Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioners Association (NCA), Washington, D.C., says he plans to retire following the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo. “We want the transition to be orderly, well thought-out and positive for the NCA membership and the staff,” notes NCA chairman Mitchell Goetze. “This is an important time in NCA history and it must be done carefully. Larry has done a great job and transformed NCA over the last 22 years, and we want to keep that momentum going.”

The NCA is positioned for a smooth succession as Goetze and vice chairman Bob Simpson will create a transition process involving the association’s member segments and perhaps some outside experts. The executive board will review NCA’s strategic plan and confirm that it addresses not only current industry issues, but also those that will affect it in the future.This information will determine the role of leadership going forward.

Once this step is complete, a search committee will be established that will likely work with recruiting firms to find candidates whose qualifications fit NCA’s needs. Graham, Goetze and Simpson say they believe the new NCA president will need broad experience, a solid knowledge of how Washington works, excellent communication skills and a diplomatic attitude in order to succeed.

“While Larry will be available for consulting when the new president assumes the position,” Simpson notes, “we have a very strong staff of seasoned veterans as well as up-and-coming young professionals who will help to assure a smooth transition.”