Organic agriculture advisor, Luke Howard, is joining Rodale Institute to spearhead its partnership with Warehime Enterprise. Having worked in the organic industry since 2006, the former Chairman of the Maryland Ag Commission will serve as the Institute's Organic Consultant and oversee 2,000 acres of farmland and manage an almost $300,000 annual investment for improving soil health and preserving farmland in the South Central Pennsylvania area. Rodale Institute CEO Jeff Tkach shared his excitement for the new hire: “Howard’s mastery and deep acumen of regenerative organic agriculture, paired with Warehime’s commitment to securing South Central Pennsylvania’s farming legacy, is clearly a recipe for success."

SaudaJohnson.pngSauda Johnson

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has hired Sauda Johnson as Director of Education and Events. As a member of the CRN team, Johnson will manage the company's noteworthy events including its annual dietary supplement industry conference. “We’re excited to welcome Sauda to the CRN team and look forward to her contributions to the array of innovative education and event offerings we’re developing for CRN members and the industry,” said Gretchen Powers, Vice President, Marketing and Member Experience of her new colleague.

AIDP introduced two new directors and promoted two team members under its new business units. Each director will work with AIDP and ThreoTech to develop growth and future opportunities.

  • Taylor Wray has been promoted to Director of Commodities
  • Laurentia Guesman is now Director of Brand Management for ThreoTech LLC
  • Zak Benmerzouga will manage the supplement branded ingredient range of AIDP
  • Angel Aponte will continue as Director of Food and Beverage/Pet Ingredients
BethJarocki.jpgBeth Jarocki

Beth Jarocki is the new Chief Customer Officer for KIND North America. In her new role, she will oversee strategic planning, sales growth opportunities for the brand's product line, and manage the company's sales organization. 

Stratum Nutrition has promoted its former Director of Quality, Danny Long, to Director of Quality & Regulatory, and Mysti Taylor, former Senior Accounts Specialist, to Supply Chain Manager. Taylor has a knowledge of accounts management and understanding of supply chain logistics both ideal for the newly formed position aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies and seamless product delivery from production to the end consumer. Long will continue to manage the company's strict quality assurance processes while navigating the often complex regulatory environment. "These promotions are a testament to Danny and Mysti's exceptional contributions to Stratum Nutrition. They have consistently demonstrated leadership, expertise, and a deep commitment to our core values and mission of delivering quality ingredients to our customers," shared Micah Osborne, President & CEO of Stratum Nutrition.

ElliotGrant.jpgDr. Elliot Grant

Sun World International welcomed Dr. Elliot Grant, CEO of Mineral, to its board of directors. With a Ph.D. in engineering from Cambridge University and two decades of experience with innovation and company-building, Dr. Grant was a CEO of ShopWell, founding CEO of HarvestMark, Vice Chair of the Produce Marketing Association, and currently sits on the board of directors of the International Fresh Produce Association. 

Bell Flavors & Fragrances added several leadership members to its U.S. Flavor and Quality Compliance, Operational Excellence and Environmental Health & Safety divisions.

  • Cody Heinz, Vice President of U.S. Flavor Sales
  • Justin Kozlowski, Vice President and Commercial General Manager
  • Mike Smith, Vice President of Flavors and Fragrances, Quality Compliance, Operational Excellence and Environmental Health & Safety
  • Kenneth Beecher, Director of Manufacturing at Bell's Middletown, NY location

Awards & Honors

Six individuals who were nominated by their peers and chosen unanimously were honored at the 2024 Organic Leadership Awards in Washington, D.C. Since 1997, the Organic Trade Association has been acknowledging industry members for their leadership, vision, and commitment to advancing the organic movement. The 2024 Organic Leadership Award Honorees are:

  • Organic Lifetime Achievement: George Siemon of Organic Valley 
  • Organic Champion: Jenny Lester Moffitt of the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • Organic Groundbreaker: Mac Ehrhardt of Albert Lea Seed 
  • Organic Farmer of the Year: Larry Santos of Taylor Farming 
  • Organic Climate Action: Renaud des Rosiers of Amy's Kitchen 
  • Social Impact: Jyoti Stephens of Nature’s Path

Danone North America named Evan Chrisler from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Arushana Maknojia of Baylor College of Medicine as the winners of its $25,000 Fellowship Grant Program. Chrisler’s research on the effects of timing of ingestion and type of probiotic on metabolism and immunity and Maknojia’s work on the mechanisms by which inflammatory signals from commensal microbes regulate the steady-state blood cell production process were chosen as the winning submissions by a panel of field expert judges looking for research to help further the Gut Microbiome, Yogurt and Probiotics fields. 

Held in Hollywood, CA, the 2024 Vegan Women Summit event looks to recognize global leaders, innovators, and organizations helping propel women's leadership. This year the Woman of the Year award was given to Heather Mills, a pioneer in the vegan movement who created one of the first vegan burger options over 30 years ago. When presented with the honors, Mills expressed her appreciation and determination for the future: "No matter what anyone tells you, vegan fast food is less processed from start to finish than any meat or dairy you could ever eat. Thanks, VWS, for bringing us all together to remind us we have to stand united in our voice and our messaging if we are going to make any difference."

Related: Natural Products Industry News Briefs: WIN, PhytoGaia, Natural Grocers, & More

In Memoriam: Rob Auerbach, Rainbow Blossom

Michael’s Health Celebrates 40 Years!