Butler man has been with KLN for 33 years

By Tucker Henderson


It was 44 years ago that Mark Hendrickx was awarded his diploma from the New York Mills High School as a graduate of the Class of 1980. The son of the late John and Eileen Hendrickx, of Butler, went on to graduate from Minnesota State University in Moorhead for Business Administration as well as a degree in Architectural Drafting from Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

Hendrickx has spent the last 33 years at Kenny’s Candy in Perham in several different management positions including Purchasing Manager, Traffic Manager and Warehouse Manager. Recently, he was awarded the KLN Tradition and Trust Award. KLN Enterprises includes Tuffy’s Pet Foods and Kenny’s Candy in Perham employs over 900 employees.

“The KLN Tradition and Trust Award is given to the employee who best exemplifies the standard set by Tuffy and Kenny Nelson,” read a press release on the award. “The standards include an unwavering commitment to quality, a stubborn work ethic, and relationships grounded in trust and integrity. The award is given to the person that proactively develops trust amongst coworkers and exhibits a work ethic in line with the best.”

Hendrickx said that he holds great admiration for both Tuffy and Kenny Nelson for their work ethics and business acumen.

“Anyone who knew Tuffy Nelson and knows Kenny Nelson, know what outstanding leaders, businessmen and most importantly, especially great people they are in how they treat other people and look out for those less fortunate,” said Hendrickx. “This award just simply validates my entire 33-year career at Kenny’s Candy. What an honor to receive an award that recognizes me as the person who best exemplifies these qualities.”

Growing up in the rural Butler area, Hendrickx learned the importance of a strong work ethic from his involvement with the family farm.

“I owe a lot of credit to my mom and dad who instilled good values in me, like trust and integrity and a strong work ethic,” said Hendrickx. “When I was just 11 years old, I had already been given responsibility and was expected to get up at 5:30 a.m. each day. My dad engrained it in my head to always ‘do it right the first time.’ I must have heard it a thousand times growing up and I still carry that with me today in whatever I do.

“When it comes to work ethic, doing an exceptionally good job and relationships grounded in trust and integrity,” Hendrickx continued. “I would say my dad, Tuffy and Kenny Nelson are all cut from the same cloth.”