Picture of Shelly Clarey

Shelly Clarey

Class of 2016

SHELLY Clarey had plans to be an accountant and, in fact, her first position in the confectionery industry in 1984 was in the accounting department at Sather’s Candy Co. after earning an accounting degree from Nettleton College, in South Dakota.

However, she quickly figured out that all the excitement in the business was on the sales and marketing side, so she switched and saw her career blossom.

She was born February 1, 1965, in Sibley, IA, to Gerald and Margaret Doyle and had three siblings, Timothy, Todd and Tamara. Shelly says her parents taught her the power of hard work, to never give up, be honest and fight for what you want.

After 11 years at Sather’s, ending up as a brand marketer, she became Director of Marketing for The Foreign Candy Co., also in Iowa, before joining Adams & Brooks, Inc. as Vice-President Sales & Marketing in 2004.

She says her ability to look at products through the eyes of consumers has served her well in her career, while the life-long friendships she has established within the industry are her greatest accomplishment.

Candy Hall of Famer John Brooks, Sr. was a major influence in Shelly’s career, and she says he encouraged her to get involved in the industry because he believes you get back what you put in.

At John’s prompting, she called Candy Hall of Famer Libby Taylor at the NCA and asked to be appointed to a committee. Consequently, she became an active participant in the association, serving on State of the Industry, ISM Planning, Trade Relations, Broker Advisory and Women’s Leadership Group committees.

Passing advice on, she says: “Learn everything you can about every piece of the business. The more you know, the more valuable you are to your company. And get involved in the industry — you can learn so much from listening to people from other companies and you get to contribute to the whole industry.”

Shelly also cites Eleanor Roosevelt, who said: “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart,” and Shelly says she has tried to follow that motto by putting God first in her life, then her family and work.

One of Shelly’s biggest passions is politics and says if she hadn’t pursued a career in candy, she’d have been a politician.

She is also passionate about the Green Bay Packers, New York Yankees and the Iowa State Cyclones, and she admits she loves watching TV series, such as Law & Order SUV.

Shelly and John, who were married in 1985, have two sons, Joseph and Thomas, and one grandchild.

Regarding her induction into the Candy Hall of Fame, Shelly says, “I’m proud to be amongst the first 20 women inducted and in the first class that is inducting four women.”