This wasn’t going to be your usual Kettle Award Reception. After all, this was the 70th anniversary of Candy Industry’s award to one deserving confectionery executive and leader. Thus, buses were waiting for attendees of the Sweets & Snacks Expo on Tuesday afternoon, ready to whisk them away to the confectionery industry’s “Oscar’s night” at the prestigious Union League Club.
The piano man, Stu Hirsch, welcomed regulars and newcomers to the reception with soft jazz tunes, adding a classy tone to this annual get-together aimed at honoring the industry’s best and brightest.
Just before the Kettle Committee’s officers, Bryan Bainbridge, chairman, and Scott Funk, vice chairman, began introducing the nominees — Robert Nelson, Elmer Candy Co.; Michael Rosenberg of the Promotion in Motion Cos., Inc; and James Sconza, Sconza Candy Co. — Bainbridge asked for a moment of silence for all those working in the confectionery industry who has passed away the previous year.
In remembering the past, Bainbridge and Funk then transitioned to the future, detailing the accomplishments of each nominee. To usher in the dramatic moment, Bainbridge asked past recipients to come up to the stage to be recognized once again.
As if on cue, the room turned quiet when Robert Dono, the Kettle Committee’s secretary, slowly carried a black leather briefcase to the podium, handing it over to Funk. Upon opening the briefcase, Funk passed the envelope onto Bainbridge to formerly announce this year’s silver anniversary recipient.
Once again — as is the tradition — the crowd burst into applause when Michael Rosenberg was announced as the 2015 Kettle Award recipient. Rosenberg graciously acknowledged his fellow nominees, his wife and family, his colleagues at Promotion in Motion Cos., and the industry for the honor.
Rosenberg and the nominees, as well as past recipients and special guests then proceeded to enjoy a special anniversary dinner featuring filet mignon and lobster. To cap off the meal and evening, the U.S. pastry team, coached by Guittard Chocolate’s executive pastry chef, Donald Wressell, prepared a luscious dessert plate.