Jerry Swain

Successful Retail Entrepreneur and Tiger 21 Chair 


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Jerry Swain is a highly recognized, results-driven Chief Executive Officer with over 20 years of experience in executive leadership, planning, strategy, and business operations. He is recognized for delivering outstanding results by identifying, developing, and executing go-to-market strategies. A passionate, enthusiastic leader that inspires company management teams to reach optimal effectiveness that results in significant increased sales and profit. Jerry combines clear communication of initiatives with a relentless enthusiasm to build winning teams.

Professional Summary

Jerry’s dynamic leadership is unique with his ability to blend corporate leadership with entrepreneurial grit and drive. With a highly recognized career in sales management at IBM along with developing his own profitable business, Jer’s Chocolates, then selling it to a strategic buyer, Jerry has real-world experience as a successful entrepreneur and a corporate leader.

Jerry exemplifies collaborative focus on metrics, results, and improvements to steer companies towards generating success. Jerry built an international chocolate brand from the ground-up leading every aspect of business and creating a sustainable niche market. Throughout his career, he has been recognized for exceptional leadership, direction, vision and strategic execution.

As a coach, Jerry leads companies through change and challenge to profitable growth while keeping teams focused and productive. A deliberate problem-solver, Jerry envisions practical solutions and executes with urgency across all areas of the organization. He embodies a strong business acumen and understands tactical planning and implementation of ideas through action within all company disciplines including finance, operations, sales, marketing, and leadership. Jerry is a collaborative leader with motivational style that encourages performance and sustains accelerated growth.

With experience in Vistage and EO, Jerry is passionate about learning from other outstanding talented individuals. Jerry sits on several business and advisory boards and is the current Chair for TIGER 21 in San Diego.

Leadership Highlights

  • Strategic Acquirer & Jer’s Chocolates – Managed financial, operational, marketing and sales functions for seven (7) West Coast chocolate brands including four (4) manufacturing plants.
  • Increased revenue of Specialty as well as Commodity consumer brands by 21% YOY during first year; same brands experienced decreasing revenue previous 6 years.
  • Extensive experience in creating strategic partnerships, creating mutual alignment and leading them to execute profitable results.  Cleansed, rehired and trained broker networks that resulted in over 110% growth in first 12 months
  • Extensive work with Leadership and Sales teams that have produced double and triple digit YOY top line and profit growth.
  • Numerous personal leadership and sales awards as well as Jer’s Chocolates international recognition and awards for new and innovative products, flavors and brand leadership.
  • Developed unique branding strategy creating positive personality for company platform; recognized by The Food Network, Rachael Ray, QVC, The Home Shopping Network and local networks ABC, NBC, CBS & FOX.
  • President of IBM Sales School and New Business Marketing Class – elected by professional peers

Giving Back

Jerry has been active in volunteering time and giving back in multiple ways to worthy non-profit organizations and associations. Here is a sample list of his involvement and leadership positions.

  • Jer’s Cares Initiative – Jerry’s previous business committed to giving back, and raised more than $250,000 for worthy charities and nonprofit associations
  • Board of Directors – American Cancer Society, San Diego Food Bank, UCR Alumni Association among others

Personal Balance

Jerry enjoys fitness, spending time with his family, young children and friends and collects ice cream memorabilia. Jerry authored a gift book of chocolate quotes called, “Tell Me Something Sweet” in which he donates the profits from the book to charity. Jerry continues to look for ways to bring a smile to everyone he meets.