NCA Selects Confectionery Professionals for 2023 Future Leadership Class

The networking and professional development initiative launched in 2016.
NCA logo

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Six confectionery industry professionals have been selected to take part in the National Confectioners Association's (NCA) 2023 Future Leadership Program.

The initiative is dedicated to helping young professionals in the confectionery industry access networking and professional development opportunities to grow their careers.  

"Our Future Leaders play a pivotal role in the confectionery industry, as they have the capabilities to innovate and move our industry forward," said John Downs, NCA president and CEO. "The Future Leadership Program 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."

The 2023 class includes:

  • Kelsea Ferrato, director of marketing, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • Emily Gordon, senior category manager, Walgreens Co.
  • AJ Khoury, director of technical sales, Capol LLC
  • Stephanie Laub, customer business lead – Disney, Mars Wrigley
  • Carly Meck, research and development manager – product development, Blommer Chocolate Co.
  • Ryan Miller, vice president – supply chain, Spangler Candy Co.

Launched in 2016, the Future Leadership Program 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, as well as the Candy Hall of Fame weekend.

The application process for the 2024 class of the Future Leadership Program will open later this summer. Professionals interested in applying for the program or learning more about how to get involved as a young professional or mentor can click here.

Washington, D.C.-based NCA is a leading trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates $37.5 billion in retail sales each year.