America's #1 Gummy Vitamin Brand

Our Experts

Jeff Blumberg, PhD
Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN 
Professor
Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Tufts University
Boston, MA
 

Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, is Professor in the Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston, MA. Dr Blumberg’s research is focused on the biochemical basis for the role of antioxidant nutrients, and their dietary requirements in promoting health and preventing disease during the aging process via changes in the status of oxidative stress, glucoregulation, and inflammation. He has published more than 400 scientific articles and serves on the editorial boards of several scientific journals.

Dr Blumberg was included in Thomson Reuters’ The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2015 (top 1% of cited researchers in his field from 2002 to 2014). In 2016, he was the recipient of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) Mary Swartz Rose Senior Investigator Award for outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health. In 2018, he received the Outstanding Investigator Award from the ASN Vitamins and Minerals Research Interest Section.

Dr Blumberg also participates in activities relevant to the incorporation of sound nutrition science into public health policy. He has served as a member of the US Surgeon General’s Workshop on Health Promotion and Aging, US Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Division, Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Consultation on Preparation and Use of Food-Based Dietary Guidelines, and US Food and Drug Administration Food Advisory Committee, among other committees.

Dr Blumberg received a BPharm in pharmacy and BS in psychology from Washington State University in Pullman, WA, and a PhD in pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.


Michael I. McBurney, PhD, FACN
Michael I. McBurney, PhD
Adjunct Professor
Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences
University of Guelph
Ontario, Canada
 

Michael I. McBurney, PhD, is a Scientific Advisor and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr McBurney was formerly Vice President of Nutrition Science & Advocacy at DSM Nutritional Products, working in Parsippany, NJ, where he provided global leadership in developing, implementing, and executing nutrition science and communications strategies. He was founding Department Head of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, and has held academic appointments at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the University of Toronto in Ontario, Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI, and Tufts University in Boston, MA. Dr McBurney has published 85 peer-reviewed papers, 10 book chapters, 36 proceedings and letters, and 102 technical abstracts.

Dr McBurney is an active volunteer with leadership experience at the American Society for Nutrition, Canadian Nutrition Society, Council for Responsible Nutrition, Institute of Food Technologists, International Food Information Council Foundation, International Life Science Institute, and New York Academy of Sciences. He served as Founding Advisory Board Member of the Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes within the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Dr McBurney was an industry representative (nonvoting member) of the Food Advisory Committee of the US Food and Drug Administration and chaired the External Advisory Board of the Division of Nutrition Sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Dr McBurney received his BS in biology (ecology) from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, and his MS and PhD in nutrition from Cornell University. His accreditations include professional mediation (Texas Mediation Trainers Roundtable, College Station ) and executive leadership I (IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland).


Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
Nutrition Communications Consultant
Atlanta, GA
 

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LDN, has been the Nutrition Director for the number one health and wellness website since 2002. In 2016, Ms Zelman was named Contributing Editor to Food & Nutrition Magazine® of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy). In addition, she served as Nutrition Expert for United HealthCare Services, Inc.’s Source4Women® from 2009 to 2017.

Ms Zelman has been the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including: the Lenna Frances Cooper Memorial Lecture Award for her distinguished career and remarkable contributions to the dietetics profession, and the Media Excellence Award for her contribution and commitment to educating consumers about food and nutrition, both from the Academy; the Nutrition Science Media Award for outstanding science and nutrition journalism from the American Society for Nutrition; the Media Award for Excellence in Consumer Journalism from the Institute of Food Technologists; and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. She has extensive media experience, including cohosting a weekly radio program for 4 years, serving 12 years as a national spokesperson for the Academy, over a thousand print and television appearances, and coauthoring several books.

