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The National Confectioners Association (NCA) has revealed the recipients of its 2015 Confectionery Leadership Awards, which honor contributions to the category through effective business collaboration, category management best practices, and innovative in-store merchandising. The winners are Dave Schulze, senior buyer, candy for the H.E. Butt Grocery Co. (H-E-B), and Mike Maslen, VP of sales for the Hudson Group.
Maslen and Schulze will receive their awards at NCA's annual State of the Industry Conference, scheduled for Feb. 16-19, 2015 in Miami.
"This award recognizes the talent and dedication of the industry's retail customers, those who go above and beyond expectations," noted Larry Wilson, VP of customer relations at Washington, D.C.-based NCA. "There were many deserving and worthy candidates submitted for the 2015 Confectionery Leadership Award, but the committee felt strongly that Mike and Dave truly exemplify the visionary thinking it takes to propel the category forward."
"The credit really goes to the entire H-E-B Candy Team, our store operations folks and our loyal Texas customer base," said Schulze, whose San Antonio-based company operates 350 grocery stores.
Created by NCA and Candy & Snack TODAY magazine in 2011, the awards program enables the trade organization's manufacturers and brokers to pay tribute to outstanding confectionery retailers and wholesalers.
The NCA comprises 320 member companies that manufacture and market the vast majority of chocolate confectionery, sugar confectionery and gum sold in the United States, 225 companies who supply those manufacturers, and 115 brokerage companies who serve as third-party sales agents for manufacturers.