The National Confectioners Association (NCA) has promoted three members of its leadership with the goals of improving operational efficiency and enhancing the organization’s advocacy, communications, industry affairs and regulatory support.
John Downs, NCA president and ceo, said the association has made “tremendous progress” on its strategic plan over the last four years.
“We have established a powerful, favorable narrative for our industry, recruited high-caliber ceos and senior executives to serve on our Board of Trustees, modernized our governance process and achieved our financial growth targets to fuel our advocacy and communications initiatives,” he said. “Now is the time to take NCA to a higher level of success and further integrate our functions to drive innovation and alignment around our strategic priorities.”
In the past year, NCA has established the Always A Treat Initiative, which positions the confectionery industry as a thought leader with consumers and in the food policy space. The next phase of the NCA is emphasizing integration and innovation. With three key staff promotions set to take effect immediately, Downs is driving a strategic evolution of the organization while maintaining NCA’s unique and special culture. 
“Our companies produce and sell America’s best-tasting, fun treats and there is an emotional bond created with our consumers through chocolate and candy,” Downs said. “We are taking our member companies’ lead as it relates to this bond in establishing an NCA brand promise.”
Liz Clark, currently v.p. of government affairs, has been promoted to senior v.p. of public policy. In her new role, Clark will lead the NCA’s federal, state and local government affairs and PAC strategy, as well as work closely with the scientific/regulatory team to support NCA member companies.
Christopher Gindlesperger, currently v.p. of public affairs and communications, has been promoted to senior v.p. of public affairs and communications. In his new capacity, Gindlesperger will lead a revamped department that is fully integrated into all the NCA’s functions and focused on ensuring consistency of messaging, as well as recruiting, educating and activating key stakeholder groups. Gindlesperger will also oversee all media relations activity and a new integrated marketing communications operation. 
Elise Fennig, NCA chief of staff, has been promoted to chief of staff and senior v.p. of operations. Fennig will continue to have oversight of human resources, IT and operations at NCA, and she’ll assume responsibility for the continued integration of the industry affairs, global business development, meetings and membership operations.