Ann Brinkerhoff, The Hershey Company
As a principal scientist in chocolate product development, Ann has led the development of several premium products for The Hershey Company. Most notable are Hershey’s Extra Dark 60% Cacao, Swoops, Cacao Reserve Truffles, Starbucks Chocolates, Scharffen Berger and Dagoba Chocolate Bars.
For the past 11 years, Ann has taught the Chocolate Enthusiast class for Hershey employees, a Temper-Temper class for The Hershey Story and conducted chocolate and wine pairings for various groups. Ann has helped to provide direction to cacao farmers to improve their post-harvest practices which allows them to improve their livelihoods.
Ann joined The Hershey Company in 1992. Her product development career spans not only chocolate, but also other confectionery. She was responsible for the development of Hershey’s first hard candy, TasteTations, and Luden’s Herbal throat drops. Moreover, Ann gathered two years of valuable manufacturing experience, supporting two factories as part of the technical support group. Upon returning to chocolate product development, Ann played a significant role in the development of Hershey’s Sugar-Free chocolate. Additionally, she was part of the acquisition team for Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt, providing technical and product development support.
Throughout the years, Ann has been active in the community as a volunteer for the Harrisburg East Shore YMCA, Special Olympics, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, CMN and as an assistant coach for her son’s soccer team. She also developed an afterschool science club for her son’s elementary school. Ann and her team were granted a patent for chocolate-flavored hard candy.
Ann holds both a BS and MS in food science from The Pennsylvania State University.