Natural Foods Merchandiser

Rand Skolnick, 1958-2008

Rand Skolnick, president and chief executive of Solgar Vitamin and Herb died in early July. He was 50 years old.

He had more than 25 years' experience in the natural products industry. Solgar was a family-run business started by his mother and father, Allen and Connie Skolnick, more than 50 years ago. Mr. Skolnick began working for the company as soon as he graduated from high school in 1975. He worked between college semesters while attending Emory University in Atlanta.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979, he joined the family business full-time. Within five years, he took the Northeast regional brand national. After the success of Solgar's national expansion, Mr. Skolnick became the youngest CEO in the natural products industry. In 1989, he started Solgar Europe. Within 10 years, Solgar supplements were sold in more than 42 countries.

" [Rand] was a true visionary with a positive, can-do attitude," said Bill Arthur, the former global head of marketing for Solgar. " I owe my life's work in the industry to him. He was a great mentor."

In 1998, when Solgar was purchased by American Home Products, Mr. Skolnick left the company. In 2005 he resumed his position as CEO. He redirected the distribution of Solgar products to the natural foods industry and, for that effort, was named the 2008 recipient of the President's Award by the Natural Products Association.

Mr. Skolnick was a philanthropist who volunteered time, money and corporate commitments to several AIDS organizations in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to Jewish nonprofits and other community groups.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 8/p. 7

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