Class of 1999
Milt Matthews was born March 1, 1946, in Lakewood, NJ. He graduated from Lakewood High School and attended the University of Maryland in College Park, MD, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing.
Milt joined the U.S. Marine Corp. in 1968 as an attack helicopter pilot, serving in Vietnam and attaining the rank of Captain. He earned more than 30 air medals, also winning a Navy Commendation, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a Vietnamese Star. He married Becky in 1973 and the couple raised two children, Michael and Stephen.
Following his honorable discharge, he joined Hershey Foods Corp. holding the position of vice-president of sales at the time of his induction in 1999. He has received numerous awards, including a Dean of the Industry honor from the National Candy Wholesalers Association in 1984, induction into the American Wholesale Marketers Association Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Illinois Rothenberg Honors award.
According to Milt, those who served as the biggest influences on his career were Rick Meyers, President of Hershey Canada; Joe Viviano, vice-chairman of Hershey Foods; and Mike Pasquale, senior vice-president at Hershey. He credits company founder Milton Hershey’s values of “commitment, hard work, integrity, character, high standards, performance and focus” as his guiding lights.
To be successful in the candy business, Milt advised at his induction: “be willing and open to change, be flexible and adaptable, but maintain strong traditions.”