Class of 2022
Mark McArdle was born into the candy industry. His father John is a member of the Candy Hall of Fame Class of 1993 and was a pioneer in the candy brokerage business in Southern California.
Mark was born on July 21, 1949, in Hollywood, California, to John and Mary. Growing up, his parents taught him to be a good person and do things for the good of everyone, not just himself.
He began his career in the candy industry at an early age, alphabetizing and filing invoices for his father. Of his three siblings, he was the only one who took to the candy business.
He says that he has always liked sales and enjoys working with people to create new opportunities. His first job in the sales department was in 1965, calling on independent stores and booking orders on penny candy and gum.
Mark enjoyed working with his dad all through high school. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army and served from 1968 until 1970 in an infantry unit. For his service he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. After returning to the U.S. and spending two years at Drill Sergeant school, he knew he wanted to get back into the candy industry but needed to complete his education first.
He graduated from California State University Northridge in 1974 with a Bachelors of Science degree in business administration.
He met his wife Julie through coaching her nephews on a Little League team. They married in 1978 and have one daughter, Megan.
By 1982 he was the president of the brokerage firm and was making plans
to grow the company. During this time, he got involved in many industry events including the Los Angeles Candy Club and the National Candy Brokers Association (NCBA).
In the Southern California market, Mark was active in the Los Angeles Confectionery Sales Club for more than 30 years until it was dissolved. He sat on the board for many years and was president for two years starting in 1979.
On a national level he was on the board of the NCBA for more than 15 years. He sat on several committees for various organizations, but the two he remembers vividly are the NCA’s 25 by 95 Committee, an effort to get candy consumption to 25 pounds per year by 1995, and a group that attempted to get daylights saving time moved to the first week in November.
Throughout the years, Mark has been honored with many industry awards including the Lou Spector Award, the Al Fowler Award and the Candy Ambassador Award. The one he cherishes most is the Society of Achievement and Merit award from Ricola, which he was presented with in 2002.
In total, Mark has spent 59 years in the confectionery industry and currently holds the title CEO at the brokerage. He says that he chose to stay in the confectionery business for this long because he has always had a positive outlook on the industry.
Outside of the office, Mark enjoys training for endurance events and golfing. Over the years, he has completed 40 marathons and climbed Mt. Whitney twice.
He says he would like to be remembered for being a good father, husband and honest candy seller. In the coming years he hopes to continue in the candy business, while adding in time to travel with his wife.