What Makes BevNET Live 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 to Drive New Partnerships
- We pace the event to promote conversations.
- Using the stage as a thought starter, people come to make connections and figure out how they can work together.
Your Beverage in the Hot Seat
- The New Beverage Showdown pits your beverage against the top new products in the market. This is your opportunity to pitch against the best of the best, get instant feedback from a group of industry expert judges and be crowned winner of the New Beverage Showdown.
- Past champions include: Health-Ade, Mother Beverage, Monfefo, MALK, Rau and Tio Gazpacho.
Get your Products and Services Noticed
- BevNET Live Expo is an intimate showcase of beverage-specific industry supplier and service companies. It delivers a more personalized experience than mega trade shows in an environment fit for in-depth conversations.
- The Sample Bars are a chance to get your products in front of potential partners and the people who know what you are up against.
Education to Get You Started
- Beverage School gives the new beverage pro a solid foundation with special access to additional networking. An added bonus for young brands looking for that edge.
Summer 2017 Speaker Lineup
CEO and Co-Founder, CircleUp
Ryan Caldbeck is the CEO and cofounder of CircleUp, the platform providing capital and resources to innovative, early-stage consumer brands, and opportunities for sophisticated investors. Ryan founded CircleUp after nearly seven years of investing experience in consumer product and retail-focused private equity at TSG Consumer Partners and Encore Consumer Capital. The experience exposed him to many great consumer and retail businesses too small to obtain funding through the customary private equity channels. Inspired by these often-overlooked opportunities, he founded CircleUp to make funding available to promising companies. Ryan has been recognized as a “Titan of Retail” by Bloomberg and “40 Under 40” by both M&A Advisors and the San Francisco Business Times.
Founder & CEO, Presence Marketing
He started working in a natural food store when he was 16 and began reading books on nutrition and healthy living at a fervent pace. Paavo Airola, Norman Walker and Paul Bragg were some of the early natural food enthusiasts who influenced his lifestyle choices, along with the inimitable Dr. John R. Christopher, an early pioneer in herbal medicine. After nearly a dozen years of working in the Natural Products Industry, in varied roles within the sales and retail sectors, he launched Presence Marketing in January, 1990. He is surrounded by a dedicated cast of creative and intelligent people who carry out the mission of bringing healthy products to consumers, with great energy, passion, and resolve. With nearly 35 years of industry experience, he is uniquely qualified to lead Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence during booming as well as unstable economic times. His passion for sustainable agriculture, healthy foods and integrated medicine are key drivers behind his commitment to continue building Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence, the only independently owned, national - natural products brokerage in the United States.
Entrepreneur and businessman Bill Moses has a passion for bringing consumers healthy choices in organic and better for you consumer package goods products which led him to co-found KeVita Probiotic Drinks Inc., where he was the Chairman and CEO until selling KeVita to PepsiCo. Bill is currently consulting with four food and beverage companies as a strategic advisor, investor and serves on their board of directors. He also incubates new ventures. He owns Fermented Sciences Inc. a R&D company that develops and studies the functional health benefits of Fermented drinks. He also started MicroBiome Skin Care Co. where he and his team is researching and developing a new functional Skin Care line that will support our bodies Probiotic health in our skins micro biota.
President & GM, VEB
G. Scott Uzzell is President and General Manager, Venturing & Emerging Brands, for The Coca-Cola Company. He was appointed to this role in 2014. He is charged with leading VEB to identify and nurture the next billion-dollar brands for The Coca-Cola Company. The current VEB brand portfolio includes Honest Tea, ZICO, illy issimo, Core Power, fairlife Ultra-Filtered Milk, Suja Juice, Aloe Gloe and Hansen’s Natural Brands. Uzzell began his career at Coca-Cola in 1993 in the Minute Maid Division, where he spent nearly three years working across category development and customer teams. He left the company to pursue his MBA and then spent two years with Nabisco before returning to Coca-Cola in 1999 in the Strategy & Planning Function. Since then, Uzzell has held many leadership roles, including Vice President of the McDonald’s U.S. Division and Vice President of Business Development and Emerging Brand Incubation within VEB.
