SUMMER 2018 | JUNE 6+7 | NEW YORK, NY
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BevNET Live Summer 2018 Speakers

  • Michael Kirban, Co-Founder & CEO, Vita Coco - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Michael Kirban

    Co-Founder & CEO, Vita Coco

  • Kara Roell, Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Kara Roell

    Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners

    Kara Roell, Co-Founder & Managing Director, VMG Partners - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Kara Roell

    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.

  • Tim Brown, President & Chief Operating Officer, Chobani - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Tim Brown

    President & Chief Operating Officer, Chobani

    Tim Brown, President & Chief Operating Officer, Chobani - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Tim Brown

    President & Chief Operating Officer, Chobani

    As President & Chief Operating Officer of Chobani, LLC, Tim oversees the full sprectrum of the business for America’s No.1-selling Greek Yogurt company, including the sales, marketing, legal and finance teams. Prior to Chobani, he served as Chairman, President and CEO of Nestle Waters North America Inc (NWNA) where he was responsible for the third-largest nonalcoholic beverage company in the U.S. Under Tim’s leadership, the company boasted an unrivaled portfolio of popular, quality refreshment brands with an emphasis on water as healthy hydration, with $4.3 billion in annual net sales, 8,500 employees, 29 plants and operations in more than 140 communities. After beginning his career at Procter and Gamble, Tim joined NWNA in 1988, known in its early stages as The Perrier Group of America. He spent nearly 30 years with Nestlé and was instrumental in transitioning bottled water from a niche product to the number one beverage in America. Tim serves on the boards of the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER), the Business Council of Fairfield County, the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). He is a former board member of Toronto’s nonprofit Harbourfront Corporation, the Food and Consumer Products Canada & Grocery Foundation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Stamford and the ABA.

  • Daniel Grubbs, Managing Director, PepsiCo Ventures Group - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Daniel Grubbs

    Managing Director, PepsiCo Ventures Group

    Daniel Grubbs, Managing Director, PepsiCo Ventures Group - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Daniel Grubbs

    Managing Director, PepsiCo Ventures Group

    Daniel leads the PepsiCo Ventures Group with the aim of identifying, securing, and nurturing PepsiCo's partnerships with emerging Food & Beverage companies. The Ventures Group mission is to champion the founders vision while also supporting PepsiCo’s transformation and long term market position. Previously, Daniel helped lead PepsiCo’s Premium Beverage/Emerging Brands division, encompassing Naked Juice, IZZE, O.N.E. Coconut Water, and KeVita. During his tenure Naked Juice became a $1B retail business for PepsiCo, while KeVita was successfully integrated into the PepsiCo family after a period of investment. Before PepsiCo, Daniel held a number of key roles with IRI, including co-leading the Strategy Growth Consulting practice with a focus on Corporate Portfolio Strategy and M&A Due Diligence. Daniel holds an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.

  • Jamie Danek, Founder & CEO, Humm Kombucha - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jamie Danek

    Founder & CEO, Humm Kombucha

    Jamie Danek, Founder & CEO, Humm Kombucha - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jamie Danek

    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.

  • John Carmichael, President, Nestlé Beverage Division - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    John Carmichael

    President, Nestlé Beverage Division

    John Carmichael, President, Nestlé Beverage Division - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    John Carmichael

    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).

  • Daina Trout, Co-Founder & CEO, Health-Ade Kombucha - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Daina Trout

    Co-Founder & CEO, Health-Ade Kombucha

    Daina Trout, Co-Founder & CEO, Health-Ade Kombucha - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Daina Trout

    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.

  • Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Gary Hirshberg

    Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm

    Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Gary Hirshberg

    Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm

    Gary Hirshberg is Co-Founder and Chief Organic Optimist of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World (Hyperion, 2008). Gary frequently speaks on topics including sustainability, organic agriculture and the profitability of green business. Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Blue Apron, Forager, Orgain, Peak Organic Brewing, and UNreal chocolates as well as Advisory Board member for Applegate. He has received 12 honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2015 Champion for Children Award from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.

