Mike Maslen and Dave Schulze
Mike Maslen (left) and Dave Schulze (right). Photos provided by NCA.

Hudson Group’s v.p. sales Mike Maslen and H.E. Butt Grocery Co.’s senior buyer of candy Dave Schulze are being recognized for making their mark on the industry.

The National Confectioners Association has honored the two with the 2015 Confectionery Leadership Award for their contributions to the category through business collaboration, category management and in-store merchandising innovations.

“This award recognizes the talent and dedication of the industry's retail customers, those who go above and beyond expectations," says Larry Wilson, NCA's v.p. customer relations. “The committee felt strongly that Mike and Dave truly exemplify the visionary thinking it takes to propel the category forward.”

Industry professionals nominated several candidates for consideration by the Leadership Awards Committee. The NCA created the awards program in 2011 to honor retailers and wholesalers. Last year’s winners were Tim Erceg of Hy-Vee Inc. and Jamal Parker of Sam’s Club.

Maslen tipped his hat to his company upon being named. “The recognition is a reflection of my colleagues at Hudson Group,” he says.

Hudson Group operates 770 shops, mostly in airports and train stations.

Schulze also thanked his colleagues. “The credit really goes to the entire H-E-B Candy Team, our store operations folks, and our loyal Texas customer base. H-E-B is truly a great place to work and shop!”

H-E-B operates 350 grocery stores and is based in San Antonio, Texas.

Maslen and Schulze will be presented with their awards February 17 at the NCA’s annual State of the Industry Conference in Miami.

The NCA is a trade group representing the interests of the $34-billion U.S. confectionery industry that employs about 70,000 workers in more than 40 states. The association is made up of 660 manufacturers, suppliers and brokers.