Established in 1946 by Candy Industry's founder and publisher, Don Gussow, the Kettle Award represents the highest recognition an individual working within the U.S. confectionery industry can attain.

It is, as Gussow explained to readers, "recognition of the contribution for 'great or good' of the industry, not only on the part of the person selected for the distinction, but of every member of the confectionery field who has devoted himself in whatever measure to make the business of candy making and selling a more profitable and happier one."

2014 Kettle Award Nominees

Joseph Dutra

Joseph Dutra

President/CEO
Kimmie Candy Co.
Reno, Nev.

With a degree in agronomy from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Joe Dutra began his career as a farmer in Sacramento. He eventually became a senior agronomist for one of the largest wheat farming operations in the world outside of the United States, spending 20-plus years in the international agricultural seed export business.

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Steve Hegedus

Steve Hegedus

President, CEO & Owner
Abdallah Candies Corp.
Burnsville, Minn.

Steve Hegedus began his experience with Abdallah Candies at an early age. Before he was a teenager he was trained in candy making basics such as hand pulling hard candy, making marshmallow centers, enrobing, molding and making fondant centers. Although not quite the norm for most twelve-year-old boys, it was so for the son of a family candy-making business.

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Mike Bianco

Mike Bianco

Senior V.P. of Global Operations & Distribution
Jelly Belly Candy Co.
Fairfield, Calif.

Mike Bianco, senior vice president of global operations & distribution at Jelly Belly Candy Co., has made candy a lifelong career. An integral part of Jelly Belly Candy for the last 28 years, Bianco has held various positions before working his way up to overseeing all operations. Prior to joining Jelly Belly, he worked for See’s Candy.

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2014 Kettle Award Reception

The Union League Club of Chicago
65 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604
Website / Map

hotel

About The Kettle Awards

69Years

Since 1946, Candy Industry magazine has recognized leaders in the U.S. confectionery industry with the highest recognition possible, the Kettle Award. The distinguished recipients have captured this most coveted award by not only excelling within their companies, but by contributing to the greater good of the industry.

2013-2014 Committee Members

Bryan Bainbridge
Jim Bourne
Katherine Clark
Kris Collins
Bill Copeland
Ray Cote
Russ Crosio
Chuck Dodson
Scott Funk
Tim Galloway
Mark Glimmerveen
Jim Greenberg
Lee Hartman
James H. Heinz
Fred Hintlian
John Hrivnak
Robert Dono
Roderick Oringer
Mark Lozano
Bernie Pacyniak
Megan Rose
Gordon Shearer
Joseph Sofia
Joni Stern
John Zima
committe members