Published: Monday, March 10, 2014
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) congratulates the winners of the 2014 AHPA Awards presented to Dr. Bronner’s, Daniel Gagnon, Lyle Craker and VIRGO team members for making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.
The 2014 AHPA Awards were presented during AHPA's annual Member Meeting and Breakfast on March 6 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.
Herbal Hero Award
The AHPA Herbal Hero Award was presented to Daniel Gagnon, owner of Herbs, Etc., in recognition of his outstanding contributions to AHPA committees and initiatives.
A practicing herbalist since 1976, Gagnon's passion for helping others was born out of his own childhood health problems, which ultimately put him on the path to becoming an herbalist. Throughout his career, Gagnon has continually worked to educate the public and the medical profession about the practical, healing applications of herbal medicine.
"Daniel is very active at AHPA. He serves on the Board of Trustees, several committees and supports special initiatives -- most recently the Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd Edition," said Ed Fletcher of Strategic Sourcing Inc. "Daniel is an advocate extraordinaire for botanical products and our Industry."
Herbal Industry Leader Award
Michael McGuffin and David Bronner
“I am so psyched we are working together and making significant steps to improve the world,” David Bronner said. “I look forward to a long, fruitful partnership with AHPA.” Also known as the "fighting soap company," Dr. Bronner's regularly puts its money where its mouth is to advocate causes that are important to the industry. The company has been a vocal proponent of organic integrity in personal care, re-commercialization of industrial hemp in the U.S. and consumers' right to know what's in their food by advocating for the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“This company isn’t just a soap maker, it is a visionary organization,” AHPA President Michael McGuffin said. “You are really a hero to me and the industry.”
Herbal Insight Award
Zoe Gardner and Drs. Lyle Craker and Maged Sharaf
“I’m fortunate to be able to pass knowledge down to future generations,” said Craker, who has been a researcher in the field of medicinal plants for more than 30 years and is currently a professor in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “Medicinal herbs and plants is a popular subject and we are able to educate roughly 500 students every year.”
Dr. Craker is also executive editor of the Journal of Medicinally Active Plants. He serves on the board of the AHPA Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals and is also a member of the Expert Advisory Council for the AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd Edition where he has made significant contributions to strengthen this publication. Dr. Craker is also well known for proposing that medical grade marijuana be available for scientific studies into its possible health benefits. Since 2005, he has been trying to obtain a permit from the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to grow marijuana for research purposes.
“The executive team at VIRGO all do their jobs and do them well, but they are also very invested in this industry and it shows,” said AHPA COO Devon Powell.
For more than 15 years, these industry stalwarts have created forums for the industry and provided a platform for emerging issues. VIRGO also regularly partners with industry trade associations to provide guidance and leadership.
“Thank you AHPA members for all you do,” Benninger said. “We are all really invested and really believe in this industry.”
“The herbal products industry has great stories and amazing information and we’re fortunate to be able to tell these stories,” Granato said.
Jon Benninger, Sandy Almendarez, Devon Powell and Heather Granato
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