Joseph F. Cognetti

Class of 1975

Born in Scranton, PA, in 1919, Joe began his career as a lumber salesman in 1937. Two years later, he joined Planters Peanuts as a retail salesman covering New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In 1942, he joined the U.S. Army, serving in the Air Corps until his discharge in 1946. That same year, he married Domenica. Together, the couple raised two children, Maria and Ralph.

Following the war, Joe re-activated Planter’s sales force, covering key national and military accounts in the New York/New Jersey area. In 1956, he entered the food and confectionery brokerage business as a partner in D.C. Sales Co. where he eventually became chairman.

Over the years, he helped found a number of companies, including J. Van D. Cor. marketing specialists to the food trade; Famous Characters, Inc. manufacturer and marketer of spinning tops; National Candy Sales, a cookie, snack and confections packager and marketing company; and Cognetti Bros. a wholesale beer and soda distributor.

One of the industry’s most-lauded individuals, Joe received more than 50 Broker of The Year awards from various manufacturers and in 1961 was named an NCWA Candy Ambasssador. Among his many honors is the 1961 awarding of the CBA’s Lou Spector Award. In 1972, Joe received the CBA’s Al Fowler Award and in 1975 garnered the C Award from NCWA for his extraordinarily distinguished service to the group. That same year he received the NCWA’s highest honor, the J. Roger Ozman Medal for Distinguished Service. In addition to his 1975 induction into the NCSA Candy Hall of Fame, Joe was enshrined in the American Wholesale Marketers Association Hall of Fame in 1993.

Joe passed away May 25, 2009.