SENPA Organizes Southeast Roadshow

New Port Richey, FL—Southeast Natural Products Association (SENPA) is packing its bags and heading to several cities with its Strategies for Success Road Show.

The tour has two prongs. SENPA members and those interested in joining the group can attend a free three-hour workshop to learn business tips, get legislative updates and listen to keynote education sessions for natural products retailers. Cities on the agenda are:

  • Nashville, TN, Sunday June 28th from 2-5 p.m. at the Franklin Marriott in Cool Springs
  • Charlotte, NC, Sunday, July 19th at the Embassy Suites
  • Atlanta, GA, Sunday, August 9th at the Atlanta Marriott

Each event will offer two keynote speakers, who include Leslie Larsen, spokesperson for Europharma USA (all cities); Lester Burke, owner of Buried Treasure (Nashville and Atlanta); and Amber Lynn Vitse, C.N., from Garden of Life's education team (Charlotte). Attendees will receive handouts and door prizes will be given out.

In addition, SENPA board members and certain member companies (including King Bio and Harmony Cone) will visit several natural products stores in the area for short "meet and greets".

According to Debra Short, executive director of SENPA, the board of directors came up with the idea to emphasize their core value: support and education for natural products retailers. She states, "The Board always wanted to do a roadshow-type program because we're based on educating the independent retailer and we want to let them know that there is support out there in the industry for them. We want to be their key support."

Some of the people visiting stores from SENPA are featured in the association's newsletters and e-blasts. "Stores will be able to put a handshake to the faces they've seen," says Short.

Last year, SENPA visited several stores on the east coast of Florida and in Alabama. Based on the positive feedback from these trips, SENPA wanted to expand its visits. Highlights of the trip will be shared with hashtags #IamSENPA and #StrategiesForSuccess.

Says Short to retailers, "We're here for you. We want to let you know that we support the Independent Retailer."

SENPA won't be resting on its laurels after the summer event. Preparations are already in the works for SOHO Expo 2015 (Dec. 3-6), and Short says the group is hoping to organize state lobby days in 2016.

"I'm really excited about it. Even if we don't have an issue on hand, we're going to encourage members to go out and visit their legislators. We're also going to tell retailers how to have an elected official in your store and stage an event for that," Short states.  WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, July 2015 (online May 15, 2015)