Orlando, FL—The natural products industry gathered at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando from December 5-8  for “A show with a Big and Natural Heart”—the 49thSOHO Expo, produced bySENPA.

Independent retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, and nutritional counselors attended the event, which featured exhibits, networking opportunities (including the 20th annual Golf Tournament) and education programs covering a range of topics including drug-herb interactions, insights fromINFRAon staying relevant and competitive, innovations in digestive care and more. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jeffrey Bland, who presented "A Deep Dive into the Endocannabinoid System" covering cannabinoids including CBD.

Annual SENPA President’s Award

Each year SENPA honors a special individual or company from within the natural foods community with thePresident’s Award. This individual or company is honored for making a long-time contribution to the Natural Products Industry above and beyond commercial success. The 2019 President’s Award Recipient isWholeFoodsMagazine president Howard Wainer.

Howard Wainer, President of WholeFoods Magazine, accepts the President's Award at SOHO.

Lester Burks, President of SENPA, presented the award and discussed Wainer's decades of dedication to the natural products industry. Burks spoke of how Wainer became a partial owner of WholeFoods Magazine (which was founded in 1977) in 1984 (and full owner in 2000). "Howie rebuiltWholeFoodsMagazine, making sure the retailers are always informed and educated so that they can run the best possible store," Burks said. "And he continued to consult, find jobs and do all he can do to help the readers and customers as they were also his friends."

Wainer said, "There are strong natural products retailers all over the country, and they are very dedicated. The greatest award is to be a part of this industry and see it grow."

Heather Wainer, Publisher of WholeFoods Magazine, presents the 2019 Retailer of the Year award to Summer Auerbach of Rainbow Blossom.

Heather Wainer also presentedWholeFoodsMagazine's 2019 Retailer of the Year award to Summer Auerbach ofRainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets & Wellness Center.Read the Rainbow Blossom storyhere.

Stay tuned for more coverage from SOHO Expo, including highlights from Dr. Bland's keynote speech and a look at SENPA's rebrand.
Related: SENPA SOHO Healthfest a Success INFRA Rebrands 2019 Retailer of the Year: Rainbow Blossom