Michael Keller is the CEO/President of Pearson Candy - one of the best loved brands in Minnesota. Over the course of his career Michael has brought his smart energy and creative style to a number of iconic consumer brands. Also known for giving back with his stewardship and community involvement, he is one of the most connected leaders in the market. Scouts were curious to learn more…

Q: If you could try a different job for a day, what would you choose?

A: President of the United States…given all that is going on these days, I would like to experience it from the inside….just for a day…and maybe sign an executive order that would help a lot of people.

Q: What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

A: Be enthusiastic, be willing to work hard, absorb knowledge as fast as you can, be a great teammate.

Q: What is your mantra?

A: Onward and upward.

Q: How do you get yourself out of a slump?

A: Get organized, make a list and get productive…just start getting stuff done…even things I’ve recently done that are not on my new list of things to do, get added to my list so I can cross them off my list…instant productivity!

Q: What companies or leaders do you admire?

A: Generally speaking, right now, I admire companies that seem to be more “a part of the cure, rather than a part of the disease”, meaning their mission/vision is tied to making a real difference, specifically a difference that will help make the world a better place for our kids, or theirs.

Q: What has been the biggest shift you’ve noticed in your industry in the last decade?

A: Consolidation…the big just keep getting bigger. Our industry is dominated by 3-5 manufacturers and 1-2 retailers in each major class of trade.

Q: Who has been most instrumental in your career?

A: I wonder if not being able to point to one person says something about me? Hmmm, I suppose I have always leaned on a small village of brains, friends and mentors, to help me out at each turn in the road.

Q: What is your go-to celebration meal, drink or tradition?

A: Of the things I can share here: a killer steak; chocolate chip cookies; and a perfectly made Old Fashioned…perhaps all in one setting…with my wife and our friends…and maybe my kids if the celebration involves them or the family.