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Hershey Trust Company: A Comprehensive Overview

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Hershey Trust Company is a Pennsylvania-chartered trust company that was founded in 1905 by Milton S. Hershey, the founder of Hershey’s chocolate. The company is regulated by the PA Department of Banking and Securities and is a minority owner of The Hershey Company. Hershey Trust Company is also the sole private owner of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company and administrator of the 2,000 student Milton Hershey School.

The Milton Hershey School was founded by Milton Hershey and his wife Catherine in 1909 as a school for orphaned boys. Today, it is a coeducational residential school for children from families of low income, limited resources, and social need. The school is funded by the Milton Hershey School Trust, which is managed by Hershey Trust Company. The trust has a current endowment of $21.0 billion USD (2021).

History of Hershey Trust Company

The Hershey Trust Company was established in 1905 by Milton S. Hershey. The company has a long history of managing the financial assets and investments for the Hershey entities

Founding and Milton S. Hershey’s Vision

Hershey Trust Company was founded in 1905 by Milton S. Hershey, Harry Lebkicher, and John E. Snyder. The company was created to manage the financial affairs of the Milton Hershey School, which Hershey had established in 1909. The school was founded to provide education and a home for orphaned boys, and Hershey Trust Company was tasked with ensuring that the school had the funds necessary to continue operating.

Milton S. Hershey had a unique vision for the trust company. He wanted to create an organization that would be dedicated to improving the lives of children, and he believed that the trust company could be used to achieve this goal. As a result, Hershey Trust Company was established as a charitable organization, with a focus on supporting the Milton Hershey School.

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Evolution Over the Years

Over the years, Hershey Trust Company has evolved significantly. Today, the company manages the $21.0 billion USD (2021) endowment of the Milton Hershey School and is the sole private owner of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company. The trust company is also a minority owner of The Hershey Company, the iconic chocolate manufacturer founded by Milton S. Hershey.

Despite these changes, Hershey Trust Company remains committed to its founding principles. The company continues to focus on supporting the Milton Hershey School, which has grown to become one of the largest residential schools in the world. In addition, Hershey Trust Company has expanded its charitable activities to include a wide range of programs and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of children in the United States and around the world.

Overall, Hershey Trust Company has a rich history and a unique mission. From its founding by Milton S. Hershey to its current role as a major charitable organization, the trust company has remained dedicated to improving the lives of children and ensuring that the legacy of its founder lives on.

Structure and Governance

Board of Directors

The Hershey Trust Company is overseen by a Board of Directors, which includes individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience. As of May 2024, the Board of Directors includes Ms. Kraus, who is Vice Chair of the Board of Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School, positions she has held since January 2021. She has also served as a director of Hershey Trust Company and a member of the Board of Managers of Milton Hershey School since January 2018.

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Roles and Responsibilities

The role of the Board of Directors is to exercise their business judgment in the best interests of the Hershey Trust Company and its stockholders. This role includes oversight of compensation for the CEO, key executives, and the Board, as well as oversight of executive compensation policies and programs.

In accordance with Delaware law, the Hershey Trust Company is regulated by the PA Department of Banking and Securities. The trust company manages the $21.0 billion USD (2021) endowment of the Milton Hershey School and is a minority owner of The Hershey Company and sole private owner of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company.

The Hershey Trust Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines are reviewed annually by the Board and were last amended on December 7. The company is committed to excellence in corporate governance and integrity, which has been a key value since it was founded by Milton Hershey more than 125 years ago.

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