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K-State News
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Source: Olivia Blanco, 785-532-2753, oblanco@k-state.edu.
Photo available: http://www.k-state.edu/media/images/feb12/JP_Bilbrey.jpg
News release prepared by: Greg Tammen, 785-532-4486, gtammen@k-state.edu

Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

Hershey's president and CEO to be distinguished business lecturer

MANHATTAN -- Audience members are in for a sweet treat as John P. Bilbrey, president and CEO of the Hershey Co., presents the spring distinguished lecture for Kansas State University's College of Business Administration.

Bilbrey's lecture is at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union. It is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation.

Hershey's is the largest producer of chocolate in the U.S. and is a world leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Bilbrey joined the company in 2003. Prior to becoming its CEO, he served as the executive vice president, and was responsible for the company's daily operations and global commercial activities. Additionally, he led two of its global strategic business units: Chocolate and Sweets as well as Refreshment.

Bilbrey received his bachelor's degree in psychology from K-State in 1978.

"We're very pleased to welcome such a successful alumnus back to K-State," said Ali Malekzadeh, Edgerley family dean of the College of Business Administration. "Mr. Bilbrey's accomplishments are outstanding, and it is terrific that our students and the greater community will be able to hear him and learn from his insights."

Before joining Hershey's, Bilbrey worked for the Procter & Gamble Co. for 22 years. He has more than 30 years total in consumer packaged-goods experience and has been instrumental in the growth of some of the world's largest and best-known brands. Through his career, he has worked in more than 50 countries in North America, Latin America, North Africa and Asia.

As an active leader in the business world, Bilbrey also serves on the board of McCormick and Co., the Grocery Manufacturers Association Board and its Health and Wellness Committee and the executive committee of the board of directors for Students in Free Enterprise.

Each semester the College of Business Administration Distinguished Lecture Series brings successful business professionals to campus so they can discuss their career experiences and insights.