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Meet the Experts: Gary Guittard

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Gary Guittard

President and Chairman,Guittard Chocolate Company

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In 1971, Gary joined Honig-Cooper Harrington before moving to Mailliard & Schmiedel Food Brokers as a sales representative in 1974. In 1976, he joined the bakery sales department for BiRite Bakery Distributor. In 1977, he launched the retail arm of Guittard Chocolate Co., the company his great grandfather, Etienne, founded in 1868.  Gary became president in 1989, taking over the position held by his father and his grandfather. Working with his father and brother in the same office taught Gary the importance of a team and cross-training.  In 1988, after his father and brother Jay died within six months of each other, Gary said he learned that no matter how dark the situation, things will change, so it's best to just keep moving ahead and tackle each challenge as it comes.  Active in the industry, he served as a member of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association beginning in 1989, and as chairman of its board from 2000 to 2003. He was honored with the Kettle Award in 2008 and also earned the Fine Chocolate Industry Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Gary currently sits on NCA's Chocolate Council and the Executive Committee of the World Cocoa Foundation.