NCA confirms 2023 future industry leadership programme intake

The National Confectioners Association has confirmed its latest intake of six confectionery industry professionals selected for the 2023 Future Leadership Programme, representing a broad cross-section of the sector, reports Neill Barston.

Designed as programme to bolster the next generation of talent within the US sweets and snacks market, it has offered a significant platform for aspiring senior managers to make a mark with their respective careers.

With the American confectionery market worth $37.5 billion in annual sales, and supporting around 58,000 employees, it remains a highly influential region for the global industry on a number of levels.

“Our Future Leaders play a pivotal role in the confectionery industry, as they have the capabilities to innovate and move our industry forward,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, said. “The Future Leadership Programme helps ensure that these exceptional young professionals are provided the tools needed to continue their success and reach their potential. I look forward to working alongside these impressive individuals and watching their careers develop.”

Confectionery Production gained the chance to meet some of the intake at Sweets & Snacks Expo, and it was clear the scheme offered an extremely valuable path to enriching the careers of those selected for the programme.

Launched in 2016, it provides support, education, access and opportunity to young professionals who wish to develop leadership skills and grow their careers in the confectionery industry. Participants are matched with a highly regarded industry leader as a mentor and are invited to attend NCA’s signature events, which include the State of the Industry Conference, Sweets & Snacks Expo, NCA’s Summer Board & Leadership Strategy Meeting and the Washington Forum along with the Candy Hall of Fame weekend.

This year’s NCA leadership scheme includes Carly Meck, R&D manager for product development at Blommer Chocolate, pictured in the main story image, who will be joined by colleagues on the course including (left to right below), Kelsea Ferrato, director of marketing at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, AJ Khoury, director of technical sales at Capol, and Emily Gordon, senior category manager at Walgreens.












The 2023 leadership programme intake is completed by Stephanie Laub (below), Mars Wrigley customer business lead to Walt Disney, along with Ryan Miller, vice president of supply chain at the Spangler Candy Company.

The application process for the 2024 class of the Future Leadership Program opens in late summer 2023. Those interested in applying for the program or learning more about how to get involved as a young professional or mentor should visit

Related content

Leave a reply

Confectionery Production