Past BevNET Live Speakers
Speakers will be announced closer to the event. Please check back for updates.
Founder & CEO, GT’s Living Foods
GT Dave is the category creator of the Kombucha industry with his line of #1 selling products known as GT's Kombucha & Synergy. Over 20 years ago while he was barely a teenager, GT started brewing and bottling his authentic organic raw Kombucha in his parent's kitchen in Los Angeles. Since then, he has expanded his company's portfolio beyond Kombucha and has once again become a pioneer of cutting-edge wellness offerings including non-dairy kefirs, non-dairy raw coconut yogurts, probiotic shots, adaptogenic teas, and much more. GT continues to be the creative and visionary force behind all of GT's Living Foods while allowing the company to remain family-owned and operated.
Founder & CEO, Hint Inc.
Co-Founder & CEO, Califia Farms
VP, Category Management & Growth Solutions, KeHE Distributors
Katie is currently Vice President, Category Management & Growth Solutions at KeHE Distributors, where she develops supplier and retailer category management solutions based on analytics, consumer insights, and category trends. Katie has been serving at KeHE for ten years and has held positions in Analytics, Pricing, Integration, Category Management, and Smart Growth Solutions. Katie received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Food & Consumer Packaged Goods Marketing from Western Michigan University. In 2015, Katie was named one of Griffin Report’s Food Marketing “40 Under 40” in 2015. She received her EMBA degree in Food Marketing at Saint Joseph’s University in June 2017 and is currently applying that knowledge back into the industry.
Founder & CEO, FORTO Coffee
Neel Premkumar created FORTO Coffee to fuel the next generation of coffee lovers, looking for a fast coffee energy boost. Today, FORTO is the #1 Coffee Shot and the best-selling shelf-stable Organic Bottled Coffee in the U.S., sold in over 50,000 retail stores. The company has been on Inc.500’s fastest-growing company list for multiple years, and Neel is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Prior to becoming the Founder and CEO of FORTO, Neel was a marketing executive at Nestle, and beforehand, founded a boutique marketing agency called CreativeHub, with clients that included Unilever, General Mills and Samsung. Neel holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business, a Graduate Marketing degree from The University of Chicago, and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. He resides with his wife and twin girls near New York City.
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.
Managing Partner, LivWell Ventures
Bryan Bulte is a Managing Partner at LivWell Ventures, a $60M, early stage investment firm, focused on better-for-you lifestyle brands across food, beverage, nutritional supplements and fitness technology. LivWell’s portfolio includes a few of the following notable brands: C4, The Living Apothecary, Xtend, Lemon Perfect, FitJoy Foods, Big Swig, Orro, AmpleMeal, Studio.Live, and most recently, Yerbae and Weller. Bryan has invested in over 40 companies from a wide array of industries, with a special penchant for technology and consumer packaged goods in the wellness space. In 2013, Bryan co-founded Seed Sumo, a Texas-based startup accelerator that invested in and mentored 24 companies over a 3-year period, with an unrealized IRR in the triple digits. Bryan is highly engaged with the startup community, serving on the board of newly formed Naturally Austin, a mentor at Capital Factory, a venture partner at NextGen VP, and an active LP in Brand Foundry (NYC), Vestigo Ventures (Boston), and Funders Club (SF).
CEO & Co-Founder, La Colombe
Todd Carmichael is the co-founder and CEO of La Colombe Coffee, a premier coffee roaster and retailer. Carmichael has lived and breathed coffee for over three decades. By pressing the limits of taste, service, and most notably, coffee sourcing – visiting the world’s developing countries to responsibly gather the planet’s best coffee – Todd has converted the nation’s culinary elite into La Colombe drinkers. Along the way, he has made his company the country’s leading coffee roaster while managing it philanthropically. Fueled by Todd’s passion to push the U.S. coffee scene forward, La Colombe sits at the forefront of the ethical trade movement and regularly dabbles in new terrain, inventing ground-breaking new brewing devices and beverages, such as the first ever Draft Latte. He is also the host of two Travel Channel series, “Dangerous Grounds” and “Uncommon Grounds.”
Founder & CEO, Spindrift
Bill Creelman is the Founder of Spindrift Beverage Co., Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Prior to Spindrift, Bill co-founded Stirrings which sold to Diageo in 2009. Bill grew up on a farm in Western Massachusetts where all the food was unprocessed, seasonal, and fresh. In 2010, he began making his own sparkling beverages to help him kick his fiendish Diet Coke habit. He wanted something refreshing with real ingredients he could pronounce and enjoy with his young family. After much trial and error, he achieved this by combining 2 simple ingredients: fresh fruit and triple-filtered sparkling water. He named it Spindrift. Today, Spindrift is made up of 75 passionate employees dedicated to changing the sparkling beverages. Spindrift is leading beverage into a new age of transparency and ingredient simplicity by offering no artificial sweeteners, no natural flavorings, and no essences. Spindrift was recently named to Inc. Magazine 500 fasting growing companies and 2 time recipient of Bevnet Product of the Year awards. Bill lives outside of Boston with his wife, Harley, and 4 kids.
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.
Mike Repole has always been a big dreamer. His modest upbringing and close family ties fuel his drive as a serial entrepreneur. Surrounding himself with great people and developing great brands has become his proven formula for success. Having achieved success before in the food and beverage industry with the sales of glacéau vitaminwater to The Coca-Cola Company and Pirate’s Booty to B&G Foods, and an early investor and board member at KIND bar, Mike is once again looking to revolutionize a category and build the next megabrand. Mike is the founder and chairman of BODYARMOR, a premium sports drink that provides superior hydration to athletes demanding better-for-you products. Mike saw huge potential in the sports drink category for an innovation like BODYARMOR, and his passion and drive – and the opportunity to disrupt the $10 billion sports drink industry – led him to launch BODYARMOR in 2011. BODYARMOR has grabbed the attention of some of the top professional athletes in the country, including James Harden, Mike Trout and Dustin Johnson, all of whom hold an equity stake in the company. In 2013, Kobe Bryant made a significant investment in BODYARMOR, becoming one of the top shareholders – and in 2018 The CocaCola Company invested in the brand, making them the #2 shareholder behind Repole.
Health & Wellness Expert,