BevNET Live Summer 2010

New York, NY
This is a past event. Replay all presentations and view upcoming events.


Schedule of Events (as of May 26, 2010):
(Note that speakers and times are subject to change)


NOTE: Subject to change. Additional sessions and times to be announced.

7:30AM – 8:30AM – Breakfast and registration

8:30-8:35 – Welcome, Intro, Overview from John Craven

8:35- 9:00 Introductory Panel led by founder John Craven – Our traditional overview features panelists who are ready to describe the market for entrepreneurial beverage sales, distribution and investment.

Featuring: Gerry Martin, VP of Marketing, Polar Beverages; Marion Glover, founder, Glover Capital; Andy Schamisso, Founder, Inko’s White Tea;

Part I – Growing Brands

9:00-10:20 Entrepreneur Case Studies: Direct from the Trenches
A series of brief presentations on the challenges of growth and competition from some of the beverage industry’s most interesting entrepreneurial brands, including:

–Ten Years After – How brand-building has changed, and how it hasn’t. John Bello, CEO, Adina Beverage Co.

– Staying Independent While Trying to Grow – Michael Kirban, CEO Vita Coco (All Market Inc.)
– Better, Faster, Cheaper, Smarter – Standing Out From the Crowd – On Your Shoestrings – Eric Skae, CEO, New Leaf Tea
– Enough with the Hibiscus-Vanilla! Simplifying to Sell More – Theo Goldin, Co-Founder and COO, HINT

The case studies will be followed by a panel featuring live mentoring and discussion with these speakers and other experienced beverage innovators.


10:20-10:45 Beverage Break


10:45-11:20 The Beverage Company Repair Shop – Billy Cyr, CEO Sunny Delight Beverage Company
How do you unlock the value of your underperforming beverage brand? Billy Cyr, CEO of the Sunny Delight Beverage Company, has built a large enterprise out of doing just that. In this presentation, Cyr discusses his methods for determining the strength of brands and shares ways to fix the weak spots. Followed by a question and answer period in which Cyr will discuss solutions for attendees who want to strengthen their product performance in the marketplace.

Featuring: Billy Cyr

Part II — Challenges

11:20-12:00 Panel Discussion – Current Issues in the Beverage Business
The FDA is increasing regulatory enforcement on product claims and ingredient effects, while the media and consumer groups are scrutinizing labels for caloric impact. As a result, a lot of the latest news about the beverage industry hasn’t been good. Our panel of experts discusses how individual companies can avoid regulatory pitfalls and how entrepreneurial beverage makers as a whole can help reverse the perception problems that are complicating the industry.

Featuring: J.J. Prochnow, Greenberg Traurig LLC; Steve Shapiro, Ullman Shapiro LLC; Patricia M. Vaughan, General Counsel, ABA

LUNCH 12:00-1:00


Presentation — Why Brands Fail – Peter van Stolk, former CEO, Jones Soda
Peter van Stolk’s innovative marketing practices took Jones Soda from a small, Seattle-focused entrepreneurial CSD into a nationally-distributed product frequently discussed as an example of cutting-edge branding. But cutting edge brands can have a downside, and van Stolk will analyze brand development with this invaluable and frank discussion, “Why Brands Fail.”


Panel – What Went Wrong
Following van Stolk’s presentation, he will be joined by a other beverage entrepreneurs who have also seen promising companies fall victim to either adverse circumstance or tough decisions. This unique panel will feature a candid opportunity to learn from history to inform the future decision-making process for growing brands.
Panelists include: Brad Barnhorn, former Executive Chairman, Wild Waters and Bevology; Ariel Nelson, former President, Bombilla & Gourd; Peter van Stolk, former CEO, Jones Soda

Part III – Finding the Tools for Growth


1:45-2:00 Investor Profile: Eric Melloul, Verlinvest

With investments in Sambazon, Vita Coco, Hint, and Glaceau, Verlinvest has made investments that have tracked with the fastest growing sections of the entrepreneurial beverage business: natural and functional products that embody healthy, fashionable lifestyles. Managing Director Eric Melloul has overseen those investments and will be on hand to discuss how his firm looks at potential investments, and their unique “hands-with” approach to building brands in the post-deal environment.

2:00-2:40 Financing Panel

Following Melloul’s talk, he will join a panel with other investors to discuss the relationship between entrepreneurs and their investors. While that relationship has been strained as the U.S. economy struggles to recover, more investors than ever are looking at the beverage space, as well.

Featuring: Eric Melloul, Verlinvest; Marion Glover, Glover Capital; John Burns, Highland Consumer Fund; Brent Knudsen, Partnership Capital Growth Advisors

Beverage Break – 2:40-3:10


Interview – The Other Side of the Desk – with Dan Holland, President, Activate Drinks

After 30 years on the distribution side, approving or turning down new beverage brands that wanted space on the trucks, Holland is asking the same questions that used to be asked of him – “will you carry us?” “how do we insure a good working relationship?” and “why haven’t you returned my calls?” Holland will discuss the insights he gained from his three decades as a distributor – and whether those insights have helped him meet his expectations as he tries to crack new markets as an entrepreneur.


Panel Discussion – The State of Distribution
Independent distributors from across the country take part in BevNET Live’s well-known discussion of the ongoing relationship between DSD and entrepreneurial brands. The lifeline for so many innovative products, they are ready to offer guidance, answer questions, and explain the best way for suppliers and distributors to achieve mutual success.
Featuring: Guy Battaglia, VP, High Grade Beverage, South Brunswick, NJ; Tom LeBon, New Age Beverages, Denver, Colorado; Randy Shanker, Canada Dry Bottling Co., Lansing, Michigan; Bob Groux, Coast Beverage Group, Orange County, California; Mark Miller, Hensley Beverage, Phoenix, Arizona


Part IV – Can You Make It?


Live Review Panel
Emerging beverage companies seek advice from a BevNET-assembled team of experts. Hosted by founder John Craven – interested companies should contact Mr. Craven.

Featuring: Michael Hartman, EVP, Pepsi Beverage Co.; Ian McLean, founder, McLean Design; Mary-Ann Somers, Coca-Cola Co., Inc.; Tom LeBon, Co-Owner, New Age Distributing

5:00 — Cocktails