Troy Parris Pearley
Class of 2022
Troy Parris Pearley was born on December 20, 1969, to Shawn Edwards Morrison and Walter. He grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and attended Samuel J. Tilden High School, graduating in 1987.
Troy’s greatest memories from his childhood revolve around his mother and her uncompromising attitude. He says that she led by example, was never a follower and has the strongest work ethic he has ever seen. Her focus on “getting it done” with no excuses, had huge impact on his life.
Troy also recalls his father’s kindness and sense of humor. He says his dad’s family was from New Orleans, and it became a tradition for the Pearley men to go to Mardi Gras together.
He attended Brooklyn College from 1987 to 1988 and received a BS in political science and history from SUNY Brockport in 1992. He played varsity football in college, lettering three times.
After graduating he had plans to become a history teacher and possibly a football coach. However, he went to work for Ralston Purina Co., which started his career in CPG.
He met his wife Wadiya in Brooklyn through a mutual friend and they married in 1998. They have two children, Shane and Dhane.
Troy’s first job in the confectionery industry was with Campbell Soup Co.’s Pepperidge Farm brand in 1999. He spent three years there as an account manager before joining Ghirardelli Chocolate Co. in 2003.
As Regional Manager East and Territory Manager at Ghirardelli, where he says he contributed to building an entirely new chocolate sector that delivered a higher quality product to consumers. Excelling in the role, he was able to grow sales for his area by more than 100 percent.
In 2008, he received Ghirardelli’s Salesperson of the Year award for executing budget, including secondary placements, exclusive executions, and customer penetration.
He later spent two years as Trade Marketing Manager North America at Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. where he was responsible for executing a partnership with Kendall-Jackson winery, which he cites as being one of the most memorable moments in his career.
In 2012, Troy joined the Divine Chocolate Ltd. team where he was promoted twice within the first four years. Under his leadership the brand experienced rapid growth and he was recognized with a seat on the Board of Divine Chocolate for three years prior to the restructuring of the company in 2020. Troy’s current role within the company is Executive Vice-President and General Manager, North America.
Divine Chocolate’s business model of Farmer Ownership changed Troy’s perspective from “just working” to “meaningfully working,” and challenged him to work toward having a global impact on the chocolate industry.
Along with the day-to-day work he does with Divine, Troy is on the board of the NCA, volunteers with the NCA Young Professionals Network Mentoring program and has participated in the NCA Washington Forum. He has also served on the association’s Chocolate Council since 2019.
He says that building the Divine Chocolate team and brand keeps him on his toes, adding he enjoys working on a cross-functional team for a global brand. Troy proudly points out that Divine is a social enterprise that demonstrates people and the planet do not need to be sacrificed for profit.