Michael L. Bianco
Class of 2005
Mike was born November 25, 1948, in San Francisco. He attended the University of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
His career began in 1967 as an apprentice mechanic with American Can Co. In 1970, he married Linda, and moved on to Fuller Paint where he was appointed maintenance lead man, a position he also held at printer and packaging supplier H.S. Crocker during the latter half of the 1970s.
Mike made the leap to the candy business in 1979 when he joined See’s Candies, Inc. as maintenance manager. In 1984, Herman Goelitz Candy Co., Inc., now Jelly Belly Candy Co., hired him. At the time of his induction, he served the company as vice-president of plant operations.
Russ Albers, a former Jelly Belly vice-chairman and an advisor to the company, had a great impact on Mike’s career. “He was someone I looked up to when I was with See’s and then had the good fortune to follow him to Jelly Belly,” Mike says.
Mike also credits Jelly Belly Chairman Herm Rowland Sr. for “the way he made me think about the details of making candy and treating people right.”,
At the time of his induction, Mike served on the food department advisory board of the University of California at Darmos. He has also served the industry as a member of the PMCA education committee, the National Confectioners Assoc.’s technical committee and the All Candy Expo committee. He also served as president and in other positions for the American Association of Candy Technologists.
A high point in Mike’s career came in 2002 when the Western Candy Conference presented him the Candy Maker of the Year Award. Mike has been president, chairperson, board member and a committee member of the WCC.
When he’s away from the plant, Mike enjoys collecting and restoring cars and attending dog obedience shows.