The eighth annual SFA Leadership Award winners are:

Clockwise: Lorenza Pasetti, Elizabeth Stein, Natalie Shmulik  

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, CO: 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, IL: As CEO, Shmulik oversees a 67,000-square-foot non-profit 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.

Read more about the winners here.

“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. “It’s an honor to recognize their dynamic impact on business, their communities, and the world.”

Attend the SFA’s Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco and watch the awards presented live at a special ceremony on Sunday, January 19 from 5:00-6:30 pm.

Listen to the acceptance speeches.

YouTube player

View our interviews with Past Winners 2019, 2018, 2017.


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.

Press Registration
The Winter Fancy Food Show is a trade-only show held in San Francisco from January 19-21. For more information or to register for the show, please click here.

About the Specialty Food Association
Founded in 1952 in New York City, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading advocate for the $148.7 billion specialty food industry. Representing makers, importers, entrepreneurs, retailers, distributors and others in the trade, the SFA aims to champion, nurture and connect its members to deliver traditional and innovative new products to consumers that expand consumption of specialty foods. With over 3,800 member companies, the Association helps its members through providing information, research, educational events, and celebrating the industry through its awards programs. The SFA is known for hosting the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at

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