AUSTIN, Texas, (February 22, 2018) — The nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC) announces Richard “Dick” Griffin as the recipient of its ABC Champion Award for 2017. Griffin has consistently served ABC and other organizations in the natural products community through partnerships with his insurance companies Grifcon Enterprises and Griffin Insurance Services, and his consulting work with R-T Specialty, LLC.
The ABC Champion Award was created to recognize individuals who have been outstanding supporters of ABC and have helped the organization promote and achieve its nonprofit educational mission, whether through monetary support or contributions of time. The generosity of ABC’s friends and members is vital to the nonprofit’s continued success and growth.
“Dick is an extraordinarily generous man,” said ABC Founder and Executive Mark Blumenthal. “He created a great business opportunity for himself and others when he foresaw an opportunity to pool the positive safety records of many companies in the herb and dietary supplements industry to produce the industry’s premier product liability insurance program. This has resulted in great savings for many leading companies, allowing them to invest in other areas of product development, research, and growth. Dick has shared this good fortune with ABC and its members, which has been greatly beneficial to ABC and its educational mission.”
ABC Development Director Denise Meikel commented: “Dick is kind, funny, and a true gentleman. As an ardent supporter of ABC, both personally and professionally, his efforts have helped continue and expand ABC’s reach throughout the years.” Griffin is a commercial lines insurance broker with more than 50 years of experience in the natural products industry. In 1996, he formed the National Products Liability Insurance program for the US dietary supplement industry with the goal of creating insurance products that fit the specific, unique needs of manufacturers and suppliers. Through his idea of pooling applicants, he was able to provide these services with lower premiums and higher standards of safety coverage.
Griffin thanked ABC for the award, stating: “I’ve worked with members of the American Botanical Council and other innovators in the natural products space for many years, and I’m so honored to be awarded this significant recognition. I’ve spent my life’s work finding insurance solutions that help individuals and businesses succeed. I wanted to be sure the innovators could focus on developing products to improve customer health goals while our insurance programs protected their companies.”
Through his work and connections with other companies and organizations in the natural products industry, Griffin fostered a beneficial partnership with ABC and provides the nonprofit with quarterly override contributions. This effort, in addition to other donations initiated by Griffin, has provided ABC with approximately $100,000 since 2010.
Currently, the scope of Griffin’s program has expanded to the cannabis (Cannabis spp., Cannabaceae) industry, with the goal to provide all lines of insurance coverage to medicinal cannabis dispensaries and related businesses in states where these enterprises have been legalized.
ABC created the Champion award in 2015. Previous recipients include Terry Lemerond, founder of Europharma, Inc. and Enzymatic Therapy (2014); Ed Smith, co-founder of HerbPharm (2015); and medicinal plant expert Joseph Brinckmann of Traditional Medicinals (2016).
Griffin’s daughters Nicole and Rene will accept the award on his behalf at the annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony in Anaheim, California, on March 8, 2018. The event, for ABC Sponsor Members, occurs during Natural Products Expo West.