2011 AHPA Awards

The American Herbal Products Association’s (AHPA) is proud to announce the winners of its fifth annual AHPA Awards to recognize individuals and companies making substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.

"AHPA honors and thanks 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."


Edward J. Fletcher, chief operating officer of Strategic Sourcing Inc.(r.), accepts the 2011 AHPA Herbal Hero Award from Katie Huggins, AHPA board chair.

Edward J. Fletcher, Chief Operating Officer, Strategic Sourcing, Inc.

Edward Fletcher is honored as the 2011 AHPA Herbal Hero in recognition of his outstanding contributions to AHPA committees and initiatives. Fletcher learned the business of cultivated and sustainably harvested medicinal botanicals from the roots up: propagating and growing Native American wildflowers in his family's ornamental nursery business. He currently serves on AHPA's Raw Materials Committee as chairperson and is on AHPA's Board of Trustees, the Advisory Council of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs, and the Botanical Advisory Panel of United States Pharmacopeia.



Winners of the 2011 AHPA Herbal Insight Award (from l. to r.): Michael McGuffin, Daniel Gagnon, Roy Upton, Zoë Gardner,
David Winston, and Lyle Craker. Not shown: Mary Hardy, Tieraona Low Dog, Aviva Romm, and Soaring Bear.

Members of Botanical Safety Handbook (BSH) Revision Expert Advisory Council

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 the members of the Expert Advisory Council for the revision to AHPA's Botanical Safety Handbook, which provides safety data on more than 600 herbs as guidelines for product labels, including contraindications, side effects, and special warnings. This team of professionals dedicated their life-long knowledge to voluntarily review the current information on botanical safety, providing an invaluable service to the herbal community. The revised edition of the Botanical Safety Handbook will be published late this year or in early 2012.



Michael Lelah, PhD, technical director of NOW Foods (r.), accepts the 2011 AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award, which was presented to NOW Foods. Presenting the award is Michael McGuffin, AHPA president.

NOW Foods, Bloomingdale, Illinois

The 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 NOW Foods, based in Bloomingdale, Illinois. A family-owned company since its inception in 1968, NOW Foods enters its sixth decade of providing health-seeking consumers with high-quality, affordable nutrition products. The company has always placed high value on knowledge and learning within its organization as well as on environmental sustainability. Along with those qualities, NOW Foods is recognized for the honesty, integrity and respect not only for the advancement of good health but also for the relationships of trust and respect the firm has built with both vendors and employees.



James A. May of Wisdom Natural Brands (r.) accepts the 2011 AHPA Visionary Award in recognition of unwavering, persistent dedication in the advancement of all-natural stevia. Presenting the award is Steven Dentali, Ph.D., AHPA’s Chief Science Officer.

James A. May, CEO, Wisdom Natural Brands of Gilbert, Arizona

Special Award: The 2011 AHPA Visionary Award is awarded to James May in recognition of unwavering, persistent dedication in the advancement of all-natural stevia. Founder and president of the SweetLeaf stevia brand, May began importing stevia into the United States in 1982 and worked for more than 25 years to achieve regulatory approval. Considered one of the world's foremost experts on stevia, May has been widely lauded for his leadership in spawning a new industry. AHPA recognizes May for his tireless championing of stevia as an agricultural crop in developing countries for family farmers and for promoting stevia as a natural sweetener that could have a role in fighting childhood obesity and preventing diabetes.