The potential for growth is limitless when we try new things and don’t hold back. That’s why this past year was a year of firsts for PMCA.

Our Conference Program Committee updated the supplier exhibit at our annual production conference to include some exciting new enhancements.

A new membership tier was approved for emerging companies and consultants, and we took to the road to better educate our existing members about their membership benefits.

Our Education & Learning Committee decided to split our Chocolate & Compound Manufacture & Use course into two separate courses, thereby allowing us to hold our first mini-course focused on compound.

Speaking of splits — our Membership & Marketing Committee divided into two separate committees, with one focusing on membership-related projects and the other tackling a new, all-encompassing approach to marketing.

We exhibited at our first international trade show, ProSweets in Germany, where members of our Connect the Future group conducted market research to gain insight on improving our own events.

Our Student Outreach Committee implemented a Summer Chocolate Experience for two student applicants from the Student Outreach Program.

We thank our volunteers for their tireless efforts in making these firsts possible. Their creativity and energy drive this association forward to achieve more, reach further and continue to evolve gracefully each year.

73rd Annual Production Conference

Program Committee Chair Judy Cooley, Global Confection Connections LLC, Co-Chair Cynthia Angelo, Givaudan Flavors and their team once again planned and carried out another successful conference. This year’s agenda highlighted crystallization, plant operations, cocoa production and regulatory.



Beyond the Basics Speakers


People eating bacon

All Highlights

For the first time, free hall passes were given to those wishing to only walk the supplier show floor. The ability to choose an expanded booth space was provided as a new option for suppliers.

Our attendees love any chance to connect, so our social media team created a conference app that allowed users to check out speakers, get schedule updates, send messages and more before and during the event.













While technology allows us to connect on a global level, it’s important (and, of course, more fun) to connect face-to-face. The annual conference allows people to learn, connect and grow together and create or uphold the long-lasting relationships that make the PMCA family special.


Production Conference: Connect the Future

The Connect the Future team, led by Conference Program Chair Judy Cooley, was formed to brainstorm and conduct research on ways to continue evolving the production conference to meet the changing needs of confectionery professionals.

This research took PMCA to our first international trade show, ProSweets in Cologne, Germany. Booth attendants Judy Cooley, Tracy Troutman (retired, The Hershey Company) and his wife Jill found that conference attendees most value networking and keeping tabs on what’s new — trends, technologies, equipment — everything. We also discovered an overwhelming international interest in confectionery training, including the basics.

The CTF group’s research extended to our own production conference, where Tracy conducted multiple focus groups. One of the resulting key insights from attendee feedback sparked an exciting program change for 2020 — breakout sessions.

The Connect the Future team also developed a fun, informal presentation that could be given over lunch to help existing members better understand their membership benefits and get the scoop on production conference details. We visited three member companies for these Learn-Connect-Grow lunches to discuss these topics (over pizza!).

Short Course Program

We held three short courses in confectionery technology — Chocolate Manufacture: The Basics & More, Panned Confections and Using Compound: Composition, Production & Applications. Gracious host companies, dedicated instructors and generous donors help make these exceptional learning experiences possible.

Thank You, Course Hosts









chocolate course

Chocolate Photos

panning course

Panning Photos

Compound Course

Compound Photos

Visit our highlights page to check out photos, press releases and more from all of our most recent courses.

For more details on the chocolate, panning and compound courses, watch the annual update from our Education & Learning Committee Chair Peter Jamieson, SPI Pharma.


Student Outreach

Our Student Outreach Program is designed to engage young and aspiring confectioners at the conference and throughout the year, providing opportunities to interact with industry professionals and each other. For this past conference, we added our first students-only breakout session, hosted by Barry Callebaut, where students put their senses to the test with a guided chocolate tasting.

In addition, students participated in all the usual student program events — a welcome breakfast, a Q&A luncheon led by a panel of industry professionals and a farewell gathering. Each student is assigned a mentor to help them to navigate the event.

If you’re interested in becoming a mentor, contact











The Student Outreach Committee, chaired by Carly Meck, Blommer Chocolate Company is pleased to announce Ghadeer Makki, Cornell University and Anna Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Madison as the recipients of the first PMCA Summer Chocolate Experience, hosted by Lindt & Sprüngli. The students will visit the plant for a day and a half to learn from industry professionals, network and ask questions. Both will provide feedback on their experiences at the end of the visit.

If your company is interested in hosting a similar student experience in the future, please contact

Student membership has seen substantial growth, and we can only anticipate this pattern will continue. The committee plans to increase its marketing outreach to give even more schools and students the opportunity to engage directly with the confectionery industry.


Divide & Conquer

To more expressly address the growing opportunities and undertakings of both the membership and marketing aspects of the association, our Membership & Marketing Committee split into two committees.

Previous Membership & Marketing Committee Chair Mark Freeman, Shank’s Extracts, transitioned to Membership Committee Chair. We welcomed Angie Sanchez, Barry Callebaut to her first PMCA chair position, as she took on leadership of the newly-formed Marketing Committee. 

Our new member tier, created for consultants, emerging companies and entrepreneurs, provides an even more accessible route to membership for small and new companies as well as industry consultants. 










Alan McClure

Our 2018/2019 research grant recipient, Alan McClure, University of Missouri has been conducting research on the topic of Bitterness Minimization through Roasting Optimization of Cacao. Alan and his adviser, Dr. Ingolf Gruen, visited with two Pennsylvania companies to get a closer look at chocolate manufacture during the beginning stages of research.

