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Larry Graham, president of the National Confectioners Association (NCA), has revealed his plan to retire following the 2014 Sweets & Snacks Expo, after 22 years as head of the Washington, D.C.-based trade organization. Graham, who has presided over major changes in NCA’s structure, will be actively involved in the recruitment and transition process to ensure a trouble-free change of 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 are creating a transition process that will encompass NCA’s member segments and perhaps some outside experts. The executive board will review the strategic plan to make sure it addresses not only current industry issues, but also those that will loom large in the future. This information will shape the leadership role going forward.
Once this step is completed, a search committee will most likely work with recruiting firms to discover candidates whose qualifications fit the association’s requirements, which will include broad experience, a solid knowledge of how Washington works, excellent communication skills, and a diplomatic attitude.
“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,” noted Simpson.
Graham characterized his as-yet-unnamed successor as “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,” but added, “In the meantime, I have two more years at the helm of NCA and lots of work to do.”