VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 11, 2008 – The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) honoured individuals in the Canadian natural health and organic industry for their outstanding contribution to the development and growth of the sector in an awards presentation April 5 during CHFA Expo West, April 3-6.
The industry paid tribute to Ms. Donna Herringer with the CHFA Hall of Fame Award, the CHFA’s most prestigious award that recognizes long industry service, participation, and impressive achievement over a lifetime.
Donna has been a long-time supporter and participant of the natural health products industry with over 25 years of experience. She started her career as a Sales Representative for Quest Vitamin Supplies Ltd. in 1983 and advanced to the company’s National Sales Manager in 1991. Donna has also experienced life as a natural health retailer when, in 1996, she was Vice President of Sales and Merchandising for the former Sears Health Food & Fitness chain of stores.
However, Donna is best known for her leadership role in elevating the CHFA amongst members of the industry, the public, and the federal government. She joined the CHFA as a member of the Board of Directors in 1994 and became the Association’s first female President in 1997, a position she held until 2003.
It was during her presidency that the federal government decided to regulate natural health products and Donna became a member of the transition team that assisted Health Canada in setting up the new office of Natural Health Products, now known as the Natural Health Products Directorate. Later, she shared her expertise as a speaker on global regulations of health products at health conferences in Australia.
CHFA membership strengthened under Donna’s reign as she implemented professional education programs and an awards program that acknowledged excellence in members. At this time, she also expanded the scope of the industry trade shows produced by the CHFA – inviting prominent speakers such as David Suzuki, Robin Sharma, and David Foote as keynote speakers – and as a result increased revenue by more than 30 per cent, reversing a negative financial slide experienced by the Association.
Donna also created awareness amongst Canadians of the role of natural health products and organics in achieving optimal health by initiating an awareness campaign, National Health Food Month, now recognized each November.
Today Donna is the new Canadian Director of Sales at Naturally Nova Scotia Health Products.
Selected for the CHFA Organics Achievement Award was Dag Falck, Organic Program Manager at Nature’s Path Foods Inc., North America’s largest organic breakfast cereal manufacturer. Raised in Norway, Mr. Falck started his Canadian career in organics as an independent organic inspector in 1989 where he verified a variety of organic crops – from market gardens to field grains. In 1994, he trained and started inspecting organic processing facilities. He joined Nature’s Path in 2003 and currently is responsible for ensuring the sustainable production of organic foodstuffs for the company by working with new and established organic farmers.
Dag is an active participant with a number of groups including the CHFA’s Organic Advisory Council, the Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (advisory board member), and the Organic Trade Association (board member). Other committees include the Organic Regulatory Committee, an ad-hoc group mandated by the organic sector to work with Canadian Food Inspection Agency to develop and implement the organic regulation, and the Canadian General Standards Board - Organic Technical Committee, where he chairs the Permitted Substances List working group.
"The CHFA is pleased to honor these leaders who have worked diligently to advance natural health products and organic agriculture as components of wellbeing for Canadians," said Penelope Marrett, CHFA President & CEO.
A complete list of award winners in the CHFA People of Excellence Awards follows .
The Canadian Health Food Association (www.chfa.ca) is Canada’s largest national trade association dedicated to the natural and organic products industry. Our members represent the entire supply chain including growers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers involved in a variety of industry sub-sectors such as vitamin and mineral supplements, herbal products, homeopathics, sports nutrition products, natural and organic foods, fibres and health and beauty aids. CHFA member products support Canadians seeking optimal health and quality of life.
CHFA People of Excellence Awards
CHFA Expo West 2008
CHFA Hall of Fame Award
CHFA Organics Achievement Award
Brock Elliott Memorial Award for Retailing Excellence
Nature’s Fare Natural Foods Kamloops
Gordon Storie Memorial Bursary
Karen Palfreyman, Health 4 U
Gordon Storie Memorial Bursary
Angela Monkman, Vita Health
Jack Gahler Memorial Award for Excellence in Field Sales
Donna Bannister, Purity Life Health Products Ltd., A SunOpta Company
Jack Gahler Memorial Award for Excellence in Inside Sales
Melanie Smith, Prairie Naturals
Preferred Nutrition Award for Excellence in Retail Sales
Terry Luxton, Lifestyle Natural Foods
Spotlight Award Environmental Retailer
The Organic Grocer
Spotlight Award Environmental Supplier
Genuine Health Inc.
Supplier of Excellence
Renew Life Canada