Natural Foods Merchandiser

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Steve Shriver, the founder and CEO of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Eco Lips, stepped down in September, handing control of the company to Mark Patterson. Shriver will remain the primary stockholder of Eco Lips and chairman of the company's board while he takes a new position with Frontier Natural Products. Patterson has worked for the 6-year-old Eco Lips for the last three years, most recently as vice president of sales.

Park City, Utah-based organic snack bar manufacturer PROBAR hired Whole Foods veteran Matt Jimenez as product development manager. Jimenez had been Whole Foods' regional grocery-promotions coordinator for the Southwest region for several years. Jimenez began working for Whole Foods in 1998.

Sebastopol, Calif.-based Traditional Medicinals appointed Blair Kellison chief executive officer after a year-long search. Kellison has 12 years of executive management experience in the natural products industry, including working at Nestlé.

After 10 years with Rainbow Light Nutritional Systems, Monique Wellise will start at Watsonville, Calif.-based Nordic Naturals as national sales manager for the company's professional sales division. Wellise will oversee sales for the Professional Exclusive line and will also oversee pharmacy sales.

Boulder, Colo.-based Pharmaca Integrated Pharmacy hired Laura Coblentz as vice president of marketing and innovation. Coblentz has 20 years of experience in the natural products industry, most recently as vice president of marketing for White Wave Foods, where she managed the Horizon Organic and Rachel's lines. She also worked as vice president of marketing for Wild Oats for four years, overseeing the development of more than 1,500 products.

Bioforce USA, a Ghent, N.Y.-based company that makes homeopathic medicines and other organic and natural products, announced two new hires in September. Industry veteran Chuck Sackler will step into the newly created position of director of retail sales. Jody Kittle will step in as an in-house sales representative. Kittle rejoins the company after spending 14 years running her own marketing firm that consulted in the natural foods industry.

In Santa Monica, Calif., youth health food manufacturer Nui announced Bill Sipper will serve as chief operating officer of food and beverage operations. Sipper, who has taken an equity stake in the company, brings 18 years of experience launching and managing food and beverage brands as well as experience building and maintaining business relationships with companies such as Whole Foods, Starbucks and Barnes & Noble.

Karen H. Brown, senior vice president of the Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute and corporate secretary to the FMI Board of Directors, announced her retirement, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Brown oversees FMI's communications and marketing, issues advocacy, food-safety programs and member services. Before her appointment as senior vice president, Brown was vice president of communications and vice president of consumer affairs.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 8/p. 43

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