The American Botanical Council (ABC) is pleased to announce the addition of Neil Blomquist to its Board of Trustees. Mr. Blomquist brings over 30 years experience in the natural products industry as a business owner and manager. He is intimately familiar with the challenges that manufacturers face in ensuring a supply of quality ingredients as well as understanding the workings of the organic products industry.
For the past twelve years, Mr. Blomquist has been an executive of Spectrum Organic Products, Inc. in Petaluma, California, the nation's largest marketer of organically-produced vegetable oils for cooking, salad dressings, dietary supplements, and related food uses. With the recent acquisition of Spectrum by the Hain-Celestial Group in 2005, Mr. Blomquist will be leaving Spectrum to pursue other business and personal interests. He will be working with the new management team as a strategic consultant through 2006 to help with the transition of the brand.
"I am honored to have been asked to join the ABC Board," said Blomquist. "I firmly believe that the work of ABC has played an important role in helping grow the role of herbs in our society and also to help maintain the values that have been the driving force behind this movement. I look forward to helping ABC in moving its agenda into the future."
Originally from Montana and South Dakota roots, Neil Blomquist has been involved in the natural foods industry since its early days in the 1970s. After earning a bachelor's degree in management and economics from the University of South Dakota, School of Business, Neil and his wife Monica, opened a natural foods market in Montana where they both learned the invaluable retailer's perspective firsthand. In 1985 they moved to Sonoma, California. Neil began working for the natural foods distributor Landstrom-Phoenix, where he learned the wholesaler's perspective. Remaining true to his natural foods and whole health roots, Neil sought a career path that would keep him working in a values-driven business environment. He joined Spectrum in 1989 as director of sales and marketing and continued his career in learning the natural products production chain from retail to wholesale to manufacturing and sourcing.
Drawing upon his prior experience to develop new logos, product lines and marketing strategies, Neil's management experience and commitment to natural foods helped catapult Spectrum to a higher level of sales and wider distribution. At Spectrum, Neil exhibited his passion for and commitment to sourcing premium-quality oils and ingredients, including the development of Spectrum's premium quality flaxseed oil line, organic seed oils, organic apple cider vinegar, and organic dressings and mayonnaise.
In 1994, Neil became Spectrum's President and Chief Operating Officer. The acquisition of Organic Food Products in 1998 led Spectrum to its status as a public company. In 2002, Neil became Chief Executive Officer and President of Spectrum.
"We at ABC are honored and grateful for Neil's decision to join us in guiding ABC over the coming years," said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. "Neil brings with him a wealth of experience in business management on the food side of the natural products and organic industries, which will benefit ABC in many important ways."
"Neil's experience running a publicly-traded company is a welcome addition to our Board," said Wayne Silverman, PhD, Chief Administrative Officer of ABC. "His background will help improve ABC's future from the management and finance perspectives."
Blomquist's tenure on the ABC Board began at the March board meeting. He participated at the board's recent meeting in Anaheim, California, during the Nutracon education conference and the Natural Products Expo West conference and trade show.