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News & Press: Press Release

Guittard's Tom Houlihan Honored with RCI's Bornhofft Award

Tuesday, June 27, 2017  
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Tom Houlihan (far left), recipient of the 2017 Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award, is pictured (left to right) with his wife Mary Beth Houlihan, daughters Greta Houlihan and Melanie Wallack and, son Adam Houlihan. Not pictured: Tom's son, Peter Houlihan

LOMBARD, IL – June 27, 2017 - Retail Confectioners International, a trade association serving the chocolate and confectionery industry, recently awarded the 2017 Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award at their Annual Convention. Tom Houlihan, Director of Industrial Sales for Guittard Chocolate Company, was the honored recipient.

For the entire length of his 27-year career at Guittard Chocolate Company, Tom has been an active member of RCI. “From the beginning, Tom has always loved RCI and [its members],” stated Mark Spini, Vice President of Sales for Guittard Chocolate Company. “[Tom is] always trying to bridge the relationship in an enduring way, cultivating the customer relationship into becoming long-lasting personal friends, not just business associates. Tom’s contribution to Guittard is valued and held with very high esteem.”

Tom’s dedication to the industry has been evident over his years of service to Retail Confectioners International (RCI), and other industry organizations. In addition to his involvement with RCI, he is also an active member of the Professional Manufacturing Confectioners Association (PMCA), and currently serves on the Long-Range Planning Committee as well as the Membership and Marketing Committee for PMCA.

Due to his dedication to RCI and the industry, the Board of Directors felt he was the best choice for this honor. "Tom has been an incredible supporter of the confectionery industry. His loyalty and commitment does not go unnoticed, and we were privileged to present him with this award recognizing his contributions," says Judy Hilliard McCarthy, Hilliard's Chocolates, 2016-2017 RCI President of the Board.

In accepting the award, Tom credited the enrichment of both his personal life and career to the generosity of RCI members, “RCI is all about people helping people, from sharing ideas, problem solving, to lifelong friendships,” says Tom Houlihan. “Thank you for the privilege to be a part of this wonderful organization and to be acknowledged through this award. I look forward to a sweet future with the RCI.”

The Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award was established by the RCI board of directors in 1985. Each year a member of the confectionery industry is selected to receive the Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award at the annual convention in June. The recipient is a stand-out supplier member, who has exhibited many years of outstanding leadership, loyalty, friendship and has made significant contributions to the confectionery industry. 

For more information about Retail Confectioners International, visit


Lacey Hesse, Marketing Manager
417-883-2775 or 800-545-5381



Retail Confectioners International (RCI) is a not-for-profit trade association serving the confectionery industry.  Based in Springfield, MO, RCI has represented the interests of confectionery manufacturing retailers and promoted public interest in these products for 100 years. RCI provides a forum for confectioners to network, share ideas and develop their candy-making and entrepreneurial skills. For more information, please visit