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MIAMI -- Natural Synergies, a network of independent natural, organic, and health food retailers, has named food industry veteran Eric Gutmann as its new president and c.o.o.
Gutmann has dedicated the last 11 years of his professional career to several different aspects of the food business. After spending four years in the mid 1990s as an international commodity trader, importing and exporting meat and pet products throughout North and South America and Europe, Gutmann served as director of operations for Oakbrook Sales, an institutional food service company serving universities, correctional facilities, and senior citizen meal programs throughout the United States. Also, he spent three years managing a food closeout company that sold to dollar stores and mass merchants.
With more than 190 independent natural and organic products retail members throughout the United States that have joined to date, representing a buying power of nearly $250 million, the Natural Synergies independent retail network recently merged with the Authentic Independent Health Retailers Association (AIHR), based in the Southeast, and said it is on target to achieve its goal of 200 members by year's end, and 500 members by 2008.