  • Sarah Bird, CEO, Bhakti - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Sarah Bird

    CEO, Bhakti

    Sarah Bird, CEO, Bhakti - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Sarah Bird

    CEO, Bhakti

    Sarah has over 25 years of brand building experience and is fueled by a passion for doing well and doing good. She is CEO of Boulder, CO based Bhakti, Inc, a mission-driven, natural tea company devoted to craft brewed beverages, vibrant flavors and sustainability. Prior to Bhakti, Sarah was Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Three Twins Organic Ice Cream and before that Chief Commercial Officer for Ecologic, a sustainable packaging company. Sarah was CMO at Annie’s, Inc. from the time Annie’s was a small mac and cheese company thru its IPO and to the General Mills acquisition. Sarah began her career with marketing roles at Frito Lay, followed by Nestle and then PowerBar. Sarah recently completed 3 terms (9 years) on the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors. She is currently on the board of Just Label It, an organization focused on federal GMO labeling.

  • Bill Weiland, Founder & CEO, Presence Marketing - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Bill Weiland

    Founder & CEO, Presence Marketing

    Bill Weiland, Founder & CEO, Presence Marketing - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Bill Weiland

    Founder & CEO, Presence Marketing

    Bill 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.

  • Jordan Gaspar, Managing Partner, AccelFoods - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jordan Gaspar

    Managing Partner, AccelFoods

    Jordan Gaspar, Managing Partner, AccelFoods - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jordan Gaspar

    Managing Partner, AccelFoods

    Jordan Gaspar is a Managing Partner of AccelFoods, an early-stage venture capital firm investing in consumer products. Jordan co-founded the fund in 2014 with the intention of offering entrepreneurs a unique perspective and approachable capital to help them build their businesses. With $40M under management and 34 portfolio companies and growing, AF operates as a hands-on partner working with entrepreneurs to bring innovative, high-quality food and beverage products to the forefront of the industry and create the next generation of enduring brands. Jordan oversees deal origination, structure and investment execution on behalf of AF, as well as heads up strategy, investor relations and general management of the fund. Prior to founding AF, Jordan was an attorney at Morrison Cohen LLP where she advised venture and private equity firms and their portfolio companies on acquisitions, sales, mergers, and financings. She also served as a Managing Director of Golden Seeds, a national angel network that invests in women-run companies. Jordan graduated from Columbia College and received her J.D. from Fordham Law School. A New York City native, Jordan currently resides there with her husband, son, and daughter. She is constantly on the hunt for unique, purse friendly snacks for her kids.

  • Carole Buyers, Managing Partner, Boulder Investment Group Reprise - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Carole Buyers

    Managing Partner, Boulder Investment Group Reprise

    Carole Buyers, Managing Partner, Boulder Investment Group Reprise - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Carole Buyers

    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.

  • Paddy Spence, CEO, Zevia - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Paddy Spence

    CEO, Zevia

    Paddy Spence, CEO, Zevia - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Paddy Spence

    CEO, Zevia

    Paddy Spence serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Zevia LLC. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Spence was President at Levlad Inc. He served as the President and Chairman of SPINS, Inc. In 1995, he founded SPINS where he served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer for eight years, tracking the sales of more than 300,000 natural and organic products,before selling SPINS in 2004. Prior to founding SPINS, he served as Kashi’s first head of sales and marketing. Mr. Spence served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Kashi Company from 1992 to 1995. He has also held positions at Harvard Business School's Division of Research, the Center for Leadership and Career Studies at Emory University and United Parcel Service's International Marketing department. Mr. Spence is a Member of Advisory Board of Rippowam Partners LLC. He is a 22 year veteran of the natural/organic industry. Mr. Spence holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College.

  • Jon Sebastiani, Founder, Sonoma Brands - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jon Sebastiani

    Founder, Sonoma Brands

    Jon Sebastiani, Founder, Sonoma Brands - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jon Sebastiani

    Founder, Sonoma Brands

    Jon founded Sonoma Brands in January 2016 to invest in high-growth, emerging consumer brands and selectively incubate new concepts. Through Sonoma Brands, Jon intends to build a leading growth equity fund exclusively focused on the CPG space. As a successful entrepreneur with experience in building multiple brands, Jon understands a founder’s need to look beyond capital and select a partner with value-add capabilities around sales, marketing, supply chain operations, and R&D. Jon oversees current and prospective portfolio investments and leads the firm’s investment and operation teams. Jon began his career steering the sales & marketing for Viansa, his family’s winery, and eventually leading the business as President, becoming one of the most successful destination wineries in the Napa and Sonoma valleys. After helping drive the M&A process leading up to Viansa’s sale, Jon served as Managing Director of wine.com, assisting in the turnaround toward its first profitable quarter. As an avid runner training for the New York City Marathon in 2009, Jon realized the opportunity to turn jerky, a commonly used training food, into something truly special. Influenced by his wine background, Jon founded KRAVE Pure Foods (“KRAVE”) to create a differentiated jerky brand with culinary-inspired flavor profiles and all-natural ingredients. As the Founder and CEO of KRAVE, Jon led one of the most disruptive, fastest growing CPG brands in the industry, culminating in the company’s acquisition by The Hershey Company in 2015.

