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Lester G Burks, CEO of Life Line Foods, LLC, has been active as an advocate for the natural products industry, staying abreast of laws and regulations affecting the industry and has worked to help form legislative opinion for DSHEA (Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act of 1994) and NOP (National Organic Program) for the USDA.
Lester believes that the Independent Natural Products Retailers are the backbone of the industry, and have the ability to disseminate and provide vital alternative healthcare information to their customers; therefore, he is a strong supporter in the industry for these Independent Natural Products Retailers.
He has spent his career in the Natural Products Industry, beginning by working alongside his parents in their health food bakery business, Life Line Foods, which produced bakery products under the brand name, Breads for Life. Lester purchased Life Line Foods in 1988 and developed the Breads for Life brand into the #1 Selling Sprouted Whole Grain Bread and produced the first frozen organic pizza distributed in Health Food Stores. Another first was the development of Liquid Dietary Supplements under the brand name Buried Treasure. This made Life Line Foods not only a health food manufacturer but also a producer of Nutriceuticals.
SENPA sponsors the popular SOHO EXPO, held the first weekend in December in Orlando, Florida, as well as two or three educational programs each year. Benefits offered to association members include, credit card processing program, free admittance for member retailers to attend the SOHO EXPO, timely and relevant fax updates, newsletters and much more.
Debra Short has 30 years in the Retail sector of the industry working in her family business in Oklahoma. She completed 14 years serving on the Southwest Region Board from 1999 – 2006 and served as President of the Natural Products Association from 2007 – 2009. She was awarded NPA Industry Champion Award in 2011.
She moved to Florida in 2014 and serves the SENPA membership as the Executive Director in the New Port Richey office.
Michelle DuFresne began her career in the natural and specialty foods industry nearly 24 years ago with KeHE Distributors. Throughout her career, Michelle’s various roles in finance, accounting operations and sales have allowed her to interact on a regular basis with both natural food retailers and conventional grocers, gaining relevant knowledge and experience to serve the industry.
Michelle has served on SENPA Board for the last 5 years, 2 years as Treasurer and 1 year as President Elect. She is also an active member of the national organization, Network of Executive Women. Included in her quest of a balanced and healthy lifestyle is a love for cooking, fitness and golf.
Michelle is a graduate from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Accounting.