Executives on the move

National Confectioners Association promotes three senior leaders to drive innovation

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

John Downs is the CEO and president of National Confectioners Association. Pic: National Confectioners Association
John Downs is the CEO and president of National Confectioners Association. Pic: National Confectioners Association

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National Confectioners Association (NCA) has promoted three senior leaders to ‘further integrate [its] functions to drive innovation and alignment around strategic priorities,’ according to John Downs, president and CEO.

“In less than four years, we’ve made tremendous progress on our transformational change journey, having created a positive brand identity for NCA, built a clear and compelling strategic plan, and executive the plan with laser-like precision,”​ said Downs.

“Now is the time to take NCA to a higher level of success… The promotion of these three key senior team members will help us shape bold thinking around NCA’s multidimensional value proposition.”

The promoted members include Liz Clark, Christopher Gindlesperger and Elise Fenning, according to the NCA.

LizClark_NCA (2)
Liz Clark

Clark, who is currently the VP of government affairs, has been promoted to senior VP of public policy. She will lead NCA’s federal, state and local government affairs and PAC strategy, as well as work closely with the scientific and regulatory team to support NCA member companies.

“Under the public policy umbrella, deeper integration of NCA’s government affairs and regulatory functions will help the industry present a unified front to Capitol Hill, the administration, state and local lawmakers and regulators,”​ said Downs.

He added Clark’s seven-year tenure with the association speak volumes about her ability to manage the complex issues facing the confectionery industry.

Gindlesperger, who is currently the VP of public affairs and communications, has been promoted to senior VP of public affairs and communications.

Christopher Gindlesperger

He will lead a ‘revamped department that is fully integrated into all functions across the organization and focused on ensuring consistency of messaging, as well recruiting, educating and activating key stakeholder groups,’​ according to the NCA.

Gindlesperger will also oversee all media relations activity and a new integrated marketing communications operation.

Commenting on his new role, Downs said: “Chris’s leadership in the public affairs and communications discipline related to the strategic planning around the Always A Treat Initiative has helped us create a strong and highly respected brand identity for NCA.

“Our signature events are now key communications assets, and with a streamlined public affairs and communications operation that includes an enterprise-wide marketing component, we will be able to even more adeptly share our three-pronged industry narrative: Power of Sweet, Always A Treat, Fun & Unique,”​ he added.

Additionally, the NCA chief of staff, Elise Fenning, has been promoted to the senior VP of operations. She will continue to oversee human resources, IT, and operations at the association, and assumes responsibility for the continued integration of the industry affairs, global business development, meetings and membership operations.

Elise Fenning

“Since joining NCA in 2016, Elise has been instrumental in the formulation of and execution against NCA’s highest priority projects,”​ said Downs.

“Elise has demonstrated a strong track record of driving consensus, alignment and focus both inside the organization and within the membership.

“Her attention to further integrating internal operations to support the association’s activities, particularly around the Sweets & Snacks Expo, the State of the Industry Conference, and business development efforts both domestic and global, will be critical as we look to drive continued value for our members small and large,”​ he added.

The NCA, which is headquartered in Washington, DC, currently has 620 members from the confectionery industry, including manufacturers, suppliers and brokers.

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