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 2020 attendees. The program includes on-demand presentations as well as virtual roundtable sessions with industry experts and suppliers for interactive Q&A and networking.
Beverage School Speakers
Chief Creative Officer, The GRO Agency
Founder & Principal, The Guard Agency
Partner; Chair of Consumer Products, Food, and Beverage Group, Holland & Hart LLP
I advise over consumer products brands and investment funds in capital raising, exit, and acquisition transactions. I've served as a mentor or judge in dozens of consumer-focused incubators and pitch competitions, including FoodBytes! by Rabobank, ExpoEast, and Naturally Boulder. Our consumer team closed over sixty financing and M&A transactions in the consumer space in the prior year and represents over 100 brands and top-tier funds, where we also serve as outside general counsel. The absolute core of my, and my group's, philosophy to the practice of law is that clients are not transactions, and we are not merely service providers. We specialize in the consumer space so that we can be more.
Founder and Principal, ValuesAligned Capital
Nancy is the Founder and Principal of ValuesAligned Capital, a financial consulting firm which helps socially and environmentally responsible companies with their M&A and growth capital needs while prioritizing retaining mission. Her practice is focused on the food and agriculture sector with particular interest in food and beverage companies with transparent, vertically integrated, agricultural supply chains that yield positive environmental and social benefit. Companies include: Uncle Matt’s Organics, Sambazon, Vital, Farms, SunFed Ranch, Traditional Medicinals, Runa and Taza Chocolate. VA Capital also works with family offices to help with impact investing strategy and implementation of direct investing priorities. Most recently with Big Path Capital as an investment banker, convener and thought leader in the Impact investing space, she has decades of leadership experience in values driven, consumer-facing companies. Among her many social enterprise engagements, Nancy has held C level and or governance positions at Tom’s of Maine, Bright Horizons, ZipCar, Mama Chia, Root Capital and Trillium Asset Management. Nancy has an impressive track record of creating business value by identifying consumer trends ahead of the curve, strategic marketing, team building and raising capital. Nancy is the producer of the seminal work in impacting investing Total Portfolio Activation in collaboration with Trillium Asset Management and the Tides foundation, she is a Springboard alum and was a distinguished teaching fellow with Dr. Robert Coles at Harvard University. She holds a BA from Hamilton College and an MBA from Northeastern University. Nancy lives in Somerville, MA with her two middle school aged daughters who keep her focused every day on improving the word they will inherit.
President and Co-Founder, Dirty Hands
Will Ahearn is the President and Co-Founder of Dirty Hands. Having spent years supporting brands in the trade, Will understands the importance of relationships and how they drive success within accounts. He is passionate about company culture and creating a positive environment where people feel they belong and can bring their authentic selves to work every day. He resides in Oakland CA. When he's not working, he enjoys spending quiet time among the redwoods, gardening, hiking, and sampling the latest brands.
Managing Partner, Cascadia Managing Brands
BILL SIPPER is a food and beverage industry leader who has guided numerous brands from concept to commercialization to category leadership. He held senior positions at leading brands including Evian, Nantucket Nectars, Fresh Samantha/Odwalla, Naked Juice and Clearly Canadian. Bill’s strategic expertise and executional focus helped those brands succeed and can help your brand succeed, too. Consulting closely with client leaders as they consider a sale or acquisition, Bill has supported several brands through the process. (Naked Juice was sold to Pepsico, Fresh Samantha/Odwalla was sold to Coca Cola, and Nantucket Nectars was sold to Ocean Spray). Bill has significant international experience, and works with clients in Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East. He draws on this expertise to help international brands establish presence in the US and to help US brands expand internationally. Bill is active in philanthropic causes: He served as president of Robert Kennedy Jr.’s clean water charity, Tear of the Clouds; was an advisor to The Walden Woods Project; and served on the Board of Directors of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Bill has been featured on Food Network’s “Unwrapped” and in the PBS documentary “The Water Wars.” He has been a featured speaker at Columbia University School of Business, The Bottled Water Congress (Torino, Italy), the Pan Arab Congress on Osteoporosis (Tunisia), and at virtually every major US food and beverage show, including Natural Products Expo, BevNet, Nosh Live and more. His articles have appeared in leading trade publications, and he is frequently quoted in media including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and the New York Times.
President, Zipline Logistics