Class of 2014
John Holland was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, England to Graham and Joyce on February 17, 1962. He graduated from the Stockport School in 1980 and enrolled in DeMontfort University in Leicester from 1980 to 1983, earning a B.Sc. in environmental science with honors. While in school, he worked on stage and road crews for top musical acts, using skills acquired as a punk rock bandsman during the 1970s.
In 1984 he joined Bramigk & Co., Ltd. as a sales engineer. John returned to school in 1986 at London Borough Polytechnic and received his BCCCA diploma in confectionery and chocolate the next year.
He joined the Dutch firm Wiener & Co. in 1989 as area manager for North America, and the following year, John was promoted to president of Wiener USA, Inc. in Plainsboro, NJ, a position he held through 1994.
He formed J. Holland Corp. in 1994, and in 2006, joined Sollich North America, LLC as managing partner and co- owner. He has no career regrets, and lists as his greatest accomplishments “running my own company, never having to hurt anyone to progress in business and enjoying every minute of the ride.” However, John adds: “Being inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame is the ultimate accolade.”
He jokes about “living the Willy Wonka lifestyle” — he claims the glass elevator in his house was inspired by the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — and insists he wants to be remembered for having fun in everything he does. John credits mentoring by his bosses and business partners for his success.
True to his belief that joining an industry demands putting heart and soul into it, John has immersed himself in the candy business. He has been a member of AACT since 1992 and was on the PMCA production planning committee from 1993 to 2006. John also served on the Kettle Committee from 1997 to 2005, and has held active roles on the NCA’s associate supplier advisory, all candy suppliers, supplier advisory and suppliers Expo committees.
A U.S. citizen since 2002, he’s the father of Sophia, Charlotte and Sebastian with wife Delia, whom he married on a beach in the Seychelles in 1989.
When John’s not rooting on the Manchester United footballers — he makes regular pilgrimages to Old Trafford Stadium — he can be found boating and playing water sports.