Miles Willard, a resourceful food technologists, is well known for developing tasty new food products.The snack foods he originates are popular in the United States and many foreign countries
A native of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Drexel University with a degree in chemical engineering.He began his career in food technology during his employment at the Eastern Regional Research Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.He and a co-worker developed a new drying process for the manufacture of instant mashed potato flakes.
In 1955, Mr. Willard moved to Idaho and became Research Director for Rogers Brothers Company, the first commercial manufacturer of potato flakes in the world.After nine years with Rogers Brothers, and several years as an independent consultant, he established Miles Willard Company.
Through the years, Mr. Willard has developed food products that provided expanded markets for growers of potatoes and other farm crops.For the American market, the Miles Willard Company has created Tato Skins, O’Boisies, and Pizzarias, now manufactured by Poore Brothers, Inc. Willard’s company, now Miles Willard Technologies, licenses patents and proprietary technology to companies around the world on a royalty basis.
The achievements of the Idaho Falls inventor have been praised in both academic and industrial circles.He was honored in an exhibit at the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Drexel University and the University of Idaho. Mr. Willard is a member of the prestigious “Circle of Honor” of the Snack Food Association and has been honored by membership in the Idaho Potato Hall of Fame.
Miles and his wife, Virginia, or active in cultural programs and they help provide educational opportunities for Idaho students.They have endowed scholarship support to students majoring in food science at both University of Idaho and Idaho State University, and have made significant contributions to the Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls.
Mr. Willard is an accomplished musician, having performed for many years as lead tenor soloist for the Idaho Falls Opera Theatre and the Idaho Falls Symphony.He served for nine years on the Idaho Commission on the Arts and received the Governor’s Award in the Arts in 1995. It was Willard’s tireless efforts and generous contributions that resulted in the renovation of the old Paramount Theater in Idaho Falls to the state-of-the-art Colonial Theater for performing arts in the Miles and Virginia Willard Art Center.by Dee Klenck