I've been here 13 years and haven't put on a pound. Nope. The propaganda is, "Candy can be part of a well-balanced diet." But besides that? After a long time, you learn what you like and what you don't like. I think I've gotten more sophisticated in my taste over time. The more I'm here, the more I favor dark chocolate -- I'd never had much before, but now I like it. And if you're around all this a lot, you tend to eat it judiciously.

It's a fun product to represent. If we go to meet with anyone, people are disappointed if you don't bring a bowl of candy. Even government agencies that can't take any gifts, there's some kind of exception for something that's consumed then on the premises. And it is. So I don't go anywhere now without candy to bring.

This business is far more complicated than I'd thought: issues worldwide, so many family-held companies, how candy is created and distributed. I was in the job a few months, and this guy called: "It's a beautiful day; let's go play golf." I said, "I'm not sure I can, it's so busy." He said, "What are you talking about? It's candy! What, you have a problem with lollipops?" So I take a lot of ribbing. I'm on the Committee of 100 -- trade association presidents -- run by the [U.S.] Chamber of Commerce. We're dealing with oil, steel, automobiles; they're thinking, Hey, how complex can it be -- a shipment of Mary Janes fell off a truck? But I'm hoping those other guys are jealous.

-- Interview by Ellen Ryan