About Our Founder
Calvin K. Kazanjian was the founder and president of Peter Paul Inc., the maker of the Mounds and Almond Joy candy bars, located in Naugatuck, Connecticut. For 30 years, he met and solved the problems of an ever-growing business. He thought that most of the mistakes made by society were the result not of malice, but rather, of ignorance. He believed that social and political difficulties could be traced, in large part, to economic illiteracy. He firmly believed that if more people understood basic economics the world would be a better place in which to live. Accordingly, he established the Foundation in the true spirit of unselfish service. In his own words, he wished to “help bring a greater happiness and prosperity to all, through a better understanding of economics.”
Calvin K. Kazanjian understood well and consistently followed the fundamental economic principles that made the American economic system the most productive in the world. As an immigrant, he gently and resourcefully availed himself of the opportunities a free America provided. He rose from a humble beginning to the heights of business success. He did so unselfishly, convinced that there could be no enjoyment of success unless it was honestly earned and generously shared with customers, employees, and stockholders who made it possible.
Mr. Kazanjian consistently stressed the need to recognize that prosperity has to be created before it can be enjoyed. He knew that for an economy to remain healthy, funds must be set aside for investment so that a larger volume of production can be enjoyed in the future. As he climbed to the top, he increasingly applied himself to his interest in economics. Mr. Kazanjian developed a strong faith in the adaptability of the American economy to continue to raise the living standards of all workers. He also realized, however, that economic illiteracy could stand in the way of progress.
If people failed in their understanding of the basics of economics, the productive capacity of any economy could be weakened and living standards would fall. On the other hand, if people understand how wealth is created, there could be abundance for all. Mr. Kazanjian’s Foundation is, therefore, dedicated to promoting economic understanding.