Meet the Father of Stevia – James May!
James May is the founder and CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands®, maker of SweetLeaf® brand products and Wisdom of the Ancients® herbal teas. He was the first person to introduce stevia and yerba maté herbal tea to the U.S. in 1982, and he is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on these herbs. Mr. May challenged a number of government regulations over the years before his company became the first to receive GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status for a line of stevia products. He has worked with and sought advice from a number of health professionals, including Andrew Weil, M.D., Father of Integrative Medicine, pictured with Mr. May above. Dr. Weil serves as the Director at the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona and is an expert on healthy living and aging.
In May of 2010, Mr. May was the first to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Stevia World International at the Stevia World Europe conference in Geneva, Switzerland. In March of 2011, he was presented with the first American Herbal Products Association Visionary Award. He has spoken at stevia symposiums in Paraguay, Frankfurt, London, Malta, Atlanta and at food conferences in California and Arizona and a diabetes conference at Harvard Medical School.
Mr. May has previously held positions as Vice President of United Healthcare Association (UHA), Inc. and President of the United Dialysis Services (UDS), Inc. Mr. May has participated in numerous professional organizations and activities, including Director of the Artificial Organs and Transplant program at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Kidney Foundation and consultant to the Chief of the government’s End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) program in Washington, D.C.