NCA Reveals Members Of The 2021 Future Leadership Program

Washington DC — Five young professionals from across the industry have been selected for NCA’s 2021 Future Leadership Program. The initiative is part of the Association’s Young Professionals Network (YPN) with support from the NCSA Candy Hall of Fame.

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.

“The Future Leadership Program has become a premier experience for young professionals in the confectionery industry,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, says. “Our Future Leaders have been instrumental in everything from bolstering our advocacy efforts and understanding our role in social justice initiatives to reimagining and planning for the future of the industry – and much more in between. I look forward to working with the 2021 class – but more importantly learning from them – as we continue to innovate to take NCA to a higher level of success in the years to come.”

Members of the class of 2021 are:

  • Serena Bitzer
    Senior Business Analyst
    The Hershey Co.
  • Nisha Desai
    Director, Strategy and Business Development
    1-800-Flowers.com, Inc.
  • Mark Puch Jr. (MJ)
    Key Account Specialist
    Primrose Candy Co.
  • Sandi Santa Ana
    Category Management Director
    Ferrara Candy Co., Inc.
  • Becky Silberfarb
    Director of Marketing
    Bazooka Candy Brands, a Division of The Topps Co.

In addition to receiving educational and networking opportunities through the Future Leadership Program, participants are matched with an industry leader who serves as a formal mentor.

The 2021 mentors are:

  • Troy Pearley
    Executive Vice-President & General Manager
    Divine Chocolate
  • Sarah Atkinson
    Executive Vice-President
    Atkinson Candy Co.
  • Kirk Vashaw
    Chairman & CEO
    Spangler Candy Co.
  • Anthony Trani
    Vice-President of Global Marketing
    Bazooka Candy Brands, a Division of The Topps Co.
  • Marty Palmer
    President & CEO
    Palmer Candy Co.