Natural and organic product distributor Nature’s Best has named Tom Echolds president and Tim Groff EVP and COO. Groff also remains CFO.
The two will serve on the company’s executive management team and report to Jim Beck, CEO of Nature’s Best, which is based in Brea, Calif.
“During the past seven years, Nature’s Best has benefited from the explosive growth of our industry, coupled with our own corporate objectives, and we see no signs of slowing down,” said Beck. “Tom and Tim have assumed greater internal responsibilities and played instrumental roles as we have expanded, and these appointments are positive reflections on the significant growth of Nature’s Best and their equally significant contributions.”
With more than 30 years of industry experience, including the creation and implementation of strategic processes to directly support the profitable growth of Nature’s Best, Echolds will assume day-to-day company oversight with a continued focus on business development. Prior to joining Nature’s Best, Echolds served in multiple sales and marketing capacities at Corning Inc. and subsequently was responsible for West Coast business development at Corning’s Foodservice Division.
A Nature’s Best veteran of more than two decades, Groff’s financial acumen and focus on cash and debt management have supported the company’s decision to remain privately held. Moving forward, he will oversee operations, purchasing, marketing, HR and legal. Before joining Nature’s Best in 1990, he served as CFO of private-equity-owned computer reseller Univar. He also has held financial positions with Oak Industries, Rohm and Haas Co., General Motors and Merisel.
Organic pioneers Gladys and Walter Lindberg opened the doors to a retail nutrition store in Los Angeles in 1949. The store grew into a chain that was considered the first health food “superstore” in Southern California. Acquiring Nature’s Best in 1969, the family has grown the company into the largest privately owned wholesaler-distributor of health and natural food products in the country, with Certified Organic Distributor credentials. The company also has developed Cadia®, a fast-growing private label that encompasses organic products such as pasta sauces, soymilk and snacks.
The company’s fleet of multi-temperature delivery trucks serves health and natural food stores, independent supermarkets and restaurants throughout a dozen western states. Its ocean liners serve customers in Hawaii, Alaska and Asia.