Pavlick brings industry and FDA experience to help brands meet the government’s labeling standards. Learn more about her skills.

Meredith Kaufman , Standards Specialist

March 9, 2024

8 Min Read
MarketReady Insights, New Hope’s full-service regulatory consulting program, is part of New Hope Network's Beacon Discovery.

Natural and organic industry veteran Larisa Pavlick has joined New Hope Network as the new regulatory program manager for MarketReady Insights, New Hope’s full-service regulatory consulting program.

With nearly 30 years of experience, Pavlick is well poised to assist brands of all stages achieve regulatory compliance with their product labels, marketing and digital materials. From her time in industry, to serving as an Investigator with the Food and Drug Administration, to managing compliance for leading trade associations, Pavlick is a regulatory expert committed to education, service and fun. We sat down with our new colleague to learn more about her and her vision for MarketReady Insights.  

Welcome to New Hope, Larisa! Tell us a little bit about your professional journey and experience.  

Larisa Pavlick: I have worked in just about every aspect of the food and supplement industry since 1997. My first job was in document control and quality assurance with Unigen Inc., developing plant-based active pharmaceutical ingredients when this was still a relatively novel concept. The company later established premium raw materials, ingredients and finished dietary supplements from the enormous plant library and the studies conducted by the organization.

When Unigen reorganized, I joined its supplement division. The first time I ever read a federal regulation, I was handed a book (21 CFR Part 101) and told to create an appropriate supplement label.  I learned a lot on the job and credit this opportunity with being the foundation for so much that has followed in my career. There were initially five of us working in the small supplement division and as the product coordinator, I wore many hats. I was developing products with our amazing team from concept to launch. I learned how to find and qualify a contract manufacturer, develop a label, comply with regulations—you name it, I learned it.

Larisa Pavlick has joined New Hope Network as the new regulatory program manager for MarketReady Insights

From there, I worked for a larger company owned by Whole Foods Market. I pivoted into a buyer role and began managing a team of manufacturing support buyers. I worked in industry for roughly 12 years when a role with the FDA fell into my lap. I worked as an FDA investigator for the Denver district office, covering much of the West. The FDA lacked an expert in dietary supplements at the time, so I became the go-to person for supplement-related questions. My primary responsibility involved auditing facilities for compliance with GMPs, but I also got to investigate other pressing issues like foodborne illness outbreaks.

I loved my time with the FDA and the opportunity to travel both nationally and to facilities in Asia and Europe, but after eight years, I knew I didn’t want to continue living out of a suitcase. I went on to work for United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA) as the VP of global regulatory compliance and subsequently worked for another trade organization. In these roles, I worked with our international members and helped them understand federal regulations and the FDA’s top enforcement priorities.

What was it like pivoting from industry to government?

LP: Coming from the private sector to the FDA made me a better Investigator. My tactic wasn’t to go searching for noncompliance but rather to help both the companies and the public. My goal was always to help with improvement and education rather than being punitive. Working collaboratively with companies tended to yield better outcomes in terms of improvement and compliance.

How did your eight years with the FDA help you better serve your clients once you returned to industry?

LP: My time with the FDA enabled me not only to become a regulatory expert, but to develop an understanding of the FDA’s enforcement priorities. While working at UNPA, I helped our members to better understand top citations from the FDA and how they could ensure compliance with these specific enforcement priorities.

After such a well-rounded career, how does it feel to join New Hope?

LP: It feels like coming home. My first Expo was in 1998. I have worked directly with the SupplySide and New Hope portfolios throughout my entire career and count many Informa employees among my close friends. Coincidentally, my first job as an adult was down the street from New Hope’s new office at the 29th Street Mall in Boulder. Small things like this make me feel like I am in the right place.

Tell us a bit more about MarketReady Insights and your vision for this program.

