Throughout his 20-year beverage career, Weiss has proven to be a beverage industry innovator. One word drives his pioneering approach to the business: evolution. With that word driving his vision, Ben has created beverages and launched product line extensions defined by innovation. Just as coffee emerged as a key aspect of the American lifestyle back in 1994, Ben now finds himself contributing to the beverage industry's move toward healthier drink alternatives with Bai5 antioxidant infusion and Bai Bubbles sparkling antioxidant infusion.
Brian is a category management, shopper and consumer insights professional. In his current role at IRI, Brian is responsible for delivery and application of Market Structure results to a wide variety of audiences and works with our clients to drive actionable recommendations from analysis results.
Brian has more than 20 years of experience in advanced analytics including modeling and testing and strategic planning with both manufacturers and retailers. Prior to re-joining SymphonyIRI, Brian was the Director of Market Research at Furniture Brands International. He also served as the leader for the category planning process for Nestle Purina Pet Care and held many roles in managing the usage and application of household panel information.
Dr. Jay Udani is the Founder and CEO of Medicus Research, the premiere contract research organization (CRO) specializing in the natural health products industry. As a board-certified internist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Jay Udani was among the first physicians in America to become a certified physician investigator for clinical trials. He is recognized as one of the foremost Key Opinion Leaders in the field of Integrative Medicine, and has been published extensively. He is the recipient of many prominent awards, including the Natural Products Association Clinician of the Year, the AMA National Achievement Award, the Harvard Medical School Pinkney Fellowship in Orthopaedic Research, and was voted Best Physician Specialist and Best Medical Speaker in Los Angeles by the L.A. Daily News. In 2012 and 2013, Dr. Udani was honored in the Pasadena Magazine Top Doctors edition. He was recognized in the July/August 2013 PharmaVOICE magazine as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the Life-Sciences Industry. In 2014, Dr. Udani was the recipient of the prestigious NBJ Science Achievement Award. Medicus Research is the contract research organization (CRO) for the natural health products industries. During the past 15 years, under the direction of Dr. Udani, Medicus Research has designed, executed, and analyzed more than 200 Phase I - IV clinical trials. The company's areas of expertise include: Dietary supplements, functional foods, medical foods, and botanical drugs.
Duane Primozich was appointed as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Company's Balance Brands segment including Smart Balance, Earth Balance and Level Life Foods, effective January 2014. Mr. Primozich has been with the company since 2007 and has served in a variety of roles, including Senior Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives and Senior Vice-President of the Earth Balance and Best Life businesses. Mr. Primozich will continue to serve as one of three Directors of the Boulder Brands Investment Group and on the Board of Directors for portfolio company Suja Juice. Mr. Primozich also serves on the board of Thorne Nature Experience, a Boulder-based non-profit connecting children, teens and adults to nature.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Primozich held management positions with several natural foods companies and co-founded a specialty tea business in 2004.
Justin is an attorney and shareholder in the Denver office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig. His practice focuses on representing companies in the beverage, food, and dietary supplement and providing assistance on regulatory and legal issues. He reviews labels and packaging, websites and other promotional and advertising materials to ensure that the labels are technically compliant and appropriate claims are being made. He assists many companies with responses to FDA actions like warning letters, inspections and recalls, as well as FTC investigations. He also prepares and reviews industry contracts such as supplier and manufacturing agreements. And lately, he has been defending companies in class action lawsuits over labeling claims like "all natural" filed in California and other states.
Kathryn is a senior executive at SPINS LLC, currently overseeing business development and retail services to foster retailer growth in the natural/organic, health and wellness, and specialty-gourmet industries. She also manages SPINS' expanding consumer measurement services and product development divisions.
Kathryn has over 20 years of experience in consumer packaged goods and retail experience at senior management levels. Prior to joining SPINS, Kathryn was the Vice President of Grocery and Corporate Brands at BI-LO, LLC. She also served as the Vice President of Grocery at Ahold USA and worked in the category management and sales group at Ralston Purina.
Called an "organic sensation" by The New York Times and named as "one of the nation's leading organic food experts" by Shape Magazine, Max Goldberg is the founder of Living Maxwell, one of the most widely read organic food blogs in the country, and Pressed Organic Juice Directory, the world's first pressed organic juice directory. Max has been featured in The New York Times, Fox News Channel, CNN, Forbes, Shape Magazine, Self Magazine, The Huffington Post, and numerous other publications.
An organic food activist, partner of the Just Label It! campaign, and speaker at industry trade shows, Max runs the Organic Food Industry group on LinkedIn, where his weekly curated email is read by thousands of organic food CEOs, founders, and executives from all over the world.
Max received his BA from Brown University and his MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Michael Burgmaier is a Managing Director with Silverwood Partners focused on the food & beverage, Healthy Living and consumer sectors. Mr. Burgmaier has been active in venture capital and M&A for consumer companies since the early 2000s. He has raised capital for numerous companies and clients, written business plans, prepared fundraising materials, facilitated exits and served on boards of venture-backed companies.Mr. Burgmaier has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth as well as Master of Public Policy from Duke University and a BA in Economics from Boston College.
Creative, dynamic and passionate leader in the beverage and food category. Best known as one of the leaders that turned around Snapple after its decline under Quaker, Neil is an acknowledged expert in the development of new beverages, writing for Bevnet and speaking at industry events.
In 2013 Neil became VP of Strategy and Market Development for the fast growing Essentia Water, but still is an advisor to Runa and with Accel Foods.
The Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager of Peet's Coffee, Tyler Ricks has 20 years of consumer products marketing, sales and general management experience. After starting his career at Fisher-Price, he joined Pepsi's marketing team in 1997. In his 9 years at Pepsi he worked on Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist and led the company's Multicultural Marketing Organization. In his final role at Pepsi, he led a sales force of 43 people as VP of Sales for the Pepsi-Lipton Tea Partnership.
Tyler left Pepsi in 2006 to join Bear Naked granola, a small start-up in Southern Connecticut. As SVP of Sales and Marketing, he drove revenue from $10MM to $45MM and helped sell the company to Kellogg's. He continued as General Manager and led the integration into the Kellogg's organization. After a 3-year stint with his own natural food company, Tyler joined Plum Organics in 2012, leading the revenue side of the business and helping grow the company from $38MM in sales to $105MM in just 18 months, eventually selling the company to Campbell Soup. He joined Peet's Coffee in March of 2014 as SVP and Chief Marketing Officer. He is also the General Manager of Peet's Home Delivery channel.