My name is Judy Cooley. I am a product development candy technologist with a mission to combine passions for confectionery industry success with eradicating global malnutrition. My expertise is in global products, technical service, production feasibility and efficiencies, education and team-building with nearly 40 years of success in R&D, growth and product implementation. I am the recipient of multiple confectionery industry awards and have mentored many young professionals with an understanding and love of many cultures. I have always been an advocate of education, research and cooperation within the confectionery industry.
For 29 years, I worked as a principal scientist for The Hershey Company where I was responsible for development of sweets, refreshment and international R&D and product implementation in multiple countries. From 2013-2015, I was involved in the development and implementation of ViVi, a highly fortified peanut snack that Hershey donates to school children in Ghana. Fifty thousand children were fed daily in 2015 alone. Learn more about Energize Learning here.
In 2014 I had the privilege to help with design and implementation of Project Peanut Butter's Ghana factory for production of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF).
Prior to my time at The Hershey Company, I was a director of confectionery R&D with Leaf, Inc., where I was responsible for such brands as Jolly Rancher, Switzer Licorice, Good & Plenty, Chuckles and other confectionery products. I have also worked as senior food technologist for Brady Enterprises, quality assurance manager for Schrafft Candies, QA and R&D supervisor for School House Candies, product development intern for A.E. Staley Company and QA and R&D technician for the Paul F. Beich Company.
I have a passion for our sweet industry and have been volunteering my time with these associations for many years including multiple roles within PMCA (Professional Manufacturing Confectioners Association), NCA (National Confectioners Association) and AACT (American Association of Candy Technologists). I have held multiple management roles within these sweet organizations. I mentor young confectioners in the US, China and Mexico.
I was inducted into the Candy Hall of Fame in 2012, received AACT's Stroud Jordan Award and was nominated for Candy Industry's Kettle Award in both 2007 and 2011. I also hold two patents, with two pending.
I hold an MBA with high honors from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, a BS in foods and nutrition with a minor in chemistry from Illinois State University and a certificate in international management from Georgetown University.