Austin, TEXAS (February 27, 2018) — The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces that Jon Benninger, vice president of Informa Exhibitions’ Global Health & Nutrition Network, is the recipient of the 2017 ABC Mark Blumenthal Herbal Community Builder Award.
The annual award, named for ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal, is given to an individual who has played a significant role in creating a sense of community among herbalists, researchers, members of the herb and natural products communities and industries, and others who work in the area of medicinal plants.
At Informa, Benninger is in charge of the strategic direction and growth of two of the largest natural products trade shows in the United States, SupplySide West and SupplySide East, as well as that of Natural Products Insider, a leading industry publication. In addition, he frequently collaborates with those responsible for other Informa events, such as Natural Products Expo West and Vitafoods, and the Nutrition Business Journal.
“It is an incredible honor to be associated with the people who have received this Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award in prior years,” said Benninger. “I must share this recognition with all of my colleagues in our company and our industry who have been a part of SupplySide over the last two decades. It is a privilege to work with all of you toward our shared vision of healthy people, healthy markets, and a healthy world.”
Blumenthal noted: “Jon is responsible for creating and growing one of the global herb industry’s most significant events: the SupplySide West trade show and conference held every year in Las Vegas. Through the SupplySide events, Jon has brought together thousands of people: herb growers, producers, brokers, manufacturers, consultants, and numerous other stakeholders in the global botanical industry and extended community. Many people in the fast-growing herb and dietary supplements industry owe a debt of gratitude to Jon for his vision and foresight in creating the highly beneficial SupplySide shows.”
Benninger began working for the Phoenix, Arizona-based media company Virgo Publishing in 1995 as the founding editor of Natural Products Insider. One year later, in 1996, he helped launch Virgo’s first SupplySide trade show, which was held in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2014, Virgo was acquired by London-based Informa. Prior to his current position, Benninger worked in a variety of roles at Virgo, including editor, publisher, group publisher, business development director, and vice president of business development.
Benninger also serves on the boards and committees of various organizations in the natural products community. Currently, Benninger is a member of the American Herbal Products Association’s communications committee, the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s communications and media outreach committee, and the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA). In addition, he is a member of ABC’s Director’s Circle and on the board of trustees of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. Previous recipients of the Community Builder Award include Ikhlas Khan, PhD (2016), the director of the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Natural Products Research; Michael Tierra (2015), herbalist and co-founder of the American Herbalists Guild; Loren Israelsen (2014), president of UNPA; Sara Katz (2013), co-founder of Herb Pharm and past president of the United Plant Savers (UpS); and Rosemary Gladstar (2012), herbalist, teacher, author, and founder of UpS.
The award will be presented to Benninger at the 13th Annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony in Anaheim, California, on March 8, 2018. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during Natural Products Expo West.