THE LEADING CONFERENCE FOR THE BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
Actionable Innovation and Stories from the Market Leaders and Innovators
Our speakers are leaders in the beverage industry talking about their experiences and focused on moving the industry forward. Speakers deliver talks on best practices, battle scars, data insights or cases that focus on breaking through or getting to the next level and the lessons learned in the process.
Networking Opportunities Drive New Partnerships
We pace the event to promote conversations. Using the stage as a thought starter, people come to make industry connections and figure out how they can work together.
Participation Generates Industry Awareness for Your Beverage Product or Service
The New Beverage Showdown pits the hottest new beverages against each other. Sample Bars are product showcases putting cutting-edge products in front of potential partners. The BevNET Live Expo is an intimate showcase of beverage-specific industry supplier and service companies.
STAY AT THE FAMOUS LOEWS SANTA MONICA BEACH HOTEL
BevNET Live's winter event takes place at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Enjoy the SoCal weather, magnificent sunsets, views of the Santa Monica Pier, and superior accommodations at the famous beachfront hotel. From standard rooms to oceanfront suites, the discounted room block rates are half the standard rate. All rooms are available on a first come, first served basis for registered attendees. All past room blocks have sold out. Get first access by registering today!
BEVNET LIVE WINTER 2019 SPEAKERS
The complete BevNET Live speaker lineup will feature more than 20 beverage industry leaders. Check back for updates!
Operating Partner, Continental Grain & Arlon Investments
Tyler Ricks has spent 25+ years creating value in the food and beverage industry. He’s held executive level positions at PepsiCo, Bear Naked, Plum Organics, Peet’s Coffee and Einstein Noah’s. Tyler recently transitioned from his position as CEO of Bagel Brands for JAB into a full-time Operating Partner role for Continental Grain and Arlon, a hybrid investment firm based in NYC. Tyler supports the venture and middle market segments of the portfolio. He serves as a Board Member for Wholesome Sweeteners, Cicis Pizza, Joyride Coffee and Kitu. Tyler has been an avid venture investor, participating in the success of Bear Naked, Evol Foods, I and Love and You, Kevita, Sweet Earth, Yasso, Sufferfest, Vive, Dang, Flying Embers, Ancient Nutrition, Grillo’s and Kitu. He recently relocated from Northern California to Connecticut with his wife Brianna and their three children.
Co-Founder, Sweet Leaf Tea; Co-Founder, Deep Eddy Vodka; Co-Founder CAVU Ventures,
Founder & CEO, Dry Soda
As the visionary behind DRY Soda Company, Sharelle Klaus has always had a passion for the culinary world and celebrating each part of a meal – including the beverage. After having four children, she didn’t want to let a lack of wine or cocktails stop her from creating a great pairing. Klaus recognized an absence of refreshing, clean, non-alcoholic options in the market, and became determined to create the first line of less-sweet sodas that was worthy of meal pairing and premium mixology. She believed savory and sweet flavors more commonly used in cuisine could offer exciting compliments to her favorite meals. In 2005, Klaus crafted the first batches of DRY Sparkling soda in her home kitchen and officially launched DRY Soda Co. a few months later. In 2018, she launched DRY Soda Co.’s second brand – DRY Zero Sugar organic sodas – to bring that same elevated experience to consumers seeking a better sugar-free soda option. Klaus brings nearly two decades of entrepreneurial, financial and technology industry experience to her role as CEO at DRY, and oversees all marketing, strategic planning and innovation for the brand. With guidance from some of the Pacific Northwest’s best chefs and a savvy corporate team, Klaus pioneered a new category of sparkling beverages, fearlessly leading DRY’s aggressive growth in a male dominated industry. Prior to founding DRY, Klaus worked as a consultant for Infrastructure Management Group and Price Waterhouse. She also served as president of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, where she drove strategic development of programs, events and fundraising for the organization’s 250+ Seattle-area members. Klaus has been featured by ParentMap, Huffpost, Forbes, BevNET, Seattle Magazine, Imbibe, and was honored by Seattle Business Magazine as one of its 2018 CEOs of the year. With a keen appreciation for humor and wit, Klaus is an avid supporter of entrepreneurship and frequently speaks at professional conferences, workshops, and the University of Washington Business School, where she also participates as a judge for the Michael G. Foster’s School’s well-known business plan competitions. She has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Seattle Pacific University Business School, the Board of Directors at the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Board of the Seattle Lung Force. Klaus graduated from Seattle Pacific University with an undergraduate degree in political science, and currently resides in Seattle, Wash.
