Ford Gum & Machine Co. has promoted Brian Heiser to VP of sales and marketing and Mike Crandell to director of sales, effective immediately.
“The reorganization and expansion of our sales and marketing team will better prepare us to grow the company in the future,” said George Stege, president of Ford Gum & Machine Co. “The additions of the Jelly Belly and WARHEADS licenses to our portfolio, as well as expanding our product and marketing efforts around Big League Chew, will significantly impact Ford Gum’s ability to grow. We now have the resources in place to support our growth.”
Heiser joined Ford Gum in 2017 as its director of marketing, bringing over 25 years of industry experience, including success with companies such as Wrigley, Wilton Industries and The Lovely Candy Co. In his new role as VP of sales and marketing, he will take on full responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the Ford Gum retail business, as well as the sales and marketing office in Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
Under Heiser’s leadership, along with Ford Gum’s R&D team, the company has seen successful product launches including the Big League Chew Softball Pouch and Jelly Belly sugar-free gum, which was nominated for a Most Innovative New Product Award at the 2019 Sweets & Snacks Expo.
Through his efforts over the years, in unison with the sales team, the Big League Chew business has seen energized growth. Heiser, along with Steve Greene, led the charge to acquire successful licensing deals with companies such as WARHEADS and Jelly Belly.
In addition to his extensive confectionery sales background, Crandell offers more than 35 years of experience in sales management, previously working for companies including Coca-Cola and Tootsie Roll.
Joining the Ford Gum sales team in 2016 as regional sales manager for its Central market, Crandell solidified successful working relationships with major accounts. In 2017, he assumed responsibilities for the Eastern Region, pioneering new relationships with the grocery class of trade. He’ll continue to manage key accounts in the mid-Atlantic and New England markets in his elevated role as the director of sales.