BOULDER, Colo., Jan 07, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Organic Center, a leading research institute focused on the science of organic food and farming, announced today that Joan Boykin has been named Executive Director. A natural and organic products industry veteran with over 25 years of marketing, business development and leadership experience, Boykin will spearhead the Center's unique mission of advancing and communicating science to document and expand the environmental and human health benefits of organic food and farming.
The Organic Center also announced that Mark Retzloff has been named Chairman of the Board, filling the position of previous chair, Michelle Goolsby, former EVP for Dean Foods Company, who will remain a member of the board of directors. Steve Hoffman of Compass Natural Marketing will continue to assist the Center in the Development and Communications areas--revamping and strengthening its development activities to support critical research.
New to the Center's board of directors are: Blaine McPeak, President of White Wave Foods; Peter Burns, President and General Manager of Celestial Seasonings/The Hain Celestial Group; and Ryan Black, Founder and CEO of Sambazon. The Center is grateful for the contributions of recently retired board members: Sheryl Lamb, organic advocate; Anthony Zolezzi, Zolezzi Consulting, who now serves as Advisory Director; and Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., Deputy Secretary of Agriculture of the USDA.
"With Joan's deep experience in marketing and communications, and vast network within the organic and natural foods industry, the Board was unanimous that she has the right blend of expertise to guide the mission of The Organic Center," said Mark Retzloff, Chairman of the Board. "Her 13-year tenure at Celestial Seasonings/The Hain Celestial Group, combined with consulting work done on behalf of organic products manufacturers and retailers - from fledgling to long-established - give her an excellent perspective on how TOC can foster communication between industry and consumers on the science behind the many health benefits of organic products. We sincerely appreciate Steve Hoffman's leadership these past two years."
According to Joan Boykin, "The opportunity to serve The Organic Center is also an opportunity to serve society by generating and disseminating scientifically substantiated information that will help individuals make decisions on how to eat and live healthier lives every day. With our esteemed Board and the extraordinary expertise that Chief Scientist, Dr. Charles Benbrook, brings to the organization, we look forward to ensuring that various constituents understand the proven scientific benefits of organics."
In the coming months, TOC will focus research on the potential for organic farming practices to combat global warming and the increasingly evident health risks associated with pesticide exposure in the diet. Dr. Charles Benbrook said, "Along with the Center's new leaders, I look forward to opening up important new areas of work for the Center, allowing us to respond more fully and quickly to the ever-growing array of challenges and opportunities confronting the organic food and farming community."
About The Organic Center
The Organic Center's unique mission is to advance scientific research on the health and environmental benefits of organic foods, and to communicate those benefits to the public. As an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education organization, we envision improved health for the earth and its inhabitants through conversion of agriculture to organic methods. All of The Organic Center's research reports, publications, consumer guides and videos are available free of charge on our website, www.organic-center.org.