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NCA Strengthens Executive Team

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) has revealed three additions to the organization’s executive team: Elise Fennig was named to the newly created position of chief of staff, Karen Horan was promoted to VP of global business development, and Laura Shumow was promoted to VP of scientific and regulatory affairs.

“Elise, Karen and Laura are welcome additions to the NCA executive team,” commented John Downs, president and CEO at Washington, D.C.-based NCA. “With their expertise and backgrounds, I’m confident all three will help the association on its path to fulfilling the confectionery industry’s vision: that the public understands and appreciates candy’s unique role in a happy, balanced lifestyle.”

As chief of staff for NCA, Fennig will work closely with Downs on priority special projects related to the annual business plan and strategic plan as well as provide oversight for the association’s industry affairs, membership, global business development and HR functions to ensure the successful implementation of its strategic plan. Fennig was most recently with The Kraft Heinz Co., acting as a primary liaison between Kraft Heinz and the company’s retail customers and trade association partners. She also held a leadership position at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, serving as VP of industry affairs, in which capacity she directed and managed industry initiatives and projects in the areas of supply chain management, technology, sales and industry performance.

In her new role as VP of global business development, Horan will continue to foster international presence for American candy brands and build upon the association’s successful participation in USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP). She has been with NCA for 15 years, having grown MAP to record-high levels, using the funding for important NCA initiatives including, most recently, a comprehensive review of the global legislative and regulatory environment. Her work in strengthening the global presence of customers at the Sweets & Snacks Expo has translated into increased revenue for the show’s exhibitors.

Laura Shumow, who has been with NCA for seven years, will oversee the association’s scientific and regulatory agendas. She has created a scientific knowledge base for the confectionery industry that is the foundation of its moderation and responsibility messaging. Because of her efforts, confectionery became one of the first industries to have a definition of moderation accepted into a peer-reviewed journal. 


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