Cindy Maly from Casey’s General Stores and Stephanie Panzetta from Weis Markets are recipients of the National Confectioners Association’s (NCA) 2019 Confectionery Leadership Awards. The honorees’ achievements include demonstrating category management best practices, effective business collaboration and innovations in merchandising confectionery in-store.
“The Confectionery Leadership Award was created to honor industry retailers who thrust the category forward through their dedication and innovation to the category,” says Larry Wilson, NCA’s vice president of industry affairs. “As in years past, there were many deserving and worthy candidates for this year’s award. The strides the chocolate and candy industry have made thanks to Cindy’s and Stephanie’s efforts are what stood out to the committee.”
Cindy Maly, a 16-year veteran of Akeny, Iowa-based Casey’s General Stores, serves as senior category manager with responsibility for candy and snacks. Maly regularly participates on the Mars Retail Advisory Board for C-Stores and is heavily involved with NCA’s Women’s Leadership Group, the Most Innovative New Product Award tasting panel and Washington Forum. 
“I have met many colleagues and peers through the years, and I am honored to be recognized by people that I respect and have learned from,” Maly said. “I thoroughly enjoy being part of the confectionery industry!”
Stephanie Panzetta is Weis Markets’ category manager responsible for confectionery. Based in Sunbury, Pa., Weis Markets is a Mid-Atlantic food retailer operating 203 stores in seven states. During her 10-year career at Weis Markets, she worked as a senior advertising graphic designer before joining the company’s category management team, where she initially worked on direct store delivery and non-edible categories.
“I’m very appreciative my colleagues would consider me for this honor,” Panzetta said. “I have had the pleasure of working with countless partners in the confectionery industry. Being able to collaborate with each of them, understanding their perspectives and taking advantage of the resources they have to offer have all been critical factors in setting our stores apart from the rest.”
NCA and Candy & Snack Today created the awards program in 2011 to recognize and honor the confectionery industry’s most innovative leaders and category champions. The program allows NCA manufacturers and brokers to recognize outstanding retailers and wholesalers in the confectionery community for their effective customer marketing, shopper-driven shelving practices and promotion of new items.