Vice President, Business Development, Califia Farms
Arnulfo focuses on driving value as an operating partner for startup and mid-stage consumer packaged goods companies. Today, as vice president of business development at Califia Farms, Arnulfo leads the Company on strategic growth initiatives and incubating new marketplaces, most recently acting as the head of global eCommerce. At Califia Farms, Arnulfo launched the Company’s first direct-to-consumer eCommerce website and supporting fulfillment ecosystem. Thereby allowing Califia to reach consumers’ doorsteps with its perishable portfolio items to 99% of the zip codes in two days or less. Prior, at PepsiCo’s venturing and innovation business unit, Naked Emerging Brands (NEB), Arnulfo led corporate sales strategy for the business unit’s emerging channels of trade (Natural and eCommerce) across NEB’s brand portfolio. Additionally, Arnulfo served as a founding member of PepsiCo’s Global eCommerce Steering Committee. Previously, while pursuing his MBA at Stanford, Arnulfo pioneered the first line of ready-to-drink all-natural aguas frescas. In 2012 and related to the “Fiscal Cliff “crisis, Arnulfo was 1 of 15 CEOs invited to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden. Arnulfo returned to the White House in 2013 as 1 of 30 business leaders for the inaugural Hispanic Business Leaders Forum. Prior, Arnulfo worked at Merrill Lynch, and received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his BA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Executive Vice President, Marketing, High Brew Coffee
Mari Johnson serves as the Executive Vice President of Marketing for High Brew Coffee, the country’s first ready-to-drink, shelf-stable, cold-brewed coffee. Johnson joined the High Brew team in fall 2015 with over two decades of experience building consumer brands. At High Brew, Johnson is responsible for generating awareness for the brand through trade and consumer activities, experiential, social media and public relations, while bringing new thinking to continue the grow the brand nationally. Previously, she led the field marketing efforts for KIND Healthy Snacks where she not only created the department, but grew it from eight people in eight markets to a staff of over 200 in 26 markets. In just five years, with her guidance, the brand reached 14.2 million consumers with sampling through demos, events, occasion sampling, mobile marketing, retail programs and influencer seeding. Her expertise helped lead KIND Healthy Snacks to an annual increase in sales of 90% and a total increase exceeding 1,200% over her tenure there. Johnson was also previously the Field Marketing Director for glacéau, creating strategic marketing plans for vitaminwater, vitaminwater10, smartwater, POWERade and POWERade ZERO. She played a key role in early stage brand development, while working closely with distribution and retail channels to grow the business. In addition she established Red Bull’s first “Mobile Energy Foot Team” and developed marketing activities to target key consumers in her territory. Johnson also worked in promotions for WXRT radio in Chicago, IL for three years, organizing the station’s involvement in major festivals and concerts, as well as leading sales promotions with major accounts.
Founder & Managing Partner, Boulder Food Group
Founder and Managing Partner of Boulder Food Group, Tom previously co-founded EVOL Foods and was the COO of Bear Naked Granola. Under Tom’s management, both businesses were successfully sold to public companies. In addition to his role at BFG, Tom proudly serves on the board of directors of three non-profit organizations including Chef Ann Foundation, Just Label It and Growe Foundation. Chef Ann Foundation and Just Label It are focused at the national level on critical food related issues. The Growe Foundation works with Boulder Valley elementary schools to provide learning opportunities in school gardens. Tom is also the co-founder of the 929 Non-Profit Summer Series which takes place in Boulder, CO each summer. The event series benefits at least five non-profits each year and raises funds on their behalf. Tom was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. He attended Santa Fe Preparatory School and then Vanderbilt University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors and dual degrees in Economics and Spanish. Tom lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and family.
Founder & CEO, Humm Kombucha
Jamie leads Humm with endless energy, abundant optimism and a big heart; traits that have enabled her to find success at numerous startups during a career spanning more than 20 years. Previous to starting Humm she founded and served as CEO of the consulting firm JLD Enterprises before pivoting to create EON Organics, a natural products company with distribution throughout the East Coast. Using the skills and knowledge gleaned from these successes, Jamie built Humm from the ground up and is now focused on defining strategy and leading the overall execution of Humm’s rapid expansion. Her passion for healthy should taste great is rivaled only by her desire to spread joy throughout the world. As a founding board member of Kombucha Brewers International, she is a national leader driving positive advocacy for the kombucha sector. Jamie holds a B.S. in international marketing from Temple University. She is an avid traveler and spends as much time as possible outside, usually on her mountain bike.
