Invest in quality people and you will not fail. Everyone in this company has an important job and plays a role in our success. We are fortunate to have a Management team that identifies this and has chosen to bring their experience into our company to achieve it.
What Drives Ann Clark Cookie Cutters?
CEO Ben Clark discusses what drives the company, its vision and its managing philosophies.
Learn more about our management team: Ann Clark, President; Ben Clark, CEO; Kevin Coleman, CFO; and John Romano, Promotional Sales Manager.
In 1989 artist Ann Clark had an idea and a dream. After years of creating small handcrafted toys, dollhouses, and ornaments for sale throughout New England she designed a pig-shaped cookie cutter and launched a new business in her garage. Armed with a small amount of cash and unbridled enthusiasm Ann tackled her first trade show and sold out her limited inventory of cookie cutters. Ann Clark, the company, was born.
Ann’s artistic flair and love for baking has created an extensive product line of handmade cookie cutters for the gift and kitchenware industries that sell throughout the United States and in many parts of the world. Ann Clark Cookie Cutter “The Cookie Cutter People from Vermont,” is now the largest manufacturer of cookie cutters in America.
Ann graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in art. She and her husband, John, picked Vermont as their home and soon found a scenic site in the foothills of the Green Mountains to raise a family. Beyond her art, Ann also enjoys traveling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and spending time with her grandchildren. She’s active in the local garden club and volunteers at the Rutland City Free Library.
Ann’s favorite cookie cutter is Mountain Bear, although the piggy cookie cutter continues to hold a special place in her heart.
Ben Clark was raised in Rutland, Vermont and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Vermont. He later completed a Masters in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Before coming back to Vermont in 1998 to work with his parents in the family business, Ben’s professional career included employment with Black & Decker in new product development and purchasing. He also worked in the die casting industry.
Ben is an avid proponent of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma quality control. He’s the company visionary and idea guy who pushes innovation and continuous improvement typically with the aid of one of the many whiteboards hung throughout the company.
Ben enjoys a good laugh and playing outdoors skiing, hunting, hiking, and paddle boarding. He’s married to Denise and they have daughters Margaret and Becca. The family dog is a chocolate Labrador named Molly.
Kevin Coleman was raised in Seattle and graduated in 1980 from the University of Washington with a degree in Accounting. He later completed a Masters in Business Administration at Eastern Washington University where he also was a member of the business school faculty.
Kevin’s professional career includes employment with the Seattle office of Deloitte & Touche, Cowles Publishing Co. in Spokane, Tribune Publishing Co. in Columbia, Mo., and the Rutland Herald in Vermont. He also launched a community newspaper and has worked as a business reporter.
Kevin is a certified public accountant and passed the Lean Bronze examination given by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers as part of his plan to obtain Lean Bronze Certification. Lean manufacturing principles focus on efficient workflows and eliminating waste from production and administration.
Kevin oversees financial management, human resources, and purchasing. Since coming onboard in 2009, he has enjoyed the challenge of growing the business and seeing the company’s ambitious and somewhat outrageous goals envisioned by owner Ben Clark become a reality.
Kevin is married to Jennifer Arave of San Diego. They met at the University of Washington and married in 1978. They raised four children and have six grandchildren, with more on the way.
In his spare time, Kevin volunteers at his church, travels around the country seeking sunshine and visiting family, hikes and bikes around Vermont, reads history and biographies, does the USA Today crossword puzzle, and builds fires to keep his wife warm.
Other than the “W” for the University of Washington, his favorite cookie cutter is the Moose.
Promotional Sales Manager
John has been in sales since graduating from North Carolina State University with degrees in Economics and Business Management. For 25 years John originated mortgage loans for banks and mortgage companies. When an opportunity to sell promotional cookie cutters arose John was excited to come to Ann Clark Cookie Cutters to work with his lifelong friends the Clarks.
When not helping distributors create spectacular promotional items for a varied list of clients, John is involved with researching local Vermont history, promoting Italian culture and hiking the beautiful hills of Vermont. His family research has turned up nail makers, chicken ranchers, belt makers and whalers! John lives with his wife, Kathy and has two grown children.
John’s favorite cookie cutter is the Fleur de Lis, and favorite promotional cookie cutter is the Michelin Man.