Lexington, NC — Mark Stephens has been named CEO of Piedmont Candy Co. He reports to the company’s board of directors, chaired by Don Stockton. According to the company, the appointment comes at a pivotal time as it works to build new revenue streams and prepares for growth.
Stephens joins Piedmont from Pride Family Brands, Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of premium outdoor aluminum furniture, where he served as president. Previously, he held leadership positions at companies including Broyhill Furniture and Orkin Pest Control, beginning his career in the packaged goods industry with Ralston Purina, Pepperidge Farm and Campbell Soup Co.
“We’re excited to bring Mark onboard as we enter our 130th year of operation and apply our passion for great candy making to new product lines,” says Stockton. “Mark’s heritage brand experience coupled with his strong leadership and communication skills stood out amongst the candidate pool, and we’re confident he’ll be a positive changemaker as we explore strategic growth opportunities.”
“I was drawn to Piedmont’s distinguished reputation and unwavering dedication to handcrafted confectionery,” says Stephens. “I’m looking forward to working with the employee set to build upon the company’s established roots and success while introducing new ideas for the company’s next stage of growth.”
In addition to diversifying the company’s product offerings, Stephens will focus on cultivating new retail partnerships across the U.S. and developing programs that build upon the company’s core values of passion, quality, integrity and dedication.
The company notes former CEO Chris Reid has been integral in the search process and will work with Stephens to facilitate a seamless transition. Reid, who has been with the company for 32 years, will continue to serve on the board of directors. C&ST