Just like the body needs high-quality nutrients to function at its best, the mind and soul need inspiration.

To me, inspiration is the single most important factor in our ability to achieve a healthy mix of happiness and productivity, both at home and professionally. Luck, talent and determination all play roles, but, really, it’s inspiration that drives us to be better than we were yesterday, to jog one more time around the track when exhaustion is setting in or to log one more hour of work after a long day.

And the source of that inspiration? For me, it’s about the people that matter most in my life.

When my 6 a.m. alarm starts blaring, instead of smacking the snooze button—oh, and I’m often tempted to do so—I ask myself this question: “What will inspire me today to be my best?” Without fail, the faces of those that matter most to me come to mind. They make it easier to take a deep breath and move through the dark bedroom toward a hectic day.
A Fabulous Six We all need someone to inspire us to advance beyond what we ever thought was possible, and this industry does not want for amazing individuals to serve in that role. So, in this spirit, we present our 2016 Who’s Who of Manufacturers and Suppliers (page 26).

It wasn’t easy to zero in on just a handful of honorees, but WholeFoods found six individuals that we believe are truly inspiring and whose stories deserve to be heard. We have a pair of company leaders who are giving consumers innovative tools to lead better, more “calmful” lives.

There’s an ingredient innovator whose dedication to science and quality has raised the bar in the supplements industry.

Spoiler Alerts

As the year winds down and businesses are starting to analyze their profits and losses, I’ve been busy at work analyzing fresh data from the 2016 WholeFoods Magazine Retailer Survey. I can’t tell you everything, but I will say that this year’s survey is the biggest and best ever put out by our publication. And, some results may surprise you. Be on the lookout for this year’s survey results in our January 2017 issue.

And, in December, we look forward to sharing yet another inspirational piece: our 2016 Person of the Year. Talk about an industry changer, this person is someone who’s been on everyone’s minds lately and you won’t want to miss this important story that explains how and why.

The December issue with our Person of the Year coverage is one that you won’t want to miss.

Then, we have an incredible female leader who turned her business into a multimillion dollar category leader within a couple years—and now heads a major supplements company.

We also share the story of one man who helped put functional probiotic foods on the map.

And last, we tell you all about one man who is stepping up to the plate to lead one of the most influential industry trade groups as its new president.

I have to say, the conversations I had this month with our 2016 Who’s Who honorees were enlightening. My fingers often couldn’t type fast enough to tell their stories! What all these folks have in common is the ability to zero in on creative new ideas, and to have the courage to step up and make them a reality—no matter how steep the road that lies ahead. Their hands shaped their respective markets in ways that few others have, and we are excited to see how their leadership will advance this industry in the future. WFEditorial

Kaylynn Chiarello-Ebner Editor/Associate Publisher