Donor Spotlight- The Candies Family
From Left to Right: Paul Candies, Rita Candies, Nicki Candies, Ryan Candies, Kelly Candies, Otto Candies, III, Otto Candies, Jr.
The National WWII Museum was honored in April 2010 when the Candies Family decided to become an annual sponsor of the Victory Ball after-party, the Otto Candies, LLC How Sweet It Is! Dancing and Dessert Soirée. In 2013, thanks to the Candies, the party was sweeter than ever, with a live band and a stunning variety of desserts. In this blog, we’ll tell you all about the family that made this possible, especially third-generation family business executive Nicki Candies.
Otto Candies Sr. resided in Des Allemands, Louisiana, where he founded the marine transportation company and now third-generation family business Otto Candies, LLC. The company is well known as an innovator in vessel design, ascribing to the philosophy that “our people are our best asset.”
The family company began with a simple request. In 1942, during a pivotal time in world history, Captain Otto B. Candies was asked to provide small craft support to an oil rig to clear water lilies from an access canal. Though a relatively small task, Candies attacked it with spirit and determination. The Captain’s efforts won him respect, admiration and a crew-transport contract with the Humble Oil Company – predecessor to today’s ExxonMobil.
The Otto Candies, LLC reputation for dedication and excellence spread as the offshore oil industry boomed. Today, the Candies fleet continues to expand. No matter how complex and demanding the offshore industry becomes, Candies is well-positioned to accept the challenges of the future, and the company’s goal remains the same: get the job done on time, within budget, safely and responsibly.
The Candies Family has a history of providing outstanding service through their marine transportation company and of serving in the armed forces of their country. Ludwig P. Candies, Otto Candies’ oldest brother, enlisted in the US Army in 1942. Like most veterans, he spoke sparingly about his own role in the war. Otto Candies LLC has a ship named after him, the M/V Ludwig Candies. Otto Candies, Jr. also served in the Army and Paul Candies Sr. was a member of the Coast Guard.
Nicki Candies, the company’s Director of Regulatory Affairs, Public Relations, has long been a staunch supporter of The National WWII Museum. She remembers attending all of the Grand Opening ceremonies, but in particular recalls the Grand Opening of the 4D film Beyond All Boundaries, produced by Tom Hanks, as a moving and compelling experience. To have all of her senses engaged in the things 17- to 20-year-old men experienced and endured during that time gave her “goose bumps on top of goose bumps.” Coming from a large and very close family, Nicki strongly sensed the bonds developed among the soldiers and their “sense of camaraderie” and devotion to country. It was so obvious through the telling of their stories that they truly were a band of brothers.”
Nicki remembers the family’s financial commitment and partnership with the Museum stemming from a phone call from the Museum’s Associate Vice President of Corporate Alliances, Patricia Eubanks. More encouragement came from Museum Trustee and past Board Chairman Donald “Boysie” Bollinger, whose family was considered “second family” to the Candies. Knowing about the family’s passion for World War II history, Bollinger strongly encouraged their involvement. It was then in 2010 that the family decided to sponsor the annual Otto Candies, LLC How Sweet It Is! Dancing and Dessert Soirée, an evening of cocktails and delectable delights following the Museum’s annual Victory Ball fundraiser. This opportunity showcases the family’s enthusiastic spirit and fun outlook, and Nicki also noted that it is “a perfect fit with our last name.”
The Candies Family would like to continue to honor the legacy of Otto B. Candies and Agnes Candies for the foresight and sacrifice they made in founding their family business. Nicki feels thankful that she, along with her brothers and cousins, has been able to reap the benefits of her grandparents’ sacrifices. In speaking about the Museum, Otto would say that “the shoe could so easily fit on the other foot. I want to help others that could use my help.” He was a true patriot and a man that “truly understood what a benefit it was to be an American.”
This past July saw the passing of Paul Candies, Sr. He was the President of Otto Candies and ran the company along with his brothers. A lifelong resident of Des Allemands, he served in the US Coast Guard and always gave strong support to the military and our country. Nicki shared that he wore an American flag lapel pin every day of his life. He was a “cheerleader for the Museum,” and encouraged his friends from all over the country to come to New Orleans to visit this growing institution. He loved the stories that are told within the Museum’s walls, and the Museum is extremely fortunate to have had this beloved man as one of our strongest advocates.
We extend our sincere thanks to all members of the Candies Family. The National WWII Museum has been privileged to enjoy the support of the Candies Family for the past four years. Their generous sponsorship provides essential funding for the Museum’s educational programs, and through these efforts we are able to teach future generations about the American experience in World War II.
Post by Lauren Bevis, Donor Relations Manager