Chicago — The 2016 Doc Reed Silver Candy Dish Award was presented to Greg Woodhouse, vice-president of sales, North America, for Star Brands North America, while this year’s Lou Spector Golden Candy Dish was given to Brad Carlin, CEO of the Carlin Group.
The Silver Candy Dish is given to an individual in sales, marketing or general management that has worked to improve category performance, while the Golden Candy Dish recognizes a broker who has gone to great lengths to promote the industry, according to NCA.
In 1986, Woodhouse began his career as a sales rep for Performance Systems Food Brokerage before joining The Hershey Co. as its west division zone manager. In 2009, he joined Godiva Chocolatier as its North American sales director and was promoted to his current position in 2013.
Acknowledging the award, he told Candy & Snack TODAY: “It’s very gratifying to be recognized by the people you respect and work with in the broker community and the confection industry. I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to work and learn with so many talented individuals that have built incredible businesses across North America.”
For those just starting out in the industry, Woodhouse said not having tunnel vision is critical for success. “The confection industry continues to expand. If you are in the chocolate business, push to understand the non–chocolate business and how both interact. This will help you understand consumer purchase behaviors,” he explained.
Carlin cut his teeth in the industry working summers for his father Hugh in the sample room and doing 4 a.m. grocery resets. After graduating from Miami University, in Oxford, OH, in 1988, he joined the family business full time as the convenience trade supervisor, before moving on to become business manager, where he said he called on just about every customer in the Chicago market. He became president, CEO and majority owner of Carlin Group in 2002.
He told Candy & Snack TODAY that expanding the brokerage’s reach in the Midwest and the acquisitions required to reach that goal are among his proudest career accomplishments.
Noting that winning the Golden Candy Dish Award is a humbling experience because it is decided on by industry peers, he said the keys to finding success in the industry are to surround yourself with good people and be willing to embrace change at any time.