About the Event

2016 State of the Industry Conference

Collaboration for Growth

February 28 – March 2, 2016
Trump National Doral | Miami, FL


Each year, more than 600 confectionery leaders and key retailers from all channels attend NCA’s State of the Industry Conference, the industry’s premier learning and networking event. Attendees will gain valuable insights and ideas to apply to their business, all while networking with industry peers.

This conference is the place where leaders in both the confectionery and retail industries come together to refine business strategies and gain a deeper understanding of issues impacting our industry. Attending this conference allows you an opportunity to learn from leading experts, network among your industry peers, and take home the know-how to put these insights into action.

You may register online or by submitting this formClick here to download the latest roster of attendees.

Marketing opportunities are currently available, view them here.

During your stay at the conference, here’s a list of where to eat, play and relax.

Event Highlights


Click to view the program.

Click to download the latest roster of attendees.

What's on the Schedule

State of the Industry Conference
February 28 - March 2, 2016
Trump National Doral - Miami
Collaboration for Growth

Event Schedule

State of the Industry Conference (February 28-March 2, 2016)

Trump Doral / Miami, FL

Collaboration for Growth


Saturday, February 27

6:30 p.m. – Strategic Advisory Council Dinner

Sunday, February 28

8:30 – 11:45 a.m. – Strategic Advisory Council Meeting – Babe Zaharias Boardroom (Lobby Level)

12:00 – 5 p.m. – Board of Trustees Meeting – Crystal Ballroom (Upper Level)

5 – 6 p.m. – Young Professionals Network (YPN) Mentor Panel – Living Room Lounge (Lobby Level)

  • Brian Rinker, Category Manager – Confections, Walgreen Company
  • Tom Joyce, Vice President, Global Customer & Industry Affairs, The Hershey Company
  • Lisa Shapiro, Director of Café and Convenience, Barnes & Noble College
  • Kennith Fries, Vice President Convenience Group, CROSSMARK
  • Laura Christian, National Accounts Manager, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

6 – 7:30 p.m. – Welcome Reception – Crystal Terrace (Upper Level)

Monday, February 29

6:30 a.m. – Wellness Run/Walk – Jogging Trail (meet in hotel main lobby)

7:30 – 8:20 a.m. – Supplier Members Meeting – Majestic Ballroom (Upper Level)

  • Susanna Zhu, Chief Procurement Officer, The Hershey Company

7:30 – 8:20 a.m. – Broker Advisory Committee Meeting – Juniper (Bobby Jones Villa)

7:30 – 8:20 a.m. – Food Safety Executive Overview – Lantana (Bobby Jones Villa)

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Breakfast – Grand Patio

8:30 – 11:15 a.m. – Morning Business Session – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • John Downs, President & CEO, NCA
  • Mark Halperin, Managing Editor, Bloomberg Politics
  • Bryan Gildenberg, Chief Knowledge Officer, Kantar Retail
  • CEO Supermarket & Convenience Channel Outlook
    • Leslie Sarasin, President & CEO, FMI
    • Justin Dye, Chief Administrative Officer, Albertsons Companies
    • Hank Armour, President & CEO, NACS
    • Kevin Smartt, CEO, Kwik Chek Food Stores, Inc.

11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Networking Break – North Foyer

12 – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch Session & Confectionery Leadership Awards – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • Mel Robbins, On-Air Commentator & Opinion Writer, CNN
  • Confectionery Leadership Awards Presentation

1:30 – 2:15 p.m. – Networking Dessert – Grand Patio

2:15 – 3 p.m. – Afternoon Business Session – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • Bonin Bough, Chief Media & eCommerce Officer, Mondelez International

3:15 – 5:30 p.m. – Chocolate Council Meeting – Juniper (Bobby Jones Villa)

3:30 – 5 p.m. – YPN Meet-Up – Royal Palm Pool

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – NCA Spa Networking Event – The Trump Spa

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. – NCA Round Robin Tennis Event – Tennis Courts

6 – 7:30 p.m. – Reception – Royal Palm Pool

7 p.m. – VIP Executive Leadership Dinner in support of NCA’s CandyPAC – Villa Azur

This exclusive event will be open to PAC contributors at the silver level ($1,500) and higher, and will be joined by several retail customer executives attending the conference. Space is limited. For more information, please contact John Downs.

