How a University Counselor Landed at The Hershey Company

Ryan Riess went from art history to counseling to the candy giant

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Whether it’s ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs or iPhone emojis, stained-glass windows in a medieval cathedral or ads in a glossy magazine, humans have a long history of producing artifacts designed to communicate.

As an art history major, school counselor and now marketer at a Fortune 500 company, Ryan Riess’ diverse experiences have taught him that the best approach to getting a point across is often the least complicated one.

“A simple message is usually the most powerful message,” said Riess, who ended 2021 with a promotion to vp of brand strategy and creative development after helping develop and lead The Hershey Company’s internal creative agency, C-Sweet Studio, since 2018.

Growing up in Florida, Riess dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player.



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This story first appeared in the Jan. 3, 2022, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.