BevNET Live Winter 2020 Speakers
The complete BevNET Live speaker lineup will feature more than 20 beverage industry leaders. Check back for updates!
Founder & CEO, Hint Inc.
Entrepreneur Kara Goldin is founder and CEO of hint inc., the San Francsico-based company which produces the leading unsweetened flavored water. hint® also recently launched a sunscreen spray that is oxybenzone and paraben-free and scented with hint fruit essence. Goldin has been named among Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs and Forbes' 40 Women to Watch Over 40. The Huffington Post listed her as one of six disruptors in business, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Further accolades include EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Northern California (one of), SF Business Times Most Influential Woman (one of), Fast Company Most Creative People in Business (one of), EY Winning Woman 2012, Fortune Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink 2015, the Gold Stevie award for Female Entrepreneur of the Year, Amex OPENforum's Women to Watch and the Marketers That Matter award for Brand Building, Small Company. Previously, Goldin was Vice President of Shopping and E-commerce Partnerships at AOL, where she lead the growth of its startup shopping business to a $1 billion enterprise. Goldin is an active business speaker and writer, a member of C200, and a member of SFBay YPO, the world's premier chief executive leadership organization. In 2016, she launched The Kara Network, a digital resource and mentoring platform for aspiring and established entrepreneurs. In 2020, Goldin published her book, "Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts + Doubters," which is part autobiography, part business memoir about her journey building hint into a successful company.
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.
VP of Content and Thought Leadership, IRI
Joan attributes curiosity as key to her 30-plus year career as a results-driven market researcher, CPG trade journalist and thought leader. Her goal has always been to empower CPGs, retailers and industry suppliers with information needed to make smart decisions that support shoppers and consumers. Her motto: Make the shopper the hero. Joan’s thought leadership work regularly serves as a foundation from which IRI teams develop innovative, holistic solutions for clients, and is regularly showcased during top-to-top client meetings, industry conferences and webinars, media, academic and custom studies. Joan has shared her expertise by leading dialogues on timely and compelling CPG issues. She hosts the IRI Growth Insights podcast (download today!) and is frequently quoted in leading industry media. She supports industry organizations such as Network of Executive Women; and she’s on the Executive Board of Western Michigan University’s Food Marketing Conference as well as Les Dames d’Escoffier’s Chicago Chapter.
President of Emerging Growth, Molson Coors
Pete Marino is the President of Emerging Growth at Molson Coors. Prior to in his current role, Pete served as chief public affairs and communications officer of MillerCoors and president of Tenth and Blake Beer Company, the company’s U.S. craft and import division. He joined MillerCoors in 2012 as vice president of communications. Prior to joining the company, he served as president, public relations, for OLSON + CO, and founder and president of Dig Communications, which was acquired by OLSON in 2010. Prior to that he served as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group.
Co-Founder/CMO, Better Booch
After extensive international touring as a musician and singer, Better Booch Co-founder and CMO Ashleigh Lockerbie realized it was time to build a healthier, more balanced life for herself. Since founding Better Booch, she’s taken the premium small craft kombucha brand from farmer’s markets to 3,000+ retailers nationwide, including Whole Foods, Amazon, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Central Market and Erewhon. In kind with her firm belief that good food can open the door to good health, Better Booch proudly supports City of Hope's Program in Natural Therapies, which takes natural, non-toxic cancer treatments through clinical trials.
Managing Director, Consumer Investment Banking, Canaccord Genuity LLC
Morgan Ley is a Managing Director at Canaccord Genuity. Morgan leads the Food Tech focus at the firm and over the course of his 20 year career in investment banking has worked with a range of consumer companies across the food, beverage and health and wellness sectors. Canaccord Genuity’s global capital markets and advisory practice focuses on providing capital solutions to growth companies in disruptive and innovative sectors such as sustainability, consumer, technology and healthcare.
Senior Principal, Bluestein Ventures
Ashley is Senior Principal at Bluestein Ventures, a family-backed venture capital fund that invests in the future of food. Bluestein looks for game-changing, early-stage ventures across the food industry that redefine how consumers achieve their health and wellness. Our investments span the entire value chain – both B2C and B2B – with a focus on four areas: high-growth consumer brands, proprietary foodtech, next-gen commerce, and value-add digital technology. At Bluestein, we’re active investors, going beyond capital to help its portfolio companies develop, iterate, and implement their go-to-market strategy to achieve product-market fit and set the foundation for scale. Ashley is involved in all areas of Bluestein, including screening, due diligence, portfolio company support, as well as firm development and strategy. She has extensive experience leading growth strategy and establishing scalable infrastructure necessary to build sustainable ventures, honing these skills throughout her time running and scaling her family’s business, working on new ventures at Coinstar, and her experience in financial consulting. Active in the Chicago food community, Ashley serves on the Selection Committee and Associate’s Board of the Good Food Accelerator and is a mentor at Food Foundry and The Hatchery. Ashley received an MBA with honors from Harvard Business School and a BA in Political Economy, summa cum laude, from Williams College. Outside of Bluestein, you’ll find Ashley on her yoga mat, exploring Chicago on foot, hiking up a storm when she can escape to the mountains, or at a contemporary art museum. A health&wellness nut, she’s been vegan for nearly eight years, but doesn’t preach!