For more in-depth info on research, check out the annual update from Committee Chair Eric Schmoyer, Barry Callebaut.

Terianne Hamada

The Penn State Food Science Cocoa, Chocolate & Confectionery group named Terianne Hamada as the recipient of the 2019 PMCA/Pennsylvania State University Graduate Fellowship Award. She will be visiting with member companies this summer.

The Research Committee has also been busy working on developing a podcast to follow up with past research participants, answering questions and discussing any challenges they may have encountered. We’ll keep you in the loop on this project as it progresses. 

New Directors

During the PMCA Annual Meeting of Members held Tuesday, April 9, 2019 at the Lancaster County Convention Center, Ashley Searing, The Hershey Company and Joe Sofia, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate were ratified as the newest members of PMCA’s Board of Directors beginning July 1, 2019.

Joe Sofia

Joe Sofia, Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate

Ashley Searing

Ashley Searing, The Hershey Company

What’s Next?

We’ve got some exciting events coming up you won’t want to miss. Save these dates!

The Science & Sensory of Chocolate Manufacture Short Course

Sept. 18-20, 2019 | UC Davis, CA

Learn More or Register Now

Cannabis in Confections & Snacks Symposium

Nov. 5-6, 2019 | Sacramento, CA

Learn More or Register Now

74th Annual Production Conference

April 20-22, 2020 | Lancaster, PA

Please check back in the fall for registration info

Opportunities to Learn, Connect & Grow

There are many ways to participate in PMCA. We want to empower you to enhance not only your company, but your career. Find the opportunity that’s right for you.

If you’re not sure, let us know — we’ll help you choose!


There are lots of ways to contribute your enthusiasm, knowledge and talents to the association. Join a committee, help instruct a course, present at our conference or become a student mentor. There are lots of opportunities to become involved. Contact us to find the right fit for you.


Companies that donate ingredients or product to our short courses contribute immensely to the success of our education program. Contributors are recognized in course materials, on our website and in the press release. Visit our courses page to see what we have coming up.


We’ve taken to the road visiting our members’ facilities, giving brief, informal presentations on the benefits of PMCA membership. We want to make sure employees know what resources are available to them by virtue of their employer being a PMCA member. Pizza and refreshments are provided! Contact us to learn more or schedule a Learn-Connect-Grow lunch.


We would not be able to deliver high-value courses without the generosity of our host facilities. Benefits of hosting include complimentary registration for two company employees as well as recognition in the trade press, member newsletter, course materials, membership directory and more. Contact us to learn more about hosting.

Stay on top of everything PMCA by connecting with us on social media.

From the Chair

Ed Wilson

Our mission and vision would not be possible without the continued support of all our officers and committee members who continue to volunteer their time to produce all the PMCA activities available to members today. Equally important to PMCA’s success are the member companies which allow their employees to take time away from their primary duties to be on PMCA committees. Without their support and the guidance of our staff we could not be the organization we are today.

Being part of PMCA this past year has demonstrated to me that we are not standing still; we continue to evolve and to be relevant to ourselves and our industry. As you read this year in review, you’ve discovered all the exciting activities we are working on. The past year has been a very busy year for all of us at PMCA and we look forward to an even more exciting year ahead.

If this sounds like something you would like to be part of, please contact any staff member, officer or committee member — we are only as good as we are collective.

Ed Wilson, PMCA Chair

From the President

Rose Potts

PMCA continues to evolve and grow!

The world is moving at a fast pace and PMCA has been keeping up and working on getting ahead. To generate some new excitement on the exhibition floor at the PMCA annual conference, complimentary hall passes were offered as well as opportunity for expanded booth space. Both were big hits. 

PMCA is expanding its geographic influence with work in the past year on gathering feedback from international shows as well as different geographic markets here in the US.

PMCA continues to support student outreach with the Student Outreach Program as well as the addition of a special summer experience at a PMCA member company recently.

We are looking forward to exciting education opportunities that were planned in the past year. Did you ever think PMCA would be hosting a cannabis symposium?

Thanks to all the volunteers who have offered their talents this past year as well as our dedicated staff.

I look forward to working with you all in the upcoming fiscal year to do even bigger and better things.


Rose Potts, PMCA President

From the Administrative Director

Yvette Thomas

The ideas were coming fast and keeping up was a challenge, as our 2018/2019 program year offered several new initiatives led by very talented volunteers. Our goal was to find out what you, our members, need to keep up with new technologies and trends, stay on top of your skills and have more connections with industry friends.

You, our members, are top of our list and top of our minds each and every day. Keep the ideas as well as the suggestions for improvements coming. We need your continued support and we look forward to offering programs of value to you and your company in the coming year.

Yvette T. Thomas, PMCA Administrative Director

Thank You

Thank you, volunteers, for contributing your time, talent and passion. Your creativity, motivation and enthusiasm for trying new things allow this association to grow each passing year.

Thank you, longtime members, for your loyal and continued support.

Thank you, new members, for helping us grow the PMCA family.

We hope you’ll continue to learn, connect and grow with us as we move forward into the new fiscal year.


 PMCA is an international association that enhances the companies and careers of confectionery and snack professionals through inspired learning and the building of long-term personal connections, which empowers our members to create products that bring people joy.

Produced by Rachel Halkias, PMCA Administrative & Marketing Assistant in conjunction with PMCA staff and volunteers