Howard Wainer, founder and president of Wainer Finest Communications (publisher of WholeFoods Magazine) received the President’s Award from the Natural Products Association (NPA) in Baltimore. Wainer received this honor for his long-term contributions to the natural products industry. He addressed the crowd in an awards ceremony at the tradeshow:

Today is my birthday and thanks to the NPA, I am receiving the best birthday gift ever. I have spent the last 39 years of my life in this industry and have seen many changes. When it started, it was called the dietetic industry, then the health food industry, and now it is the natural products industry.

As I look back at this wonderful industry, I recall three people who really helped me get started. I am sure most of you who have been in the industry for a while can remember Murray Jaffe, Gene Gomory and David Blechman. These three gentlemen took me under their wings and showed me the ropes.

  Howard Wainer, president
of WholeFoods Magazine

One of the most special things about this market was the old NNFA show every July. This show was like a family get-together. Competitors actually helped each other and we all hugged throughout the show. When it ended, many of us had tears in our eyes because we would not see each other for another year.

When I got the opportunity to have my own publication, I realized what this industry needed was a way to inform and educate. My goal was to inform and educate retailers. Thanks to Dr. Richard Passwater and Jay Jacobowitz, I was able to inform and educate my readers.

For us to continue growing our business, we must answer the questions our customers ask. The question I hear most often is, “Do the products work?” My answer is to look at the results Vitamin Angels has received as a result of providing our products to undernourished and deprived countries and communities.

Thank you so much for this award, as it is the highlight of my career. I accept this award in honor of my late wife, Sandra Wainer. And now I look to my daughter, Heather, to bring us all forward.


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Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2014