Host, The Cleveland Hustles
Bonin Bough is one of the foremost-awarded marketing executives in his field, the producer and host of The Cleveland Hustles, and the author of TXT Me (646) 759-1837. Throughout his illustrious career as one of the youngest C-suite executives in a Fortune 50 company, Bonin has spearheaded some of the industry’s largest global marketing campaigns across digital, mobile, television, print, and experiential, including the premier of the first ever 3D printed food product, the customizable, real-time 3D printed Oreo at SXSW. Bonin’s prominence as a transformative activator has helped reinvigorate traditional marketing by combining innovative tech via breakthrough brand campaigns including Oreo, Honey Maid, Pepsi, Gatorade, and countless other billion dollar brands. He is seen as one of the top mobile marketers in the world, having been named “Mobile Marketer of the Year” by the MMA. In 2013, he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement and has been listed in Fortune Magazine’s “40 under 40”, Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, The Adweek 50 and PRWeek Power List.?
Former Senior Category Manager, Whole Foods Market
Matt Jimenez is the former Senior Category Leader for Whole Foods Market's global grocery team. In his combined 12 years with the company, he held senior leadership positions in category management and retail merchandising on both the national and regional scale. Matt has also held leadership positions in product development, trade management and team building for both small and large portfolio brands. In his current role, Matt leads Whole Foods Market’s dairy and beverage businesses and supports the purchasing evolution for the non-perishables product teams. He's passionate about discovering and preparing brands for market, and in his spare time donates his industry expertise to advising emerging food companies. During his tenure at Whole Foods, Matt has launched a multitude of exclusive product lines within center store. In addition to product development, he has also worked with industry leaders to define standards for domestic fair trade ingredients, compostable packaging initiatives, sustainable palm oil sourcing and grass fed dairy inputs. As a 2016 Global Support All Star award recipient from Whole Foods Market, Matt was recognized as being a foundational leader for the company.
Managing Partner, CPG Ventures and Investments - Beverages, Cleveland Avenue
Zoe Feldman is the Managing Partner, CPG Ventures and Investments - Beverages at Cleveland Avenue. The fund brings unparalleled resources and expertise to support remarkable companies and the people behind them. The firm focuses on seed ventures, early stage, and private equity deals for emerging restaurants, beverages, services, and technologies designed for foodservice and hospitality channels. Ms. Feldman spent several years at PepsiCo, where she worked as a consultant and senior scientist in Global R&D, where she authored a paper that became the basis for the company’s Global Nutrition Group. She later became Senior Associate, Business Innovation for the GNG, where she focused on new category development and M&A. A graduate of Smith College, Ms. Feldman holds an MPH from Columbia University School of Public Health and an MBA from New York University.
Senior Director Venturing Development, PepsiCo
Daniel Grubbs has a track record of successful strategic and tactical leadership with the consumer brands, retail and consulting industries. Grubbs has led multi-functional business strategy development shaping capital expenditures choices. He has succeeded in brand and sales strategies achieving sales and profit growth objectives with emerging brands to established market leading brands. Daniel has a record of successful revenue production for national and global leaders in consumer packaged goods in manufacturers & retail, food & beverage, health & beauty and other non-food. He specialises in growth & innovation development, business planning, store-level marketing/execution, consumer/shopper insight and engagement, information management and deployment strategies tailored to the firm and the market, category management effectiveness, product portfolio management and price/pack architecture.
