It doesn’t take much for me to seek out a reason to celebrate. Consider that first Sunday in November. Turning back the clock a whole hour not only gave everyone an extra hour of snooze time; it also enabled many folks to wake up with daylight again. Hey, mimosas for everyone!

Of course, I realize that scenario won’t last long – and the concept of getting home in the dark reinforces the quid pro quod aspect of this gift. Nevertheless, savoring the moment can help us get through the darker days of winter upon us.

Actually, in this issue readers will find several celebrations that occurred during the past few months. First, our cover story centers on Jorge Farber, this year’s Candy Industry Kettle Award recipient.

Having spent some time with Jorge in fielding the story, I can tell you he’s a pleasure to be with. Now don’t get me wrong, Jorge can be demanding as the next executive. I’ve seen him in action on the plant floor discussing how a piece of chocolate should be wrapped or wondering why a shipping door is open.

It goes back to that old saying, “Don’t expect what you don’t inspect.”

But in Jorge’s case, the Kettle recognizes his abilities to steer a family business into a nimble, midsized enterprise, which in today’s confectionery marketplace is no small task.

Such leadership embodies all the elements valued in business, a complement of prudence, foresight, risk-taking, patience and perseverance.

It also recognizes a man who has a sense of humor. As Vivian Farber, Jorge’s wife and business partner pointed out to me, “The man makes me laugh.” With rising ingredient, labor and transportation costs as well as escalating exchange rates, humor helps.

So when you see Jorge, toast the Rockaway Beach Renaissance Man (rumor has it he likes fine single-malt Scotch).

And while we’re on the subject of toasting, there’s another individual we should raise a glass to – Ed Wilson, national sales manager for AarhausKarlshamn. Wilson recently received the American Association of Candy Technologists’ (AACT) Stroud Jordan award.

The Stroud Jordan award recognizes individuals for contributions to confectionery technology. It embodies its namesake who was an expert on sugar, an individual that personally “helped lay the foundation, provide the tone and set the standards for the confectionery industry,” the AACT says.

With Wilson, it’s not sugar, but confectionery fats. Having earned his stripes in chocolate with US Cocoa and Cocoa Barry, Wilson has continuously spoken about and lectured on compound coatings and vegetable fats. He’s also been an active volunteer in such organizations as the PMCA, the AACT and the NCA. Cheers, Ed.

But we’re not just celebrating individuals this issue. Those of you who missed the PMCA’s Centennial Gala (and you know who you are), well, for shame. It was a grand party, filled with chocolate masterpieces, good friends and colleagues, fine food, an excellent band and short speeches (doesn’t get any better than that). In fact, I liked the affair so much, I’m thinking the PMCA need not wait another 100 years to hold one like it again. (Food for thought, Yvette.)

And although Barbara Luicjkx in Poland wasn’t celebrating a birthday, it also had cause to party – the christening of a brand new 32,300-sq.-ft. facility. While I couldn’t make it to the event, knowing my good friend Theo Graban of Luicjkx and Poles in general, I suspect that the champagne, food and good times were flowing.

And aptly so. Indeed, how often does one see a “greenfield” facility dedicated to the production of confections these days? Na zdrowie to Theo and managing directors Barbara and Ryszard Borowicz for recognizing the importance of investing in the future.

Speaking of which, did all of you pick up on the Halloween stats? According to ACNielsen, Halloween sales topped $2.1 billion this year, a new record. Is this a grand holiday or what? Salute!