Larry Graham NCA
Larry Graham

Do you like candy? Have experience running a national food association? Any background in trade shows? If you answered yes to all of the above, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) could have the job for you — in 2014.

After 22 years as head of the association, NCA President Larry Graham has officially announced plans to retire following the 2014 Sweets & Snack Expo and the search for a successor will soon be underway.

Graham, who has overseen significant changes in the association’s structure, intends to be actively involved in the recruitment and transition process.

“This is an important time in NCA history and it must be done carefully,” says NCA Chairman Mitchell Goetze. “Larry has done a great job and transformed NCA over the last 20 years and we want to keep that momentum going.”

Goetze and NCA Vice Chairman Bob Simpson plan to create a transition process that involves segments of the association’s members and possible outside experts.

It will start with a review of the NCA’s strategic plan by the executive board, which will help determine what they’re looking for in a leader. Then, a search committee will be established and will likely work with recruiting firms to find candidates whose qualifications fit NCA’s needs.

Graham, Goetze and Simpson believe that the new NCA president will need broad experience, a solid knowledge of how Washington, D.C. 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,” Simpson says.

Of course, the association has plenty of time to go through the process.

“I’m looking forward to working with our members to find the best possible successor," says Graham. “In the meantime, I have two more years at the helm of NCA and lots of work to do.”