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Contact: Debra Short, Executive Director
SOHO Expo 46 years and counting!
The 2017 SOHO EXPO Nov. 30 - Dec.3, sponsored by SENPA, hosted over 3000 attendees of the Natural Products Industry. SOHO EXPO, celebrating 46 years, was held at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Fl. for Independent Retailers, Manufacturers, Suppliers and Nutritional Counselors of natural foods and health related products and publications.
“SOHO EXPO continues to prosper due to the wide range of input from its outstanding board and its members, both retailers and exhibitors.” said Carylene Walker SOHO Expo Show Director, “ It’s a place where whether small, large, local or from another country, attendees can meet each other and exchange ideas and grow their knowledge.”
SENPA and Exhibitor sponsored education programs included topics relevant to Business, Wellness and Food and included the topics: Marketing Strategies for Independent Retailers, Managing Pain with Natural Products, Eating the Way Nature Intended, Raising the Standard for Natural Pet Products and Forget What You Know About Probiotics. This year’s Keynote speakers Corrine Shindelar, INFRA and Ken Roseboro, The Organic & Non-GMO Report brought SOHO EXPO attendees the latest Non-GMO news.
The Saturday and Sunday exhibits offered 407 diversified companies showing the latest in products with an equal mixture of foods and supplements. SOHO EXPO hosted over 150 new exhibitors and the show floor echoed a loud buzz while attendees took advantage of seeing the latest and newest products.
2016 Annual President’s Award: Jay Jacobowitz, Retail Insights
Each year the SENPA honors a special individual or company from within the natural foods community
with the President’s Award. This individual or company is honored for making a long-time contribution
to the Natural Products Industry above and beyond commercial success.
“Jay has been a real friend and support to the community of independent natural retailers. I am very happy to honor him with the SENPA President's Award. ”, said Frances Drennen President of SENPA.
Outstanding Service Awards:
Outgoing board member Debbie Cerankowski, Debbie’s Health Foods was presented a plaque for
10 years on the SENPA Board of Directors and her service to the industry.
Election results announced:
At the Annual Business Meeting on Friday, December 2 SENPA membership elected Michelle DuFresne as 2017-2019 SENPA President. “I’m excited to serve such a wonderful association that is packed with passionate retailers” said Ms. DuFresne – KeHE Distributors “The SENPA board members along with the SENPA staff are working hard to bring you an excellent trade show, compelling education events throughout the year and increase the membership base. The future is bright and we are ready to go!”
SENPA members also elected to serve on the SENPA board.
Executive Secretary: Karen Greenway, Get Healthy, Brooksville, FL
Retail Board of Directors: Peggy Ranger, Peggy’s Natural Foods Stuart, FL, Taylor Hamilton, Tunies Natural Grocery & Vitamin Center, Coral Springs, FL
Supplier Board of Directors: Leslie Larsen, Glo Naturally, Maggy Valley, NC, Jerilyn Swindle, Nordic Naturals, Mount Juliet, TN, and Ryan Sensenbrenner, Enzymedica, Venice, FL.
The SENPA supports the growth of businesses that produce and market natural products and promote optimum health. SENPA offers road show education programs throughout the year. These programs offer members the chance to hear from highly qualified Doctors and industry leaders on the latest in nutrition and the natural products industry.
SENPA Hits the Road
The board of directors at SENPA will bring Strategies for Success Road Show to Orlando FL, Nashville, TN, Birmingham, AL and Charlotte, NC this summer to network with Independent Retailers in the SE region. “Education is the Foundation of our industry. The SENPA road show will give the opportunity for better knowledge in serving the healthy consumer and their community” said Jeff Wittman, owner Jeff’s Health and Nutrition and 2015 Education Chair.
“What a great way to network with your peers” says Frances Drennen, owner Manna Grocery in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and President of SENPA, “Being a member of SENPA has kept me updated within the industry and has opened many avenues to benefit my business. The SOHO EXPO alone is worth my membership but I get so much more.”