Tuesday, March 1

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – NCA Annual Member Meeting (members only; breakfast served) – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • John Downs, President & CEO, NCA
  • Peter Blommer, President & COO, The Blommer Chocolate Company and NCA Chairman

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. – Retail Forum (retailers only; breakfast served) – Majestic Ballroom (Upper Level)

  • Front-End Merchandising: Driving Shopper Satisfaction & Productivity through Choice
    • Cam Cloeter, President, Impulse Marketing
    • Hank Cardello, Senior Fellow & Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative, Hudson Institute

8:30 – 11:15 a.m. – Morning Business Session – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • Ken Gronbach – Futurist & Demographic Expert
  • Sandy Douglas, President, Coca-Cola North America
  • Hank Cardello, Senior Fellow & Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative, Hudson Institute
  • Women’s Leadership Panel
    • Nancy Krawczyk, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships, Network of Executive Women (moderator)
    • Tracey Massey, President of Mars Chocolate North America
    • Valerie Oswalt, President U.S. Sales of Mondelez International
    • Mary-Ann Somers, Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Core Confection, North America, The Hershey Company
    • Christina Groth, Vice President of Health & Beauty Care and Non-Foods, The Kroger Company

11:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. – Networking Break – North Foyer

12 – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch Session & NCA’s Supplier Member of the Year Award – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • Lori Greiner, The Warm Blooded Shark™, ABC’s Shark Tank

1:15 – 2 p.m. – Networking Dessert – Grand Patio

2:30 – 5:30 p.m. – NCA Golf Networking Event – Golden Palm Golf Course

3 – 5 p.m. – Confectionery Foundation Board Meeting – Latana (Bobby Jones Villa)

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Women’s Leadership Group – Juniper (Bobby Jones Villa)

  • Nancy Krawczyk, Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Partnerships, NEW

6:30 p.m. – Reception & Dinner Party – Crystal Ballroom (Upper Level)

Wednesday, March 2

8:30 – 10 a.m.  – Closing Breakfast Session & NCA’s Advocate of the Year Award – Donald J. Trump Ballroom

  • J.P. Bilbrey, Chairman of the Board and President & CEO, The Hershey Company
  • Bill Rancic, Author of You’re Hired: How to Succeed In Business and Life
Hotel Information

Trump National Doral

Trump National Doral Miami, Northwest 87th Avenue, Miami, FL


Christine Purcell

202.534.1440 ext. 118

Hotel Reservations

Hotel Reservations

A block of rooms has been reserved at Trump National Doral at the special rate of $319 plus tax, and the $20 daily resort fee. Call for reservations 1.855.878.6700 (toll free) or 305.592.2000 (hotel direct) and mention National Confectioners Association 2016 to receive the discounted rate. Reservations can also be made online. The cutoff date is Sunday, February, 7, 2016. Reservations must be cancelled by 5 days prior to 4PM local time day of arrival. Cancellations made within the cancellation period will be assessed a charge of one night plus applicable taxes. A valid credit card is required at time of reservation to guarantee the room.

Trump National Doral is sold out on Tuesday, March 1st.

If you need to cancel your room at the Trump National Doral for any reason, please contact Christine Purcell beforehand.

If you have any questions, please contact Christine Purcell directly.


An additional block of rooms has been reserved at the Provident Doral (an all-suite resort adjacent to the golf courses at the Trump National Doral). Rooms are available at the special nightly rate of $299 (blue king suite) or $349 (deluxe bedroom king suite) plus tax. 3 bedroom villas are available for $549/night. Please contact Christine Purcell for reservations. The hotel is located at 5300 NW 87 Avenue Miami, FL 33178. Reservations must cancelled at least 72 hours prior to arrival By 4PM local time day of arrival. First night room and tax charged at time of booking.

A dedicated shuttle will run between the Trump National Doral and the Provident Doral at numerous times during the day according to our event schedule with the cost included in your room rate.


A third block of rooms has been reserved at the Courtyard Miami Airport West/Doral (a Marriott property) at the special rate of $219 plus tax. Rooms can only be booked through Christine Purcell (email or call 703-282-9982). The cutoff date was Sunday, February 1, 2016, but rooms may still be available. A credit card is required to guarantee the room. Rooms can be canceled up to 24 hours prior to arrival date without penalty. The Courtyard Miami Airport West/Doral is located at 3929 NW 79th Ave, Miami, FL 33166 (approximately 1.1 miles from the Trump Doral).

Airfare Discounts

Airfare discounts are also available for conference attendees. Use the following codes to receive your discount while booking your flights:

  • United: ZVUV
  • Delta: NMMJT
Who's Coming

Andy Batt

Eby-Brown Company LLC

Kim Norman

Ferrero USA, Inc.

Michael Koch

Morley Candy Makers-Sanders Candy

David Read

Printpack, Inc.

Steve Martinez

The Performance Group/ISM

All Attendees