Founder & CEO, Bonafide Provisions
Sharon Brown is the Founder and CEO of Bonafide Provisions. Sharon’s journey in the food business began when she healed her son in 2011, from chronic health issues using a holistic approach to health that incorporated copious amounts of bone broth. This led her to open a private practice in Del Mar California helping 1000’s of patients across the country heal from chronic disease using food and bone broth as a mainstay of her program. She enlisted the help of her chef husband and niece who was a cross fit coach to make a bone broth that met her standards for her clients. Today, her company Bonafide Provisions is the pioneer of Bone Broth, with the #1 selling frozen bone broth in the nation. She recently launched her newest creation “Drinkable Veggies” winning the coveted NEXTY award for “Best New Beverage 2017” at Expo West. With a degree in business and her clinical experience using real food as medicine, her companies mission statement has become a reality which is “to craft real-genuine, nutrient dense foods and make the available and accessible to all for their life journey”.
Senior Vice President, Brand Partnerships, FreshDirect
Michelle Harmon-Madsen is senior vice president, brand partnerships for FreshDirect leading all shopper marketing efforts across the FreshDirect experience to connect brands with the company’s massive base of highly engaged online shoppers. Previously, Michelle was vice president, director of global strategy and partnerships for MediaVest. In that role, she developed entertainment properties for Procter & Gamble Entertainment, working closely with producers and content creators, and led sponsorship and business development for the People’s Choice Awards. Prior to MediaVest, Michelle was vice president of branded entertainment for 19 Entertainment where she led branded entertainment and sponsorship for American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. Michelle is a Board Director for the She Runs It (formerly Advertising Women of New York) and on Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business Alumni Society Board.
Senior Vice President, Strategy & Insights, Profitero
Keith Anderson is senior vice president, strategy & insights, for Profitero. Backed by Polaris Partners, Profitero is a leading global provider of ecommerce analytics for brands and retailers. As head of strategy & insights for Profitero, Keith leads Profitero's product strategy and global analyst team. Keith’s insights on technology and retail have been featured in Financial Times, re/code, Forbes Magazine, and Shopper Marketing Magazine. He has been a featured speaker at Path to Purchase Institute, Brand Activation Association, Food Marketing Institute, Retail Council of Canada, and other retail, technology, and media events. Prior to his current role, Keith was vice president of RetailNet Group's advisory practice and an analyst for Management Ventures International, now Kantar Retail. He has served as an advisor to InPlace Mobile, a venture-backed mobile technology company and holds a B.A. from Boston College.
Senior Sales & Service Model Manager, Peapod
Samantha Brody grew up in New York City where she earned her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from Barnard College, Columbia University. After her studies she worked in the non-profit sector before returning to school to pursue a full-time MBA at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Samantha then joined Walmart in the marketing department where she worked on everything from a new product cook and dine launch to branding for the company’s small format grocery store strategy and grocery innovation business. Samantha recently joined Peapod as a Senior Sales Manager. In this role she is continuing to pursue her passion for food and e-commerce by leading the growth of Peapod's online grocery delivery business in NY and the surrounding areas.
Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital
Mike Burgmaier is an investment banker (premium consumer/Healthy Living focus) and former venture capital investor and management consultant. Burgmaier leads engagements for clients to raise capital, sell and acquire companies. Recent transactions include Zola, Essentia Water and Spindrift Soda. Mike has been active in the M&A and private equity/VC consumer space since early 2004; previously he was a Consultant with Bain & Co. In 2008, Burgmaier was named as a "40 Under 40" leader in the Natural Products Industry by Natural Foods Merchandiser. Mike has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, an MPP from Duke University and a BA in Economics from Boston College.
Senior Merchant for Dairy & Grocery, FreshDirect
Marissa Dobbins is Senior Merchant for Dairy & Grocery at FreshDirect, focusing on category strategy development to meet the needs of its online shopper. Previously, Marissa was the Senior Buyer for the NBC Experience Store in NYC, developing exclusive product inspired by NBC Universal programming. Prior to NBC, Marissa worked for Bath & Body Works and TJX in roles focused on improving the customer experience and optimizing assortment. FreshDirect’s food philosophy is simple – make great food easy to get. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers and farmers around the world, and its in-house team of chefs and bakers produce a wide selection of freshly-made meals, baked goods and more.
