With 30 years’ experience in product development, confectionery processing and technical services within the confectionery industry, Robert Huzinec knows his candy.
The Hershey Co. principal scientist also knows how to give back to the industry, having led the effort in producing an educational video for confectionery careers aimed at high schoolers, having served on numerous American Association of Candy Technologists (AACT) and PMCA committees as well as holding office in both groups, and having actively taught confectionery courses at various programs.
Last night, Huzinec was recognized for these and other contributions with the Stroud Jordan award at the AACT’s annual banquet, which was held in Lincolnshire, Ill. during the organization’s national technical seminar.
Richard Hartel, professor of food engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and last year’s Stroud Jordan recipient, presented Huzinec with a framed certificate and medallion featuring the image of Stroud Jordan, a renowned confectionery scientist and co-founder of the AACT. Since 1951, the AACT presents the annual award to someone in the industry who’s contributed significantly in the area of education, organization or research.
In accepting the award, Huzinec thanked several individuals who had mentored him during his career, which included stints at American Chicle Co. and Leaf Inc.
“Mentoring and assisting others is one of the most important things you can do in life,” he said. Huzinec added that experienced confectioners should reach out to young people entering the industry while newcomers “should learn from the great mentors in the industry.”
Noting that as a young boy he had wanted to be an astronaut, Huzinec told the audience that he has realized that ambition since he gets to work with industry “stars” on a daily basis.