Portland Press Herald Publisher and CEO Lisa DeSisto interviews Tony Shurman at the Portland House of Music in Portland Maine on February 28, 2020.
Shurman is President and CEO of Jasper Wyman & Son (“Wyman’s”) the second largest brand in the retail frozen fruit category in the U.S. with its most notable product being wild blueberries. Founded in 1874, Wyman’s is a family-owned business headquartered in Down East Maine with an ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, corporate social responsibility and product innovation.
Prior to joining Wyman’s in 2017, Tony ran the Post Foods breakfast cereal business which includes brands such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Grape Nuts, Pebbles, and Post Shredded Wheat. Earlier in his career he worked in brand management roles in the gum/mint’s category as well as in consumer healthcare. He has experience working across geographies including Japan, Europe, and the U.S. Tony lives with his wife and two sons in Yarmouth, Maine
John Cariani is an actor and a playwright from Presque Isle. His first play, “Almost, Maine,” which he describes as “a love letter to northern Maine,” premiered at Portland Stage in 2004 and opened off-Broadway in 2006. It has since become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States and has been translated into nearly 20 languages.
As an actor, he is best known for his “Law & Order” character, forensics tech Julian Beck, whom he played from 2002 to 2007 and frequently shows up in reruns. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as Motel the Tailor in the 2004 Broadway revival of “Fiddler on the Roof” and played Itzik in “The Band’s Visit,” which won the Tony for best musical in 2018. Other plays he has written include “Cul-de-sac,” “Last Gas” and “Love/Sick.”
Fifteen years after the premiere of “Almost, Maine,” the play and Cariani will return to Portland Stage from Jan. 15 to Feb. 2 before he heads to Broadway for a revival of “Caroline, or Change.”