The NutraIngredients-USA Business Leaders’ Forum

NOW Foods, Herbalife, SmartyPants, and Twinlab execs to talk industry challenges and opportunities

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags Dietary supplements Nutrition

Senior executives from Twinlab, SmartyPants, Herbalife, and NOW Foods will join NutraIngredients-USA’s Stephen Daniells for an hour-long discussion of about the state of the dietary supplements industry – the main events of 2014 and a look ahead to 2015.

What’s hot in dietary supplements? Has the industry been affected by a series of negative articles in the mainstream press and how does it respond to that? Where’s the potential in foreign markets? Can sports nutrition continue to flex its muscle? What’s happening with online retailers? Are there any regulatory hotspots to watch for? What next for GMOs and ‘natural’? What’s on the horizon for 2015? To answer these questions, NutraIngredients-USA has gathered together business leaders from established industry giants and entrepreneurs.

These questions and more will be answered during the NutraIngredients-USA Business Leaders’ Forum 2014​ on December 9, 2014.

For more information and to register for free, please click HERE​.

The expert panel includes:

Jim Emme – CEO, NOW Health Group


Jim has been a member of the NOW management team since early in 1995, and was formerly chief of operations and president of NOW Foods. His unique combination of a Food Science education combined with decades of experience in the design and management of food manufacturing and distribution operations are uncommon in the industry. He grew up on a farm in Indiana, where he developed an appreciation for hard work and dedication, which are part of the strong values system that the NOW brand represents.

Under his management as COO and president, Jim oversaw the expansion of the company’s Puresource operation in Canada from a small distribution facility to a large distribution hub and manufacturing facility. He also managed the acquisition and growth of the Nevada facility from a small distribution center to a manufacturing facility that includes softgel and other production capabilities, as well as state-of-the-art testing labs.

Courtney Nichols Gould, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of SmartyPants Inc

Courtney Nichols Gould- photo

Courtney has spent her professional life in start-ups across a variety of industries. Her experience over the last 20 years, helping to get ideas off the ground, varies from large Ad Networks (24/7 Media) and Publishers (CNET) to software services (Easylink). She also served as COO helping to build and run a company that provides a fast pass for airport security (CLEAR/Verified Identity Pass).

For the last 5 years she has served as Co-Founder & Co-CEO of SmartyPants Inc., a leading preventative health care brand known for making nutrient dense gummy vitamins that you don't have to be ashamed to eat. She is also an advisor/ board member/ donor of Blue Planet Run Foundation and charity:water, dedicated to addressing global water crisis.

Tom Tolworthy, president and CEO of Twinlab

Tom Tolworthy

Tom Tolworthy is a respected industry leader. His experience includes 10 years with The Vitamin Shoppe, including six years as CEO, where he grew the chain's retail business from 80 to 500 stores and increased revenue from $180 million to more than $700 million. Before joining the health and wellness industry, Tolworthy spent 12 years with Barnes & Noble. During his five-year tenure as president in the 1990s he led that company’s expansion, which included the opening of 400 new stores.

Tolworthy’s executive leadership and proven track record for generating strong growth and improving profitability, coupled with his passion for the health and wellness industry, has enabled him to lead Twinlab through a successful turn-around. Since taking the lead, Twinlab has experienced double-digit growth, a strong increase in profitability and a resurgence of Twinlab’s presence in the marketplace. Tolworthy has led initiatives to introduce several innovative product lines, including a bariatric support line and a clean series sports nutrition line. Additionally, Twinlab’s 100-year-old Alvita tea line has been transitioned from traditional to organic, with an improved taste and structure-function labeling.

Tolworthy serves as director on the board for Vitamin Angels.

Andrew Shao, PhD, VP of Global Product Science and Safety, Herbalife

Andrew Shao

As vice president, global product science and safety, Dr. Shao is responsible for assuring that all products sold by Herbalife are safe, meet regulatory safety requirements, and that all product claims are scientifically supportable, ensuring Herbalife’s leadership position in the industry.

Shao joined the company from the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a Washington, DC-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers, where he served as Sr VP, scientific and regulatory affairs.

Shao possesses extensive experience in human nutrition research, nutrition policy, and regulatory affairs. Before serving at CRN, Shao was a senior scientist at General Nutrition Corporation (GNC), and previously, in research and development at Kemin Health (formerly Kemin Foods). 

He is the author or co-author of over 40 peer-reviewed articles, abstracts and book chapters, and is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, the American Society for Quality, the Institute of Food Technologists and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He is the President of the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Alumni Association, and serves as the Chair of the International Alliance of Dietary Supplement Associations (IADSA) Scientific Council.

Shao holds a PhD in nutritional biochemistry and a M.S. in human nutrition science from Tufts University, and a B.A. in biology from Brandeis University.

The forum will be moderated by Stephen Daniells, Senior Editor of NutraIngredients-USA.

The event is supported by the following leading nutritional ingredient suppliers (alphabetically):


Sabinsa​: A manufacturer, supplier and marketer of herbal extracts, cosmeceuticals, minerals, dietary supplements and specialty fine chemicals for the nutritional, cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries.


Soft Gel Technologies, Inc. (SGTI):​ A full-service contract manufacturer, specializing in providing marketers with premium quality dietary supplements in a soft gelatin capsule delivery system. SGTI is dedicated to the production and marketing of branded products and turnkey custom formulations exclusively to the nutraceutical industry including Sytrinol softgels, which contain a patented blend of polymethoxylated flavones and tocotrienols.


Virun​: A nutra-biosciences company formed in 2003, headquartered in Walnut, CA, with an emphasis on safe and effective delivery technology, including the delivery of water-insoluble nutrients like omega-3 into food, beverage and supplements.

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