The Distinguished Service Award recognises individuals who have worked to make a positive and lasting impact on the confectionery industry and was presented on the first day of SOTIC in front of a packed audience of over 700 NCA members and partners.
“Anton is shaping the future of chocolate and candy with his pioneering spirit, demonstrating that progress in confectionery comes from bravely challenging existing norms,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, said. “With leaders like him at the helm of this sector, we can look forward to continued innovation for years to come.”
Under Vincent’s leadership, Mars Wrigley played a pivotal role in the success of the Always A Treat Initiative – a voluntary, five-year commitment to Partnership for a Healthier America for chocolate and candy companies to offer more transparency, choice and portion guidance options to consumers seeking to manage their sugar intake. Mars Wrigley’s investment in R&D, product and packaging innovation and redesigning existing products helped the Initiative exceed set benchmarks for success while establishing the industry as a thought leader in the food policy space.
In September 2022, Vincent also served as the confectionery industry representative on a panel discussion at Georgetown University focused on a new report, All Indulgent Products are Not Created Equal. The report finds that chocolate and candy should not be grouped with other indulgent foods and beverages for the purposes of policymaking because they are not purchased or consumed the same way as other foods. The Always A Treat Initiative is highlighted in the report as an example of a significant industry effort to help consumers make more informed choices.
Ross Born honoured
The NCA also honoured Ross Born from Just Born Quality Confections with a Lifetime Achievement Award after his retirement as the company’s Chief Executive Officer.
For more than four decades, Born, a third-generation candy maker, served alongside his cousin David Shaffer in their family business, becoming co-presidents of Just Born in 1992.
Born has also been an active participant in NCA activities throughout his time in the industry, serving as the elected board chair from 2006-2008, and volunteering his time on the CandyPAC Committee and various government affairs committees, international steering committees and multiple strategic planning task forces.
The award recognises his vision, hard work and dedication that has significantly contributed to the confectionery industry, delegates at SOTIC were told.
“Over his 40-year confectionery career, Ross made incredible contributions to NCA and the entire confectionery industry, but it is his infectious positivity that stands out to me,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, said. “His passion for elevating the consumer experience, his spirit of cooperation and collaboration within the industry and his faithful support of NCA over the years have made Ross a role model I admire and respect tremendously.”
- Audra Volger from Hoffman Volger, picked up the Women of Influence award and Sharon Montgomery from Adams & Brooks and Kevin Jenkins from CSN/ Kahler-Senders Group, picked up Silver and Candy Dish accolades, respectively.