Chris Kilham, the “medicine hunter” recently visited Ecuador, a major grower of cocoa beans. According to Kilham, cocoa is beneficial for heart health, particularly for supporting healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In fact, the native people, who only drink water mixed with cocoa, “enjoy unusual cardiovascular health,” he stated on It also may benefit those experiencing mental decline.

Gardiner, NY-based Kiss My Face announced that Lisa Yarnell, Ron Gordon and financial partner Caltius Equity Partners will partner with founders Bob MacLeod and Steve Byckiewicz to help grow the company.

Cyanotech Corporation of Kailua Kona, HI has a new president and CEO: Brent Bailey, formerly of Unlocking Potential, LLC, Pharmavite and Del Monte Foods.

NOW Foods of Bloomingdale, IL hired Richard Sharpee, Ph.D., as its scientific research manager.

David Brown, president and CEO of LifeVantage Corporation was voted to be part of the Natural Products Foundation’s board of directors. This is a three-year term.

Bioforce USA of Ghent, NY hired Faryn Keith to be part of its customer service and eCommerce division.

Naomi Whittel, founder and CEO of Reserveage Organics based in Gainesville, FL, was a finalist in several categories from The American Business Awards (Stevie Awards) for Women in Business: Best Entrepreneur and the Best Executive awards. Her company was up for the Best Overall Company of the Year, Most Innovative Company of the Year and Fastest-growing Company of the Year.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2011