NCA Boosts Public Affairs and Advocacy Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Confectioners Association added two members to its public affairs and advocacy department and restructured several other positions to enhance its public policy and advocacy efforts following a year-long strategic planning process.

Joining NCA as vice president of government affairs is Patrick Aylward who most recently served as the special assistant to the president and director, Office of the Chief of Staff for the Bush White House. Prior to his placement with the chief of staff, Aylward served the executive branch for more than seven years in the Office of Management and Budget. He has a master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University and a bachelor's degree in political science and history from Drew University. Aylward has a dozen years' experience inside Washington politics and will bring that insider's perspective, along with his well-established contacts, to NCA's public policy and advocacy effort, the association said in a statement.

Additionally, Chris Coleman is joining the NCA staff as director of government affairs and comes to NCA after three years with the National Council of State Legislatures and offers significant experience with both state and federal advocacy, the association noted. He worked for The Forum for State Health Policy Leadership prior to joining NCSL and received a master's degree in public administration from George Washington University. He holds a bachelor's degree in political studies from Dickinson College.

"We are pleased to welcome Patrick and Chris to the staff of NCA," said President Larry Graham. "Patrick is well known in Washington circles and will be a powerful voice for the confectionery industry, especially on Capitol Hill. Meanwhile, Chris has significant experience at the federal level and will manage our state affairs program with authority and knowledge based on his prior experience."

Heading up the advocacy efforts at NCA is Alison Bodor, who has been with the association for 10 years. She has been promoted to senior vice president of public policy and advocacy and will be responsible for coordinating all public policy activities for the industry, including both state and federal legislative affairs, state and federal regulatory affairs, corporate social responsibility, issues management and scientific- and health-based research.

Other members of the public affairs and advocacy department at NCA include Melane Rose Boyce in her newly expanded role as vice president of corporate social responsibility and Laura Shumow, manager of technical and regulatory affairs.

Top public policy issues cover areas related to food safety, commodity pricing, responsible cocoa growing, nutrition and health policy and state taxes. Additionally, the public affairs and advocacy department is tasked with monitoring emerging issues, informing NCA members of new developments and responding to outside parties with relevant and factually sound information to protect and promote the U.S. confectionery industry.

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