REVERE, Mass., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The New England Confectionery Company, Inc., America's longest running, multi-line candy company, today announced the appointment of a new, strategic senior level management team in an effort to energize its iconic brands and expand to an even broader base of candy lovers. The collaborative team has been assembled as part of a carefully planned transition to lead the 160 year old confectioner to unprecedented innovation and brand marketing initiatives, starting with the evolution of the Sweethearts(R) brand from "Marry Me" to "Bite Me!" According to the Board of Directors, current President and Chief Operating Officer Richard S. Krause has been promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer, and current Chief Executive Officer Domenic M. Antonellis has been promoted to Chairman of the Board. In addition, the company announced the appointment of several key leaders who will spearhead the company in the areas of marketing, finance, product innovation and sales.
In December 2007, an affiliate of American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS), purchased the New England Confectionery Company with the goal of revving up the company's innovation and branding engines. According to Jeffrey M. Anapolsky, a member of the company's Board of Directors, after an extensive search, the Board recruited Krause because of his balanced background in both manufacturing and marketing for consumer products companies. After Krause delivered favorable results as Antonellis' Chief Operating Officer, the Board decided Krause was ready to be promoted to Chief Executive Officer.
"Rich is a world-class business leader with a proven track record for superior results," said Anapolsky. "Under his career leadership, he has led four major organizations through significant growth and repositioning by creating highly competitive management teams, driving robust operational initiatives and instilling an inspirational vision of excellence. Rich is highly qualified to lead our vision for the New England Confectionery Company by repositioning existing brands with innovative products and packaging, significantly expanded points of distribution, and increased relevance to consumers."
"Rich will do an outstanding job managing the company's day-to-day operations and I look forward to working with him on setting strategy and vision going forward," commented Antonellis. "Along with the rest of the new team, Rich is introducing exciting ideas into the brands of the New England Confectionery Company that I expect will impress our customers."
In a simultaneous announcement, Antonellis, who had been Chief Executive Officer for 30 years, has been promoted to Chairman of the Board.
"It is not an understatement to say Dom has earned admiration and respect as an icon throughout the confectionery industry," said Anapolsky. "Over the past 30 years, Dom has dramatically improved the company through key acquisitions as well as building a state-of-the-art facility that is North America's largest candy manufacturing plant. Dom will continue to serve as an important resource to the senior management team as we move forward."
The senior team also includes several key executives who will lead the New England Confectionery Company in the areas of marketing, product innovation, finance and sales. The team includes:
- David North, Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, North was recruited to offer leadership and expertise in all of the New England Confectionery Company's finance and accounting operations, including financial reporting and strategic planning, to ensure maximum utilization of company resources. Additionally, North is responsible for oversight of the company's credit, collections and facilities departments. He comes to the New England Confectionery Company from Fast Search & Transfer, the U.S. operations of the Norwegian owned software company.
- Jacqueline Hague, Vice President of Marketing. Hague, a recognized leader in iconic brand marketing for nearly two decades, is leading the charge by creating several exciting new initiatives starting with the Sweethearts brand in 2009. The iconic Valentine's Day candy will now see product innovations year-round, including its first extension with the mega-book franchise, "Twilight." The new Twilight Sweethearts will debut with the launch of the "Twilight" DVD in April and feature such sayings as "Bite Me," "Bedazzle" and "Live 4 Ever." In the summer, Sweethearts will offer another dimension themed around American patriotism. Red, White & You Sweethearts will have red, white and blue colors and bold new flavors, and feature such phrases as "Honor," "Proud" and "Thank You." Hague is an award-winning marketer whose extensive experience in the confectionery industry includes 16 years at Mars Snackfood USA.
These new executives join the New England Confectionery Company's many existing industry veterans, including:
- Hans Becher, Vice President of Sales. Becher has been selling the New England Confectionery Company's products for nearly two decades after approximately 10 years with EJ Brach. Becher and his sales team who will continue to drive products into an expanding network of distribution points. For generations, the company's iconic brands have been reliable performers in drug stores, mass merchants and dollar stores. Becher and his team will be looking to build upon this successful history by targeting new opportunities with grocery stores, wholesale clubs, convenience stores, and specialty retailers. In addition, the sales team recently launched www.neccostore.com for online sales of the company's popular confectionery items (Wisconsin-area fans will be pleased to find that the site includes their beloved Candy Raisins.).
- Jeffrey Green, Vice President of Innovation. Green is celebrating 25 years at the New England Confectionery Company and has been an essential resource for product development and quality. Most recently, he created Cafe Select Chocolate Coffee Trios, a coffee-flavored malt ball, and five new flavors for Haviland Thin Mints. Green leads the development of new flavors, shapes, sizes and recipes to bring fresh perspectives on traditional favorites. He will also focus on building new product lines through innovation and acquisition.
"The New England Confectionery Company's famous brands have been a part of people's lives longer than any other candy company," said Krause. "Our mission is to take a phenomenal company with iconic brands and use that foundation to build the business to a broader and higher level. In 2009, we are launching several innovative product line extensions for our brands to take advantage of current consumer trends, and will include the expansion of new flavors, new packaging, new formats, and new positioning of our products, which we are now selling in coordinated seasonal and everyday programs."
The New England Confectionery Company (www.necco.com) was founded in 1847 and is the longest running, multi-line candy company in the United States. With more than 160 years of history, the New England Confectionery Company's popular brands include: Sweethearts(R), NECCO, Mary Jane, Clark, Haviland(R), Canada Mints(R), Skybar(R), Squirrel Nut Zippers(R), Cafe Select(R), Mighty Malts(R), Candy House(R), Masterpieces(R) and Candy Cupboard(R). Today, the New England Confectionery Company is a leader in seasonal products, particularly for Valentine's Day, and also manufactures well-loved everyday products. More than 500 confectionery items are produced at the company's state-of-the-art headquarters in Revere, MA, which has consistently received a Superior rating from the American Institute of Baking. The New England Confectionery Company also produces private label products and performs contract manufacturing for other confectionery companies. American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) acquired the New England Confectionery Company in 2007.
SOURCE The New England Confectionery Company, Inc.
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