  • Ken Uptain, CEO and Founder, Essentia Water - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Ken Uptain

    CEO and Founder, Essentia Water

    Ken Uptain, CEO and Founder, Essentia Water - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Ken Uptain

    CEO and Founder, Essentia Water

    Ken Uptain is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Essentia Water. After a successful career in construction and real estate development, Ken emerged out of semi-retirement to establish Essentia Water and bring its benefits to the mainstream. Ken had met with experts locally and globally, including Dr. Hanaoka in Japan who shared his research on the rehydration potential of ionized water, before embarking on perfecting his own proprietary ionization process. In 1998, well ahead of the industry, Ken pioneered the first ionized alkaline water offered in the U.S.

  • Karen Kenworthy, Partner, Stripes Group - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Karen Kenworthy

    Partner, Stripes Group

    Karen Kenworthy, Partner, Stripes Group - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Karen Kenworthy

    Partner, Stripes Group

    Karen is a Partner at Stripes Group and has been an investor and operator in the consumer growth space for more than 12 years. Stripes, a leading growth equity firm based in New York City, brings a unique, entrepreneurial culture and perspective to investing in Branded Consumer Products, Internet, and Software businesses around the world. For over a decade, Stripes has been partnering to support high growth market-leading companies with their core business needs across talent, technology, operations and infrastructure. Stripes provides entrepreneurs with a unique perspective, leveraging its investments in digital marketing, social media and ecommerce partners to build brands across traditional brick and mortar and online channels. Karen has been at Stripes since its inception. She is currently on the Board of, and/or is actively involved with, Stripes Group current and past portfolio companies’ Califia Farms, On Running, Stella & Chewy's, Snooze Eatery, Blue Apron, Turtle Beach, Ketra Lighting, Audio Network and Seamless/Grubhub, among others. Prior to Stripes, Karen was a management consultant at Bain and Company. She is in a Canada native, and now lives in Tribeca, New York with her husband and two daughters, Katie and Anna. Karen holds an M.B.A. from the Stanford Business School and a B.A. in Biomedical Engineering and Economics from Yale University.

  • Howard Telford, Head of Soft Drinks Research, Euromonitor International - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Howard Telford

    Head of Soft Drinks Research, Euromonitor International

    Howard Telford, Head of Soft Drinks Research, Euromonitor International - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Howard Telford

    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/.

  • Lauren Rudick, Partner, Hiller, PC - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Lauren Rudick

    Partner, Hiller, PC

  • Sean Lovett, Founder & CEO, Revive Kombucha - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Sean Lovett

    Founder & CEO, Revive Kombucha

    Sean Lovett, Founder & CEO, Revive Kombucha - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Sean Lovett

    Founder & CEO, Revive Kombucha

    Sean Lovett is the Founder and CEO of Revive Kombucha, a kombucha brewery based in Petaluma, CA, where he lives with his wife, Rebekah, and their two daughters. Originally from Chicago, where Sean honed his entrepreneurial skills, he moved to Sonoma County in 2009 to explore Northern California’s rich winemaking and brewing resources. A serious soda habit drove him to seek a healthy alternative in kombucha, with the expressed goal of making something as refreshing and drinkable as his favorite soft drink. Eight years later, his efforts have grown into Revive, an employee-owned company with a line of top-selling, locally produced, organic and healthy kombuchas that are distributed nationwide. A committed environmentalist, Sean has experimented with the possibilities of environmentally conscious production and business practices, including the use of biofuels, an award-winning bottle exchange program and water conservation efforts that drastically reduce the water usage in his brewery.

  • Nick Giannuzzi, Managing Partner, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Nick Giannuzzi

    Managing Partner, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP

    Nick Giannuzzi, Managing Partner, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Nick Giannuzzi

    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.

