Beverage School: Learn the Ropes of the Industry
Beverage School is a special half-day “Beverages 101″ session for early-stage entrepreneurs and industry newcomers. It is held the day prior to the full conference and is free for all BevNET Live Summer 2017 attendees. If you're a young beverage brand, these are the benefits of attending Beverage School:
Get Up to Speed
- Take a look at the basics of operating and growing a company in the beverage market. Beverage School is an intensive, half-day program designed for beverage startups and industry newcomers.
Identify Keys for Growth
- Gain access to expert insights, successful entrepreneur case studies, and a healthy dose of networking.
- Expect presentations on product development, sales and marketing, supply chain management, distribution and more.
Initiate Critical Conversations
- Get a head start on the conversation during a special round table Q&A session. Connect with speakers and additional experts, the ones who know what works and how to make it happen.
Beverage School | Summer 2017 Speakers
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.
When: 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM on Monday, June 12
Where: Kimpton Ink48 Hotel 5th Floor "Helvetica Room" | 653 11th Ave New York, NY 10036
Registration: Registration is free, but all Beverage School attendees must be registered for the BevNET Live conference. Seating is limited to 60 attendees.
Topics: Product design, introduction to sales channels, legal keys for beverage startups, the importance of branding, funding, and best business practices.
Format: 3.5 hours of presentations, followed by round table discussions with speakers and additional experts