James S. Buffardi
Class of 2005
Born in Chicago on January 22, 1941, Jim attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL, and Wharton Business School in Chicago. He married Lynne in 1988 and they are parents to L.J., Janet, Tracy and Todd.
A 43-year veteran of the candy business, Jim joined the family business, at the age of 14. Four years after his first summer job stuffing cannoli at the original Ferrara Bakery, he moved on to learn the ropes on the candy side of the business at the Ferrara Pan Candy Co. Beginning as a janitor, he soon learned other aspects of the trade – from bookkeeping to manufacturing. At the time of his induction he served as the company treasurer.
Jim’s father, Lou, was a huge influence on him, particularly because they shared an office. “Like most young men, I wanted to go and make my mark in the world,” Jim recalls. “My father said, ëStay here and help bring the business up to the next level.’”
Jim did just that, working closely with his cousins Sal Ferrara and Tom Pagano. Along with their fathers, the men would join together for daily lunches and to talk shop.
“You can pick your friends, but you stick with your relatives,” Jim says. “I love working with my cousins and family and have great friends in the industry.”
Outside of work, Jim stays active in the business and has served as president of the American Association of Candy Technologist’s Chicago chapter, as a member of the National Confectionery Association’s trade relations committee and on several National Peanut Council committees.
He also gives his time as director and chairman of Wayback Inn, a halfway house for alcoholics. He has also served on the board of Briarwood Lakes estates and was chairman of the Briarwood Lakes Golf Association at the time of his induction. He is an avid hunter.