Natural Products Association Names Executive Director and CEO

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Natural Products Association Names Executive Director and CEO

The Natural Products Association (NPA), the oldest and largest trade association for the natural products industry, has appointed John F. Gay its executive director and CEO.

“After conducting a thorough search for someone with an outstanding background in advocacy and trade association leadership, John is the ideal person for the job,” said Pat Sardell, president of Washington-based NPA. “He has tremendous experience and a widely respected presence on Capitol Hill. Having already worked closely with many of our congressional champions, he will lead our staff … and association in the development of new champions.”

Gay was most recently SVP, government affairs and public policy, for the National Restaurant Association. During his tenure there, he established and led industry coalitions addressing such issues as the adoption of a national standard for nutrition information on restaurant menus. He also oversaw the group’s political and fundraising programs, as well as one of the largest political action committees in the United States.

Recently recognized by The Hill newspaper as one of the “best in the business for America’s business sectors,” Gay has worked in Washington on policy issues for almost a quarter of a century. He has headed government affairs activities for the International Franchise Association and worked on the staff of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. In addition to his nonprofit experience, he represented international trade interests with Arthur Andersen for 10 years, and began his government relations career by working for a U.S. senator.

Gay will embark on his new role by the time of the NPA board of directors meeting on Nov. 2.

Founded in 1936, the NPA represents over 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements and health/beauty aids.