Founder/Co-CEO, Halen Brands
Jason Cohen, Founder/Co-CEO, grew up in Northern NJ where his parents were prodigies of immigrant parents that came over to America seeking refuge. Jason attended the University of Maryland at College Park where he earned a BS in Marketing and Minor Finance. After college Jason went on to work for Northwestern Mutual Life where he quickly became one of the top producing insurance salesmen in the country. Utilizing his interpersonal skills Jason networked with his clients in effort to find his true passion. Eventually leading him to create a better way to eat without sacrificing taste and style. In 1999 Jason founded Mamma Says, a food manufacturing company that produced biscotti and cookies in a plant he built in upstate NY with the money he saved from his insurance sales. Working insurance by night and plant by day... In a few years, the company was able to establish a national brand where Jason partnered with Kellogg’s to grow the brand even further.. In 2005, the business was sold to NONNIS Inc., a portfolio brand of Windpoint Partners for 4x revenue. In 2005, Jason co-founded World Gourmet Marketing, creating better-for-you snacks under the flagship brand Sensible Portions, which included snacks such as Nationally recognized Veggie Straws,.. Under his management, the company achieved double-digit growth and became one of the fastest rising snack food industry purveyors. The company grew to just under $100MM in 4yrs. In 2010, World Sensible Portions brand sold for $110MM to The Hain Celestial Group, one of the leading providers of organic and natural foods. While at Hain Celestial, Jason served as President of the Club and Snack Division. In 2011, Jason founded Rickland Orchards, the first shelf stable Greek yogurt brand. In October 2013, after sales soared to $50 million in just 18 months, the company was sold for $57.5 million to B&G Foods, a public company. In 2013, Jason partnered with the founders of SkinnyPop Popcorn an early stage better for you play on popcorn. In 2014, Jason received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Excellence in Emerging category in the New Jersey region. in 2015 after enormous success SkinnyPop went public for 1.4 billion in shareholder value through Goldman Sachs and was recently acquired by Hershey’s. In January 2015, Jason co-founded Halen Brands, Inc., which quickly funded Chef’s Cut Real Jerky a premium jerky brand in March 2015. In July 2015 Halen Brands, Inc partnered with Core and most recently acquired OWYN. Which stands for ONLY WHAT YOU NEED. A simple clean approach to plant-based protein without compromising taste or style. In 2015 Jason and his wife Jamie created an Entrepreneurship Endowment at the University of Maryland to assist the Dingman Center of Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland. In 2017 Jason was nominated to the University of MD Smith School Advisory Board and Mass Eye & Ear Advisory Board. In addition, Jason set up a foundation for Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion Research at the University of Miami in 2017. In 2018 CORE HYDRATION, one of Halen Brands' strategic investments, sold to Keurig Dr. Pepper for $525mm In 2018 Halen Brands launched REAL FOOD FROM THE GROUND UP, utilizing cauliflower as its main ingredients to create a full line of snacks, crackers and chips. In 2019 Jason was nominated to University of Maryland Board of Trustees Jason currently resides in Northern NJ with his wife Jamie and two beautiful daughters Jordan and Hailey.
