Beverage School: Learn the Ropes of the IndustryBeverage 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 2018 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 Speakers
Founder,, Barnhorn Growth Advisors
Brad works closely with leading growth-stage food and beverage companies as a board member and strategic advisor. His work leverages 25 years of company-building experience as entrepreneur, CEO, board member and investor, cutting across all strategic and operational dimensions of successful company-building in the food and beverage space. He currently serves on the Board of Fishpeople, Health Warrior, Simple Mills, Zola, Rhythm Superfoods, Biena, Red’s All Natural, and Rib Rack. He previously served on the Board of Krave Jerky, Kevita and Chameleon Cold Brew from these companies early stages through their respective exits as category defining brands to Hershey’s, Pepsi and Nestle. Mr. Barnhorn’s food and beverage journey began as Founder/CEO of the Fantasia Fresh Juice Company which he built into the leading super premium fresh juice/smoothie company in the Midwestern United States from 1998-2000 culminating in a merger with Naked Juice to form the leading national brand in the category which was subsequently acquired by Pepsi. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, loves golden retrievers and lives in northern California when he’s not following U2 on tour around the world.
Founder, McGinn eCommConsulting
McGinn eCommConsulting provides expertise in eCommerce strategy for CPG companies ranging from launch stage to $3 billion in sales. With over 11 years of experience with Amazon.com and other strategic eCommerce partners, Betsy works with clients on launch and business optimization strategy, product and pack develop, problem resolution and ongoing management of their eCommerce business. With eight years of eCommerce leadership at Seventh Generation, Betsy provides a unique perspective through the brand lens to guide clients in this complex channel. Additional multi- channel experience in both the US and Canada enhances the development of eCommerce strategy that balances the interests of all sales channels in order to manage channel conflict.
Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group
As a consultant since 1998, Bob Burke provides assistance in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market across most classes of trade. This includes work in strategic planning, growth strategies, writing sales, marketing and business plans, budgeting, pricing, building distribution, broker selection and management, organizational development, strategic options, branding and trade spending management. He is also the co-author and co-publisher of the Natural Products Field Manual, Fourth Edition and The Sales Manager's Handbook. Prior to consulting, Bob was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as Vice President, Sales & Corporate Development and Vice President, Marketing & Sales. He has held marketing positions with Colombo, Inc. and Sperry Top-Sider. He received an MBA from Babson College.
CEO, Rao's Specialty Foods
Eric Skae, the CEO of Rao’s Specialty Foods, is a natural leader with a passion for propelling organizations to success, a trait which has been the hallmark of his career. Before joining Rao’s Specialty Foods, Eric was the founder and Managing Partner of The Bricktown Group, a change management consulting firm providing Strategy, Finance, Sales & Marketing, and Operations consulting support to clients in the food, beverage and nutraceutical fields. Eric has a strong track record of success in meeting price, production, and quality targets while maintaining market share. With a deep understanding of financial modeling and extensive experience in Mergers and Acquisitions, Eric’s entrepreneurial mindset and hands-on approach enables him to quickly pinpoint and address financial and market vulnerabilities and opportunities. He continues to identify and capitalize on funding options that satisfy the specific needs of any project, product, or operational issue.
Managing Editor, BevNET
Kelly Mudge Criswell
VP Creative & Client Services, Gammon Ragonesi Associates
Kelly Criswell is a visionary and creative leader, shepherding Gammon Ragonesi Associates as the VP Creative and Client Services based in the Los Angeles office. With a fierce love of beverage branding and a 16+ year career in CPG brand development and packaging design, Kelly will relentlessly push brands to the next level for success on shelf. Over her career she has worked with such notable brands as Dunkin’ Donuts, Nestlé, Premier Nutrition, Diageo, and Red Bull. Her latest modus operandi is harnessing her extensive experience in CPG to help entrepreneurs and start-ups launch their brands. Her current passion project is Kabaki Kenyan Purple Tea- she has teamed up with the founder Martin and helped him position, brand, package, and develop go-to-market strategy for a 2018 launch. When she’s not obsessively taking photos in grocery stores (say hi if you see her!) she’s painting or hiking with her two kids.
Founder & CEO, BEAR BRANDS, LLC
When: 12:00 PM - 5:15 PM on Tuesday, June 5th
Where: The Green Room 42 at the YOTEL New York | 570 10th 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.