LP: MarketReady Insights is New Hope’s regulatory consulting service. Our clients include individuals at the proof-of-concept-stage to established brands and we help them meet compliance with FDA, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) regulations. This includes product labels, websites and marketing materials. We work with clients manufacturing packaged foods, dietary supplements, Class 1 medical devices, cosmetics … you name it, we do it.

There are so many opportunities to help companies improve their regulatory compliance because regulations and agency guidance are always evolving. I want to give industry the tools to find a path to compliance. Regulations may be dry for some, but I want to make this fun for our clients too.

I’ve never considered that regulations could be fun. Tell me more.  

LP: Simplify, simplify, simplify! I want to take the hard work out of the client’s lap so that reading and understanding regulations becomes a simple process. There are so many different things to worry about managing a CPG company; I want to take the stress out of labeling compliance.

I would best describe my work style as “casual friendly subject-matter expert.” I put in a lot of hours because I love what I do. When I consult, I put in 150% because I want my clients to succeed. And because I love what I do it also feels fun.

What are you most looking forward to at Expo West 2024?

LP: I love the energy of Expo West. Weeks before the show I already feel giddy with excitement. From the products, to the networking, to the education, it’s such a positive experience because it brings the entire industry together. As a supplement fiend, I love finding new products, learning the science behind the trends, and seeing new ideas come to life. Some of the lasting products in my supplement routine from Expos past include ashwagandha, women’s health botanicals, collagen and Vitamin D.

Where can people connect with you at the show? 

LP: I will be speaking on numerous panels and sessions:  

  • Two Coffee and Compliance gatherings with Beacon Discovery near the entrance of the North Hall on Level 2.

  • Three sessions at Natural Products Business School regarding labels and labeling, how to do it well (key elements of US regulatory compliance) and unfortunate trends to avoid. Business School is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. PDT Tuesday, March 12, in Grand Ballroom F at the Marriott.
    Editor’s note: Add Business School to any badge for $150, which includes post-show opportunities and resources. You can choose this option when you register, or add it to an existing badge by calling 1.303.390.1776 or 1.866.458.4935 (toll free, U.S. only).

  • A session regarding green claims—Sustainable Success: Navigating the Green Wave in Product Marketing, at 4:45 p.m. PDT Wednesday, March 13, in Grand Ballroom F at the Marriott.

  • A panel for Elevate your Brand: How to Leverage Beacon Discovery to Boost Brand & Product Visibility with our partners HowGood and SPINS. This is at 10 a.m. PDT Thursday, March 14, in Elite 1 at the Marriott.

Plus, MarketReady is offering free 15-minute regulatory consulting sessions. Sign up here.

What else should people know about you? What do you like to do outside of work?

I love all forms of outdoor activity whether it’s walking my two chocolate labs, kayaking, riding my motorcycle or practicing yoga. I split my time between Colorado and the Black Hills of South Dakota. I love the Black Hills for the peace and beauty of the natural environment. I have four adult children and one grandchild. Family is super important to me.

Larisa, it has been great talking with you. Parting wisdom for the readers: What is the top labeling mistake you see?

I think the hard part for many product development entrepreneurs is deciding “What do I want to be when I grow up?” By this I mean, what is your product category? Is it a food or a dietary supplement? Or, unfortunately for some, is this a drug due to the claims? Once the product category is decided, the real journey begins, which includes learning, understanding and applying the applicable regulations for your choice.

I have also worked with many companies with novel ingredients who learn, often after significant investment, that their key ingredient is not approved for use in food. It is helpful to work with a consultant early to help determine what your product is and how it can be marketed. Working with a regulatory consultant early on can help you find the success you deserve with proper planning and knowledge.

About the Author(s)

Meredith Kaufman

Standards Specialist, New Hope Network

Meredith Kaufman is a standards specialist at New Hope Network, where she works with trade show exhibitors to ensure their products meet the requirements of New Hope’s Standards Program.

Kaufman has a bachelor’s degree in religion from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and a juris doctorate from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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