Past BevNET Live Speakers
Speakers will be announced closer to the event. Please check back for updates.
Co-Founder & CEO, Califia Farms
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.
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.
Co-Founder & CEO, Vita Coco
Founder & CEO, Hint Inc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Founder & CEO, Nutpods
Madeline Haydon is the founder and CEO of nutpods, one of the fastest-growing plant-based, alternative dairy brands in the country. Created because of Haydon’s desire for a dairy-free creamer she would personally use and enjoy, her successful commercialization of nutpods has, in just two years, built a multi-million-dollar brand with an enviable direct-to-consumer business. The insight that helped make nutpods an immediate success was surprisingly simple: fill the market need for a better-for-you, dairy-free creamer that consumers could easily purchase online, and enthusiastically stock in their pantry. nutpods’ high-quality, shelf-stable formulation and packaging strategy made it portable and convenient to use with minimal waste. The brand’s fit into diets emphasizing plant-based foods, and healthier lifestyle programs like Whole30, also helped the brand build exceptional consumer loyalty and recommendation. nutpods today is helping lead the evolution of what consumers expect from premium plant-based, dairy-free foods. nutpods is consistently one of the best-selling creamer brands online, and one of the fastest-growing alternative dairy brands at retail. Haydon is expanding the brand’s availability nationwide and also pursuing an aggressive innovation strategy to make nutpods the dairy-free creamer brand of choice with consumers and coffee retailers. Haydon holds a BS in English from the University of Washington and an MBA in General Management from Seattle University. MSNBC “Your Business” recently profiled Haydon and the nutpods brand’s e-commerce success.
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.
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).
VP of Merchandising, Natural Foods, Kroger
President & CEO, Chameleon Cold Brew
Chris Campbell is Co-Founder, President and CEO of Austin, TX-based Chameleon Cold-Brew, the nation's first fair-trade and 100% organic cold-brew coffee company. Since Chameleon's founding in 2010, Campbell has successfully steered the company through triple digit annual growth and rapid expansion to more than 30 states and 1,400 stores nationwide. Each batch of Chameleon is brewed extra slowly at carefully controlled temperatures using filtered Texas Hill Country water and is available in both concentrate and read-to-drink formats. Come hear Campbell share his thoughts on the rewards and setbacks that accompany running a startup food and beverage business and Chameleon's success, which includes being the recipient of BevNET's Best of 2014 Award for Best Coffee. www.chameleoncoldbrew.com
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.
CEO & Founder, Brew Dr. Kombucha
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Managing Director, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management
Mike’s family co-founded Bristol Farms, a Los Angeles based gourmet grocery store chain that raised private equity growth capital in 1994 and was acquired by Albertsons in 2004. As the son of a founder, Mike experienced the challenges of growing a family business, coordinating tax and estate planning, selling the business and managing family wealth at first hand. These experiences led to the creation of the Burbank Hafeli Schiller Group at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. The Burbank Hafeli Schiller Group specializes in financial planning and the management of permanent capital for the founders of food, beverage, and consumer products companies and private equity and investment banking firms. Today the Burbank Hafeli Group is a national practice with partners in San Francisco and Washington D.C. and manages over $1.7 Billion. Mike has over 34 years of experience as a private wealth advisor, is a Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) and a Certified Financial Planner™ CFP®, and was recognized in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and 2017 by the Financial Times as one of the Top 400 Advisors in the United States and in the Barron’s annual ranking of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors for 2017. Mike is currently President the Board of Directors of Seacology, an international conservation organization that focuses on preserving island ecosystems and cultures around the world, www.seacology.org, and is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, The Family Firm Institute, and the San Francisco Estate Planning Council. Mike lives in San Francisco, California with his wife, Cindy, and has three children.
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.
Founder & Influencer, Philosophie Superfoods
Sophie Jaffe is a Los Angeles-based health and wellness expert, who is certified as a raw food chef and yoga teacher. Sophie founded her company and wellness brand, Philosophie, with the goal of making it easier, more inspiring, and more delicious to attain optimal health and radiant wellness. Through her holistic approach to wellbeing, Sophie has learned that total wellbeing begins with total nourishment, which is why she created her unique line of cleanses and superfood products. These healing products have helped everyone from George Clooney to Sophie’s own dad, and have become essential components in the lives of thousands more. Sophie also collaborates with huge brands to create magical partnerships visually and energetically, appears on TV Shows, and writes for publications such as Well + Good, The Chalkboard Magazine, The Body Book, and Mind Body Green. She has been featured in Shape Magazine, Yoga Journal, Bazaar, The Los Angeles Times, and Angeleno Magazine and was selected as the cover model for Yoga Journal Russia. Currently, Sophie is filming and launching LA Yoga Girls, a reality show on Z Living Network slated for August 2017. Always looking for a way to give back to the community, Sophie also frequently leads international women's empowerment IGNTD workshops, moon circles, and yoga and HIIT classes. When Sophie isn’t crafting revolutionary products from the world’s most potent superfoods, she is sharing her insights on how to live a life full of unbounded energy, bliss, and balance on the Philosophie blog and savoring every moment with her two beautiful children and loving husband!
SVP, Brand Growth Solutions, SPINS
Andrew joined SPINS as the Vice President of the Brand Growth Solutions team in 2015 to help the most innovative health & wellness brands in the industry grow even faster. The Brand Growth Solutions team now advises a broad portfolio of high-performing brands and investors on marketing, sales, innovation, and M&A. The team leverages SPINS’ industry-leading market data in combination with robust consumer information, analytics, and strategic analyses to generate powerful insights and develop profitable growth solutions for our clients. Andrew brings a passion for the Natural and Specialty Products Industry, plus over twenty years of consumer brand experience in strategy, marketing, and innovation leadership roles at McKinsey, Kraft, and PepsiCo.