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Jeff Bland and Elwood Richard among annual NPA award honorees

By Stephen DANIELLS , 04-Sep-2014
Last updated on 04-Sep-2014 at 22:41 GMT2014-09-04T22:41:49Z

Elwood Richard, the founder and former president of NOW Foods, and Jeffrey Bland, PhD, a leader in nutritional medicine, are just two of the ‘top-tier professionals in the natural products industry’ to be honored by the Natural Products Association at its annual awards.

“The Natural Products Association is thrilled to celebrate leaders and supporters of the industry,” said Daniel Fabricant, PhD, NPA CEO. “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 2014 honorees will be presented with their awards at Natural Products Expo East on September 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center in Room 310.

The winners include:

President's Award: Howard Wainer, South Plainfield, NJ

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.

Burton Kallman Scientific Award: Jeffrey Bland, PhD, 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.

Rachel Carson Environmental Award: Anne Kapuscinski, Hanover, NH

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.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Elwood Richard, Bloomingdale, IL

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.

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.

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 US and abroad.

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. 

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