NPA Announces Award Winners; Wainer Receives Top Honor


Washington, D.C.—The Natural Products Association (NPA) will honor several industry members at its annual business meeting, to be held during Natural Products Expo East on September 17 at 9:30 a.m. at the Baltimore Convention Center in Room 310. Two members of the WholeFoods family are on this year’s list of winners.

Said NPA CEO Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., of the recipients in a prepared statement, “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.”

This year’s President’s Award goes to Howard Wainer, founder and owner of WholeFoods Magazine, South Plainfield, NJ, for his long-term contributions to the natural products industry. Wainer co-founded WholeFoods Magazine in 1984 and has used the publication to educate natural product retailers about important news, regulatory issues and merchandising advice. He handpicked important industry columnists to contribute to its pages over the years such as Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., and Mark Blumenthal.

Jeffrey Bland, Ph.D., will be honored with the Burton Kallman Scientific Award in recognition of his scientific contributions to the industry. Bland is a leader in the nutritional medicine field. He founded HealthComm International, Inc., served as chief science officer for Metagenics and president of MetaProteomics for 12 years, and formed the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute.

The Rachel Carson Environmental Award will go to Anne Kapuscinski, an internationally respected environmental scientist and professor of sustainability science at Dartmouth College. She has made many contributions to conservation policy and sustainability issues.

Elwood Richard will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. Richard was a physical chemist who founded the Fruitful Yield health stores in 1963 and NOW Foods in 1968 to make affordable nutrition products more accessible. Richard and his brother, Louis, cofounded the original NPA Standards Committee. He is currently webmaster of the Natural Health Research Institute.

NPA will give two Industry Champion Awards this year. The first goes to Jay Jacobowitz, president and founder of Retail Insights, and merchandising editor of WholeFoods Magazine. The 37-year industry veteran has helped more than 1,000 natural products retail stores over the years. He regularly speaks at industry events and quoted in industry trade publications. Jacobowitz also serves on several NPA committees.

Jon Benninger, vice president of VIRGO’s Health and Nutrition Network, will also be honored as an Industry Champion for his strategic direction of media brands, events, marketing strategy and more at VIRGO. Benninger is a supporter of many industry associations.

Last, the Socially Responsible Retailer Award will go to Services Foods of Norcross, GA. This company mails and home-delivers natural and organic food to shoppers.


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2014 (online 9/4/14)