2013 AHPA Awards

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

The 2013 AHPA Awards were presented during the association's annual Member Meeting & Breakfast on March 7, 2013 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif.

"AHPA is pleased to recognize the significant contributions that these members of the herbal industry have made to further elevate the status of quality-based botanical products for consumers around the world," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "We hope that recognition such as the annual AHPA Awards encourages everyone involved in the industry to remain committed to the excellence displayed by this year's award winners."

This year's award winners are:

AHPA Herbal Hero Award

The AHPA Herbal Hero Award, which recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to AHPA committees or initiatives, goes to Sidney Sudberg and Élan Sudberg of Alkemists Laboratories, a botanical identification and analytical testing company in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Sidney, Alkemists Labs' founder, chief scientific officer, and vice president of quality, serves on several AHPA committees, including Analytical Laboratories and Standards, Sports Nutrition, and Animal Products. He is also a technical advisor for the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) and serves on various Association of Official Analytical Chemists committees. A research and herbal enthusiast, Sidney started Alkemists Labs in 1997 with the mission of making sure dietary supplements and other natural products are of sufficient quality so that consumers can receive their full health benefits.

As Alkemists Labs' CEO, Élan has grown the company from a two-person show known only within herbal circles into a globally respected brand. A longtime microscopist, he instructs the AHPA seminar "Microscopic Identification of Popular Botanical Materials." Élan is a newly appointed board member of the AHPA Education and Research on Botanicals Foundation, chairs the Cannabis Committee, and has been a member of the working group to develop AHPA's Botanical Authentication Wiki, which is now in a beta stage. He also serves as a technical advisor for AHP.


AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award

The AHPA Herbal Industry Leader Award 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. This year's award is given to Trout Lake Farm, an organic herb grower in Trout Lake, Wash., with special recognition of Martha Jane Johnson, cofounder and sales manager, who is retiring this year after 40 years with the farm.

Johnson and her then husband, Lon, began growing organic culinary and medicinal herbs in the fertile valley below Mount Adams in 1973. Today, Trout Lake Farm operates two locations, employing more than 100 field workers and producing millions of pounds of certified-organic botanicals per year. Trout Lake Farm is the primary supplier of raw botanical materials for Amway's Nutrilite line of supplements.

As sales manager, Johnson not only leads the sales department to continued success but also is also highly involved in crop selection, field production, technical innovations, and science-based prozduct analysis. Her unbending drive and commitment to environmental stewardship and unsurpassed product quality have made her an industry icon.

AHPA Herbal Insight Award

The AHPA Herbal Insight Award recognizes individuals or noncommercial organizations that have a significant impact on furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses. This year, the award is presented to Josef Brinckmann, vice president of sustainability at Sebastopol, Calif.-based tea company Traditional Medicinals.
Brinckmann has 34 years of professional experience in the medicinal herbal products trade. Before assuming his current role, he spent 15 years overseeing Traditional Medicinals' research and development department, where he was responsible for formulation and scientific substantiation of products. Brinckmann is very active in the herbal community, serving as senior consultant for biodiversity products with the International Trade Centre of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Advisory Board member of the American Botanical Council, Advisory Committee member of AHP, and member of the United States Pharmacopeial Convention's Dietary Supplements Monographs Expert Committee.


Special Award - AHPA Visionary Award

The AHPA Visionary Award goes to Lynda LeMole for her pioneering efforts in forwarding the use of herbal medicine. LeMole's work stems back to the very beginning of the natural products movement, the late 1960s, when she used her nutrition education and passion for holistic health and sustainability to teach students and help various companies employ socially responsible practices. LeMole was co-owner and president of Traditional Medicinals from 1983 to 2003, where she helped roll out the nation's first over-the-counter medicinal teas. From 1984 to 1989, she was president of AHPA, helping to develop its Code of Ethics, industry standards, and herb safety and identification guidelines. LeMole was executive director of United Plant Savers from 2003 to 2011 and continues to sit on its board of directors.

LeMole's contributions to the industry are invaluable, as she has inspired, taught, and supported legions of individuals, organizations, and businesses in the advancement of medicinal herbs.