Picture of Pat Huffman

Pat Huffman

Class of 2013

Patrick J. Huffman was born in Peoria, IL, to Jane and Patrick on May 8, 1948.

He graduated in 1966 from Griffin High School in Springfield, IL, and attended Benedictine University, graduating with associate’s degrees in Chemistry, Physics and German in 1968. At Illinois State University, he earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry in 1970 and an M.Sc. in Inorganic Chemistry in 1973.

Pat began his career in confectionery at NestlĂ© Beich in 1968 as Quality Control Manager and was promoted to General Supervisor, then Plant Manager. In 1986, he joined the Wilbur Chocolate Co. as Vice-President of Operations before becoming Vice-President, Eastern Operations, at Grace Cocoa Co.’s Chocolate Americas Division in 1991. Three years later, he became Senior Vice-President, then President and COO of The Jelly Belly Candy Co.

He later stepped away from confectionery to become Vice- President of Operations, Purchasing and Planning at Institutional Financing Services, Inc., but returned in 2004 as President and COO of The Warrell Corp.

Martina Kief and Pat married at their home in Napa, CA, in 2002; they are the parents of John, Jeffrey and Anne.

Pat has served on the outreach, education, strategic planning and research committees of the AACT, PMCA, NCA, ACS and IFT. In recognition of his service to the industry, he was honored with the Kettle Award from Candy Industry in 2013, a NCA Distinguished Service Award in 2010, the AACT’s Stroud Jordan Award in 1992 and was the PMCA Centennial Award Honoree- Top 100 American Confectioners in 2007.

He attributes his success to perseverance, and adds: “Working in manufacturing is a special thing. Learning from line employees and working with them on a daily basis to grow and improve their jobs provides insight into how to succeed that no other business activity can equal.

“Candy is not a job; it’s a passion,” he says. “We are a small and deeply integrated industry that is supportive of one another even as we compete. Give it 100 percent and you will be rewarded.”

Away from work, his interests include racquetball, woodworking and collecting wine.