Board members will make personal visits to stores in the area. “We consider this the best way to understand our membership’s needs and will look forward to personally inviting them to Strategies for Success but also SOHO EXPO Nov. 30 - Dec. 3 in Orlando” said Debra Short, Executive Director-SENPA.
With generous donations from sponsors, handouts and door prizes everyone who attends will not leave empty handed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Continuing the Legacy at SENPA.
On May 1, 2015, the Board of SENPA announced Debra Short will be assuming the position of Executive Director of SENPA working beside Carylene Reed Walker who has served as Executive Director of SENPA/SOHO since 1974. Carylene Walker will be the new Executive Director of SOHO EXPO.
“Debra brings over 30 years of experience and understanding of the industry” says Mrs. Walker. “Debra’s past leadership roles has shown me she not only understands working with a board and association but has the proven passion for our industry.”
Short has 30 years in the Retail sector of the industry and 14 years serving on the Southwest Region Board from 1999 – 2006 and as President of the Natural Products Association from 2006 – 2010. She was awarded NPA Industry Champion Award in 2011. “I am honored to work beside Carylene; she has donated a significant part of her life to make this association what it is today. I look forward to working with her and staff taking the Association to the next generation” said Short.
Walker who has over 40+ year’s dedication to SENPA/SOHO EXPO was honored at the 2014 SOHO EXPO. Mrs. Walker’s leadership will focus on building the SOHO team to continue running the show from in house. She believes this will keep the continuity of quality service everyone has come to expect from the show.
SOHO EXPO 2015 is produced by SENPA and features over 390 exhibiting from ALL aspects of the industry, Dec. 3-6 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Kissimmee, FL, an easy to manage (all under one roof) atmosphere.
One of the first strategic plans to enhance membership is the announcement of the 2015 Road Show Education program – Strategies for Success. SENPA will present a retailer based education program on the road to three cities throughout the south starting June 28th in Nashville, July 19 in Charlotte, NC and ending August 9 in Atlanta area. Ms. Short, along with several board and industry members will be taking time to visit as many stores a possible while in the areas. “The program will serve not only as a way to help retailers learn ways to build their business, learn latest legal and legislative issues and hear a guest speaker, but, as a membership drive for SENPA” said Ms. Short. “The more we understand what our members need from their association the better we both can be.”
SENPA honored Carylene Walker for her 40 years with the Southeast Region during the annual
President’s Party on Saturday evening. The creative “Oscar” program performed by President, Karen
Greenway and Treasurer, Michelle DuFresne also included Past Presidents of SENPA. Carylene started
serving SENPA in 1974 as their secretary and has been the Executive Director since the early 80’s.
She remarked she “loved the industry because of its community of loving people and thanked them for the
ir continued support of her and her staff”. She looks forward to the future of the Southeast Region and
2014 Annual President’s Award:
Sharon Sherman: Each year the SENPA honors a special individual or company from within the natural foods community with the President’s Award. This individual or company is honored for making a long-time contribution to the Natural Products Industry above and beyond commercial success.
“This was a particularly rewarding honor to give this year,” said Karen Greenway, president SENPA.
“Sharon’s outstanding history in the industry started in 1972 as a retailer and is best known for
co-founding PetGuard in 1975. Sharon has tirelessly contributed to the industry through volunteering on
both NPA and SENPA boards. Under her guidance at PetGuard she was the first to bring USDA Certified
Organic pet food to the marketplace and she worked extremely hard to make sure that standard for human
organic product was kept the same for pets. She is an original member of the Organic Pet Food Task
Force and continues to serve to this day making sure that USDA certified Organic standards keep their
”Sharon accepted the award with her usual elegance and humor. Her family business includes her son, Zachary, who surprised her by being at the ceremony.
SOHO EXPO 2017 will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, FL, on Nov 30 - Dec 3, 2017. Educational events are scheduled for Nov 30 - Dec 3, 2017, with the trade-show exhibition taking place Dec. 2-3, 2017. For more details visit SOHOexpo.net.