The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) presented its annual awards to Steven Dentali, Ph.D.; Aveda, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences; Paula Brown Ph.D.; Robert (Bob) Ullman (posthumous); and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA retired) for their substantive and positive contributions to the herbal products industry. The 2016 AHPA Awards were distributed at the AHPA annual member meeting on Thursday, March 10 at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.
Established in 2006, the annual AHPA Awards acknowledge individuals and organizations that make substantive, positive contributions to the herbal products industry.
The 2016 awards recipients included:
- Steven Dentali, Ph.D., Research Fellow, botanical development for Herbalife, was presented with the AHPA Herbal Hero Award for his sustained and outstanding contributions to AHPA committees and initiatives.
Aveda, The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences, was awarded the AHPA Herbal Industry Leadership Award for outstanding business practices that have helped move the herbal products industry forward.
Paula Brown, Ph.D., Director of the British Columbia Institute of Technology's Natural Health and Food Products Research Group (NRG), received the AHPA Herbal Insight Award for making a significant contribution to furthering knowledge and understanding of botanicals and their uses.
Robert (Bob) Ullman was bestowed with the AHPA Visionary Award posthumously for his unprecedented contributions to the herbal products industry that have helped ensure future success.
Sen. Tom Harkin was given the AHPA Lifetime Achievement Award for his unique and significant contributions to the herbal products industry throughout his entire career.
"AHPA is pleased to recognize the hard work and dedication of these individuals and organizations and greatly appreciates their contributions to the herbal products industry," said AHPA president Michael McGuffin.
Herbal Hero Award
Dentali was presented AHPA’s Herbal Hero Award by Herbs Etc. Owner Daniel Gagnon who highlighted the many contributions Dentali has made to AHPA throughout his career, including serving on committees, the board of trustees, and representing AHPA and the herbal products industry at a number of scientific and technical committees.
“I have always admired Steven’s commitment to the industry, his love of herbs, learning and sharing what he’s learned,” Gagnon said. “He is always willing to help his colleagues.”
In accepting the award, Dentali said he had always wanted to be a scientist, but was unsure what field to pursue until he was influenced by herbalists who brought him into the community.
“I’ve always worked to link herbalists and scientists,” Dentali said. “Bringing together these different points of view helps the community develop a better perspective.”
Herbal Industry Leadership Award
Beth Lambert, CEO of Herbalist & Alchemist presented Cindy Angerhofer, Ph.D., Aveda’s Executive Director of Botanical Research with AHPA’s Herbal Industry Leadership Award and detailed how Aveda has pioneered business practices that set an example for the industry.
“Aveda continues to demonstrate that profit, environmental responsibility and sustainable sourcing can work together,” Lambert said.
“There is a lot of passion in this company to let plants and botanicals speak through Aveda products,” Angerhofer said when accepting the award.
Herbal Insight Award
Dentali presented AHPA’s Herbal Insight Award to Brown noting that she is a pioneer in the science of botanical quality and has published validated methods for botanicals important to AHPA, including Hoodia, Aloe, and Turmeric.
“Throughout her career, Paul has demonstrated a breadth and depth of knowledge that is impressive and unique,” Dentali said.
“The progress of the last few years has convinced me that ensuring quality of botanical products doesn’t need to be that hard,” Brown said when accepting the award. “I predict that we will continue to make great progress in the coming years.”
Tony Young, AHPA’s General Counsel presented AHPA’s Visionary Award to Marc Ullman on behalf of his father Bob who passed away last year. Young described Bob Ullman as a stalwart and legal cornerstone of the supplement industry.
“Bob understood the long game and pulled the industry through the FDA and FDC minefields to help ensure the success the industry enjoys today.”
“My father fought to preserve the rights of Americans to make their own choices in healthcare,” Ullman said when accepting the award for his father. “He took cases that no other lawyer would take and won because common sense was on his side and he worked harder than anyone else.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
AHPA President Michael McGuffin presented Sen. Harkin with AHPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award and stressed the importance of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which the Senator co-authored.
“We must not forget that DSHEA was needed because there was a real threat of FDA acting to reduce consumer choice,” McGuffin said. “Harkin and his colleagues didn’t act on the industry’s behalf, but on consumers’ behalf to help shift from disease care to health care.”
Harkin joked that the award was premature because he hasn’t completed his work to benefit consumers by improving the country’s healthcare system.
“You’re not through with me yet,” Harkin said, noting that his recently created Harkin Institute will work to continue the health and wellness legacy he created in the U.S. Senate. “Keep your eye out. We’re going to continue this effort and we’re going to be asking for your support.”