  • Bryan Crowley, CEO, Soylent - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Bryan Crowley

    CEO, Soylent

    Bryan Crowley, CEO, Soylent - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Bryan Crowley

    CEO, Soylent

    Bryan Crowley was named CEO of Soylent in December of 2017 after joining the company as President earlier that year. Crowley leads Soylent’s executive team, in addition to overseeing all day-to-day operations shepherding the company in its mission to leverage science and technology to provide complete, convenient, sustainable nutrition to the world. Crowley began his career in sales at Anheuser Busch and later worked at Con Agra Foods, Mars Inc., Pabst Brewing Company, and VeeV Spirits. Beginning as a part-time consultant, Crowley joined KeVita, a leading artisan of fermented probiotic and kombucha beverages. He quickly made an impact on the brand’s business and marketing strategies at a turning point in KeVita’s growth and was named Chief Strategy Officer. As CSO, Crowley was charged with taking the organization to the next level by leading business strategy, marketing, human resources, product development, and innovation. After only eight months, he led KeVita through a successful acquisition by PepsiCo in November of 2016.

  • Erik Knutson, President, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Erik Knutson

    President, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp

    Erik Knutson, President, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Erik Knutson

    President, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp

    Starting in 2010, Mr. Knutson began working with a number of licensed medical marijuana organizations to establish compliant operating procedures. Since that time he has helped shape industry standards surrounding super-critical CO2 extraction techniques and oral liquid medical marijuana delivery systems. Since August 2014, Mr. Knutson has served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of CanCore Concepts, Inc. In 2013, Mr. Knutson also co-founded Denver Packaging Company (“DPAC”), a licensed Colorado Medical and Adult-Retail Cannabis Manufacturing company. Additionally, he is a co-founder, Board Member and President of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (“ATACH”). In 2012, Kelly and Erik Knutson (brothers) founded Isolate Extraction Systems, Inc. (IES). Since then IES has sold over 50 commercial extraction machines into the regulated Cannabis space. Many of these machines went to start-up businesses in burgeoning medical marijuana states. Together, IES and CCC have assisted dozens of companies in Canada, Puerto Rico, California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Colorado and New York with processing/ extraction operations. Mr. Knutson received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Colorado in 2009.

  • John Craven, CEO & Founder, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    John Craven

    CEO & Founder, BevNET

    John Craven, CEO & Founder, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    John Craven

    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.

  • Jeffrey Klineman, Editor-in-Chief, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jeffrey Klineman

    Editor-in-Chief, BevNET

    Jeffrey Klineman, Editor-in-Chief, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jeffrey Klineman

    Editor-in-Chief, BevNET

    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.

  • Mike Schneider, CMO, BevNET.com - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Mike Schneider

    CMO, BevNET.com

    Mike Schneider, CMO, BevNET.com - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Mike Schneider

    CMO, BevNET.com

    Mike Schneider is a seasoned executive who lives at the collision of brand, experience and product. He has deep roots in branding, mobile, content and events. Prior to BevNET, Schneider lead major rebranding efforts for Skyhook and GasBuddy and was the CMO of Apptopia. He also spent over 8 years in big Boston ad agencies Hill, Holliday and allen and gerritsen leading content, digital innovation and analytics teams. A long-time blogger and thought-leader, Schneider got his start drinking and evaluating craft beer and co-wrote Location Based Marketing for Dummies.

  • Brad Barnhorn, Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Brad Barnhorn

    Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew

    Brad Barnhorn, Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Brad Barnhorn

    Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew

    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.

  • Ray Latif, Managing Editor, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Ray Latif

    Managing Editor, BevNET

    Ray Latif, Managing Editor, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Ray Latif

    Managing Editor, BevNET

    Ray has been with BevNET since March, 2011. As managing editor, Ray oversees content production on BevNET.com and in BevNET Magazine.