Managing Partner, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP
From Harvard University to New York University School of Law to a chic business residence in the Meatpacking District of NYC, Nicholas Giannuzzi is a partner and founder of The Giannuzzi Group, LLP. Started in 2011, the “Giannuzzi Group” has since become the leading law firm for nearly 500 high-growth consumer brand companies in the natural, better for you food and beverage industry. Among the firm's many clients – both present and historic – are some of the industry’s most successful and fastest growing companies such as Glaceau (creator of VitaminWater and SmartWater), Pirate’s Booty, Pretzel Crisps, Vita Coco, Siggi’s, WTRMLN WTR, Mamma Chia, Sir Kensington’s, Hint, Califia Farms, Krave, HappyBaby, Chameleon Cold Brew, Essentia, Rhythm Superfoods, Peeled, Runa, Oatmega, Sugarfina, Juice Press and many more. In addition to day-to-day legal services, advice and guidance the Giannuzzi Group has assisted its clients in over 500 financing transaction and in nearly 50 exits to strategics and PE funds, including but not limited to sales to Coke, Pepsi, General Mills, Group Danone, Hersheys, Hain Celestial, Amplify, Bacardi, White Wave and many other multi-national companies and some of the largest PE funds. In the last year, the firm has overseen the sale of KRAVE Jerky to The Hershey Company, the partial sale of Suja Juice to The Coca-Cola Company, the acquisition of Wallaby Yogurt by WhiteWave Foods, the sale of YummyEarth to the Riverside Company and the firm is currently working on multiple sales transactions in the 100s of millions of dollars for its other food and beverage clients. The Giannuzzi Group has an un-paralleled understanding of the industry and works tirelessly to serve its clients and to create positive relationships with all of the investors, co-packers, distributors, brokers, acquirers, service providers and difference makers throughout the industry so that we can shares these relationships with our clients.
Senior Manager, Category Management - Fresh, Jet.com
Kerrie Lopez is a category lead for Jet.com's fresh business, focused on dairy, beverage, and cross-category initiatives such as managing the artisanal and local food assortment. She has also been part of the original team bringing Jet's first private brands to market. Prior to joining Jet (which was acquired by Walmart in September 2016) Kerrie managed the makeup and private brand categories at Birchbox, strategically sourcing samples for the monthly beauty subscription box as well as full-size product for the rapidly growing e-commerce site. Kerrie lives in New York City with her husband and their dog, Maisie.
Director of Natural & Specialty, Dot Foods
Rodd Willis is the Director of Natural & Specialty and oversees the onboarding of “better-for-you” brands for Dot Foods worldwide. Dot Foods is the largest food redistribution company in the United States and does business in 26 countries with over 5,000 employees. Rodd has been employed at Dot Foods since 1997 and has had previous roles in sales management, marketing, and business development during his 20-year tenure. Rodd has an MBA from the University of Missouri and resides in St. Louis with his wife and three children.
Division CFO Premium, Nutrition & Venturing North America, PepsiCo
Co-Founder, Bonafide Provisions
Inspired by her Aunt Sharon who is a Clinical Nutritionist and having a personal passion for health and fitness, Alex became a Certified Nutritional Therapist in 2011 and opened a private nutrition practice in Orange County, California where she worked with a wide range of clients from competitive athletes to clients suffering from auto-immune issues. From the start, Alex incorporated bone broth into the protocols of her nutrition clients as well as the athletes she coached as a certified CrossFit trainer. After witnessing the incredible improvements in the health of her clients and in the performance of the hundreds of athletes she coached, Alex was inspired, along with her family, to bring a true quality bone broth to the market with the creation of Bonafide Provisions in 2011. She is the co-founder and EVP of Bonafide Provisions and continues to feed her passion for health by crafting genuine, nutrient-dense foods for the masses for Bonafide.
CEO & Founder, BevNET
As founder and CEO of BevNET, John Craven is a widely-recognized authority on the beverage industry and he is frequently cited in mainstream media. His vision shapes the editorial, publishing, and positioning of all of BevNET's properties, including BevNET.com, BevNET Magazine, Brewbound.com, BevNET FBU and their associated conferences. John is a graduate of Boston College with a BS in Marketing and Computer Science.
