During the National Confectioners Association (NCA)’s State of the Industry conference held in Miami Beach earlier this week, several industry leaders were honored. Yesterday, Tony Jacobs, president of Bazooka Candy Brands, a division of New York City-based Topps, received the Advocate of the Year award. On Monday, Krisanne Flamini, category manager for Wawa, Inc., and Barry Phillips, category manager for SpartanNash, were recipients of the NCA’s 2018 Confectionery Leadership Award.
The Advocate of the Year Award is given to a NCA member who has demonstrated his or her dedication to advocating on behalf of the industry. Calling Jacobs a “real policy expert,” who “understands policy, politics and the relationships with leaders,” John Downs, president and ceo of the NCA, cited his lobbying efforts during Pennsylvania Lobby Day, which helped avoid a state tax on candy as well as his leadership for the association’s CandyPAC. 
“During his last two years as chairman, Tony helped drive our CandyPAC to $300,000, making it one of the largest association PAC groups,” he said.
In accepting the award, Jacobs said he was thrilled to be part “of this amazing industry” and “incredibly proud to serve in this position so that laws passed in Congress ensure that our industry continues to thrive and grow.
“I really want to thank all of you for your supporting our PAC,” he added. “All these contributions are making a difference in getting our stories heard, and we have such incredible stories to tell.”
The Confectionery Leadership Awards focus on recipients’ who provide lasting contributions to the industry through their category management best practices, effective business collaboration, innovative in-store merchandising and solid category performance.
Joining Wawa in 2000, Flamini is responsible for total snacks, confections and packaged cakes for all of the company’s more than 750 stores.
“We’re excited Krisanne was selected to receive this honor from the industry as she is deserving of it for the energy and passion she brings to her role leading the category every day,” added Jason Homola, Wawa’s director of category management.
Phillips has been in the confectionery category for more than 15 years. As the current category manager for SpartanNash, a retailer and distributor with 145 corporate-owned stores and a distribution portfolio of more than 2,100 independent business locations throughout the country, as well as U.S. military commissaries worldwide, he’s known for his enthusiasm for the job and the industry.
“What I love about this category is that it is always changing,” Phillips said. “This category, the vendors, and the brokers mean so much to me. They have a job to do, but ultimately we all want to do what’s right for our customers. I appreciate them taking the time to nominate me for this award.”