An Interview: with a food executive

It was typical of Paul Smucker that he should ask that his name not be used in this interview. He was glad to participate, to identify as a Christian Scientist; but wouldn't use of his name, he asked, be interpreted as promotional, perhaps unethical? It was our hope, we assured him, that this would not be the case; but rather, proper identification would authenticate the success he and a good number of his employees can attribute to the daily study and practice of Christian Science.

For those unfamiliar with the J. M. Smucker Company, the largest independent preserver in the United States, it comprises 12 plants employing nearly 1,500, and now ranks among Fortune magazine's second 500 in total sales. Paul H. Smucker, who took the reins of the company in the early I960's and has seen annual sales increase from a little over $10,000,000 to over $110,000,000, is both the chief executive officer and chairman of the board. He is also serving as chairman of the executive board of his branch Church of Christ, Scientist, and was for many years a Sunday School teacher—a duty that he occasionally found nearly as challenging as being a director of a giant international food corporation or helping to negotiate a new union contract. The care and insight with which he runs his company—his profound interest in the highest quality control of his products and his sensitive concern for the welfare of his employees—prompted a university professor of business analysis to call Paul "one in a million, a really unique man and manager." Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 1975;

The Family Party
July 18, 1977

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