As Editor-in-Chief of BevNET, Jeffrey Klineman oversees the organization's reporting across all of its web sites, as well as BevNET Magazine. Jeffrey is also responsible for developing the content for conferences like BevNET Live and Food and Beverage University (FBU). Jeffrey previously worked as a newspaper reporter for the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, the Boston TAB and the Metrowest Daily News, and has freelanced for publications like Slate, Boston Magazine, Self, George, Commonwealth, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Jeffrey is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. A frequently-cited expert on the beverage industry, Jeffrey has also been named in Forbes as one of the 25 Most Influential Kingmakers in Consumer and Retail Companies. He is still trying to live that one down.
Managing Editor, BevNET
NextFoods CEO Alan Murray has worked with the beverage industry for more than 20 years, having held various international marketing and general management roles within packaging giant Tetra Pak. As CEO in North America, he worked closely with many leading beverage brands and played a key role in bringing new packaging formats to the U.S. In 2010 he decided to step into the startup world by taking on the CEO role at NextFoods, makers of probiotic juice, GoodBelly. Murray was instrumental in licensing the brand’s patented probiotic technology from Sweden and participated in early activities such as brand creation and pitching to investors. Murray is also Vice Chairman of the publicly listed company SunOpta, a $1 billion global provider of natural and organic foods ingredients. His experience includes board work for private equity and venture backed companies in the packaging and food industries. He has worked closely with CEO’s as coach and sounding board in companies ranging in size from pre-revenue all the way to $1billion. He was the founder of the North American Carton Council, an industry body that serves to promote the recycling of cartons in the US. A graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa with a degree in Biochemistry and Applied Statistics, Murray participated in the Unilever Management Development Program and has attended various courses at the Business School IMD in Lausanne Switzerland. He is a Guest Speaker at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and has taught case studies of his work at London’s Ashridge Business School.
Chief Strategy Officer, MetaBrand
Debbie Wildrick – Chief Strategy Officer, MetaBrand is a sales, marketing, and operations executive and channel strategy specialist in the consumer packaged goods industry with 30+ years’ experience. She has had leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies including 7-Eleven, Inc. and Tropicana North America (Pepsico). In addition, her experience includes a strong background in building start-up brands including her own consulting business, the CEO of BAZI®, Inc. a public company, FRS Healthy Energy and Sundance Juice Sparklers, a brand which she helped grow to 100 million dollars in the early 1990s. She has also worked with leading companies in the industry to include both retailers, distributors, and manufacturers. They include The McLane Company, Wal-mart, Whole Foods, Target, GNC, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Safeway, Coca-Cola, Nestle Waters and many others. Wildrick has served as an Executive Committee Chair of the Network of Executive Women for ten years. She is also a regular panelist, speaker and columnist. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas and the Cornell Food Executive Program.
Partner, Barnhorn Growth Advisors
Brad is deeply involved with leading growth stage companies and investors at the intersection of the consumer products and private equity/financing communities as a Board Member and Advisor to both operating companies and institutional investors. His career path as an entrepreneur, CEO, board member, and investor has cut across all critical strategic and operational dimensions of growth stage consumer company-building. Mr. Barnhorn currently serves on the Board of Directors for KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew, Zola, Rhythm Superfoods, Health Warrior, Biena Foods, Glukos and Fishpeople -- and previously served on the Board of Krave Jerky through to its sale to Hersheys.
Accounting & Advisory Partner, Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP
Gregory Wank, CPA, CGMA, is an accounting and advisory partner at Anchin, Block & Anchin LLP and a member of the Firm's Executive Committee. Greg is the Practice Leader of the Firm's Food and Beverage Industry Group, providing accounting, business, and tax planning services to privately held companies throughout the industry, including many emerging brands, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. In addition to his keen focus on food and beverage companies, he retains some other consumer product companies including manufacturers and distributors of jewelry, apparel and textile, and furniture. As one of the metropolitan areas' foremost thought leaders in the food and beverage industry, Greg is often sought after as an expert panelist at industry events. He assists the growth of emerging brands as a strategic partner with AccelFoods.
