NCSA Inducts 11 Into Candy Hall of Fame

Press Release November 1, 2017

Tampa, FL — A crowd of nearly 300 gathered in Florida to celebrate the 11 individuals being inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame, during a black-tie banquet held October 14.

The 2017 Candy Hall of Fame inductees were: Peter Blommer, Blommer Chocolate Co.; Rick Brindle, Mondelez International, Inc.; Sara Clair, Brown & Haley; Ray Cote, American Chocolate Mould Co.; Basant Dwivedi, The Promotion In Motion Cos., Inc.; Mary Beth Geraci, Carlin Group; Richard Hartel, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Scott Hartman, Rutter’s Holdings Inc.; Rob Nelson, Elmer Candy Corp.; Dave Taiclet, May Confections; and Mary Villa, URM Stores Inc.

Highlighting the significance and prestige of the event, more than 50 Candy Hall of Fame members were on hand to witness the induction ceremony and welcome the Class of 2017 into their ranks.

Capturing the sentiment expressed by all of the inductees, upon accepting his award Brindle said: “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of the candy industry, and I am truly humbled to be welcomed into the prestigious Candy Hall of Fame. Thank you all!”

Candy Hall of Fame inductee Geraci noted the honor would serve to push her to accomplish more: “For me, receiving this award means I will continue to strive to give back to all of you who have given me more blessings than I could ever have imagined.”

Noting the outstanding accomplishments of the members of the Class of 2017, Association President & CEO John Leipold, a member of the Candy Hall of Fame Class of 2009, notes: “Each year we have the opportunity to honor individuals who have spent their careers giving back to the confectionery industry. They strive to leave a legacy for the generations to follow, and this year was no exception. From individuals in sales, to an innovator who has developed products enjoyed by so many, to an educator who trains the leaders of the future, this year’s class is a shining example of why our industry is more than the products we represent, it is a family we are all so proud to be a part of.”

For more information on the Candy Hall of Fame and the complete bios of this year’s inductees, as well as all members of the Candy Hall of Fame, visit


The NCSA, formed in 1899, is built on a foundation of Peer Recognition, Fellowship, Mentoring and Education, as a means of furthering the positive growth and acceptance of confectionery products. The Association established the Candy Hall of Fame in 1971 to recognize the lifetime career achievements of individuals in the confectionery industry. Induction is based on dedication to the overall betterment of the industry and the category.