Stuart I. Harris
Class of 2000
Stu Harris was born in August, 1951, in Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from Belle Vernon Area High School, he earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh. He has a daughter, Cassandra.
Stu’s career in the candy industry began in 1976 when he joined Jolly Rancher Candy, then owned by Beatrice Confections, as a regional manager. In 1985 he joined Leaf, Inc. as director of training and recruiting, advancing through a series of increasingly responsible sales management positions. In 1990, he was appointed business development manager.
In 1996, following Hershey’s acquisition of Leaf, Stu became the Mid East Zone Manager of the Hershey U.S. Broker Network. In 2000 he became Central Regional Manager for Just Born Inc. a position he held at the time of his induction. Stu has been honored many times throughout his 23 years in the industry, including being named Leaf’s Regional Manager of the Year in 1989, Revco Vendor of the Year for1992, and the 1998 Leaf Business Development Manager of the Year, among many others.
Stu credits the people he has worked with throughout his career for the success he has enjoyed – particularly his teammates and managers, customers and broker partners. Of his broker partners and friends in the industry, he says: I would like to think that I molded them a little but they truly molded my career!
To those who follow him in the industry, Stu believes it is important to strike a positive balance in life between business, work, family and fun. Looking toward the future, he advises everyone to find the special, young and talented people coming into the industry and mentor them, so they can benefit in the same way so many have benefited from those who came before them. Stu was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2000.