SFA to Honor Leadership Award Winners

The SFA will honor the 2020 Leadership award winners at a ceremony at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on Sunday, January 19. The ceremony will immediately follow the SFA Member Update Meeting that begins at 5 p.m. The awards honor champions of the specialty food industry in three categories: Business Leadership, Citizenship, and Vision.

The eighth annual SFA Leadership Award winners are:


Lorenza Pasetti, Volpi Foods, St. Louis, Mo.: Leader of the 117-year-old meat company, with one foot firmly planted in Italian tradition and the other on the accelerator for expansion while maintaining quality. Pasetti oversees four plants that employ 210 people making prosciutto, salumi, coppa, and other Italian-style products.


Elizabeth Stein, Purely Elizabeth, Boulder, Colo.: From a holistic health advocate to an entrepreneur with 76 SKUs, Stein has grown her business as a Certified B Corporation using non-GMO, organic ingredients. She seeks to promote a healthy food system through sustainability and transparency, and to be a force for good.


Natalie Shmulik, The Hatchery Chicago, Chicago, Ill.: As CEO, Shmulik oversees a 67,000-square-foot, nonprofit food and beverage incubator dedicated to helping entrepreneurs build and grow successful businesses. She’s helping expand the industry with employees from the local community.

“The specialty food industry depends on innovation and authenticity in our product development and our business practices. The three entrepreneurs we’re honoring with 2020 Leadership Awards are emblematic of the strength of the industry itself,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of the SFA, in a statement. “It’s an honor to recognize their dynamic impact on business, their communities, and the world.”

Nominations were made by members of the Specialty Food Association and others in the industry. SFA’s Industry Work Group for Recognition selected the honorees from more than 30 nominees. The judges included: Case Fischer, Fischer and Wieser; Lou Foah, Foah LLC; Jonathan Leal, Milo’s Whole World Gourmet, LLC; Maha Freig, Les Trois Petit Cochons; Rex Howell-Smith, Central Market; Scott Jensen, Rhythm Superfoods; Harry Jones, Blackberry Patch; Craig Kanarick, New York Cruise Lines; Dianne Keeler-Bruce, DKB Sales & Marketing; Paula Lambert, Mozzarella Co.; Linda Lipsius, Teatulia; Sharon Meehan, Starbucks; Carrie Morey, Callie’s Charleston Biscuits; Miyoko Schimmer, Miyoko’s Kitchen and Scott Zoeller.

Read more about the winners here.