Associate Director of Client Services, Nielsen Cannabis Practices
Rick is the Associate Director of Client Services of Nielsen’s Cannabis Practice in the United States, supporting relationships with Nielsen’s many CPG and retail clients, as well as with key industry groups and the media. In this role, Rick supports an array of cannabis-centric initiatives for Nielsens' clients and internal product teams, providing business information, analysis and insights, and designing research methodologies for syndicated and custom solutions. Prior to joining Nielsen's Cannabis Practice, Rick was the founder and Chief Product Officer of the Cannabiz Consumer Group (C2G), a cannabis market research firm acquired by Nielsen in late 2018 that specialized in better understanding cannabis consumers and the interaction and impact cannabis legalization has on conventional consumer packaged goods categories, brands, and retailers. In his short time with Nielsen, Rick has helped to adapt and apply many of C2G's products, solutions, and cannabis-knowledge to Nielsen's existing product portfolio and analytical capabilities, while also working to facilitate new solutions for an increasingly more connected CPG-cannabis marketplace. Rick holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Strategic Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Science in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently lives and works in the Chicagoland area.
Director of Analytics, Headset
Liz is the Director of Analytics at Headset, a cannabis data intelligence company. At Headset Liz and her team are responsible for everything from creating SKU level, realtime market forecasts of Adult Use cannabis sales across the US and Canada to the creation of dashboards for our Retailer product. In addition, Liz and her team write Industry Reports and run webinars working to increase data literacy across the cannabis space. Prior to working for Headset, Liz worked as a Data Scientist in CPG retail and financial services, as well as spent some time in Financial and Economic Consulting. After eight years working as a Data Scientist, Liz started her own Data Science consulting business where she advised small businesses on how to use their data to make better product, marketing, and operational decisions. Along with her work at Headset, Liz currently works with researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and London Business School doing experimental research on heuristics and biases that impede business decision makers from optimally using data to drive decisions.
MIchele Kessler has over 25 years of marketing and general management experience in the consumer packaged goods sector. She is currently CEO and board member at REBBL, a mission-driven, organic, plant-based functional beverage company. Additionally, Michele sits on the board of The Wine Group, and is a former board director of My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream, Manitoba Harvest and the American Marketing Association. Most recently, Michele served as CEO at thinkThin, (now think!), a leading protein bar company, and she led the sale of the company from private to corporate ownership. Prior to thinkThin, Michele held leadership positions at Mars Inc, Kraft Foods, and Procter & Gamble. Michele received her BA and MBA degrees from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Sunrise Venice Rotary. Michele and her husband Patrick live in Marina del Rey, CA, currently with their two sons.
Ken Sadowsky is known by insiders in the beverage business as “the beverage whisperer” for having an incredible track record of investing in and advising many of the fastest-growing and most successful new beverages over the last 20 years, including Glaceau/VitaminWater, Vita Coco, Hint and LifeAID where he serves (ed) as a Director. He has also advised companies including Bai, Califia Farms, Recess, and Dyla Brands (makers of Stur and Forto). Ken is also the senior beverage advisor for Verlinvest (investment vehicle of Belgian InBev family) in the USA. He is also the executive director of NIDA, a group of independent beverage distributors in the Northeast part of the USA.
Co-Founder & President, Shaka Tea
Isabella “Bella” Hughes' career spans the arts, agriculture and CPG. She is the President and co-founder of Shaka Tea, a line of award-winning, herbal teas brewed with mamaki, an ancient superleaf only found in the Hawaiian Islands that supports sustainable agriculture and economic abundance in Hawai'i. Now available across the US and in Japan, Shaka Tea recently won Best Beverage 2020 and the Gold Superior Award by Chefs in America/American Masters of Taste and the InnoBev 2020 Best Low/No Sugar Drink award presented by Zenith Global. She is also the co-founder, board chair and director emeritus of Hawai'i Contemporary, a 501c3 arts organization; is a member of the Hawai'i County's Merit of Appeals board; and is an active mentor to a number of CPG female founders in her community.
Partner , 2x Consumer Products Growth Partners
Liz Myslik is driven to help mission-driven brands and the people who create them. She has spent 20 years leading and investing in emerging consumer brands across the food, beverage and fitness industries. In her role at 2X Consumer Growth Partners, she funds and supports great brands to transform their categories and grow. Her operating and leadership experience make Liz a valued partner to the entrepreneurs she works with, because she has faced many of the same challenges they do; including building and managing supply chains, running in-house and outsourced manufacturing, driving product trial and consumer loyalty, achieving distribution growth, developing new products, leading teams, and financing working capital and growth. Liz has been named as a Kingmaker in Consumer & Retail by Forbes, one of the Most Influential Woman in Food & Drink by Fortune, and a Wonder Woman in the Natural Products Industry by New Hope Media.
Co-Founder and CEO, So Good Brand Inc.
