Scottsdale, AZ — Atkinson Candy Co. President Eric Atkinson is the 2013 recipient of The American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) Hall of Fame Award for his long and dedicated service to the industry, AWMA reports.
Atkinson says AWMA has been a part of his life since 1966, when he began attending then National Candy Wholesalers Association trade shows with his father and grandfather, who founded the company in 1932. He has been a member of the AWMA Board for more than 10 years and sits on the association's Expo committee. In 1998, AWMA presented him with the Dean of the Confectionery Industry Award.
In presenting the award to Atkinson at the AWMA Summit & Business Exchange this week, GSC Enterprises Corporate Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Steve Shing said: “Eric’s genius has been to keep the best of the past — the commitment to quality, the determination to be the best and, of course, their original peppermint twists and Chick-O-Sticks — while keeping abreast of manufacturing innovations and expanding their lines to meet a broader range of tastes.”
Atkinson says about receiving the honor: “When a lot of confectioners left the association I didn't because I understand why they focus on the convenience class of trade and I still see value there. It's not all about candy. As long as wholesalers and the association focus on the things the c-store customer wants, they should have a bright future, but confectionery will always be a part of that mix.”
Shing called Atkinson a “master of customer service” who looks to his distributors, brokers and manufacturers for advice.