Stephen G. McMichael

Stephen G. McMichael

Class of 2003

Born September 7, 1946, in Atlanta, Steve attended the University of Georgia. Majoring in marketing and minoring in finance, he graduated with a business degree.

He served in the U.S. Army as a specialist, fifth class, in the 26th Infantry Platoon Scout Dogs, headquartered at Fort Benning, GA. In 1972, he married Bobbi and they have two sons, Andrew and Stephen.

A seasoned veteran of the industry, Steve began his candy career as a regional manager for Peter-Paul Candy in 1971. The door was opened for him by 1982 Candy Hall of Famer Pope W. Chatham, and Steve credits him for launching his candy career by helping set up an introduction to Russ Bartells, then Peter-Paul vice-president of sales.

In 1974, Steve joined Cadbury Schweppes USA as Southeast regional manager. He signed on as director of sales for Andes Candies in 1978. In 1987, he became director of broker sales for Jacobs Suchard, handling both the Brach’s and Andes business. Powell Candy Co. hired him in 1988 as vice-president of sales.

In 1992, Steve joined Ferrara Pan Candy Co. as vice-president of sales, breaking the supplier’s tradition of placing only family members in executive positions.

Steve’s most memorable career achievement came in 2000, when the NCA presented him with the Doc Reed Silver Candy Dish Award. “It is especially rewarding since the broker community determines the recipient,” Steve points out.

Freeman, Steve’s father and an independent grocer, has served as his lifelong inspiration.

“I feel positive I inherited his work ethic and hopefully, at least half of his compassion,” Steve says. “He maintained his principles and dedication, plus lived the American dream.”

Steve passed away on January 4, 2024.