Sunsweet Growers Inc., Yuba City, CA, announced that Dane Lance, the company’s current chief operating officer, has been appointed president and Brad Schuler was promoted to vice president of global sales and marketing.

Austin, TX-based American Botanical Council added Thomas Newmark (formerly of New Chapter) to its board of trustees.

Becky Wright is now the communications and marketing manager for Aker BioMarine Antarctic US, with headquarters in Issaquah, WA.

The Natural Products Foundation of Washington, D.C. added two new members to the Legal Advisory Council: Jim Prochnow and Justin Prochnow of Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Gabrielle Alahouzos will be the new vice president of membership services at the Natural Products Association of Washington, D.C.

Jim Griffiths, Ph.D., was appointed vice president of scientific and international affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition of Washington, D.C. Griffiths most recently worked with the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Scott Steinford is now the president of Doctor’s Best of San Clemente, CA.

Nutraceuticals International Group of Paramus, NJ added John Callandrillo to its sales team.

Mary Hiner joined P.L. Thomas of Morristown, NJ as director of the food/beverage business development. Shadi Riazi joins the company as senior food technologist, and Robert Berman is the new international marketing manager.

NattoPharma ASA of Oslo, Norway has a new CEO: Hogne Vik, M.D., Ph.D., MBA.

Sabinsa Corporation, headquartered in East Windsor, NJ, hired Daisy Herpin, M.S., to be the quality assurance and quality control manager of its Utah plant.

Stacey Nottingham, D.C., and Scott Fogle, N.D., from Life Extension of Fort Lauderdale, FL will be guests on The Suzanne Show on the Lifetime Network. Nottingham will discuss the effects of menopause on the female libido, while Fogle will review hormone imbalances in men.

In Memoriam
Jacques Dikansky
, chairman and founder of Naturex, based in Avignon, France, passed away at the end of September. The company said he was “a source of inspiration for his employees with whom he shared his passion for the industry of plant-based ingredients for more than 20 years.” Dikansky’s vision and strategic acquisitions are credited for helping make Naturex successful.

WholeFoods recently learned that Omega-Life, Inc.’s president David R. Nelson died in May.

Natural Products Expo East ended on a very sad note when the industry lost a good friend and colleague. Peter Eric Baskauskas died of sudden cardiac arrest on September 22 at the age of 56.

Baskauskas most recently served as sales manager with UAS Labs, and previously spent over a decade working in sales for Quality of Life Labs (QOL). Before that, he worked for Lane Labs.

He had many friends in the natural products industry, due to his warm nature and sense of humor. “I was very sad to hear about Peter. He was a very sweet man; always happy and ready to greet you with a hug,” said Heather Wainer, publisher of WholeFoods Magazine.

Baskauskas will be remembered for his optimistic attitude, too, said Maccy Franzé, director of operations at QOL. She stated, “There are no words to express the sadness of losing a great friend and wonderful colleague. Peter had such a positive outlook on life and always made sure that everyone around him was happy and smiling; he would do whatever was needed to get the job done. Our industry has suffered a tremendous loss and I am sure that everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him will miss him terribly, I know I will.”

Steve Katz, also of QOL, speaks of him as a happy-go-lucky friend: “He was a giving man, always thinking about everyone else first. He had a heart of gold and kindness. I truly have lost more than a friend. He has made a mark in many people’s lives. He will be remembered and missed.”

Baskauskas was originally from Huntington Station, NY, but grew up in Brockton, MA. He was a varsity athlete in high school and played college football at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts, serving as the team’s tri-captain as a senior. His friends knew him as a devout fan of the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Celtics.

He was a loving father of three children. Katz adds, “He was a great father. He spent all his spare time with them, giving them guidance and direction. He was not only a father to them, but also a friend to them. He truly was a family person.” Those wishing to do so may send donations to the Peter Baskauskas 2012 Children’s Trust at Bank of America, 2600 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306, account #3250-0791-3338.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2012