In keeping with its primary goal of helping confectioners manufacture better products through education and information, PMCA offers a series of specialized training courses. Each course combines classroom and hands-on training. The courses are held at the facilities of a confectionery manufacturer or an approved university facility and are conducted by well-qualified facilitators.

First-time in-person course host Tomric Systems, Inc. recently welcomed 23 industry professionals to its facility for a Premium Chocolate Centers course. Attendees representing a variety of companies participated in the course, held June 20–23 in Buffalo, NY.

Four experienced instructors provided a mix of classroom and practical training related to fondants and cremes, ganache, meltaways, and caramels for chocolate centers. Each attendee received a course book, electronic copies of course materials, and a PMCA goody bag filled with donated items from member companies. Attendees took home lots of their own product as well as that made by fellow attendees, including flavors such as matcha green tea, peanut butter and jelly, yogurt lemon, cherry kirsch, and chai.

Attendees earning a certificate of completion included:

  • Lani Bensheimer, Creo Chocolate
  • Prachana Chuklin, Jelly Belly Candy Company
  • Mark Czerczak, Confectionery Arts International
  • Evangeline Fadrigalan, Concord Foods, LLC
  • Joel Gratt, YMC Sweets LLC
  • Glenn Grout, True Dairy Specialty Ingredients
  • Brandon Jahner, Foresight Food Research
  • Damarise Jimenez, The Hershey Company
  • Hailey Karroum, The Hershey Company
  • Jeanne Lomison, Buffalo, NY
  • Christina Meyn, Jelly Belly Candy Company
  • Hannah O’Brien, Stuffed Puffs LLC
  • Keariel Peasley, Bixby & Co.
  • Evan Prochniak, Zitner’s Fine Confections
  • Kevin Ronan, Ronan’s Artisan Chocolate
  • Christie Rowland, Jelly Belly Candy Company
  • David Rowland, Jelly Belly Candy Company
  • Laura Schembri, Jelly Belly Candy Company
  • Kathryn Southworth, Bixby & Co.
  • Erin Sterling, pladis Global
  • Kevin Straub, Creo Chocolate
  • Thomas Westerfer, pladis Global
  • Amanda Zadroga-Cantada, ADM

PMCA is grateful to the individuals and companies that graciously donated instructors, ingredients, products, or other items to the success of the course as follows:


  • Mark Heim, retired, R. Mark Heim Confectionery Consulting – Course Lead
  • Brian Donaghy, Tomric Systems, Inc.
  • Randy Hofberger, R&D Candy Consultants
  • Joe Sofia, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate
  • Hannah Riesner, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate – Course Assistant

Donations of ingredients, equipment, samples and supplies:

  • ASR Group
  • Barry Callebaut
  • Blommer Chocolate Company
  • Cargill
  • Centerchem
  • Clasen Quality Chocolate
  • Flavorsum
  • IFC Solutions
  • Ingredion
  • Tomric Systems, Inc.
  • Weaver Nut Company