Ms Zelman has been an invited speaker at professional meetings worldwide, including sharing the stage with First Lady Michelle Obama and US Dept of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack at the launch of MyPlate. She has served as a judge for the James Beard Awards since 2009, and is also a member of the Health Professional Advisors for the Egg Nutrition Center, the Share Our Strength advisory board, LEAD Network, and the Board of Directors of True Health Initiative. Ms Zelman is active in local, state, and national dietetic associations, serving as Director at Large on the Academy’s Board of Directors and for 2 terms on its House of Delegates, and as a Trustee of the Georgia Dietetic Foundation. 

Ms Zelman received her BSc from Montclair State University and her MPH from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.


Lauren Clardy
Lauren Clardy, BSc
President
NutriMarketing Business Group
Roseville, CA
 

Lauren Clardy leverages 25 years of experience in the nutraceutical industry, specializing in functional ingredients, leading-edge bioactives, science-based nutraceuticals, and new technologies. Ms Clardy is Founder and President of NutriMarketing Business Group, and her company plays a strategic and tactical role in developing, planning, and implementing marketing and commercialization initiatives for market leaders and technology visionaries in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

Ms Clardy offers core competencies in innovation, strategy, product development, and business intelligence, and helps companies turn new technologies and scientific breakthroughs into winning products and concepts. She is skilled at bridging emerging science from functional ingredients into consumer products, including regulatory, formulation, and commercial aspects. Her clients range from early-stage innovators to market-leading multinationals.

Ms Clardy has launched numerous companies onto the market to become successful new brands in the industry. She currently serves as Vice President of Brands for AIDP Inc, a leading ingredient supplier to the nutritional industry.  She is a results-oriented leader known for her versatile skill set and ability to cultivate strategic partnerships. Ms Clardy is a popular speaker for the nutraceutical market as an expert in innovation, and trends in the health and wellness industry. She functions as an advisor to several companies, serves on a number of boards, and is a principal advisory member of Nutrition Capital Network.

Ms Clardy received her BSc in nutrition from the University of California, Davis, and has pursued postgraduate work in nutrition at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR.


Laura Harkness, Ph.D., RD, FACN
Laura Harkness, Ph.D., RD, FACN
Dietitian Nutritionist
 

Dr. Harkness is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a PhD in Nutrition from Case Western Reserve University. She leads Global Research & Development for Health & Wellbeing and Personal Care at Church & Dwight Co., Inc., the maker of vitafusion and L’il Critters #1 gummy vitamin brands. She is a nutrition expert with over 30 years of experience in the field and is passionate about food and nutrition. Dr. Harkness specializes in health and wellness innovation, nutrition research, and communication. 

Earlier in her career, Dr. Harkness was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland with a research focus on nutrients that are important in bone health. In addition, her career in science and clinical care has encompassed research and providing care for patients in adult and pediatric intensive care, adolescent medicine, gastroenterology, and surgical units. 

She is currently an active member of several professional organizations, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, American Society of Nutrition, ILSI, and Council for Responsible Nutrition. 

In her free time, Dr. Harkness enjoys cooking and running. She is a long time runner and marathoner. 


Tom Tolworthy
Founder & CEO
VMS Solutions, LLC
 

Tom Tolworthy began his professional career in retail over 30 years ago. He joined Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc. in New York prior to the nationwide expansion of the company in 1989 and served as President from 1994 to 2001. In 2001, Mr. Tolworthy joined The Vitamin Shoppe® in North Bergen, NJ, when it was just 50 stores young, and led its growth as President and CEO to over 600 stores, $700 million in revenue, and a public offering in 2009. During that time, he grew to admire the extraordinary opportunities of the health and wellness categories and joined Twinlab, a near 50-year-old vitamin, mineral, and supplement formulator, marketer, and distributor, where he began to build a house of brands in an extremely fragmented market.

Today, as Founder & CEO of VMS Solutions LLC, Mr. Tolworthy serves as advisor and consultant to several private equity firms, serves on several boards as director, and is exploring the health benefits and opportunities of Cannabinoids for CNBrands LLC.

Mr. Tolworthy attended the University of Massachusetts in Lowell.