Creative Director, Interact Boulder
Fred Hart is a Boulder-based designer, storyteller & phrontist, leading an entrepreneurial branding & packaging firm at the heart of the natural foods movement. Growing up on an island nearly 3,000 miles away from the nearest landmass, Fred cultivated a curiosity about the world around him and ironically has become an avid urbanite. Fred has spent much of his career obsessing over the dynamics, principles and theorems spawned by the best design thinking in the world. He is a sponge, a pupil, a design enthusiast and holds an obsessive interest in beverage branding. Today, Fred shepherds Interact as its Creative Director, helping to shape its progressive, innovative and forward thinking clients with inspired, strategy-driven design and visual storytelling. Fred’s CPG experience includes work in multiple bleeding-and-leading edge food categories, as well as nearly every beverage category imaginable. Notable brands he’s worked with over his career include Monster Energy, Dogfish Head Brewery, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and International Delight. When Fred’s not walking through grocery stores like they're an art museum, he’s actively exploring cities on foot and disproving the notion that white men can’t jump.
Partner, Amin Talati & Upadhye, LLP
A passionate business and litigation attorney for a wide variety of clients in the food, beverage, drug, dietary supplement and cosmetic industries, Rakesh has earned a strong reputation for keen judgment, sharp analytical skills and successful results. Rakesh is known as a zealous, aggressive advocate in litigation who has helped his clients prevail in some of the largest patent and trademark infringement cases in the food, beverage, supplement and drug industries. Rakesh is also well known for successfully defending companies in FDA, USDA, FTC and State AG actions, consumer false advertising class actions, Proposition 65 lawsuits, and National Advertising Division (NAD) challenges. In addition to enjoying reading, meditation, kung fu, swimming and hiking, he is an avid basketball and ping-pong player who plays regularly with clients. He lives with his wife, son and daughter in the heart of Chicago.
Managing Partner, Cascadia Managing Brands
Bill Sipper is Managing Partner at Cascadia Managing Brands and is one of the food and beverage industry's bright stars, having held senior-level positions at several of the top beverage marketers in the world. His market reach and depth of knowledge of the food and beverage industry includes North America, Asia, Europe as well as Central and South America. Sipper's track record for helping develop rising brands is unparalleled and will be key to any brand's development and deployment. Sipper was Chief Operating Officer of New Leaf Brands before rejoining Cascadia Managing Brands, a company he co-founded in 2003, a recognized consumer packaged goods consulting firm with deep expertise across all key areas of the food and beverage business including planning, sales, marketing, training, finance, operations, logistics, and general management. Before establishing Cascadia, Sipper was Senior Vice President of Marketing at the Ultimate Juice Co. which owned brands such as Naked Juice, Zeigler's Apple Cider, Fantasia, Hansens Smoothies, and Saratoga Mineral Water; President of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Tear of the Clouds; Director of National Sales at Nantucket Nectars; Vice President of Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Operations at Fresh Samantha. Fresh Samantha and Odwalla merged during Mr. Sipper’s tenure and both companies were sold to the Coca Cola Company in 2001; Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Chatham Beverage Company (Clearly Canadian, Old Tyme Soda, and New Amsterdam Beer.. Sipper began his career at Evian Natural Spring Water and helped pioneer Evian to its height in the United States, which in turn helped establish the premium bottled water category in America.
CEO, SAS Sales and Marketing
After years of helping to grow his family's restaurant and catering business in New York and Florida, Andrew Stallone co-founded Boca Beverage Corp., a start-up distribution company which became the first and ultimately exclusive distributor of Arizona Iced Tea in the state of Florida. Over the next few years the company grew into a statewide distributorship with master distribution rights for Florida as well as Georgia and Alabama, and launched many emerging brands including Nantucket Nectars, Fiji Water, Hansen's Natural and Red Bull. Stallone worked hand in hand with the owners of these young brands; he felt an obligation for their success, and there was a true partnership building these companies. This is how he work with his current clients. Since selling Boca Beverage Corp., Stallone have been involved in the successful launch and expansion of several beverage brands including Odwalla and Monster Energy. Andrew’s experience on both the distributor as well as the supplier side of the business allows him to bring unique perspective, and has proven to be an invaluable asset to his clients. Andrew currently live in Florida with his wife of 25 years and two daughters, and he is an avid golf and tennis player.
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