President, Fiji Water Group
Elizabeth Stephenson is president of the FIJI Water Group, a division of The Wonderful Company. The FIJI Water Group is comprised of FIJI Water, Justin Winery and Vineyards, Landmark Winery and Vineyards, and the Neptune Pacific Line, a shipping company in the South Pacific. FIJI Water is the No. 1 premium imported bottled water in the United States and has expanded globally to more than 80 countries. Elizabeth joined The Wonderful Company in 2015 to lead the company’s Strategy Group, an internal consulting group responsible for strategy, M&A, change management, and special projects. In 2016, she became president of POM Wonderful, the leading pomegranate brand and producer in the world, known for its POM Wonderful Juices and Teas, POM POMs pomegranate arils, and POM-brand fresh pomegranates. Elizabeth transitioned to her present role in the Spring of 2018. Previously, Elizabeth was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where she served clients on long-term strategy and strategic growth topics, from 2001–2015. While there, she specialized in large-scale, corporate portfolio strategy and growth strategy working at the C-suite and board level, primarily for Fortune 100 companies. Elizabeth holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Yale in cultural anthropology and an M.A. in European history from Columbia. A former Fulbright scholar and Mellon fellow, she did doctoral work in cultural anthropology at the University of Chicago.
CMO & GM of eCommerce, OWYN
Mike Repole has always been a big dreamer. His modest upbringing and close family ties fuel his drive as a serial entrepreneur. Surrounding himself with great people and developing great brands has become his proven formula for success. Having achieved success before in the food and beverage industry with the sales of glacéau vitaminwater to The Coca-Cola Company and Pirate’s Booty to B&G Foods, and an early investor and board member at KIND bar, Mike is once again looking to revolutionize a category and build the next megabrand. Mike is the founder and chairman of BODYARMOR, a premium sports drink that provides superior hydration to athletes demanding better-for-you products. Mike saw huge potential in the sports drink category for an innovation like BODYARMOR, and his passion and drive – and the opportunity to disrupt the $10 billion sports drink industry – led him to launch BODYARMOR in 2011. BODYARMOR has grabbed the attention of some of the top professional athletes in the country, including James Harden, Mike Trout and Dustin Johnson, all of whom hold an equity stake in the company. In 2013, Kobe Bryant made a significant investment in BODYARMOR, becoming one of the top shareholders – and in 2018 The CocaCola Company invested in the brand, making them the #2 shareholder behind Repole.
Health & Wellness Expert,
General Manager, Oatly
Mike is the General Manager for OATLY leading all aspects of business and brand development in North America. OATLY makes vegan, plant based food and beverage products made out of oats and was originally founded in Sweden over 25 years ago. Prior to joining OATLY and launching it in the US, Mike held a variety of marketing and commercial roles at The Nature’s Bounty Co, Chobani, and PepsiCo. Before starting his career in CPG, Mike served as an Officer in the Navy in a variety of roles including nuclear engineering management on aircraft carriers. He has his MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their dog.
Founder & CEO, Hint Inc.
Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners
Kara co-founded VMG Partners in 2005 and focuses on all aspects of the Fund’s investment strategy, sourcing, execution, portfolio company oversight and exit management. Since its inception, VMG has partnered with entrepreneurs and management teams to provide a breadth of value-add resources in the areas of sales, marketing, branding, finance, operations and legal support which enable its partner companies to rapidly increase brand awareness, accelerate growth and build equity value. Kara serves, or has served, on the boards of babyganics, Bare Snacks, Drunk Elephant, Health Warrior, Humm Kombucha, KIND Snacks, Pirate Brands, Pretzel Crisps, Quest Nutrition, Solid Gold Pet, Sun Bum, Waggin’ Train and Vermont Smoke & Cure, among others. Kara has been an investor in emerging, lower-middle-market branded consumer companies for the last 18 years. Prior to her private equity career, Kara was an Analyst at the investment bank of Schroders plc and received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and German from Colgate University.
Founder & CEO, Iris Nova
Zak Normandin is an award-winning entrepreneur disrupting the way businesses create, communicate and deliver consumer goods. He has over ten years of experience as a product designer in the food and beverage industry and is credited with branding more than 50 nationally-sold products. Zak has a unique understanding for the way people, brands and technology interact. As Founder and CEO of Iris Nova, the parent company of DIRTY LEMON and The Drug Store, he is reinventing the traditional CPG business model. Iris Nova utilizes a direct-to-consumer SMS-based ordering platform to bypass existing distribution inefficiencies and improve how consumers find and purchase beverages. Normandin is building the beverage company of the future, expanding and applying the proprietary platform to a portfolio of innovative beverage brands that meet the rapidly evolving preferences of the modern consumer. Backed by A-List celebrities and business leaders alike, Iris Nova and its brand properties are recognized nationally by media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Bloomberg and Vogue.
