Melvin O. Warnecke
Class of 2001
Mel was born July 26, 1939, in Delphos, OH, and graduated from St. John’s High School. He attended Ohio State University, the University of Georgia and Northwestern University, and earned a doctorate degree in food science, a master’s degree in animal science, an MBA, and a Bachelor of Science degree in food technology. He served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps from 1963 to 1965.
In 1962, Mel married Barbara Ann in Columbus, OH, and the couple has three children – Paul, Michael and Jill Ann.
Mel began his career as a research scientist at Armour & Co. in 1967. Two years later, he joined CPC International as section leader, research and development. In 1974, he joined E.J. Brach & Sons, as director of research and development and was later promoted to vice-president of technical service. In 1988, he became vice-president of technical service at Brock Candy Co. In 1994, he founded Warnecke Technical Inc. At the time of his induction he remained active in his own company while also serving as vice-president of technical service at Sunrise Confections.
A 26-year veteran of the candy business, Mel has received high praise for his service to the industry, including receiving the Research and Education Award from the National Confectioners Association. Receiving this award is one of the most memorable moments in my career, Mel says. Another memorable moment was his 1977 promotion to vice-president at Brach.
Mel thanks Bob Allen, his supervisor at Brach, for being his teacher and mentor for 12 years and being the biggest influence on his career.
He offers these words of wisdom to the next generation: Learn from your mistakes and dare to try something new. Accept changes as necessary for business expansion.