Eric Hall is the co-founder and CEO of So Good So You, a leader in the hyper-growth functional shot category. So Good So You plant-based functional beverages are cold-pressed and feature powerful natural ingredients that help improve immune system health and support everyday functions like Immunity, Energy, Sleep and Beauty. The brand has seen growth of more than 380 percent in the last 18 months and recently closed on $14.5M of growth capital. So Good So You manufactures all beverages in its 100 percent renewable energy-powered, zero-waste manufacturing facility in Minneapolis and recently launched the eco-friendly BtrBtl™ for all functional shots. Eric embodies the spirit of a driven entrepreneur through and through, having put his passions towards founding multiple companies. Thriving on the unique challenges of start-up environments, Eric believes his purpose is to build companies that model a prioritization of people and planet as a blue print for business health & profitability.
Founder and Managing Director, Blueberry Ventures
Arif invests in and works with innovative brands and companies led by inspiring entrepreneurs and management teams, and collaborates closely alongside similarly focused co-investors and value chain partners. Bringing two decades of consumer and retail experience to the table, Arif partners with teams building the next generation nutrition landscape by providing early & growth stage capital and operational support to help empower growth and build great businesses. Select investments and board responsibilities include Vive Organic, Flying Embers, REBBL, 4th & Heart, High Brew Coffee, Ripple Foods, Barnana, Revive Kombucha (acquired by Peet’s Coffee), Rhythm Superfoods, Fishpeople Seafood, Biena Snacks, Sufferfest Beer Company (acquired by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company), Bonafide Provisions, Nutriati, Austin Eastciders, Pique Tea & RightRice.
CEO, Harmless Harvest
Managing Partner, Barrel Ventures
Nate started Barrel Ventures out of a passion to help others disrupt the status quo. Surrounded by entrepreneurs at a young age, Nate became an operator himself as a founder of L3 Hospitality Group and later Wise Apple, a company that set out to change kids' lunch. Nate is a graduate of the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management where he was awarded a Kellogg Scholarship and named a Zell Fellow. In his free time, Nate is a passionate endurance athlete and movie quote savant. He lives in Chicago and serves on the associate boards of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and Social Venture Partners.
Ben Goodwin is on a mission to help improve Americans’ digestive health, and he’s doing it by creating delicious sodas in nostalgically-themed flavors. Goodwin co-founded beverage brand OLIPOP in 2018, marketing a revolutionary formula of fiber-rich, sparkling drinks in the familiar and comforting guise of soda pop. Goodwin is OLIPOP’s head of formulation, personally researching and developing each flavor for the brand, which has in less than two years become the fastest-growing independently owned beverage company in the US. Goodwin’s inspiration is often his own childhood memories of certain classic American foods and flavors. He then modernizes those flavor cues into a better-for-you soda drink with high levels of soluble fiber, which is increasingly recognized as critical to digestive health and supportive of overall physical and mental wellness.
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.
Founder, Body By Jake/Don't Quit
Jake "Body by Jake" Steinfeld has been an innovator and entrepreneur since creating the personal fitness training industry. He established "Body by Jake" Inc. in 1980 to develop merchandise, programming, partnerships and other multimedia endeavors, all promoting the benefits of healthy living - and the motivation to get there. Jake also created FitTV, America's first 24-hour fitness lifestyle television network which he sold to News Corp. Jake launched ExerciseTV, the first on-demand fitness television network in partnership with Comcast, New Balance and Time Warner. He is also the founder of Major League Lacrosse and the World Series of Youth Lacrosse. Jake was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Chairman of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and is presently going into his tenth year as Chairman of the National Foundation for Governors' Fitness Councils. Jake was chosen to be an official Olympic torchbearer to carry the inspirational flame for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England and has proudly served as Honorary Mayor of Pacific Palisades, CA.
CEO & Founder, BevNET.com
Principal & Founder, Smoketown Strategy
President & Co-Founder, L.A. Libations
Patrick Bolden is a business expert with 24 years of beverage experience. Alcohol, non-alcohol, traditional, non-traditional, on and off premise are many aspects of the beverage industry that are familiar to Pat. Pat is the Co-Founder and President of L.A. Libations. After a short stint playing professional basketball, Pat began in beverage by working for 7up / Rc Bottling in 1993. He worked in a variety of different roles there from field sales to operations to national accounts. After 7 years he transitioned to the Coca Cola Company into their trade development department and called on national accounts such as BP ampm, Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club. In 2005, Pat took on a National Account Manager role at Heineken USA. Learning the ins and outs and legalities of the alcoholic beverage industry was challenging but rewarding. This experience allowed Pat to be much better-rounded within the beverage channel but also understand how to create a new approach to being innovative and disruptive. In 2009 Pat, Danny and Dino started this organization to position “better for you and healthy alternative” products in mainstream retail accounts. Pat’s strength are his deep nationwide retail relationships. He has always said “providing value is the key to true partnership.” Innovation and incubation continue to be the phases of beverage brands where Pat’s experience shines. His passion to integrate beverages that are centered on health and wellness into mainstream outlets is what drives him to trail blaze in this industry and his results speak for themself.
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