National Confectioners Association opens applications for its 2021 Future Leadership Programme

The US-based National Confectioners Association’s Young Professionals Network is preparing for its latest batch of aspiring industry leaders with opening applications for its 2021 class of Future Leadership Programme.

As the organisation explained, the initiative provides professional development resources, including mentorship opportunities and complimentary registration to its signature events that will help make out a career for its latest intake.

The latest year’s intake comes as the NCA projects an optimistic outlook for the US confectionery market with Halloween ahead  –  according to its latest research commissioned by Morning Consult, a total of 63% of American families will be finding creative ways to celebrate the key season for the industry in October (worth around $4.6 billion in sweets sales), as the wider economy targets recovery after the major impact of coronavirus over the past few months.

“A successful future for the chocolate and candy industry depends on the development of our next generation of leaders,” John Downs, NCA president & CEO, said. “We seek and value their input and perspectives on projects across the organisation – most recently, “Thrive in 2025,” the strategic plan that will guide the association’s priorities over the next five years.”

Established in 2016, the Future Leadership Programme is now entering its sixth year as a joint initiative led by NCA’s YPN Committee and supported by the Candy Hall of Fame.

“This programme has been such an enriching, rewarding and incredibly fun experience and has afforded me many amazing opportunities to build strong connections with peers and leaders across the industry,” Lisa Eustic, member of the 2020 Future Leadership class and Senior Marketing Director at The Promotion In Motion Companies, said. “The relationships forged will carry forward well beyond this year, and because of this program, I have access to many great people who are only a phone call away and are more than willing to lend a helping hand.”

The programme connects the Future Leadership class with formal mentors in the confectionery industry selected based on the career goals of the Future Leader and gives the Future Leader complimentary access to NCA’s signature events, including the State of the Industry Conference, the Sweets & Snacks Expo and the Washington Forum.

“One of the most amazing perks of the Future Leadership Program is being matched with an industry mentor, who is there to help guide and provide support,” Eustic said. “My mentor was Mitchell Goetze, CEO of Goetze’s Candy Co. Mitchell has been a tremendous resource to me this year and I look forward to staying in touch with him after the program officially ends.”

The deadline to apply is October 10, 2020. Employees of NCA member companies and qualified retail customers who are 40 years old and younger are eligible to apply. More information about the Future Leadership Programme and the application can be found on NCA’s website. 

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