Community Counts

April 3, 2019

Humans are social animals. For optimal performance, we need to be engaged, excited, and surrounded by like-minded folk. In order to thrive, we generally need consistent interaction. That’s where community comes in – it counts so much toward what we do and how we feel about it, it becomes an energy reflection, and in ideal circumstances, sometimes a feedback loop. Communities matter. They contribute to thinking, ideation and growth, comfort, compassion and support, and to synergy where one hopes that the sum is truly greater than the parts.

The root of community is ’common’. This suggests that participants have a common thread uniting them or at least aligning them. Most people are part of many communities, even if they don’t realize it. Think of personal networks—most will find they are connected in different ways, almost like a mind-map, based on demographics, interests, work, passions, hobbies and more.

Early day communities were formed based on geography and it was harder to form relationships outside close proximity as that would involve walking for hours or days or relying on letters. We still use letters and meet up at events and trade-fairs which actually date back thousands of years, but the development and evolution of the Internet gave us many new dimensions for community, especially via social media. Now we can connect globally by simply clicking boxes to self-select communities. The challenge with the Internet is that it makes it possible at the same time to self-select and isolate those with similar or opposing views and so the challenge or debate aspect (or opportunity) could be easily lost.

The natural products industry is wonderful and unique in that it not only affords the chance to belong to communities built on shared passion, value, policy or view, but it affords the opportunity to truly build a community. As Natural Products Expo West participants can attest, being a part of an identifiable community of some 90,000 people is an amazingly motivating experience. At last month’s Expo though, I did find myself thinking “Is Expo one community, or several whose gatherings happen to be co-located?” It would seem that both are true.

Identifying the opportunity and then subsequently building a community is a wonderful exercise. The first time I had the chance to do that was with NPIcenter 20 years ago. Building a community is a patient exercise, despite the instant click gratification and expectation the Internet often provides us. It is built member by member, introduction by introduction, adopter by adopter, and in my opinion, needs to adapt quickly to become inclusive of the newly added demographic – on those persons’ terms. Even having all of tools, interest and opportunity does not ensure a successful build. It can take more – a vision supported with energy and drive but then frequently a democratization as the community itself takes over.

Being part of the community at that point is extremely gratifying. We at Trust Transparency Center are working to build and connect communities all the time. We do this through our single ingredient trade associations that bring key stakeholders together. We support industry collaborative initiatives like NBJ Summit and Inside the Bottle. We enter MOUs with like-minded organizations to help better the category. And, in the Greater Chicago area, we’ve put a stake in the ground since last June to support the launch of Healthy & Natural Chicagoland (, an organization with a mission to serve as a catalyst for collaboration, innovation, education and growth among Chicagoland businesses providing products and services that cultivate better consumer health and wellness.  Here’s hoping it too will reach that passion, energy and democratization.


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Lori Diez

Lori Diez combines compassion and excellence to lead organizations to their next level. A small-town Texas childhood taught her the value of hard work and relationships, which she uses to foster teamwork that brings results that have transformed cultures and programs to their highest potential. Her successful career in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales leadership and event hosting has prepared her to deliver results as the COO of TrustTransparency, where she uses her industry knowledge to ensure that the company’s operations run smoothly as they support nutraceutical companies in their mission to help others. Lori’s passion for charity reflects her belief that individuals working together can change the world, no matter how small their contribution to the effort. This year, she looks forward to continuing over a decade of service at the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo, where she will be the Chairman of the Livestock Committee.

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Glynnda Steinford

Glynnda Steinford, Trust Transparency Consulting’s Director of Customer Relations, brings over four decades of healthcare experience to her vital role in client engagement and relationship building. Her diverse background spans from administering medical groups to impactful stints in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales, all underlined by her degree in Healthcare Administration.

At the heart of Glynnda’s work is her talent for nurturing long-term connections, a skill she leverages to enhance client experiences and partnerships within the consultancy. Beyond her professional commitments, she enjoys life’s simple pleasures, whether it’s her love for cats and cooking or her ventures into golf, always prioritizing cherished moments with family and friends. Her personal interests echo the dedication and warmth she extends in her professional network, making her an invaluable asset to the team.

Caiti Dowden

Caiti Dowden stands as a crucial pillar at Trust Transparency Consulting, bringing invaluable insight and expertise to her role as Senior Executive Assistant’ since her start in 2018. With an academic background from Sam Houston University and a career shift from education to the nutraceutical sphere in 2010, Caiti has cultivated a sharp acumen for dissecting industry trends and bolstering strategic decision-making.

Her transition from Data Analyst reflects her growth and deep understanding of the business landscape. Caiti’s commitment goes beyond professional excellence; she thrives on balance, drawing from her rich life outside of work to enhance her organizational contributions. Whether it’s family time, volunteering, or rooting for Houston’s sports teams, she believes in embracing experiences to fuel her professional creativity and insight.

In her current role, Caiti’s dedication to dynamic business analysis and operational support proves her to be an irreplaceable asset to our team, embodying the synergy of personal enrichment and professional success.

Pam Hilpert

Pam Hilpert, Chief of Staff at Trust Transparency Consulting, has been instrumental in the firm since its inception, leveraging her 17 years of accounting experience, including a significant tenure in the nutrition sector. Her collaboration with Scott Steinford spans various successful ventures, emphasizing her integral role in the company’s financial and strategic initiatives.

An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, Pam holds degrees in both Business Administration and Accounting, as well as an MBA, adding academic heft to her practical industry insights. Beyond her professional prowess, Pam is passionate about family, enjoys live music, delves into quilting, and volunteers at her church, reflecting her well-rounded life.

Her multifaceted expertise and longstanding dedication make Pam a cornerstone of Trust Transparency Consulting’s operational strength and team unity.

Scott Steinford

Scott Steinford, a trailblazer in strategic leadership, boasts a certified M&A background, having navigated companies from their genesis to industry prominence. His brainchild, Trust Transparency Consulting, born in 2007, stands as a testament to his dedication to ethical business practices and strategic foresight, offering industry stakeholders invaluable guidance.

Beyond founding and steering companies, Scott has enriched the business landscape with his insightful keynotes and prolific written contributions, emphasizing his commitment to elevating industry standards. His executive tenure shines in roles as CEO or President of for-profits like ZMC-USA and Doctor’s Best, extending to significant contributions in non-profit sectors.

Notably, Scott’s influence is a driving force in the CoQ10 market, where his leadership has significantly bolstered the ingredient’s global presence. His roles in various capacities, including as a New Hope Ambassador, keep the community informed, providing in-depth industry reports and insights.

An active advocate within professional associations and an Editorial Advisor for leading industry publications, Scott’s expertise is both recognized and sought after. With academic roots in Pre-Law and a Master’s in Law, his journey transcends textbooks, embodying real-world business acumen and transformative leadership.

Scott Steinford merges visionary entrepreneurship with principled leadership, creating a legacy of innovation, growth, and unwavering commitment to industry excellence.