The origins of a new-age, alternative-lifestyle, natural-products “Expo,” can be traced back to the early 1970s and the days of the Whole Earth Catalog, a widely popular alternative mail order catalog. The Whole Earth Company began the first Whole Earth Expo. By 1975, Whole Earth Expo was an established tradition in the counter culture of the time.
Other shows arose concurrently, with the Whole Earth Expo’s success. In 1982, Alan Goldman began producing shows for the National Health Federation in New York. At the same time, Joseph Cotler had founded the Whole Life Times and worked with Alan to produce an Expo in New York for the Whole Life Times – the first Whole Life Expo.
By 1983, Joseph and Alan were doing shows in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. In 1986, Joseph sold the Los Angeles market rights to Paul Andrews. He sold the San Francisco market rights to Ken Kaufman in 1986. Both Ken and Paul proceeded to expand Whole Life Expos into cities across the country, bringing Expo’s new-age ideas to a wider public and helping to establish a nationwide community focused on integrative health and cutting edge ideas.
In 1998, Justin Hilton purchased Whole Life Expo’s nationwide rights from Ken Kaufman. These Expos continued under Justin, and at the end of 1999, he sold the entire company to Ayman Sawaf.