During its State of the Industry conference in Miami last week, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) honored two long-time industry champions:  Dean Spangler, chairman of Spangler Candy Co., and Katherine Clark, v.p. of sales for Capol, LLC.

Spangler — who has served on NCA’s Executive Board and Board of Trustees as well as its Strategic Planning and Audit Committees —received the Distinguished Service Award for his impact on his company as well as within the industry.  

Dean Spangler
Dean Spangler

In presenting Spangler with the award, NCA Chairman and Jelly Belly Candy Co. President and COO Bob Simpson noted that the executive was instrumental in transforming Spangler Candy Co. into an instantly recognizable brand, taking its famous Dum Dums lollipop brand from fifth best-selling lollipop to first.

“Dean is the reason Spangler has been so successful,” Simpson says. “He accepts the challenges that come with the industry — even one as fun as ours. He epitomizes honest, hardworking and thoughtful values that are the very core of Spangler and its family founders.”

The ever-humble Spangler remarked that it seemed “funny to get an award for doing something that was always enjoyable. I’m proof that at the age of 66, if you do what you love, you’ll love what you do.”

Clark, who heads the North American operation of the Capol Group and is vice chair of NCA’s Supplier Advisory Committee, was lauded by her friends and colleagues for being professional, thoughtful and a natural leader.

“Katherine has always been extremely professional and represents the confectionery industry to the highest degree,” says Peter Blommer, NCA vice chairman and president/coo of The Blommer Chocolate Co. “She is a familiar face at NCA events and volunteers before she’s asked to be of service.” 

Katherine Clark
Katherine Clark with her husband Chuck Heller. 

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication by everyone to make this happen,” Clark says. “You know, you just go into work each day, working first to meet your clients’ expectations, then you hope that you may be fortunate enough to reach beyond. But never, never do you expect to be recognized in a manner like this.”

NCA’s Distinguished Service Award is given annually to a person who works tirelessly during his or her career, often in cooperation with NCA, to benefit the industry in a lasting way. The Supplier Member of the Year Award celebrates a supplier member individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the confectionery industry through dedication and involvement in the NCA and other organizations. The industry awards are announced annually at the association's State of the Industry conference.