Co-Founder & CEO, Califia Farms
Co-Founder & CEO, Health-Ade Kombucha
Daina Trout co-founded Health-Ade Kombucha in 2012 alongside her husband, Justin Trout, and best friend, Vanessa Dew, in Los Angeles. Daina, who has Masters’ degrees in Nutrition and in Public Health from Tufts University, was working in corporate America when she decided to pursue her passion for “real” food and develop the best-tasting, highest quality kombucha on the market. Under her fearless leadership, Health-Ade has grown from a small production, artisanal item made in Daina’s tiny apartment and sold at local farmer’s markets into the fastest growing brand in the category that is now available in more than 12,000 stores and restaurants nationwide.
CEO & Co-Founder, La Colombe
Todd Carmichael is the co-founder and CEO of La Colombe Coffee, a premier coffee roaster and retailer. Carmichael has lived and breathed coffee for over three decades. By pressing the limits of taste, service, and most notably, coffee sourcing – visiting the world’s developing countries to responsibly gather the planet’s best coffee – Todd has converted the nation’s culinary elite into La Colombe drinkers. Along the way, he has made his company the country’s leading coffee roaster while managing it philanthropically. Fueled by Todd’s passion to push the U.S. coffee scene forward, La Colombe sits at the forefront of the ethical trade movement and regularly dabbles in new terrain, inventing ground-breaking new brewing devices and beverages, such as the first ever Draft Latte. He is also the host of two Travel Channel series, “Dangerous Grounds” and “Uncommon Grounds.”
Grocery Merchandising Coordinator, CSD, Kroger
In 2000, Andrea began her career with Kroger in Raleigh, NC, as a Management trainee. A couple of years later, she was promoted to Store Manger where she went on to manage several stores in the Raleigh area. In 2007, Andrea joined the Human Resources Team as the Division Recruiter for Management. Andrea recruited for Kroger’s Mid-Atlantic division until she was promoted to the Benefits and Administration manager. After working in this position for several years, Andrea had the opportunity to work in the Produce Department as a Sales Plan Manager. Then, in early 2012, Andrea was able to gain further knowledge of the operational side of the business when she was promoted to District Operations Coordinator. Andrea accepted a position as the District Manager in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2012. In 2016, Andrea joined the General Office team as a Division Promotional Coordinator. While working as a DPC, she worked very closely with the Louisville and King Soopers divisions. She was named to her current role in 2016.
Co-Founder & CEO, Vita Coco
President, Nestlé Beverage Division
As President of the Beverage Division for Nestlé USA, John leads a portfolio of some of the nation’s best-known beverage brands comprising $2.5 billion in combined annual sales, including Nescafé® Taster’s Choice®; Nescafé® Clasico™, COFFEE-MATE ®; COFFEE-MATE natural bliss ®, and Nesquik®. Under John’s leadership the division has reinvigorated its base brands to meet the needs of consumers’ changing tastes and preferences, successfully expanding into natural and plant-based territories. John has also led the expansion of the division’s coffee portfolio through recent investments in high-potential brands like Chameleon Cold-Brew and Blue Bottle Coffee, both leading providers of premium-crafted coffee. Most recently, Nestlé reached an agreement granting it the rights to market Starbucks consumer and foodservice products globally, outside of the company’s coffee shops. John will lead the commercial collaboration with the new team’s leadership to define the roadmap for the future of Nestlé’s U.S. beverage portfolio. Since he joined Nestlé in 1995, John has held multiple positions both in the U.S. and globally. Prior to his current role, he was President of Nestlé’s Pizza & Snacking Division. Under his leadership, the Pizza Division achieved market share gains while expanding margins and innovating into new territories. John’s innovative management style, for instance, enabled the company to develop internal incubator-brands, including Outsiders Pizza. John holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and an MBA from The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Managing Partner, Boulder Investment Group Reprise
Carole Buyers is a Managing Partner at Boulder Investment Group Reprise (BIGR) a venture fund that invests in early-stage natural and organic food & beverage companies. Carole has been involved with investments & the natural foods industry for over 20 years. As one of the first analysts to cover Whole Foods, she has had a front row seat as the story of this now powerful sector has emerged. Carole has worked with RBC Capital on the sell-side and The Boston Company on the buy-side. In 2008, she left financial services, taking a leadership role in corporate finance and investor relations with Gaiam. In 2010, Carole joined Boulder Brands, Inc., to lead Investor Relations & Business Development. At Boulder Brands, Carole was responsible for the Company’s investor relations program, managing relationships and communications with the investment community. In addition, Miss Buyers managed mergers and acquisitions for Boulder Brands and identified and led the processes to acquire Udi’s, Glutino and EVOL. These acquisitions marked the initiation of the transformation of Boulder Brands to the natural foods powerhouse it is today. Carole was also one of three Directors of the Boulder Brands Investment Group (BBIG), an incubator fund which provided minority capital and helped natural food & beverage companies accelerate sustainable growth in the natural foods channel. Carole also enjoys time with her husband and children, music, yoga, running, tennis and golf.
