NPA recognizes outstanding contributions to industry

NPA recognizes outstanding contributions to industry

NPA announces honorees of the annual NPA to be recognized during Natural Products Expo East on Sept. 17.

The Natural Products Association (NPA) announces honorees of the annual NPA awards for outstanding individuals and businesses that have made valuable contributions to the success of the natural products industry. The awardees will be recognized during Natural Products Expo East on Sept. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center in Room 310.

“The Natural Products Association is thrilled to celebrate leaders and supporters of the industry,” said NPA CEO Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. “This year’s crop of winners represents the awards program’s longstanding tradition of honoring top-tier professionals in the natural products industry. Their passion, dedication and hard work are in step with the association’s mission of securing natural products for all, and we look forward to continuing to support and collaborate with all who strive to further the growth of and access to natural products.”

The winners of the 2014 NPA Awards include:

President's Award: Howard Wainer, South Plainfield, N.J.
The President’s Award recognizes an individual who has made long-term contributions or a one-time, significant impact to the natural products industry. Since 1984, Wainer has been owner of WholeFoods Magazine and is a strong supporter of the natural products industry. He’s used the publication to inform natural product retailers for 30 years and is an advocate for education to help them improve their businesses with the latest information. The magazine has featured news and columns from industry leaders and scientists since its inception.

Burton Kallman Scientific Award: Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., Seattle
The Burton Kallman Scientific Award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding scientific contributions benefiting the natural product industry. For more than 35 years, Bland has been an internationally recognized leader in the nutritional medicine field, focused on explaining complex scientific concepts for easier comprehension. He is a biochemist with dual degrees in biology and chemistry from the University of California - Irvine, and earned a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Oregon. Bland is a Fellow of the Association for Clinical Biochemistry and American College of Nutrition, where he is a Certified Nutrition Specialist.

Rachel Carson Environmental Award: Anne Kapuscinski, Hanover, N.H.
The Rachel Carson Environmental Award honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the protection of the environment. As the inaugural Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Professor of Sustainability Science at Dartmouth College, Kapuscinski is a world-renowned environmental scientist for her work in designing rigorous methods to assess environmental risks of genetically modified fish. She has made extraordinary contributions to conservation policy and sustainability issues. Kapuscinski has received a Pew Fellowship in marine conservation, a USDA Honor Award for environmental protection and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology. She is widely sought as an advisor to governments, the United Nations, and as a member of non-profit boards.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elwood Richard, Bloomingdale, Ill.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed to a pioneer in the natural products industry. Richard is the founder and former president of NOW Foods, a 46-year-old family owned manufacturer that is deeply committed to the natural products industry. He was trained as a physical chemist and joined Fearn Soya Foods, his father’s firm in 1960. In 1963, he founded the Fruitful Yield health stores. In 1968, he founded NOW Foods to supply his stores with a broader selection of affordable products. With his brother, Louis Richard, he cofounded the original NPA Standards Committee and remains active in the industry to this day, as webmaster of the Natural Health Research Institute.

Industry Champion Award: Jon Benninger, Phoenix, and Jay Jacobowitz, Brattleboro, Vt.
The Industry Champion Award recognizes individuals who have made notable contributions to the natural products industry above and beyond commercial success. Benninger is vice president, Health and Nutrition Network, at Informa Exhibitions, formerly VIRGO Publishing, which includes Natural Products INSIDER, Food Product Design, and the SupplySide brand franchise. He is responsible for the strategic direction of media brands, events, marketing strategy and more. Additionally, Benninger volunteers for many industry associations and is a regular speaker at industry events.

Jacobowitz is president and founder of Retail Insights, a professional consulting service providing strategic guidance to the natural products industry. With 37 years of wholesale and retail industry experience, he has helped develop more than 1,000 successful natural products retail stores in the U.S. and abroad. Frequently cited by industry trade journals, Retail Insights is considered an industry source for intelligence on the premium natural and organic retail space. Jacobowitz also serves on several NPA committees. 

Socially Responsible Retailer Award: Service Foods, Norcross, Ga.
The Socially Responsible Retailer Award recognizes an NPA member company that excels with integrating social responsibility in multiple aspects of their businesses, such as volunteerism, education, employee empowerment, environment and health. Service Foods provides all natural and organic food and strives for the purest, healthiest food possible. The company is also committed to protecting the planet and has adopted a carbon signature of zero, recently earning the Certified Carbon Neutral label. With its free health fairs, Service Foods works to spread awareness about healthy living. In fact, Service Foods has been named healthiest employer in Georgia four years straight. The company’s newest division, Green Box Foods, donates two percent of all food sales to the health charity of choice for the corporations it services with its Nutritional Wellness Benefits Solution. Service Foods will present a short video demonstrating its commitment to socially responsible business practices during the awards ceremony.

For more information on the winners, please visit


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