2024 Confectionery Leadership Awards Honor Dollar Tree’s Katie Alexander and Harris Teeter’s Susan Grassey 

2024 Confectionery Leadership Awards Honor Dollar Tree’s Katie Alexander and Harris Teeter’s Susan Grassey 

WASHINGTON – The National Confectioners Association and Candy & Snack TODAY have announced the recipients of the 2024 Confectionery Leadership Awards: Dollar Tree’s Katie Alexander, category director; and Harris Teeter’s  Susan Grassey, candy/general merchandise category manager.   

“Amid economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures, outstanding retail partners like Katie and Susan have kept consumers returning to the candy aisle to find a moment of happiness, a reason to celebrate, or an affordable treat,” John Downs, president & CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said. “Both of our 2024 Confectionery Leadership Award recipients have been visionary leaders in our industry over the course of their career. Their inclusive approaches to confectionery retailing, readiness to embrace new challenges, and keen understanding of consumer needs and desires continue to drive category growth.”    

Katie Alexander has spent almost nine years with Dollar Tree, a value store chain with more than 8,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada. She is known throughout the company and the confectionery industry for her strong communication skills, leading with kindness, and providing constructive feedback in the best interest of shoppers and suppliers. Throughout her tenure, she has used her expertise to elevate her team and support liaison partnerships across the organization and within the community. 

“Working in the confectionery industry is exciting – you’re able to be creative, follow trends and celebrate momentous occasions with the consumer,” Alexander said. “I’m honored to win this award and am proud that my contributions and leadership characteristics are being recognized.” 

Candy Hall of Famer Susan Grassey has more than 20 years of experience in the confectionery industry. Susan joined Harris Teeter, a regional grocery retailer with more than 250 stores in the Southeast, in 2017 as a candy/general merchandise category manager. Susan is known for thinking outside the box and using her knowledge of industry trends to continuously innovate. She demonstrates exceptional leadership skills and adds a special touch to seasonal selections, helping make Harris Teeter a top retailer for chocolate, candy, gum, and mints. 

“Working in the confectionery industry is the sweet spot of my career,” Grassey said. “I love the people, the products, and the excitement created by these special treats that are directly linked to our most precious memories and celebrations. It’s an honor to be recognized for my contributions and achievements by an industry that I cherish.”  

NCA, in collaboration with Candy & Snack TODAY magazine, created the Confectionery Leadership 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 outstanding retailers and wholesalers in the confectionery community for their leadership, industry collaboration, confectionery category promotion, and innovation.  

The 2024 Confectionery Leadership Awards will be presented in conjunction with NCA’s State of the Industry Conference, which will take place March 10-12 in Aventura, Florida.  


About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the $48 billion U.S. confectionery industry. NCA advocates for an environment that enables candy makers to thrive and works to ensure that chocolate, candy, gum and mints are celebrated for their contributions to culture, society, the economy and everyday moments of joy. The industry employs nearly 58,000 workers in more than 1,600 manufacturing facilities across all 50 states and supports an additional 635,000 jobs in related fields. The U.S. confectionery industry has made a commitment to increasing transparency, providing more portion guidance options and educating consumers about the role of confectionery in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Learn more at CandyUSA.com or follow NCA on Facebook, X and Instagram.

About Candy & Snack TODAY:  

Candy & Snack TODAY, the official publication of NCA, offers a dynamic mix of the latest in products, retail trends, consumer insights, and essential information on production and marketing. Boasting a circulation of over 12,500, including CEOs, retailers, and other key decision-makers in the confectionery industry, it is a crucial communication channel. Published bi-monthly and globally accessible online, each issue provides a comprehensive view of the candy and snack world. It also features exclusive Sweets & Snacks Expo coverage, making it an indispensable resource for industry professionals. Learn more at CandyUSA.com/cst and follow the publication on Facebook, Instagram, and X.