Head of Soft Drinks Research, Euromonitor International
Howard Telford is the Head of Soft Drinks Research at Euromonitor International, a world leader in strategic research solutions and business intelligence. He has been with since 2010. In his role at Euromonitor, he provides insights on consumer trends and market performance in the drinks industry across 100 markets. Howard’s insights are regularly cited in a variety of national programs and publications including CNBC News, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fortune magazine. For more insight on Euromonitor International, visit http://www.euromonitor.com/.
Maya French is a Co-Founder of Koia, the protein packed, 100 percent plant-based beverage that uses natural ingredients to deliver deliciously nutritious flavors. French struggled with food-based allergies, such as being lactose intolerant her whole life, until she discovered the benefits of plant-based proteins when college friend and fellow Koia Co-Founder, Dustin Baker, was testing out recipes in his Chicago kitchen. At this moment, French realized her calling was to create a functional product that would contribute to providing consumers with a healthier lifestyle. With only experience in journalism and fashion retail, French took a leap of faith into unknown territory to follow her dreams and partnered with Baker to launch Koia. Discovering an innovative dairy and soy-free option with a balance of high protein and low sugar made French look and feel better as she committed to a healthy diet change. After years of trials and customer research, she has become a natural foods industry expert and professional. Her focus now is on growing the Koia brand and driving awareness among consumers of how plant based, healthy lifestyle choices can benefit them. “As someone who is lactose-intolerant, there aren’t many protein products that aren’t dairy-based. I make it my personal mission as a co-founder to let everyone know they have Koia as an option,” French says. Besides being dairy-free, French’s favorite thing about Koia is that it is sweet but not high in sugar. “You can still have the taste profile you want without the guilt,” she comments. She is also a fan of how Koia uses only simple ingredients that consumers can actually recognize, making it clear what you're consuming every time you drink a Koia! With the help of French, Koia launched nationally at Whole Foods Market and quickly scaled to become the most productive refrigerated protein brands in the natural channel within 18 months of inception, and is now sold in 5,000 stores across the country.
A DEEP DIVE INTO A HOT EMERGING CATEGORY
The massive interest in -- and approaches to -- the incorporation of Marijuana, Hemp, THC and CBD as functional ingredients in food and beverage brands is shared by new companies and existing brands alike. Nevertheless, there is still much to understand. Food and beverage professionals are invited to navigate an ambiguous cannabis market and explore how it could impact their businesses at the one-day forum.
Hosted on December 6th, the Friday between NOSH Live and BevNET Live, attendees of either conference will receive special rates to the forum.
NEW BEVERAGE SHOWDOWN 18: YOUR BEVERAGE IN THE HOT SEAT
Catapult you and your company into the spotlight. New Beverage Showdown participants are the celebrities of BevNET Live. Be the center of attention among hundreds of industry executives and gatekeepers, receive instant feedback from an expert panel of judges, and compete for a prize valued at $10,000.