Christina Minardi was promoted to EVP of operations at Whole Foods Market, where she will co-lead the retailer’s integration with Amazon, reimagining the customer experience and driving ecommerce initiatives. She will also expand her responsibility for store and regional programs to four regions. Previously, Minardi oversaw 40 stores in three states as the Northeast Regional President
The American Botanical Council named four new executives to its Board of Trustees: Bethany Davis, current director of regulatory and industry affairs for FoodState, Inc., where she’s worked since 2011; Richard Kinston, president regulatory and scientific affairs at SafetyCall International, a company that he co-founded which specializes in adverse event management and regulatory compliance services; Holly Shimizu, most recently interim director of the American Horticultural Society; and Sara Newmark, FoodState’s new vp of social impact. Previously she was senior director of sustainability at New Chapter in Brattleboro, VT and chairs Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility.
Dr. Mark Gelbert was named chief scientific officer for the Nature’s Bounty Co. He will head the company’s research, development, and innovation efforts. Dr. Gelbert had been SVP, global R&D and switch for Pfizer Consumer healthcare.
Susan Canales has been named president of The Organic Produce Summit, the annual produce event dedicated exclusively to the $15 billion organic fresh produce industry. She had been director of operations for the past two years. The summit is slated for July 11-12 in Monterey, CA.
Seidman Food Brokerage’s John Kacsan, a natural products industry veteran since 1970 and past president of SENPA, received the organization’s 2017 President’s Award at SOHO EXPO. With Tree of Life in 1983, he became involved with SENPA and was elected to the board from 1987-1994 and again from 2014-2017. During his board tenure he grew the broker participation to more than 50% of the show floor.
Lester Burks, Life Line Foods, Pikeville, TN, was voted SENPA president elect. Incoming supply side directors are Scott Cloud, Natural Immunogenics Corp., Sarasota, FL, and Andrew Fleming, Signature Group, Westmont, IL. Elected retail directors are Deborah Cerankowski, Debbie’s Health Foods, Orange City, FL, Jackie Davis, Columbia Health Foods, Columbia, TN, Marie Montemurro, Lovey’s Natural Foods & Café, Wilmington, NC, and Renee Southard, Organic Marketplace, Gastonia, NC. Angie O’Pry Blades, Fiesta Nutrition, Monroe, LA was appointed by the Board to the retail director seat.
SENPA acknowledged Frances Drennen, immediate past president, along with outgoing board members Ryan Kruse, Garden of Life; and Taylor Hamilton, Tunie’s Grocery & Vitamin Supercenter.
Pioneering Retailer Terry Dalton Remembered
Terry Dalton, who took the natural foods industry to a new level in the ‘80s and ‘90s, was applauded for his fun-loving humanity and vision following his death in North Florida on Nov. 9 from head injuries he sustained in a bicycling accident.
“Terry definitely was a visionary,” recalled Richard Lewis, who was in his mid-20s when he started working with Dalton at Unicorn Village Natural Marketplace in North Miami Beach. “He had the vision to provide the best to the consumer second to none and improvised to create the best merchandising.
“The industry has taken a 360-degree shift, that’s for sure,” adds Lewis, who remains in the business as general manager of 4th Generation Organic Market and Café in Boca Raton, FL.
“Terry was a super guy,” recalled Howard Wainer, president of WholeFoods Magazine. “He was the first to have a successful restaurant in a store. He helped many people. He was a very warm individual” and his store was “pure to the principles.”
WholeFoods Magazine named Dalton its Retailer of the Year in 1991. Dalton at the time attributed his success to dedication, hard work, patience and good luck. He started out with a 1,000-square-foot health food store in Oregon in 1976 with sales of $200,000. By 1991, his market and restaurant had $14 million in sales and employed more than 300 people.
Dalton sold Unicorn Village to Whole Foods Market in 1995. He then co-founded Sublime Vegan restaurant with Nancy Alexander, founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. In recent years he worked as an occasional consultant.
“I thought the world of Terry. He was a pro’s pro,” recalled Travis Toban, who has been retired for more than a decade. Toban fondly remembers the Halloween parties and clown costumes: “Some of us all just really had a ball when the industry was still a baby.”
“I was always interested in staying healthy and being fit, and also in clean air and water,” Dalton told WholeFoods Magazine, explaining how he got into the business . “So it was a natural extension to become involved in natural foods. It was another part of my pursuit of a better life.”
Dalton is survived by his son Sage, and former wife Kathy (Dalton) Boruff, who reside in Boulder, CO.
ABC Co-Founder Jim Duke Leaves Rich Legacy
James A. Duke, Ph.D., ethnobotanist and a founding father of the American Botanical Council, passed away at his home on Dec. 10. He was 88.
“He was a brilliant, dedicated, funny, and humble man, who earned the admiration, respect, and love of thousands of scientists and herbal enthusiasts,” said Mark Blumenthal, executive director of ABC.
“On his computer most of the day, he was an author of hundreds of articles, an estimated three dozen books, both popular and technical. He was an avid compiler of botanical data from all types of sources for his ‘Father Nature’s Farmacy’ database, and, a humble botanist who preferred to walk barefoot in his extensive herb garden, or, when possible, in the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest.”
Jim was one of the three founders of ABC in 1988 (along with the late Norman Farnsworth, Ph.D., and Blumenthal) and served on its Board of Trustees, in the last years as a Director Emeritus.
“Jim’s huge body of work, his love of plants and people, his sense of humor, and his generosity of spirit are positive examples for all of us,” Blumenthal said.
Jim’s “impact and inspiration for the last three generations on all aspects of the herbal community cannot be overstated,” added ABC Board Member Steven Foster.
“Perhaps more than any other individual, Jim Duke personified the coalescing of science with traditional knowledge on medicinal plants, which he freely shared with passion and heart. He was a prolific ‘compiler’ as he referred to himself, of data on medicinal plants, which he shared in an estimated three dozen books, both popular and technical.”
Jim was a key figure of the “herbal renaissance,” a phrase coined by Paul Lee, Ph.D. He was a renaissance man in the broadest sense.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, on April 4, 1929, Duke was a bluegrass fiddler by age 16, even appearing at the Grand Ole Opry, in Nashville, TN.
In 1955, he took a degree in botany from the University of North Carolina. In 1961, the same institution conferred a doctorate in botany upon him. Postgraduate work took him to Washington University and Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. It was there where he developed what was, as he put it, “my overriding interest — neotropical ethnobotany.”
Early in Duke’s career with Missouri Botanical Garden, his work took him to Panama where he penned painstaking technical descriptions of plants in 11 plant families for the Flora of Panama project, published in the Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
In 1963, Duke took a position with the USDA in Beltsville, MD. In 1977, he became Chief of the Medicinal Plant Laboratory at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, and then Chief of USDA’s Economic Botany Laboratory. At the time, USDA was under contract with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to collect plant materials from all over the world for screening for anti-cancer activity. After the program ended in 1981, Jim continued his work at USDA as Chief of the Germplasm Resources Laboratory. He “retired” from USDA in 1995 and continued to lead tours of his garden. His database remains the most widely referenced section of the USDA website.
Duke is survived by his wife Peggy, daughter Cissy, and son John.
Published in WholeFoods Magazine January 2018