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LUFKIN, Texas – Eric Atkinson, president of the Atkinson Candy Co., was inducted into the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) Hall of Fame this week. Atkinson was recognized for his dedicated service to the organization, with which he has been actively involved for more than 30 years, during an awards ceremony held in Phoenix.
"It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by my peers at AWMA and I'm proud to be involved with an organization that does so much for the candy industry," Atkinson said. "The AWMA has given Atkinson Candy Co. the ability to better work with the nation's top distributors to build grass roots support for our brands."
The AWMA brings together convenience distributors and their trading partners to discuss key industry topics such as regulatory issues, operations, logistics, category management and expanding product categories. The Hall of Fame Award is the AWMA's highest honor and serves to recognize individuals at both distributor and manufacturer companies who have demonstrated utmost service to the convenience products industry, according to the announcement. Atkinson has served as an active AWMA board and convention committee member for more than 10 years. He was also honored as Candy Man of the Year in 1990 and AWMA Dean of the Industry in 1999.
"Eric practically grew up in the AWMA attending the annual conferences with his father as a young man," said Atkinson's longtime friend Steve Shing of GSC Enterprises, who presented the award. "He has grown into a master of customer service soliciting advice from his distributors, brokers and manufacturers. Nothing is too small for his attention."
Atkinson Candy Co. has been manufacturing candy in Lufkin, Texas, since 1932 and in Guatemala since 2010.