The Specialty Food Association announces six winners of its fourth annual Leadership Awards honoring members who have gone "above and beyond" in advancing food standards in society – and society itself – by creating social, economic and environmental impact through innovation and vision.

Their achievements range from navigating a food safety crisis to creating products that support both health and the environment to enhancing community through launching food businesses that empower workers in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Africa.  

The winners are:


Kimberly Jung, Rumi Spice

Linda Appel Lipsius, Teatulia Organic Teas

Business Leadership:

John Lowe, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Greg Steltenpohl, Califia Farms


Josh Tetrick, Hampton Creek

Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez, Back to the Roots

"Throughout the specialty food industry, dedicated entrepreneurs demonstrate creativity, business acumen, and a commitment to make the world a better place through their products and practices," says Ron Tanner, vice president, philanthropy, government and industry relations for the Specialty Food Association. "Their efforts toward worker empowerment, protection of the environment, and fair regulations and policies continue to break new ground and inspire others to take action."

The awards will be presented at a special ceremony January 18 at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The keynote speaker is Paul Saginaw, co-owner and founder of Zingerman's Community of Businesses, who has helped build the company into a $50-million-plus enterprise by pursuing a social as well as a business agenda.