Class of 2014
Born on July 25, 1955, to Armando Theodore and Elizabeth Rose, Steve Martinez spent his childhood with older brothers Robert and Ronald in Oakland, CA.
After graduating in 1976 from Moreau H.S. in Hayward, CA, he attended local Chabot Junior College, then San Jose State University. While enrolled at Chabot, his high school hired him to teach classes in business and physical education and coach basketball — his first adult job.
Steve left teaching in 1981 to join food brokerage Bradshaw North, Inc. as territory manager in its wine department. During the next 18 years, he served as key account manager, account executive, director of Bradshaw American, and finally vice- president of grocery and confection for Crossmark. His introduction to candy was as account executive for Storck USA, L.P. and Brach’s Confections, which later merged with the Ferrara Candy Co., Inc. In 1999, he left to become the Safeway team director at Advantage Sales & Marketing.
In 2002, Steve, Phil Costello and Tony Metz founded The Performance Group North (TPG North), a food brokerage servicing clients in all classes of trade throughout northern California. Steve serves as managing partner.
He says one of the most memorable moments in his 28- year career came in 2008 when TPG North was named national broker of the year for the third consecutive time by Lindt & Sprüngli (USA), Inc.
Being inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame is a testament to teamwork, Steve maintains: “I’m overwhelmed and honored, and my family can be proud because we share this honor.”
In addition to staying attuned to retailers’constantly evolving go-to-market strategies, Steve and TPG North are committed members of the NCA and the association’s Broker Advisory Council; the NCSA; and the Northern California Food Brokers Association, for which he was president in 2003.
In his free time, he is devoted to his three adult children, Morgayne, Adam and Troy. He sits on the boards of CYO basketball, Easter Seals and the City of Hope, and was honored with the latter’s Extra Mile Award in 2001, 2005 and 2012. In addition, he currently coaches high school girls’ basketball, volunteers for the Livermore school district and enjoys golf, music, reading and recreational sports.