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 Winter 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
Principal, Gallego & Co.
Arthur Gallego runs Gallego & Co., a marketing consulting firm specializing in natural and emerging food & beverage brands. Gallego is a familiar name if you drink coconut water: he helped launch Vita Coco in 2004 and has worked with the brand ever since. He also works with Bulletproof 360; UGLY Drinks; LIFEAID Beverage Co. and Chomps meat snacks. Gallego is a well-regarded marketing strategist, branding and communications expert and has been a regular guest on MSNBC and been quoted by CBS News, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.
Chief Creative Officer, The GRO Agency
Kelly Criswell is a visionary and creative leader, shepherding The GRO Agency as the Chief Creative Officer 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.
Executive Vice President of Sales, L.A. Libations
Born in Paris, France, David Meniane moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18. After obtaining a BS in Accounting and Master’s in Tax Law from the University of Southern California in 2005, he spent two years advising real estate developers and mid-size business owners as a CPA for Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt, one of California’s leading CPA firms. In 2007, David switched over to the private side of accounting when he was hired as controller for Aflalo & Harkham Investments, a commercial real estate company with $350 million in assets. In less than 2 years, he became Chief Financial Officer and Asset Manager for 27 companies, overseeing the sale of $200 million worth of properties. As an entrepreneur, David, alongside his wife Deborah, founded Victoria’s Kitchen in 2012. Creating this specialty beverage company, he quickly learned various facets of the beverage industry including brand building, commercialization, strategy, distribution, supply chain and operating in a high-risk fast paced environment. After appearing on Season 6 of Shark Tank, the company became profitable in its 4th year and was eventually acquired in 2017. Since 2016, David has been acting as Executive Vice President at L.A. Libations, the official incubating partner for The Coca-Cola Company. Under the guidance and support of its founder, Danny Stepper, he put his experience to use by leading the efforts in restructuring Obi Probiotic Soda helping multiply its revenue six fold in one year. David also leads all commercialization efforts for new brand partners and in-house projects with a true focus on discipline and execution. David now touches all aspects of beverage incubation from business development, research & development, commercialization, distribution, price architecture, supply chain, operations, sales, fundraising to overall strategy. Having lead two beverage turnarounds, and his own company for 6 years, he also takes his analytical approach to help struggling brands in growing categories with transforming or rebuilding infrastructure, product and market execution. David currently maintains an active CPA license in the state of California and lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 11 years and their beautiful 1-year old daughter, Bella.
Founder, Tio Gazpacho
Partner & Director of Business Development, Nutter
Jeremy Halpern is a partner and co-chairs and serves as the Director of Business Development for Nutter’s Emerging Companies Group. Jeremy’s practice focuses on emerging companies, private equity, venture capital and angel financing transactions, mergers and acquisitions, executive and team compensation matters, and general start-up support. Serving as the firm’s entrepreneur-in-residence, Jeremy often works on strategy and corporate development matters with companies, investors, and executives in technology, life sciences and the food and beverage industry. Jeremy is an active angel investor and is a member of the board of The Capital Network, a Boston based non-profit serving entrepreneurs seeking high growth capital. Jeremy serves on the Advisory Board and the Executive Education Committee of the MBI Health Program and on the Advisory Board of Pintley, a MassChallenge 2011 finalist company providing marketing solutions to the craft brewers and bars. He continues to serve as a mentor at MassChallenge and LearnLaunch, an expert advisor at the Innovation Hub at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and as a speaker, reviewer, judge or mentor for MIT HackingMedicine, HackingPediatrics, the Mass Tech Transfer Center, the Mass Life Science Center, M2D2, BranchFood and Startup Institute. Previously Jeremy served on the Board and Investment Committee of MassVentures, an early stage venture capital fund funding technology companies in Massachusetts. Jeremy taught entrepreneurial leadership at Tufts University for nine years and cofounded a company in the mobile technology synchronization space. Jeremy received his B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Hector Gonzalez Jr.
Director of Merchandising, Gonzalez Northgate Markets
VP of Field Operations, L.A. Libations
Born in Los Angeles, California, Robert Macias was raised in the San Fernando Valley. Robert attended San Fernando Valley College. Soon afterwards, Robert started working at Pickwick Records where he held positions of warehouse supervisor, to sales representative. Robert was instrumental in persuading the Pickwick buyers from a mainstream purchasing pattern to the new the exploding new wave and punk rock scene. Robert was recognized for his bold and visionary views. In 1984, Robert started working for Coca-Cola. Hired as a merchandiser, Robert was quickly moved to sales and held positions throughout the Los Angeles basin. Robert was promoted to District Sales Manager in 1990. In 1996 Robert was appointed to Sales Manager at Los Angeles Sales Center with the objective to build the same culture that he achieved while a District Manager in Sylmar. Robert reengineered the entire sales system and changed the face of sales center. Robert introduced the "Men in Black" reset team. The "Men in Black" were identified as the best of the best merchandisers, but lacked either the desired formal education, training and leadership. With the help of District Managers, Robert developed a weekly training program revolved around communication, business math, volume trends and the ability to rise above. The Men in Black worked closely with the Sales Team, and were assigned key areas in Los Angeles. The objective was to dominate the trade with selected best selling brands, and introducing new beverages. In 1999 Robert was promoted to Branch Manager, Downey Production Center, Downey, California. From 1999 to 2005, Robert managed the Downey, City of Industry, Ventura/Bishop, Sylmar/Lancaster and the Los Angeles Sales Center. It was in Los Angeles, as the Sales Center Manager, where Robert developed many visionary platforms. Robert was the only Sales Center Manager appointed to the company's Atlanta Based Diversity and Inclusion Council. Robert was instrumental in creating Blue Demon energy drink and through area focused taste tests, recommended to the brand team, switching the Coke Zero package from a white package to a black package. Robert also recommended the target audience by reviewing data, and using "no sugar" as the tagline. The sampling platform was Classic Coke, Diet Coke and Coke Zero. In 2016 Robert joined LA Libations as Brand Manager for Arriba Horchata. Robert introduced Arriba to Vallarta Markets, all three SKU's and in over 33 outlets. Since January, 2017 Robert now manages the LAL Field Team as the VP of Field Operations. Robert quickly introduced Repsly, which tracks guidance and results. Robert teaches his team productivity data, and to treat each business with the same tactics Robert learned from his experiences and methods he learned in his 32 years at Coca-Cola. They have successfully developed key areas in the Southern California area. Robert and his team have lead and participated in numerous meetings sharing "the secret sauce", and in trade visits showing others how to win the marketplace. Robert is an active cyclist, kayak fisherman and music fan, Robert lives in Santa Clarita with his wife of 23 years and their son Neil and beautiful daughter Susha. Robert's has two older sons, Rawley who owns Rouleur Brewery in Carlsbad, and Drew who is a Key Account Manager for Stone Brewing, Southern California.
Client Strategist, Force Brands
Client Strategist, Force Brands
When: 11:30 AM - 5:00 PM on Sunday, December 2nd
Where: Venice Room @ Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel (1700 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, CA 90401)
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.