Leaders in Natural Health and Organics Remember Their Humble Start

The natural health and organic products industry recognized the achievements of individuals committed to the growth of the sector in an awards presentation at the Canadian Health Food Association’s (CHFA), Expo East, October 2-4, 2009.

Top awards at the CHFA People of Excellence Awards on October 3rd were presented to Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe receiving the Hall of Fame Award and Nancy Smithers of Naturally Nova Scotia receiving the Organic Achievement Award. A complete list of award recipients follows.

While Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe, M.S. is Canada’s leading women’s natural health expert, she remembers the last 25 years in the natural health industry where she became passionate about using food and nutrients as medicine. Lorna was editor-in-chief of many health publications including Alive magazine, ProHealth, Healthy Living Guide and the Canadian Schizophrenia Foundation’s Health and Nutrition publication. She also owned her own supplement company, Klaire Laboratories Inc. selling specialty nutrients to doctors, pharmacies and hospitals. Lorna also worked for the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, a medical journal that pioneered complementary medicine, where she gained knowledge from many of her mentors: the late Linus Pauling, Dr. Emanuel Cheraskin and Dr. Abram Hoffer to name a few. She has spent almost a decade developing and formulating women’s food supplements and has written over nine books including her latest books, Sexy Hormones and Your 30 day Heart Smart Solution. Lorna holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and master’s degree in nutrition.

Organic Achievement Award recipient Nancy Smithers remembers her start producing herbal tinctures in her kitchen in Nova Scotia in 1993. She chopped the tough roots of plants as yellow dock, which was thought to benefit the digestive tract, liver and skin. She started Naturally Nova Scotia a year later and today, the company is Canada’s leading manufacturer and distributor of certified organic, whole food natural health products with a 30,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on a 250-acre organic farm employing more than 30 people. The CHFA award adds to Nancy’s list of achievements: a Premier's Commendation recognizing leadership in Quality Management Practice in 2004; a Nova Scotia Women of Excellence Award in 2007; and most recently, an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Saint Mary's University in Halifax which recognized her entrepreneurial contribution and ongoing support for academic research in the herbal sciences.

The CHFA congratulates Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe and Nancy Smithers as well as all the award recipients for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of the natural and organic products industry.

Expo East is the 24th largest trade show in Canada as recognized by TradeShow Week, the leading business-to-business trade magazine covering the U.S. tradeshow industry. East Expo returns to Toronto October 21-24, 2010.

CHFA People of Excellence Awards
Expo East 2009

CHFA Hall of Fame Award
Lorna R. Vanderhaeghe

Organics Achievement Award
Nancy Smithers, Naturally Nova Scotia, Dartmouth, NS

Spotlight Award Environmental, Supplier
SunOpta Inc., Burnaby, BC

Spotlight Award Environmental, Retailer
Whole Foods Market, Toronto (Yorkville), ON

Brock Elliott Memorial Award for Retailing Excellence
Nature’s Source, Mississauga, ON

Gord Storie Memorial Bursary
Carolyn Spence, Lyn-Dys Health Food, London, ON

Jack Gahler Memorial Award for Excellence in Inside Sales
Donna Bannister, Purity Life Health Products, a SunOpta Company, Acton, ON

Jack Gahler Memorial Award for Excellence in Field Sales
Bruce Chapman, SISU Inc., Burnaby, BC

Supplier of Excellence
Renew Life Canada, Oakville, ON

Preferred Nutrition Award for Excellence in Retail Sales
Deborah White, Burlington Health Foods, Burlington, ON

About Canadian Health Food Association:

The Canadian Health Food Association is the largest organization dedicated to the natural and organic products industry in Canada. The Association represents growers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers of natural and organic products, including foods, vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, fibres and health and beauty aids.

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