The J.M. Smucker Company's Richard K. Smucker Honored as the Recipient of the 2020 Maltz Heritage Award

The J.M. Smucker Company's Richard K. Smucker Honored as the Recipient of the 2020 Maltz Heritage Award

(JUNE 1, 2020) - The J.M. Smucker Company’s Richard K. Smucker, the executive chairman and former president, was singled out for his commitment to philanthropy and community engagement as the recipient of the 2020 Maltz Heritage Award.

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage announced Smucker as the honoree earlier this month. He is the seventh honoree selected for the award, according to a news release.

The award is typically presented during a spring event at the Cleveland Museum of Art. In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the museum canceled the event and launched A video can be viewed at the website with remarks from Chris Connor, retired executive chairman of the Sherwin-Williams Company, and Beth E. Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp.

“Richard is a purpose-driven leader whose family’s reputation for integrity and decency has been the key to Smucker’s staying power,” said museum co-founder Milton Maltz in the video.

The Daily Record asked Richard Smucker a few questions via email about his leadership, the company’s involvement in the community and the impact of COVID-19 on the business.

Q: How does the company work to stay engaged in the community?

A: Being a responsible business and a successful one go hand-in-hand, Smucker said. The J.M. Smucker Company takes into account everyone who is impacted by the business from workers to customers to the community. “A critical aspect of that commitment is supporting the communities where we live and work, and we are proud to achieve that objective with our national and local partners,” Smucker said.

Q: How would you describe your leadership style?

A: When it comes to being a leader, Smucker leads by serving others and upholding the Golden Rule. Part of being a leader includes supporting employees’ growth and development, he said.

Q: How has Smucker’s been affected by the pandemic?

A: During the coronavirus pandemic, Smucker’s has focused on helping to ensure a steady supply of food for people and pets, supporting the health and well-being of its employees and assisting the communities most impacted by COVID-19, Smucker said.

The company has worked to provide employees with support, including ensuring safe working conditions and providing benefits to support anyone impacted by COVID-19. Smucker’s also offered a hardship bonus of $1,500 to each manufacturing and service employee as a “thank-you” for their continued commitment, Smucker said..

The business has donated a total of $300,000 to the American Red Cross, Feeding America and United Way, Smucker said. During COVID-19, Smucker’s has also provided support by contributing food donations to local and national organizations supporting people and pets in need and supporting those affected by the economic impact of COVID-19.

Q: What has been the company’s core values throughout its more than 100 years of business?

A: Though the company has evolved since its founding in 1897, it has retained core values, which are expressed in its “Basic Beliefs.” Founder of Smucker’s, Jerome Monroe (J.M.) Smucker, Richard Smucker’s great-grandfather, established the business’ values: Quality, People, Ethics, Growth and Independence. These beliefs act as guideposts for decision-making and interactions, Smucker said.

The company continues to uphold the values expressed in “Our Commitment to Each Other,” which is derived from a letter written by Smucker’s father and the former CEO Paul Smucker. The letter was written in the ’80s to employees and encouraged the values of saying “thank you for a job well done, looking for the good in others, listening with your full attention and keeping a sense of humor,” Richard Smucker said. “While these may seem simple, when put into practice each day by every employee they help make Smucker a truly special place to work.”

View the video honoring Richard K. Smucker at

- (The Daily Record)