(PMCA — July 20, 2020) — The PMCA Production Conference Program Committee has named Nina Puch, senior food technologist, Knechtel, Inc., as the twenty-third recipient of the Marie Kelso Memorial Award. Ms. Puch presented her paper titled Advancements in Gummi Confections Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the 73rd Annual Production Conference. Due to the cancelation of the 2020 conference, Marie Kelso Award Chair Steve Genzoli, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company and 2018 award recipient Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company will present the award at the 74th Annual Production Conference Tuesday dinner, April 13, 2021 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.
Ms. Puch joins the ranks of the 22 previous award winners; Edward S. Seguine, Mars Snackfood, Susan L. Hefle, Ph.D., University of Nebraska, Marlene B. Stauffer, Blommer Chocolate Company, Harold H. Schmitz, Ph.D, Mars Snackfood, Nicole Staniec, Firmenich, Bill Dyer, Blommer Chocolate Company, Greg Ziegler, The Pennsylvania State University, Jeffrey Fine, AAK USA, Joe Smillie, Quality Assurance International, (QAI), Cindy Cosmos, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Richard Hartel, University of Wisconsin – Madison (awarded twice), Tracey Duffey, World Cocoa Foundation, Kurt Muentener, Keymount GmbH, Abdoulaye Traore, Mars Chocolate, Jordana Swank, The Hershey Company, Joseph Bell, Joseph Bell Consulting, Kerry Kaylegian, The Pennsylvania State University, Mark Kline, The Hershey Company, John Ashby, California Natural Products, Jeffrey Bogusz, Ferrara Candy Company, and Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company.
About the Award
The PMCA Board of Directors established the Marie Kelso Memorial award in 1997. It is given each year to the author of the paper presented at the previous year’s annual production conference that most significantly contributes to industry knowledge, thus honoring the memory of Marie Kelso and her faithful dedication and unwavering belief in the value of the production conference for the industry.
Marie Kelso served as secretary to the Production Conference Committee for 38 years, and indeed her name became synonymous with the event itself. In her youth, she was secretary to Hans Dresel, a salesman for Felton Chemical Company in Philadelphia, PA. As her boss worked tirelessly to organize and promote PMCA’s Annual Production Conference, as well as AACT events, she organized and managed tirelessly as well. After she left her job at Felton Chemical, the production conference became her life’s work. Marie was also active for many years in the Philadelphia Section of AACT. Marie Kelso passed away in September 1995.
PMCA is an international organization that enhances the companies and careers of confectionery and snack professionals through inspired learning and the building of long-term personal connections, which empowers our members to create products that bring people joy.