Ross J. Born
Class of 2009
Ross J. Born has been active in the confectionery industry since 1978, when he entered the family business at Just Born, Inc. Born in New Haven, CT, on April 10, 1953, Ross attended Tufts University, in Medford, MA, and upon earning his B.A., he went on to receive a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law. Ross now serves as Just Born’s co-CEO alongside his cousin David Shaffer, whom he has worked with for the past 31 years. He acknowledges David as a huge factor in his success because of their “terrific partnership.” Ross’ son-in-law also works at the company. Ross is very active in the industry, working with the NCA for more than 20 years in a variety of positions. He is currently the ex-officio chairman and serves on the PAC, strategic planning, international sales development and government affairs committees, as well as holding a seat on the executive board. He is also a supporter of other industry groups, including the PMCA and AWMA. Ross volunteers many hours in his community, including working with the Boy Scouts and teaching courses at the local high schools and universities on topics such as branding and business culture. He and David have also earned recognition through the years for their committment to the community. Looking back, Ross recognizes and appreciates that he enjoys what he does every day. He encourages others to maintain a positive attitude and enjoy what they do as well. He suggests everyone should have a vision for their company and stay committed, honest and passionate. “Having a broad view of the industry and all its components is important to understanding how you can make it better,” he adds. Ross says one of the keys to his success is leading a great senior management team, and caring about his associates, stakeholders, customers and suppliers. He recommends embracing change, and notes that the retail market has adapted during the past few years, allowing more opportunities for candy. Ross and his wife Wendy have two daughters, Lisa and Amy. He and his family are very active in their community in Allentown, PA, including working closely with the Jewish Community Center and the Jewish Federation. In his free time, he enjoys biking, music, gardening and swimming.