Petra’s Reflections on NBJ Summit
The NBJ Summit is always one of my favorite industry events, and I was so pleased to be there in person this year. I can truly say that I enjoy it, not just for the amazing education and keynote speakers, but also for the time to reconnect in person with partners and colleagues who have become true friends over my 16 years in this industry.
I got a lot out of many of the educational sessions, but of course one of the best was a panel discussion Elan hosted. “Leveraging Brand and Lab Partnerships to Earn Consumer Confidence” featured our partners Charlotte Traas, Director of Education and Content at New Chapter, and Jessica Mulligan, Founder of Winged Nutrition. So good to see such an important topic covered on the big stage!
Of course, NBJ Summit also provides great options for networking and social time. It kicked off with the annual golf tournament, where Bryan Fine and I represented along with with our Alkemist Assured partner True Grace’s Kristie and Brian Hall as our teammates. We continued our annual tradition of sponsoring a boat, specifically a catamaran, with our friends at NutraSource. After a long week, sailing in the San Diego harbor with friends was really a delight! The Summit wrapped up with the What’s Up with Supps retro party, where Elan’s daughter Mazzy won the hula hoop competition!
The NBJ awards night is always a highlight. The shining moment for me personally was seeing our leader, Elan Sudberg, honored on stage for Efforts on Behalf of Industry. In his introduction, NBJ editor Rick Polito described Elan as a rabble-rouser, which made me chuckle! As Rick said, “Elan Sudberg is not afraid to challenge this industry.” One of the most gratifying aspects of working with Elan is that he is never afraid to share his informed viewpoint and freely speaks on what he thinks is right for the industry even when there is no monetary benefit to the company. Read more about Elan’s efforts here.
Also on awards night, Sandy Gooch was given the NBJ Lifetime Achievement award. Sandy was the founder of the legendary Southern California-based Mrs. Gooch’s health food stores. I can vividly recall shopping at her Glendale location when my family first moved to California. It was not in our neighborhood; we had to drive a little way to get there. I remember our family collecting the brochures and recipes that Mrs. Gooch’s offered for public education and instruction on healthy eating. Having never heard her story of empowerment and trail blazing as a female leader in our space, I was quite moved to hear her story.
Kudos to all on the NBJ and New Hope teams for hosting such a successful conference!