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NCA and PMCA partner on first-ever course on quality control in confectionery

Responding to the repeated requests from confectionary professionals, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) and PMCA, an International Association of Confectioners, co-sponsored a three day intensive quality control course in Chicago this past November.

“The course had more than 40 participants and sold out quickly once it was announced. It’s clear that the industry is seeking more training in this area and NCA and PMCA want to make sure we meet their needs,” commented Eileen Scherzinger, NCA’s technical programs manager.

The course provided a mix of theory as well as interactive instruction and exercises on the topics of basic statistics, statistical process control, HACCP, pest management, documentation, recalls, lean manufacturing as well as plant and food security.

Lean manufacturing was one of the most dynamic and unique sections of the course since it demonstrated a simulation of operations in a manufacturing facility and course participants were then tasked with the challenge of making the operation more efficient. “It was interesting. Especially the ‘hands-on’ activity. I’ve never experienced this kind of exercise, even in Japan,” commented one of the course participants.

Yvette Thomas, PMCA’s administrative director, added, “Both NCA and PMCA were most grateful to the individuals and companies who graciously donated time and expertise to the success of the course including Sterling Thompson, Bill Vipperman and Jan Patrick of The Hershey Company; Steve Calhoun, Bob Riley and Tom Mackie of Masterfoods, USA; and Erdogan Ceylan of Silliker Laboratories, Inc.”

Course participants who earned a certificate of completion were:

Peter Blommer
Blommer Chocolate Co.

Victor Calderon
Ghirardelli Chocolate

Shelley Carr
The Warrell Corp.

Michael Coco
Gertrude Hawk Chocolates, Inc.

Caryn Doerr
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company

Kaylyn Doyle
QA Products, Inc.

Mike Drehobl
Georgia Nut Company

Roselle Esquivel
Georgia Nut Company

Chris Fewkes
Ferrara Pan Candy

Jim Foley
Gimbal’s Fine Candies

Mary Garcia
Ghirardelli Chocolate

Derek Glade
Taffy Town, Inc.

Kyle Hellmer
Debelis Corp.

Kevin Hoban
Adams & Brooks

Jeff Jackson
A.M. Todd Co.

Patricia Johnson
R.M. Palmer Co.

Alan Johnson
Zachary Confections, Inc.

Tanti Jonathan
Gimbal’s Fine Candies

Gina Konnick
The Topps Company, Inc.

Kathy Kull
Blommer Chocolate Co.

Jon Lieber
Ghirardelli Chocolate

Angelo Losurdo
Georgia Nut Company

Mark Love
Atkinson Candy Co.

Marty Lum
KTM Services, Inc.

Cindy Martinez
Ferrara Pan Candy

Kelly Mattson
Peerless Confection Co.

Shelley Matus
Elmer Candy Corp.

Renata Meneghel
Cornfields, Inc.

Arlen Moser
Blommer Chocolate Co.

Greg Motto
World’s Finest Chocolate

Tsukasa Numata
Morinaga & Co., Ltd.

Tracy Palka
Long Grove Confectionery

Peggy Pelucca
Dagoba Organic Chocolate

Chato Prado
Ferrara Pan Chocolate

Scott Ringen
Clasen Quality Coatings, Inc.

Jason Ritchie
R.M. Palmer Co.

Analee J. Rubio
Just Born, Inc.

Bobby Sitz
Tri-State Candy

Julie Spencer
World’s Finest Chocolate.

Jon Strein
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company.

Amy Voltz
Judson Atkinson Candies

Clifford Walsh
American Licorice

This is the third technical course of its kind that NCA and PMCA have co-produced together in the past two years. Larry Graham, NCA President concluded, “NCA and PMCA have cultivated a healthy relationship over the past year and we will continue partnering together to provide the best technical education out there in confectionery.”