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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Confectioners Association (NCA) President Larry Graham plans to retire on a sweet note with plans to step down after the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo. Graham, who has led the association for the past 22 years, will play an active role in the recruitment and transition of new leadership.
"We want the transition to be orderly, well thought out and positive for the NCA membership and the staff," said 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 20 years and we want to keep that momentum going."
Goetze and Vice Chairman Bob Simpson will create a transition process involving the association's member segments and possibly 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, according to the association.
A search committee will then be established that will likely work with recruiting firms to find candidates whose qualifications fit NCA's needs. The top qualities the association is looking for include broad experience, a solid knowledge of how Washington, D.C. works, excellent communication skills and a diplomatic attitude in order to succeed, it added.
"While Larry will be available for consulting when the new president assumes the position, 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," Simpson said.
With a retirement date set, Graham is not going to take easy between now and then. "I'm looking forward to working with our members to find the best possible successor, someone who will enjoy representing this industry of small and large candy companies located in every corner of the U.S. and around the world who make a product that people love," he said. "In the meantime, I have two more years at the helm of NCA and lots of work to do."