Class of 2004
Jim was born in Chicago in 1946 and obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Illinois. During the Vietnam War, he served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army First Infantry Division and headquarters finance division.
Upon his discharge, he joined the Chicago division of National Tea Co. as quality control chemist. In 1973, he married and began his 30-year candy business career by moving to Curtiss Candy Co. as quality control manager.
His tenure with Peerless Candy Co. began in 1981 when he joined the company as quality control manager, followed by promotions to quality and production control, as well as plant manager. Jim says the most memorable moment of his career came in 1997 when he became vice-president of manufacturing, the position he held at the time of his induction. In fact, Jim says his only career regret is joining Peerless “as late as 1981, not sooner!”
Jim’s advice is: “You can learn something from everyone – treat them as you want to be treated, with respect. Get involved in your industry to learn, teach and share experiences.”
Jim credits his participation in the American Association of Candy Technologists, PMCA and the National Confectioners Association for his success, as well as his friendship with fellow Candy Hall of Famer Pat Hurley, director of technical services for Spangler Candy Co.
For his dedication to the candy business, Jim received the Stroud Jordan award in 1998 and the Kettle Award in 2001. Jim and his wife Diane have two children, Melanie and Patrick.