People Watch

Pez Promotes from Within
Confectioner follows industry players on the move and in the news.
Dan Silliman was recently promoted within Pez Candy Inc. from regional sales manager/southeast to VP of sales. He was chosen after the company did an “extensive market search,” according to CEO Joe Vittoria. “We spoke with people we all know in the industry, looking for someone who could handle the pace of change and growth at Pez,” maintains Vittoria. “After reviewing how Dan thinks and works, we found him to be well-adept at dealing with the complexity of today’s market. He’s a dynamic individual with little fear of change and absolute enthusiasm about Pez and the direction we’re taking.”
Silliman is also well-respected by many large retailers, according to Vittoria. “He’s already proven his ability with all the big ones, including Wal-Mart, CVS and Circuit City. He’s a key component to how we’re going to grow in the future.”
Fairfield, Calif.-based Jelly Belly Candy Co. has promoted Jeff Brown and Sharon Duncan as vice presidents of human resources and international business, respectively.
Brown, who joined the company as a college intern in 1993, previously held the position of human resources director.
Duncan, who accepted the position as head of international sales only last year, will — in her new role — be charged with expanding global business.
Anderson Moves To Lindt
Kristen Andersen recently joined Lindt & Sprungli USA as vice president of marketing. Reporting directly to Lindt’s CEO, Thomas Linemayr, Andersen is responsible for all of the company’s marketing at both a retail and wholesale level. No stranger to the candy arena, she comes to Lindt from Hershey Foods where she most recently served as vice president of marketing-brand integration.
Staying Focused On Fun At Candy Planet
Dan Johnson has joined Candy Planet as director of sales, bringing with him “a vision to build on a company that markets innovative fun.” Without giving away any product secrets, Johnson alludes to a much bigger future for the company: “I see building a baseline of items that have even broader appeal — not only for children, but adults as well.”  He talks about going with confectionery items that are more “commodity” in nature. “I envision Candy Planet expanding beyond being a novelty candy company; I see it strongly differentiated in the candy world.”
Coming to Candy Planet directly from Dayhoff/Bimbo, Johnson is familiar with that candy world he speaks of; he also spent 21 years at Topps.
On a personal level, just as in business, Johnson gravitates towards energy and excitement. He recently had “a life-defining moment” playing banjo on stage in Phoenix, with six of the 10 original members of his favorite folk group from the ‘60s — the New Christy Minstrels. “It was cool beyond belief,” Johnson states. “I got to be friends with some of the original members, and they invited me to come on stage with them, playing in front of sold-out crowds.”
That’s the kind of enthusiasm Johnson also takes to his new job at Candy Planet. “I’m determined to have fun with it,” he says. “Candy is fun; we’re supposed to have fun. So I take all that with me to this job.”
Entrepreneur Imports Sophisticated Packaging
Lynn Findlay is changing the face of candy with her seven-year-old import business specializing in unique and attractive gift packaging for the candy and specialty food industry — Crayon, Inc., based in Watertown, Mass. The company imports a diverse array of containers including tin, paper, ceramics, stoneware, plush, plastics, polyresin and wood. Premiere gourmet food companies as well as big-name chocolate manufacturers have relied on Findlay’s expertise in the areas of importing and packaging.
Just in time for the Fancy Food Show in July in New York City, Findlay launched her new Signature Line — a collection of sophisticated holiday and everyday gift boxes, available for the first time to small businesses, including candy stores.