The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) is pleased to announce the winners of its seventh annual AHPA Awards to recognize individuals and companies making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.
The 2012 AHPA Awards will be presented during the association's 30th Anniversary Member Meeting on March 8 at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.
"AHPA honors these leaders for their significant contributions to the herbal products industry," says Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "Each honoree is committed to excellence and understands that continual industry growth depends on the individual actions and decisions made by members of our business and education communities."
This year's award winners are:
The AHPA Herbal Hero Award, which recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to AHPA committees or initiatives, is awarded to Mitchell Coven, founder, CEO, and president of Vitality Works, a privately held nutraceutical, dietary supplement, and homeopathic manufacturing company in Albuquerque, N.M. Coven has served on the AHPA board of trustees for the past 12 years.
Serving his fifth year as treasurer of AHPA's board of trustees, Coven has endeavored to ensure a stable financial position for the organization, allowing it to expand staffing and services to its members. During his 12-year tenure on the board, Coven has spent 11 of those on the executive committee. He has chaired the Finance and Governance Committee and served as development chair for the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals. Coven is in his 30th year as head of Vitality Works, which began in 1982 as a wellness center and compounding supplement pharmacy in Albuquerque. As an early clinician (he was a student of Michael Moore), educator, and pioneer in the field of wellness and herbal medicine, Coven began developing and manufacturing dietary supplement products for health professionals and national and international nutraceutical companies in the 1990s. After years in clinical practice, Coven has since developed and manufactured thousands of formulas for the natural products industry. The Vitality Works facility is GMP certified, FDA registered, kosher and organic certified.
The AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award, which recognizes companies that set an example of outstanding business practices or organizations that work to move the industry forward above and beyond normal business practices, is awarded to Tom's of Maine, located in Kennebunk, Maine.
Over the last 41 years, Tom's of Maine has grown into a natural personal care leader and a thriving business with an array of natural products--from toothpaste and mouthwash to deodorant and bar soap--in stores across the nation. Innovative use of botanicals and decades of botanicals research is a hallmark of Tom's research and development process--it's been central to the company's product development process and critical to bringing new Tom's of Maine products to the marketplace. Since its inception, Tom's of Maine has donated 10 percent of its profits back to the community and gives each employee 12 paid days off per year to volunteer. Tom's of Maine is a company that believes it is possible to be successful while caring for people and the planet.
The AHPA Herbal Insight Award recognizes individuals or non-commercial organizations that have a significant impact on furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses.
This year, the award is presented to Roy Upton, executive director and editor of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Upton is trained in traditional Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Western herbal traditions, has studied Native American and Caribbean ethnobotanical traditions, and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild.
He is a member of AHPA's Standards committee, and sits on the advisory committees for the American Botanical Council, AOAC International, and NSF International. Along with being an author and lecturer, he was co-founder and past president of the American Herbalists Guild and is herbalist and director of the California-based herbal company Planetary Herbals.
Special Award: The AHPA Visionary Award goes to the late Michael Roland Shaw Moore for his approach to botanical medicines, the development of a contemporary approach to herbal practice, and his broad impact on herbalists and the practice of modern U.S. herbalism during the revival of American Herbalism in the second half of the 20th century.
Moore studied Southwestern plants in their natural environment and taught how to harvest, process, and make highly efficacious herbal products from them. His encyclopedic knowledge of plants, developed after nearly 40 years spent as a scholar, herb trader and picker, merchant, ethnobotanist, clinician, teacher, and writer, was unmatched. This personal and intimate knowledge of herbs came together in four books he authored, Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West (1979), Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West (1989), Los Remedios: Traditional Herbal Remedies of the Southwest (1990), and Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West (1993).
His greatest contribution to herbal medicine, though, comes from his development of a common-sense generalist's approach to herbal practice and the engaging personal style in which he transmitted that herbal and physiology-based knowledge. He operated a residency-based herbalist's trade school for more than 25 years, graduating about 600 students, many of whom have gone on to become teachers, practitioners, and members of the herbal industry. Moore, who died in 2009, was preeminently influential in rekindling and furthering the herbal medicine movement in the United States and has been rightfully recognized as the "godfather" of modern American herbalism.
A slideshow honoring Moore, featuring an original Moore composition, "Skeleton Canyon," that was shown at the 2012 AHPA Awards presentation ceremony, can be viewed by clicking on the video below.