The Leading Conference For The Beverage Industry
Actionable Innovation and Stories from the Market Leaders and Innovators
Our speakers are leaders in the beverage industry talking about their experiences and focused on moving the industry forward. Speakers deliver talks on best practices, battle scars, data insights or cases that focus on breaking through or getting to the next level and the lessons learned in the process.
Networking Opportunities Drive New Partnerships
We pace the event to promote conversations. Using the stage as a thought starter, people come to make industry connections and figure out how they can work together.
Participation Generates Industry Awareness for Your Beverage Product or Service
The New Beverage Showdown pits the hottest new beverages against each other. Sample Bars are product showcases putting cutting-edge products in front of potential partners. The BevNET Live Expo is an intimate showcase of beverage-specific industry supplier and service companies.
Industry All-Stars Speak at BevNET Live.
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.
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.
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.
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.
CEO, Harmless Harvest
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.
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.
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.
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.
General Manager, Oatly
Mike is the General Manager for OATLY leading all aspects of business and brand development in North America. OATLY makes vegan, plant based food and beverage products made out of oats and was originally founded in Sweden over 25 years ago. Prior to joining OATLY and launching it in the US, Mike held a variety of marketing and commercial roles at The Nature’s Bounty Co, Chobani, and PepsiCo. Before starting his career in CPG, Mike served as an Officer in the Navy in a variety of roles including nuclear engineering management on aircraft carriers. He has his MBA from Harvard Business School, a Masters in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University, and his undergraduate degree from Duke University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and their dog.
Divisional Merchandise Manager, Chilled Packaged Goods, Walmart
Sarah has spent the last 10 years in the food business at Walmart. During this time she has held roles in private brands, sustainability as well as various buying roles in merchandising. She’s currently leading the refrigerated buying teams to cultivate a new shopping experience. She is passionate about growing American entrepreneurs and creating new models for growth.
Kara Cissell Roell
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.
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.
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.
Co-founder & CEO, LifeAid
Future LIFEAID co-founders Orion Melehan and Dr. Aaron Hinde met by chance at a CrossFit box in 2009, in the iconic beach town of Santa Cruz, California. In addition to their mutual passion for intense physical workouts, they also discovered their children attended the same school and were already friends. The two men quickly formed a friendship and discovered they had another thing in common: the entrepreneurial bug. Discussing their mutual frustration with the choice of food and drink that were being marketed as ‘healthy’ and suitable for ‘recovery’ post workout, Orion and Aaron decided to turn their frustrations into solutions, and founded the LIFEAID brand. With a focus on great tasting, wellness enhancing and solutions driven supplements that can be enjoyed as a drink, LIFEAID today is a trusted brand amongst health and performance conscious consumers. Since founding the company in 2011, Orion and Aaron have built LIFEAID into a multi-million dollar brand and wellness movement that is a standout on e-comm and social media, and one of the most dynamic brands at retail. Prior to founding LIFEAID, Orion Melehan was a certified financial planner with his own practice. Orion is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
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 attendees. Young beverage brands get up to speed, identify keys for growth and initiate critical conversations.