Class of 2023
A powerful work ethic inherited from her parents, along with a loyal and empathetic personality that influences her day-to-day work contribute to Rose Potts’ successful career in the confectionery industry. However, the camaraderie and mutual respect between colleagues is why she says she has maintained such a passion for the candy business for nearly 40 years.
Rose was born on August 3, 1963, to Logan and Ruth Ann Emery in Ephrata, PA, where she grew up with her younger brother Michael.
She graduated from Twin Valley High School in 1981 as valedictorian and went on to Penn State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in food science in 1985. She was the first person in her immediate family to graduate college, a goal she had made for herself from a young age.
Rose started her journey in the world of candy in 1985 when she accepted a quality control technician position at Blommer Chocolate Co. She had been introduced to the industry by one of her college professors. She says her initial interview with the company was with Marlene Stauffer, who Rose calls a female role model on how to operate in what at the time was a very male dominated atmosphere and someone who Rose cites as having a tremendous impact on her career.
By 1995, Rose was a sanitation and quality control supervisor and in 2001 became corporate manager, sensory and product guidance, where she stayed until earlier this year when she moved into her current role as a technical fellow.
Rose’s commitment to the confectionery industry is far-reaching. From 2014 to 2018, she was on the board of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association and was the originator of its slogan: Make Mine Fine. She has also held positions as president and vice-president of the PMCA where she became only the second woman in the organization’s 117-year history to chair its board.
Recognition of Rose’s achievements has continued throughout her career. In 2010, she was presented with the Hans Dresel Award, an honor given to a speaker who delivers inspirational messages at the PMCA annual conference. She was also given the American Association of Candy Technologists Stroud Jordan Award for her contributions and service to the industry.
During her career, Rose has prioritized educational advancement inside and outside of the industry. She has given more than 100 presentations at local, national and international conferences and conventions and even taught confectionery courses at a variety of universities across the country. Rose says that staying involved and active within the industry provides a greater perspective and broader relationships.
To someone just starting out in the industry, Rose would advise them to learn as much as they can by listening rather than talking. She also says be open to learning from the varied talents of the people you meet and to step back and see what you are meant to learn from every situation.
Rose married her high school sweetheart, Scott, in 1985 and together they have two children, Hayden and Harrison. Both of her sons are Eagle Scouts, which she remarks is a family honor. Outside of work, Rose is an avid Penn State football fan and season ticket holder as well as a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Douglassville, PA.
She says being involved in the industry takes us out of the everyday tasks of the business and operations and reminds us of the joy our products give consumers.