Wisconsin-based, Carlin O’Brien, has been awarded the 2011 “National Broker of the Year” by Just Born, Inc.  

The Bethlehem, Pa.-based candy manufacturer, known for its PEEPS, MIKE AND IKE, HOT TAMALES and PEANUT CHEWS brands, was impressed by the full-service brokerage company, whose performance included exceeding sales goals by 38% and impressive seasonal results with accounts in Wisconsin.  

“Carlin O’Brien earned our National Broker of the Year Award because of her tremendous year-over-year growth, and due to her success in growing the Peeps® brand at Roundy’s, Shopko and Menards, to name a few, in her territory of Wisconsin,” says Josh Halpern, director of domestic customer development at Just Born, Inc.  

Carlin O’Brien began representing Just Born, Inc in 2009 after they purchased Geraci and Associates.

"We're honored and appreciate all of the support that the Just Born team has given us," says Mary Beth Geraci, the Carlin O'Brien managing partner.  

The “Broker of the Year” award acts as a great source of pride among peers outside and in the Just Born organization, explains Halpern.

The annual accolade has been chosen for more than 20 years and focuses on which firm exceeds merchandising goals and sales quotas Just Born sets at the beginning of each term, while staying within trade spending budgets, and keeping current sales administration.  

According to Geraci, Carlin O'Brien was able to win the honor because the company keenly focused on the objectives Just Born projected, but also took those a bit further. "We had to take it one step beyond and really think outside the box," says Geraci, who cited her companies' ability to really work with the customer as a stepping stone to reaching the full potential of the Just Born line.

Even though Carlin O'Brien was the only firm to win the National award, Halpern notes that Just Born is proud of all its brokers.

“Just Born's broker selling teams have done a tremendous job in helping build our brands. They have been able to meet the challenging needs of our retailers, and deliver brand-building programs at the point-of-sale," says Halpern. "We are truly proud of our entire broker network and what they have accomplished last year."

Other regional awards were givem to Acosta Florida, Co-Sales Utah, Co-Sales Northern California and Bryan Shade Inc.  

For more information visitwww.justborn.com 

 - G.W.