Sarah Houle

(PMCA — February 9, 2022) — The PMCA Production Conference Program Committee has named Sarah Houle, R&D manager – branded, baking, professional products, and restaurant and retail, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, as the twenty-fourth recipient of the Marie Kelso Memorial Award. Ms. Houle presented Nuts, Almonds, Chocolate – Functionality, Shelf Life & Liking Tuesday, August 10, 2021, during the virtual 74th Annual Production Conference, which ran over the course of several months in 2021. Award Chair Steve Genzoli, Ghirardelli Chocolate Company will present the award at the 75th Annual Production Conference dinner April 12, 2022 at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.

Ms. Houle joins the ranks of the 23 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, Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company and Nina Puch, Knechtel, Inc.

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.

About PMCA

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.