BEVNET LIVE WINTER 2019 SPEAKERS
The complete BevNET Live speaker lineup will feature more than 20 beverage industry leaders. Check back for updates!
Co-Founder, Sweet Leaf Tea; Co-Founder, Deep Eddy Vodka; Co-Founder, CAVU Ventures
CEO & Founder, Brew Dr. Kombucha
Creative Director, AriZona
Moon Mehta, who is a designer and creative leader working on the executive board of AriZona, works with the family office and business units throughout the company to improve and impact their business growth via design, development and brand marketing initiatives. Moon has been instrumental in positioning the AriZona brand as an icon at the center of youth, street, and fashion culture.
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.
President & CEO, Dixie Brands
Chuck Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer for Dixie Brands Inc, the parent company of the Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, as well as Therabis, and Aceso Wellness, two of the leading hemp supplement brands. As one of two original founders of Dixie, Chuck helped the company grow from a “garage operation” to a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility that was the first-of-its-kind for the marijuana industry. Chuck has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University.
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.
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.
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.
CMO & GM of eCommerce, OWYN
Dan Baum is the CEO of MULTIPLY, a data-led Social and PR agency, focusing on growing beverage and CPG brands. Recent clients include Beam Suntory, Constellation (Corona & Modelo), E & J Gallo, WTR MLN WTR and New Age Beverages. MULTIPLY is also the agency of record for the U.S. Hemp Roundtable as well as the companies we’re here to talk about today: AriZona and Dixie Brands. Dan is originally from St. Louis and got his start in politics working for Kennedy speechwriter and media consultant Bob Shrum. He lives in DC with his wife, Carmel Greer, and their four children.
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!