President’s Letter

Industry Mourns The Loss of Icon and Leader

Dear SFA Members,
The recent loss of Dr. Wilbur Gould at the age of 85 came as a great shock. He was a vital contributor to our industry and the Snack Food Association from his foray into potato chip research at Ohio State University 60 years ago. An expert in potato and tomato processing, he was loved and admired around the world. In fact, the Association has received many messages of condolences, including one from a snack company in Kuwait that wanted to convey deep sympathy and prayers to Wilbur’s family and the industry.
Dr. “Doc” Gould was more than an expert in his field of research; he was a good friend and helpful teacher to his many students at Ohio State and those who attended his excellent Quality Assurance course that he hosted at Ohio State on behalf of SFA. As an SFA staff member and student of his “QA” course, I learned a great deal about snack food processing and enjoyed the kind hospitality that Wilbur and his wonderful wife, Jessie, bestowed on all the students at their home with his renowned steak dinner. Wilbur made his lectures lively and fun while making sure that the participants left with a true understanding of the importance of the principles of quality control that he developed for the industry. Although I came to the course with an undergraduate degree in political science, which Dr. Gould did not let me forget, I left that course with the tools to better articulate the crucial role that quality techniques play in producing quality snacks.
The honors that Dr. Gould received during his lifetime are numerous. They include being bestowed an honorary life membership in 1990 in the Potato Association of America, and he is the only recipient of SFA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, presented to him at our annual convention, SNAXPO, in 1998. He was the author of numerous texts and articles on food processing. It is appropriate that the laboratory at Ohio State’s new Food Science building is named after Dr. Gould, and the conference area is named for both Wilbur and Jessie Gould, as they were such an important part of making that school the success that it is today.
Not bad for the fourth of six children born to Alice and Elmer Gould in Colebrook, N.H., during the Depression. Their hard-working dairy and potato farm instilled the work ethic and the interest in agriculture and food processing that forged a great leader in our industry. His legacy will not be forgotten. As long as a potato is being grown, harvested, peeled or cooked somewhere in the world, it is likely that Dr. Gould’s methods will be utilized. Our heart goes out to Jessie and his children and grandchildren. Our industry owes a great debt to Wilbur Gould for his many contributions to our industry, and we will always fondly remember his friendship and kind instruction.
James A. McCarthy
President & CEO