Nello V. Ferrara
Class of 1974
Nello V. Ferrara is chairman and CEO of Ferrara Pan Candy Co, a company founded by his father Salvatore Ferrara in 1908. A 1942 graduate of DePaul University Law School and a member of the Illinois bar, he served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946 as a member of the Counter Intelligence Corps, assigned to pre-trial work of the Japanese War Crime Trials in Japan.
Upon his return, Nello joined the family-owned candy business which manufactures such well-known brands as Lemonhead, Atomic Fireball, Black Forest Gummies and Boston Baked Beans, among others.
Nello and his wife Marilyn are the parents of three children: Serajean, Salvatore II and Nella, and the grandparents of eight. His son, Salvatore, was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2003.
Throughout his career, he has been dedicated to furthering the interests of candy makers. In 1965, he served as chairman of National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) annual convention, followed by election to the NCA’s board of directors. After six years of service as a board member, he was elected vice-president, followed by two terms as chairman.
Among his many industry accolades, Nello received the NCA’s Distinguished Service award in 1970, and in 1975 was awarded Candy Industry magazine’s Kettle Award and named Candy Industry Man of the Year.
Long active in humanitarian efforts across the globe, Nello counts among his most cherished awards the coveted Knight of Malta, bestowed on him by Pope John XXIII. In 1961, he was honored by the President of the Italian Republic and knighted a Cavalier to the Order of Merit of the Republic for his success in establishing the Villa Scalabrini home for the aged in Northlake, IL. In 1971, he received the Israel Prime Minister’s Medal for his efforts and interest in that country’s economic development, and in 1980 was presented the Human Relations Award by the American Jewish Committee.
Nello passed away February 3, 2012.