Megan Olsenjoined theCouncil for Responsible Nutritionas its new assistant general counsel based in Washington, D.C.  She most recently held the position of special counsel for Wiley Rein LLP in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, she spent over two years as senior counsel at the Walgreen Co.

Vitamin ShoppeCEOColin Wattsis leaving the Secaucus, NJ-based company in May after disappointing fourth-quarter results. ChairmanAlexander Smith was appointed executive chairman and a search is on for Watts’ successor.

The American Herbal Products Associationawarded its Herbal Hero Award to its AHPA GACP/GMP Working Group —Guillaume Blin(Naturex Inc.),Paolo De Bellis(Indena S.p.A.),April Duffy(Trout Lake Farm, LLC),Staci Eisner(Cortex Scientific Botanicals),Edward Fletcher(Herbal Ingenuity),Heather Folks-Lambert(Trout Lake Farm, LLC-Amway/Nutrilite),Alessandra Storzini(Indena USA Inc.),Jane Wilson(AHPA). It issuedLifetime Achievement Awardsto the lateDr. James A. (Jim) Dukefor Research andSen. Orrin Hatch(R-UT) for Legislation.

At this year’sHall of Legends, New Hope honoredTheresa Marquezof Organic Valley,Lundberg Family Farms,Ron and Arnie Kossof Earth’s Best and Brio Ice Cream, andMarcus Blackmoreof Blackmores, the largest supplement manufacturer in Australia. New Hope also inducted two legends posthumously;John Anthonyof White Road Investments andTerry Daltonof Unicorn Village. Ron and Arnie Koss took the opportunity in their speech to both express gratitude and concern for the direction the industry is taking, criticizing a business environment that has created a greater barrier of entry for new entrepreneurs as well as questioning the integrity of the USDA organic standard.

In Memoriam

Shirley Burks, Life Line Foods Founder

The last of the original founding members of Life Line Foods, Shirley A. Burks, passed on Feb. 10. Gary and Shirley Burks founded Life Line Foods, LLC in 1969. Shirley managed the plant while raising their six children. Her love and work ethic made sure the children and employees were well taken care of. Shirley’s management style was to lead by example, doing whatever it took to make sure top quality natural products were produced by Life Line Foods/Buried Treasure.

Her legacy continues through her son, Lester G. Burks, who is currently the CEO and her grandson, Andrew Burks, as CFO, her grandson-in-law, Luis Alonso, as COO/IT director, and her daughter, Teresa Angel, as shipping department manager.

Duke Field, Maximum Marketing

Longtime industry salesperson Thomas “Duke” Field, age 62, passed away at his home in Chattanooga, TN, on Feb. 15. Duke began his sales career in Bayside, CA, working for the McKesson Corp.  Duke was most recently working as a sales director for Maximum Marketing. He had held many prominent roles during his career including VP of sales for Clif Bar. “Duke Field excelled as a sales executive and held many distinct roles during his professional career,” said his son Jake. “His drive, passion and ability to motivate people provided him the tools to be outstanding at his job and beloved by co-workers and friends.” Duke Field is survived by his mother and father, son and daughter and four grandchildren: Connor, Mackenzie, Caitlin and Eero and his long-time partner Ginger Vitrano.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine April 2018