Confectionery Leadership Award

Retail and wholesale support of the confectionery industry is the lifeblood of your company’s success.

There are some retail or wholesale buyers, category managers and executives that go above and beyond this support to stand out among the rest by exhibiting innovative thought leadership around category promotion as well as a natural ability to recognize the true potential of confectionery products. NCA offers the Confectionery Leadership Award as a vehicle to honor and call out top retail or wholesale buyers, category managers and executives on an industry-wide level for their effective business collaboration, category management best practices and innovations in merchandising confectionery products in-store.

Confectionery Leadership Award

Recipients of this award must exemplify several of the following criteria:

  • Leverage leadership, experience and insights to move the confectionery industry forward in today’s competitive landscape
  • Demonstrate a strong commitment to building relationships and growing new business with confectionery manufacturers and shoppers
  • Exhibit a consistent ability to drive best practices at retail and within the supply chain
  • Act as a role model for other retailers and wholesalers through category promotion, product and merchandising innovation and cross-functional collaboration
  • Show versatility and perseverance in their category management and leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

These prestigious awards will be presented during NCA’s State of the Industry Conference.

More than just an award
Confectionery Leadership Award honorees will be promoted year-round by NCA, including feature stories in Candy & Snack TODAY magazine. Award recipients will also participate in the taste panel at the Sweets & Snacks Expo’s Most Innovative New Product Awards.

NCA, in collaboration with Candy & Snack TODAY magazine, created the awards program in 2011 to recognize and honor the confectionery industry’s best and most innovative category champions and leaders. The program allows NCA manufacturers and brokers to recognize these outstanding retailers and wholesalers in the confectionery community for their effective customer marketing, shopper-driven shelving practices, and promotion of new items.

Past Recipients:


Tiffany Trombley, Target
Todd Budzinski, Sam’s Club


Todd Gean, Hy-Vee, Inc.
Drew Germain, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.


Maureen Keenan, CVS
Peter Kempton, Travel Centers of America


Michael Smull, Five Below
Melody Phan Rich, Walmart


Cindy Maly, Casey’s General Store
Stephanie Panzetta, Weis Markets


Krisanne Flamini, Wawa, Inc.
Barry Phillips, SpartanNash


Christina M. Groth, The Kroger Company
Brian Rinker, Walgreen Co.


Julie Bierman, Army & Air Force Exchange Service
Jennifer Dilts, Dollar General Corp.


Mike Maslen, Hudson Group
Dave Schulze, H-E-B


Jamal Parker
Tim Erceg


Julia Bischoff
Kimberley Felice-Dooley
AJ Jesswani


Paul Minger
John Scardina
Val Stansfield


Rebecca Fries
Bill Walker
Tim Tackett