NCA Announces 2018 Future Leadership Program Class

WASHINGTON – Five young professionals within the confectionery industry have been selected for NCA’s 2018 Future Leadership Program. The full breadth of the category is on display in this year’s class as the supply, manufacturing, distribution and retail sides of the industry are represented.

“The Future Leadership Program is a very important strategic initiative that was designed to help build knowledge and leadership skills of young professionals in the confectionery industry," said NCA President and CEO John Downs. "This program provides a comprehensive experience for our young people to further develop talents and careers within their respective companies.”

The 2018 Future Leadership Program class is:

Arshbir Ghuman
Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Lana Jones
Walgreen Co.

Sharon Montgomery
Adams & Brooks

Jason Musick
Jason Scott Specialty Foods

Melissa Tisoncik
Blommer Chocolate

Now in its third year, the Future Leadership Program was launched in 2016 with support from the NCSA Candy Hall of Fame. The one-year program provides support, education, access and opportunity to young professionals who wish to advance into the ranks of leadership. Future leaders will 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 Induction Ceremony. In addition to the educational and networking opportunities, program participants will also be matched with a highly regarded leader within the confectionery industry who will serve as a formal mentor.

Downs expressed his congratulations to the 2018 class of future leaders, adding that they represent a truly diverse group of individuals with whom he looks forward to interacting. "I have no doubt they will each leave their mark on our industry.”

The application process for the 2019 class will open in late summer. Those interested in applying for the program, or learning more about how to get involved as either a young professional or as a mentor, should visit the NCA website.

*Note: Click here to access photos of the 2018 class of future leaders.

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About the National Confectioners Association (NCA)

The National Confectioners Association is the trade organization that advances, protects and promotes chocolate, candy, gum and mints, and the companies that make these special treats. As the leading association for the $35 billion U.S. confectionery industry, NCA educates the public to help ensure that it understands and appreciates the unique role that chocolate and candy can play in a happy, balanced lifestyle. Confections are produced in all 50 states, creating jobs for approximately 55,000 workers in more than 1,000 manufacturing facilities across the country. More than 400,000 jobs in agriculture, retail, transportation and other industries rely in part on the sale of confections for their livelihood. For every one job that is created by confectionery companies, another seven are supported in related industries. Learn more about the “Power of Sweet” at, or follow NCA on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Source: National Confectioners Association (NCA)