Keynote Sessions


Tuesday, May 19

8:15 – 10:00 a.m.

Room 183 Level 1

What You'll Learn: Issues impacting the industry, NCA’s strategic priorities; 2015 candy and snacking trends and opportunities; wellness in America; demonstrating industry responsibility.

John H. Downs, Jr.The New NCA

John Downs will kick off the NCA's Sweets and Snacks Expo with a presentation to attendees on NCA’s strategic vision and how it will advocate for the industry in the future.

John H. Downs, Jr., President & CEO
National Confectioners Association

David FreedmanThe Right and Wrong Way to Address Obesity

David Freedman, renowned journalist, has studied and published numerous articles on addressing the obesity issues in the USA on various fronts. David will be sharing his findings and recommendations on candy and snacks.

David Freedman, Contributing Editor
The Atlantic

David FreedmanSnacking and Treating: What We Learned that Will Surprise You

Join Larry Levin as he reviews the key consumer, shopper and retailer changes that are affecting the candy and snack world.

Larry Levin, Executive Vice President
IRI Worldwide


Wednesday, May 20

8:15 – 10:00 a.m.

Room 183 Level 1

What You'll Learn:  Major industry trends impacting candy and snacks; actionable insights and solutions for addressing opportunities and issues.  Topics will be covered in 20 minute Speed Sessions followed by commentary from a panel of retail and industry leaders.

 Mark Sansolo2015 Retailer Impact Forum
Hosted by: Michael Sansolo,

Join industry experts and retail leaders as they address the hottest issues impacting candy and snacks, including:

Peter Whitsett, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing

Joanie Taylor, Director, Consumer Affairs & Community Relations
Schnuck Markets, Inc.

Steve Boomershine, Vice President of Merchandising
GetGo (Giant Eagle)


How will the economic shift to value affect shoppers at traditional and on-line retailers? 

Tina ManikasIn the year 2020, the split between millennials and boomers will be equal. How should retailers and manufacturers address this major shift?

Led by: Tina Manikas, President

Darren SeiferHealth and wellness information to the shopper is the new cost of entry for the candy and snack industry. Find out how retailers are responding to this new challenge.

Led by: Darren Seifer, Executive Director
Food & Beverage Industry Analyst
NPD Group


Thursday, May 21

7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

Room 183 Level 1


Bill O'ReillyUnfiltered perspective on current events and global issues with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.

O'Reilly will offer a hard-hitting, 'No-Spin' perspective on the nation's most important political and economic issues.

Lou Spector Golden Candy Dish Award - An honor presented to a broker who has performed above the normal call of business to promote the category.

Doc Reed Silver Candy Dish Award - The Doc Reed Silver Candy Dish Award is presented to a manager in the sales, marketing, or general management position of a confectionery manufacturer or marketer who has made significant contributions to selling candy. In 2000 the Doc Reed Award and the Silver Candy Dish Award were combined to form the Doc Reed Silver Candy Dish Award.