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May 14, 2010

Forrest E. Mars, Jr. elected Colonial Williamsburg Trustee

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Board of Trustees has elected Forrest E. Mars, Jr. to serve as a trustee of the Foundation. Mars is Director Emeritus of Mars, Incorporated, and is the former chief executive officer of the family-owned company, headquartered in McLean, Va.

“Forrest Mars is a visionary leader who brings national and international business experience to the Colonial Williamsburg board,” said Colin G. Campbell, president and CEO of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. “His deep understanding, appreciation and support for Colonial Williamsburg’s mission has enhanced this institution and contributed significantly to the education and enjoyment of our guests.”

Mars holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s of business administration degree from New York University. He served two years in the U.S. Army before becoming a certified public accountant. He worked as an auditor at Price Waterhouse prior to joining Mars, Inc. as a financial staff officer. Mars was appointed general manager of Mars confectionery factory in Holland in 1961 and went on to establish the company’s confectionery business in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. In 1970, he returned to the United States as vice president of the company. He and his brother became presidents of Mars, Inc. in 1975.

After retirement in 1999, he continued to serve as a director of the company until 2006. He has served as a trustee on the boards of American University, Hotchkiss School and Fay School as well as participating on the Yale Development Board. He resides in Big Horn, Wyo.

The Netherlands awarded him the Order of Orange-Nassau (ordre van orange-Nassau) in 1988. In 2006, Mars was made “Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur,” presented to him by Jean David Levitte, ambassador of France to the United States on behalf of French President Jacques Chirac.

Forrest Mars’ interest in Colonial Williamsburg began during family visits to the restored colonial capital and in recent years he has been involved more directly with The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Reconstruction of R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse was made possible through his $5 million gift. The coffeehouse, which opened in November 2009, is Colonial Williamsburg’s newest exhibition site and the most important reconstruction on the Historic Area’s Duke of Gloucester Street in the last 50 years. He is a Life Member of the Raleigh Tavern Society and listed on the Courtyard of Philanthropy at the Visitor Center.

Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned company founded in 1911 and employing more than 65,000 associates at more than 230 sites, including 135 factories, in 68 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Va., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world’s largest food companies, generating global revenues of more than $28 billion annually and operating in six business segments including chocolate, pet care, Wrigley Gum and confections, food, drinks and symbioscience, the global health & life sciences segment of Mars, Incorporated.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Tom Shrout
(757) 220-7265