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NCA Announces 2022 Future Leadership Program Class

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The National Confectioners Association has chosen eight members joining the 2022 class of its Future Leadership Program, which is dedicated to helping young professionals across the confectionery industry access networking and professional development opportunities to grow their careers.

“We’ve expanded this year’s class to eight young professionals as a way of signaling our investment in the future of the confectionery industry,” said John Downs, NCA president and CEO.

“With professionals from across the confectionery category represented, this year’s class of Future Leaders provides a cross-section of the potential our industry has for continued growth and innovation,” he said.

The 2022 class includes:

  • Ashton Batten – customer business leader, Mars Wrigley North America;
  • William Felder – key account manager – Target, Ferrara Candy Co.;
  • Tony Fontana – national account manager, Haribo of America Inc.; 
  • Jonathan Hartigan – director of sales, North, Shankman & Associates Inc.;
  • Rebecca Kuehn – research and development manager, Guittard Chocolate Co.;
  • Danielle Laubenstein – director of global marketing, Hawaiian Host Group;
  • Daniel Mendelsohn – associate director of seasonals and innovations, PIM Brands Inc.; and
  • Miguel Zorrillamarketing brand director, Ferrero USA Inc.

Launched in 2016, the Future Leadership Program provides support, education, access and opportunity to young professionals who wish to develop leadership skills and grow their careers in the confectionery industry. 

Future leaders will be invited to attend NCA’s State of the Industry Conference, the Sweets & Snacks Expo, NCA’s Summer Board & Leadership Strategy Meeting, the Washington Forum and the Candy Hall of Fame weekend. 

In addition to receiving educational and networking opportunities through the Future Leadership Program, participants will be matched with an industry leader who will serve as a formal mentor.

The application process for the 2023 class of the Future Leadership Program will begin in late summer 2022. Those interested in applying for the program or learning more about how to get involved as a young professional or as a mentor may visit the CandyUSA.com/FutureLeaders.

The National Confectioners Association is a trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates more than $37 billion in retail sales each year. Making chocolate, candy, gum and mints, the industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states. 

NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and work to ensure that chocolate and candy are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy. For more information, visit CandyUSA.com.

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Featured Photo PLMA Annual Private Label Trade Show
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
Chicago, Illinois
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