Launched in 2016, the Future Leadership Programme provides support, education, access, and opportunity to young professionals wanting to develop leadership skills and grow their careers in the confectionery industry.
Participants are matched with a highly regarded industry leader as a mentor. They are also invited to access networking opportunities at the NCA’s signature events and other industry gatherings, including the State of the Industry Conference, Sweets & Snacks Expo, NCA’s Leadership Summit, the Washington Forum, and Candy Hall of Fame weekend.
“The Future Leaders are shaking things up in the world of chocolate and candy, and they've got what it takes to drive our industry ahead," said John Downs, NCA President and CEO.
"Our Future Leadership Programme ensures they get the right tools to flourish and achieve their fullest potential. I am excited to work alongside these inspiring individuals and watch their career paths unfold.”
The 2024 class includes Chase Brown, Regional Business Manager- Grocery & Convenience - Texas/New Mexico, Perfetti Van Melle; Lori Davis, Director of Sales West Burdette Beckmann, Inc; Kate Duffy, Director of Human Resources, North America Storck USA, L.P.; Steve Edministe, Team Leader Russell Stover Chocolates; Cody Heinz; Director of Sales, Bell Flavors & Fragrances; Christina Jenkins, Customer Cocoa Research and Development Project Manager, Barry Callebaut; Mark Slusser, General Manager, Blommer Chocolate Company, Franki Smurro Sr., Customer Marketing Manager, Mars Wrigley.
The NCA also confirmed that the application process for the 2025 class of the Future Leadership Programme opens on 4 August. Those interested in applying for the program or learning more about how to get involved as a young professional or mentor should visit CandyUSA.com/FutureLeaders.