always want to speak to him when they call. He explains his golden rule is to treat customers and colleagues well so they will treat him well in return.
He says time management is his biggest day-to-day business challenge and attributes his success to surrounding himself with great people and support from his family.
Jim has served the Retail Confectioners International in many capacities, including instructing at every RCI Gus Pulakos Candy School since 1986 and every Chocolate Boot Camp since its inception in 2003. He received the Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award in 1989.
Jim also has been a Pennsylvania Manufacturing Confectioners Association member since 1985, and involved with the National Confectioners Association since 1999. He served as a member of the NCA Supplier Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2010, and first worked on the Kettle Committee in 1994, becoming Chairman in 2002.
Jim’s hobbies include skiing, hiking and fishing.