  • Jordan Silbert, Founder & CEO, Q Drinks - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jordan Silbert

    Founder & CEO, Q Drinks

  • Jody Levy, CEO, WTRMLN WTR - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jody Levy

    CEO, WTRMLN WTR

    Jody Levy, CEO, WTRMLN WTR - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Jody Levy

    CEO, WTRMLN WTR

    Jody Levy is the Co-founder and CEO of World Waters | WTRMLN WTR a company and brand committed to redefining how and what we drink to nourish our bodies and sustain our ecosystem. World Waters first product WTRMLN WTR (watermelon water) was created out of a solve for the hundreds of millions of pounds of unused watermelons in the United States. These waste melons are either ugly, misshapen, sunburned but otherwise perfect to press nutrient-dense, hydrating WTRMLN WTR. WTRMLN WTR is a hot pink juicy drink that is packed with electrolytes, vitamins, lycopene, anti-oxidants, magnesium, iron, L-Cittruline and more. WTRMLN WTR consists of nothing but raw watermelon and a drop of organic lemon juice. No added water, and no added sugar. WTRMLN WTR is cold-pressed and never heated with no additives, no preservatives, absolutely nothing artificial! The mission of World Waters and WTRMLN WTR is to educate people about why clean healthy eating is so important for the health and sustainability of our communities. Jody Levy is also a director and executive producer and has been in the world of experience design since 2001. Jody has been creating unique events, interactive environments, brands, products, and multi-sensory installations that connect people in engaging ways. Her professional focus is all about the integration of art and technology. Jody is a creative director and executive producer and her work includes the design and production of live theatrical events, touring stages, hospitality environments, interactive installations, immersive brand activations, and non-traditional marketing and social campaigns. Clients include American Idol, Chrysler, The Coachella Music Festival, Ford Motor Company, Heineken, Hewlett Packard, Lexus, MAC Cosmetics, Mos Def, Museum Of Modern Art, The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, Palm, Paramount Pictures, Project Runway, San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, Scion, Shades Optical, Toyota, W Hotels and many other international brands. Jody is an entrepreneur, artist, designer, director, producer, educator and writer from the Detroit area who lives in New York City.

Beverage School Speakers

  • Mike Schneider, CMO, BevNET.com - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Mike Schneider

    CMO, BevNET.com

    Mike Schneider, CMO, BevNET.com - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Mike Schneider

    CMO, BevNET.com

    Mike Schneider is a seasoned executive who lives at the collision of brand, experience and product. He has deep roots in branding, mobile, content and events. Prior to BevNET, Schneider lead major rebranding efforts for Skyhook and GasBuddy and was the CMO of Apptopia. He also spent over 8 years in big Boston ad agencies Hill, Holliday and allen and gerritsen leading content, digital innovation and analytics teams. A long-time blogger and thought-leader, Schneider got his start drinking and evaluating craft beer and co-wrote Location Based Marketing for Dummies.

  • Brad Barnhorn, Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Brad Barnhorn

    Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew

    Brad Barnhorn, Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Brad Barnhorn

    Board Member, KeVita, Chameleon Cold Brew

    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.

  • Craig Fortin, COO, MetaBrand - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Craig Fortin

    COO, MetaBrand

  • Betsy McGinn, Founder, McGinn eCommConsulting - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Betsy McGinn

    Founder, McGinn eCommConsulting

    Betsy McGinn, Founder, McGinn eCommConsulting - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Betsy McGinn

    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.

  • Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Bob Burke

    Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group

    Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Bob Burke

    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.

  • Eric Skae, CEO, Rao's Specialty Foods - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Eric Skae

    CEO, Rao's Specialty Foods

    Eric Skae, CEO, Rao's Specialty Foods - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Eric Skae

    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.

  • Ray Latif, Managing Editor, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Ray Latif

    Managing Editor, BevNET

    Ray Latif, Managing Editor, BevNET - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Ray Latif

    Managing Editor, BevNET

    Ray has been with BevNET since March, 2011. As managing editor, Ray oversees content production on BevNET.com and in BevNET Magazine.

  • Kelly Mudge Criswell, VP Creative & Client Services, Gammon Ragonesi Associates - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Kelly Mudge Criswell

    VP Creative & Client Services, Gammon Ragonesi Associates

    Kelly Mudge Criswell, VP Creative & Client Services, Gammon Ragonesi Associates - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    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.

  • Max Baumann, Founder & CEO, BEAR BRANDS, LLC - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Max Baumann

    Founder & CEO, BEAR BRANDS, LLC

  • Adam Dorfman, Account Manager, Zuckerman Honickman - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Adam Dorfman

    Account Manager, Zuckerman Honickman

  • Sean Conner, Chief Progress Officer, ForceBrands - BevNET Live Summer 2018

    Sean Conner

    Chief Progress Officer, ForceBrands

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