NCA Announces 2022 Future Leadership Program Class

NCA Announces 2022 Future Leadership Program Class

WASHINGTON – The National Confectioners Association has announced the eight members joining the 2022 class of its Future Leadership Program, which is dedicated to helping young professionals across the confectionery industry access networking and professional development opportunities to grow their careers.

“We’ve expanded this year’s class to eight young professionals as a way of signaling our investment in the future of the confectionery industry,” John Downs, NCA president and CEO, said. “With professionals from across the confectionery category represented, this year’s class of Future Leaders provides a cross-section of the potential our industry has for continued growth and innovation.”

The 2022 class includes:

  • Ashton Batten
    Customer Business Leader, Mars Wrigley North America
  • William Felder
    Key Account Manager – Target, Ferrara Candy Company
  • Tony Fontana
    National Account Manager, HARIBO of America, Inc.
  • Jonathan Hartigan
    Director of Sales, North, Shankman & Associates, Inc.
  • Rebecca Kuehn
    R&D Manager, Guittard Chocolate Company
  • Danielle Laubenstein
    Director of Global Marketing, Hawaiian Host Group
  • Daniel Mendelsohn
    Associate Director, Seasonals and Innovations, PIM Brands, Inc.
  • Miguel Zorrilla
    Marketing Brand Director, Ferrero USA, Inc.

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. Future leaders will be invited to attend NCA’s State of the Industry Conference, the Sweets & Snacks Expo, NCA’s Summer Board & Leadership Strategy Meeting, the Washington Forum and the Candy Hall of Fame weekend. In addition to receiving educational and networking opportunities through the Future Leadership Program, participants will be matched with a highly-regarded industry leader who will serve as a formal mentor.

The application process for the 2023 class of the Future Leadership Program will begin in late summer 2022. Those interested in applying for the program or learning more about how to get involved as a young professional or as a mentor should visit the


About the National Confectioners Association (NCA):
The National Confectioners Association is the leading trade organization for the U.S. confectionery industry, which generates $37.5 billion in retail sales each year. 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 or follow NCA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.