It all started while we were enjoying a meal at a Greek restaurant close to our offices in Deerfield, Ill. – a habit that in the past has generated many a good idea. Breaking bread can often slice through barriers to creative collaboration. I had invited Patrick Murnane, executive v.p. of the Murnane Cos., Inc., for lunch to welcome him as a new member of Candy Industry’s Kettle Committee. Given that he was a local – although Northlake, Ill., which is Murnane Cos. headquarters, isn’t quite Northbrook, Ill., Deerfield’s adjoining suburb, it’s not Nebraska — I felt it was a great opportunity to get to know Murnane better and prep him on some of the committee’s protocols.
Although I had met the Candy Hall of Famer several times in the past, I never had the opportunity to chat with him one-on-one. The gregarious Chicagoland native didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of common ground, from being graduates of Catholic all boys high schools — Murnane from Marmion Military Academy (now Marmion Academy) and I from Gordon Technical High School (now DePaul Preparatory High School) — to bakery and confectionery industry experiences.