Retail Confectioners International (RCI), a trade association serving the chocolate and confectionery industry, recently awarded the 2023 Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award at its Annual Convention & Industry Expo. Louis Curlee of The Blommer Chocolate Company was this year’s honored recipient.

Known for his infectious smile and laughter, Curlee was described as “the most genuine, kind, generous, and honest person,” by Scott Funk, Blommer’s regional sales director. “Louis embodies the spirit of the Henry J. Bornhofft Award in his service to this industry and to all others.”

Curlee has been a member of the chocolate industry for nearly 40 years. Currently serving as Blommer’s senior account manager, his territory extends over Ohio, Pennsylvania, Western New York, and Eastern Canada. With previous experience working for Van Leer Chocolate Company and Barry Callebaut, he specializes in premium chocolate sales, as well as chocolate applications for the dairy industry. 

“I learned much about chocolate from the first recipient of the Henry J. Bornhofft Award, Malcolm Campbell of Van Leer Chocolate Company,” Curlee recalled. “I am truly honored to be in the company of those who came before me.”

Curlee is an active, contributing member of RCI, recently serving on the board of directors and several committees. Due to his dedication to RCI and the industry, the board of directors felt he was the best choice for this honor. "Louis is an incredible supporter of this association and the confectionery industry as a whole,” stated RCI Executive Director Angie Burlison. “His loyalty and commitment is commendable, and we were privileged to present him with this award recognizing his contributions.”

The Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award was established by the RCI Board of Directors in 1985. Each year a member of the confectionery industry is selected to receive the Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award and recognized during RCI’s annual convention. The recipient is a stand-out supplier member, who has exhibited many years of outstanding leadership, loyalty, friendship, and has made significant contributions to the confectionery industry.

Related: Learning about the confectionery industry at the Retail Confectioners International conference