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In a forward-looking move, the Retail Confectioners International (RCI) recently expanded its governing board.  

At its annual convention in San Francisco last month, the trade association inducted five new members to the 20-member board.

Inductees include:

  • John Asher, III of Asher’s Chocolates in Souderton, Pa.
  • Jacque De Waele of Savage Bros. Co. in Elk Grove Village, Ill.
  • Sam Duerr, III of Duerr Packaging in Burgettstown, Pa.
  • Judith Hilliard McCarthy of Hilliard’s House of Candy in North Easton, Mass.
  • Steven Vande Walle of Vande Walle’s Candies in Appleton, Wis.

Furthermore, inductee Jason Coblentz of Coblentz Chocolate Co. in Walnut Creek, Ohio will serve as the board’s 2012-2013 president. He will succeed current president Terry Hicklin of Candy House Gourmet Chocolates in Joplin, Mo.

"I am looking forward to working alongside such outstanding confectionery industry professionals," Coblentz says. "The fresh ideas and perspectives of our new board members, coupled with the passion of our board to serve RCI members and the industry as a whole, will be invaluable as we plan for the 2012-2013 year."

Current board member Brian Pelletier of Kakao Chocolate in St. Louis, Mo. will serve as the 3rd vice president.

"The leadership of our board of directors is extremely important in planning for the future of RCI," says Kelly Brinkmann, executive director of RCI’s board