ABC names Josef Brinckmann as President of its Board of Trustees

© ChristopherBernard / Getty Images
© ChristopherBernard / Getty Images

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The American Botanical Council (ABC) has announced that medicinal plant expert Josef Brinckmann has been elected president of the organization’s Board of Trustees.

Brinckmann has more than 40 years of experience in the herb and medicinal plant industry and extended community. In 1979, Brinckmann began working for the medicinal herbal product company Traditional Medicinals, which was then based in Guerneville, California, and now is in Sebastopol.

Since 2016, he has been the Research Fellow in Medicinal Plants and Botanical Supply Chain for the company. In the early years he played several roles at Traditional Medicinals from purchasing to general manager, then operations manager until leaving in 1986. He returned in 1997 as vice president of research and development and later became vice president of sustainability.

Brinckmann has a long-standing relationship with ABC. He has authored or co-authored more than 60 articles in HerbalGram, ABC’s peer-reviewed quarterly journal, and has been on ABC’s Advisory Board since 2006. For this and many other reasons, ABC recognized his many outstanding contributions by awarding him the ABC Champion Award in 2017.

“ABC is deeply grateful to have someone of Josef’s extensive experience and profound commitment to medicinal plants as the President of the ABC Board of Trustees,”​ said Mark Blumenthal, ABC Founder and Executive Director. “I have known Josef for nearly 45 years, and I have always appreciated and respected his deep, wide, and detailed knowledge of medicinal plants. Josef is an internationally recognized expert on the quality of botanical raw materials as well as their sustainable sourcing and development.”

Gayle Engels, ABC’s special projects director, added: “I am excited to have Josef as ABC’s Board of Trustees president. He has demonstrated his commitment to the organization and its mission repeatedly and his standard of excellence is second to none. Having co-authored 29 herb profiles for HerbalGram with him, I can think of no one I would rather have leading ABC’s Board in this time of transition, opportunity, and growth.”

Brinckmann said: “It is a genuine honor to be entrusted to serve as President of the Board of Trustees of the American Botanical Council, now in its 35th year, alongside ABC’s founder and executive director, my friend and mentor Mark Blumenthal, with my fellow board members, for whom I have the greatest respect.”

Passion and commitment

Brinckmann is an expert on global sustainable sourcing of botanical ingredients, good agricultural and collection practices, medicinal plant conservation, and medicinal plant quality assurance. He has also authored many articles on sustainability and quality in scientific journals, including the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Economic Botany, ​and Planta Medica​.

For almost 20 years, Brinckmann has served on various expert committees and panels at the United States Pharmacopeia. He was a founding member of the board of the FairWild Foundation, an international standard-setting organization for the sustainable commercial harvesting of wild medicinal plants.

Brinckmann was also a key advisor to Ann Armbrecht, PhD, in the creation and development of ABC’s Sustainable Herbs Program. “Josef Brinckmann has been instrumental in the vision and direction of the Sustainable Herbs Program from the outset,”​ stated Armbrecht. “He made the introductions that made my first site visits to herb producers in eastern Europe possible. He has patiently explained the nuances and complexities of the botanical industry to me. He offers suggestions and guidance on specific programs and initiatives. More than all of that, his passion and commitment to doing all he can to care for the plants, the people working with the plants, and the planet inspires and empowers me to do all I can as well.” 

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