Picture of Robert J. Huzinec

Robert J. Huzinec

Class of 2014

Robert J. Huzinec was born in Brooklyn, NY, on November 16, 1955, to John and Dorothy, and is nicknamed Hurricane Bob.

A true New Yorker, he attended Bishop Ford H.S. and then St. Francis College, where he earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry before studying at Pace University, in New York, where we earned an MBA in Marketing and Management in 1981.

Bob married Ann Marie on May 5, 1984, at Holy Name of Mary, in Valley Stream, NY, and they raised Tara, Maura and Sean.

He jokes he entered the industry by accident, thinking he would work on the pharmaceutical side of Warner Lambert, only to find himself at American Chicle in 1978 as associate scientist in R&D, rising to scientist, international R&D in just two years.

In 1986, he joined Leaf, Inc., as manager, R&D, eventually becoming director, R&D and confections processing, before joining The Hershey Co. in 1997 as senior staff scientist. Bob was responsible for technical projects and personnel in non-chocolate product development of major brands, including IceBreakers, Jolly Rancher, Whoppers and Rainblo.

Today he is Hershey’s principal scientist and is credited with developing new technology for coating sugarfree items among his many significant career achievements, which also includes the three-year design, installation and startup of the world’s first continuous gum base and gum manufacturing line.

Bob has more than 34 years of industry volunteer work, including former presidency of the AACT and current presidency of the PMCA. He has also taught NCA, PMCA and AACT courses, and recognition includes receiving the prestigious Stroud Jordan Award. Bob says major influences were his elementary school science teacher, Mrs. Torregrossa, and Sheldon (Shelly) Siegel at Leaf, whom Bob says is the most intelligent person he knows and who allowed Bob to build the self-confidence necessary to develop his career.

He advises others to get involved in trade associations because “knowledge kept to oneself is worthless — it must be shared to have value.”

In his limited spare time, Bob enjoys golf, cooking, gardening and family travel.