|THE 3 MODEL COO's (Children of Owner) Michael, Candice, Wilfred Jr. Uytengsu|
|Fred Sr. & Bonnie Uytengsu|
The ALASKA MILK empire was begun by a Wilfred “Fred” Uytengsu Sr, who had grown up separated from his family for part of World War II. As a teen, he did forced labor for the Japanese under grueling conditions, such that he contracted malaria, and was sent home. After the war, his godfather, Robert Williams, sponsored his studies in the U.S. and at 16, Uytengsu began an industrial engineering course in Stanford.
After graduation, the young engineer began a career in the food industry, and in the late 1950s, he established the General Milling Corp., a flour mill business that became so successful that he ventured into other businesses—including livestock, feeds, and dairy. Thus in the 1970s, ALASKA MILK was born.
ALASKA MILK became the a leading name in the Philippine milk industry, moreso when it began rolling out its advertising campaign in the mid 70s. What made the ads more memorable was the presence of the three Uytengsu children in the ads produced by ALASKA’s ad agency, Reach Inc. The three children—Wilfred Steven, Candace and youngest Michael were the children of Wilfred Sr. with Bonnie Brooks, an embassy official assigned at the U.S. Embassy in Manila.
Youngest Michael Uytengsu is best remembered as the young boy in the 1974 ALASKA MILK TV commercial, in a basketball duel against Cisco Oliver. (Read the article here: Michael Uytengsu, Alaska Boy) He also was featured in the packaging of the short-lived ALASKA Quick Cooking Oats.
Candice or Cindy Uytengsu, was the featured model in the Daisy Reconstituted Long Life Milk line, punctuating the commercial with her saying “Pick a daisy. It’s healthy..naturally!”. Her mother, Bonnie, made a cameo role in the launch commercial.
The eldest, Wilfred or simply Fred Uytengsu, appeared in a corporate Christmas Ad of ALASKA MILK, in 1975, along with his siblings. He was just 14 at that time.
Over the years, Fred Sr. traveled between the Philippines and California, as the three kids grew up in Atherton, California, close to the Stanford University Campus. Fred Sr. would live to see ALASKA MILK CORP. flourish and become an icon brand in the Philippines, He would turn over the reins of the business to his son Fred Jr, in 1998, He died in 2010, at age 82. The three children are all American citizens.
Picture of Wilfred and Bonnie Uytengsu: “Honoring an Engineer’s Journey”, http://giving.stanford.edu/stanford-benefactor/stories/uytengsu-teaching-center
Picture of Wilfred Steven Uytengsu Jr.
Picture of Michael Uytengsu: www.tuskestates.com
Picture of Candace Uytengsu: http://www.zimbio.com/photos/Candice+Uytengsu-Hamilton