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March 22, 2021

Executive Compensation at the National Confectioners Association

by Anne Paddock

The National Confectioners Association (NCA) is tax-exempt, non-profit trade association (501 (c) 6) that promotes chocolate, candy, gum, and mints along with the companies that make these treats. Based in Washington, DC, the NCA focuses on 6 key areas:

  • Public Policy and Government Affairs
  • Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
  • Industry Affairs and the Sweets & Snacks Expo
  • International Business Development
  • Meetings and Membership
  • Public Affairs and Communications
  • Administration and Finance

A small trade association by numbers:  the NCA raises about $20 million annually (primarily from the expo, membership dues, programs, trade shows, and conferences), spends about $18 million (primarily on compensation for employees and conferences, conventions, and meetings), and has $9 million in net assets.  And, yet the NCA paid out $1,244,000 to the President and CEO, John H Downs, Jr. in 2018. In addition, a $75,000 payment was made to his retirement plan. And, finally, NCA paid for first class travel for Mr. Downs along with companion travel.

32 employees received $6 million in compensation which equates to an average compensation of $188,000. However, only 13 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation with the 8 most highly compensated listed below:

  • $1,244,112:  John H Downs Jr, President and CEO
  • $  327,870:  Elise Fennig, Chief of Staff
  • $  306,144:  Liz Clark, VP, Government Affairs
  • $  292,256:  Chris Gindlesperger, VP, Public Affairs and Communications
  • $  275,733:  Larry Wilson, VP, Industry Affairs
  • $  237,080:  Susan Whiteside, VP, Public Relations
  • $  231,757:  Libby Taylor, VP, Meetings and Membership
  • $  226,829:  Tracy Thompson, VP, Finance

5 of the 8 most highly compensated employees are female while 3 are male.

15 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five highest listed below:

  • $1,158,695:  GMMB, of Washington, DC for public relations
  • $  410,965:  Hamilton Place Strategies, of Washington, DC for public affairs
  • $  345,791:  Propress, of Cleveland, OH for publishing
  • $  310,000:  Convexx, of Las Vegas, NV for trade show management
  • $  299,533:  Olson Frank and Weeda, of Washington, DC for legal/lobbying

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018), click here.

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