Ellen Gordon

Ellen's dedication and entrepreneurial spirit has perpetuated the success of a unique candy that was created more than 100 years ago into Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc., one of the top companies in the candy industry. She is president and chief operating officer.

Gordon is credited as being the second woman to ever rise to the presidency of an exchange-listed company, and her entrepreneurial management style has been the key to Tootsie Roll Industries’ success. Gordon encourages a family atmosphere at the company and believes in participatory management rather than directing from above. She promotes the cross-training of workers, saying that “cross-training not only makes them perform their job better, but also gives them a company-wide view.” Cost control is also an important aspect of Gordon’s management style along with long-term growth of the company. She has kept the company abreast of technological advances by focusing on automation, and strives to continuously improve production and minimize costs.

Her ambition and achievements have stretched far beyond her company. She has served as a role model for many by finding equal success both personally and professionally. She began her undergraduate studies at Vassar College, married at the age of 18, and then continued her education at Wellesley College. She left college and raised four daughters while also leading Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. to new heights. Seventeen years later, she completed her degree work at Brandeis University.