Press releases - 606 views

Specialty Food Association Announces
2017 Leadership Awards

Bookmark and Share

For Immediate Release
Dec. 14, 2016

Kyle, SD (Dec. 14, 2016) - Mark Tilsen, president of Native American Natural Foods, has been honored for Citizenship by the Specialty Food Association's 2017 Leadership Awards.

The awards, which are given in three categories, Business Leadership, Citizenship, and Vision, recognize industry frontrunners who have gone above and beyond in advancing food standards in society-and society itself-by creating social, economic and environmental impact through innovation and vision.

Nominations were made by members of the Specialty Food Association and others in the specialty food industry. A panel of judges composed of industry experts and influencers selected the six winners from more than 50 nominees across the three categories.

"I am honored to be chosen for the Citizenship award," said Tilsen, president and co-owner of Native American Natural Foods, maker of Tanka buffalo snacks. "To be recognized for Citizenship speaks to our company's dedication to creating opportunity for Native people, improving the diets of the community, and to bringing back the buffalo to Indian lands."

"These six individuals are leading examples of specialty food entrepreneurs who are truly making a difference," said Phil Kafarakis, president of the Specialty Food Association. "In our growing industry, leaders like these are paving the way for other companies to succeed and become recognized names. It's our honor to acknowledge their achievements through the Leadership Awards."

The awards will be presented during the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco at a special ceremony on Jan. 22, 2017.

About Native American Natural Foods

Mark Tilsen and Karlene Hunter, founders of Native American Natural Foods, which is headquartered in Kyle, SD, on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, create buffalo-based food products that are delicious and that promote a Native American way of wellness that feeds mind, body, and spirit.

Native American Natural Foods Media Contact:
Linda Crider

About the Specialty Food Association
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,500 members in the U.S. and abroad with resources, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at

Specialty Food Association Media Contact: