SUMMER 2020 | JUNE 23 +24
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A Two-Day Virtual Event for the Food and Beverage Industry

On June 23 and 24, let’s take some time together to reset, taking a break from our widespread separation. Gathering within a unique virtual event environment, BevNET and NOSH’s Virtually Live welcome food and beverage professionals to an event filled with refreshing opportunities to interact, learn, and partner with colleagues who are both familiar and new. It’s time to connect and share knowledge, even from home.

Free Presentation: The Black Experience in the Food and Beverage Business

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Main Stage Speaker Lineup: Industry Leaders & Innovators

  • Tom Colicchio, Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist, - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Tom Colicchio

    Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist,

    Tom Colicchio, Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist, - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Tom Colicchio

    Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist,

    Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark and Temple Court; Los Angeles’ Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tom made his New York cooking debut at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern before opening Craft in 2001. Outside of his fine dining restaurants, Colicchio opened ‘wichcraft – a sandwich and salad fast casual concept rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003. In late 2018 Tom and his team opened Small Batch in Garden City, NY, a casual dining restaurant celebrating pride of place through commitments to local ingredients, purveyors and people. In an effort to broaden his long-standing activism around food issues, Tom served as an executive producer to the 2013 documentary “A Place at the Table” about the underlying causes of hunger in the United States. This eye-opening experience led Tom on a journey to Washington DC where he has been a mainstay in our nation’s capital in the years since. From holding members of Congress accountable on their voting records around food to working with former FLOTUS Michelle Obama on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, Tom has established himself as the leading “Citizen Chef” advocating for a food system that values access, affordability and nutrition over corporate interests. Tom and his restaurants give back to the community through their impact partnership with FEAST and by serving on the boards of Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, and Wholesome Wave. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lori Silverbush and their three sons. When he’s not in the kitchen, Tom can be found tending to his garden on the North Fork of Long Island, enjoying a day of fishing or playing guitar.

  • Jomaree Pinkard, CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co. - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Jomaree Pinkard

    CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co.

    Jomaree Pinkard, CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co. - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Jomaree Pinkard

    CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co.

    Jomaree Pinkard’s career journey has taken him from helping to develop and implement The Salvation Army's September 11 World Trade Center Recovery Program to consulting for the NFL. In 2012, he became the Co-Founder and CEO of a minority-led craft cocktail company, Hella Cocktail Co. In eight years, he and his partners have grown a hobby into a nationally distributed premium-quality food manufacturer producing a line of nonalcoholic cocktail mixers, bitters, and newest innovation Bitters & Sodas that make it easier and more accessible to craft delicious drinks at home or behind the bar. Jomaree is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and also earned his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Chris  Hunter, CEO/Co-Founder, Koia - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Chris Hunter

    CEO/Co-Founder, Koia

    Chris  Hunter, CEO/Co-Founder, Koia - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Chris Hunter

    CEO/Co-Founder, Koia

    As Co-Founder and CEO of Koia, Chris Hunter is currently focused on scaling the brand which has become the most productive protein beverage in retail. Launching in 2016, Koia’s initial product offering was a craveable, ready to drink, plant-based protein shake. Current offerings have extended into plant-based keto shakes and a line of planted-based elevated coffee. All products deliver on Koia’s mission to provide easy access to convenient, nutritious, and delicious plant-based nutrition. Hunter is a successful entrepreneur focused on creating, investing in, and scaling pioneering brands. He is the Co-Founder of iconic alcohol brands Four Loko and Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Furthermore, Hunter founded Perspective Projects, his private equity arm, in 2016 and Co-Founded Graze Provisions & Libations in 2018. Perspective Projects currently has investments in brands that are leading their space, including Vive Organics (functional shots), Beanfields (bean based chips), Factor (fully prepared healthy delivered meals), and Roar Organics (electrolyte infusioned drinks and powders). Graze Provisions & Libations is a locally driven food and beverage collective in the heart of Minneapolis’ North Loop. Hunter grew up in Northeast Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Marketing. He currently lives in San Diego with his wife and three young sons, where he maintains an active lifestyle by practicing yoga, cycling, running and surfing.

  • Denise Woodard, Founder & CEO, Partake Foods - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Denise Woodard

    Founder & CEO, Partake Foods

    Denise Woodard, Founder & CEO, Partake Foods - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Denise Woodard

    Founder & CEO, Partake Foods

    Denise Woodard is the Founder/CEO of Partake, a line of allergy-friendly snacks inspired by her daughter’s experience with food allergies. Since launching in July 2017, Partake’s first product - delicious, nutritious, allergy-friendly cookies - can be found in over 2,500 retailers including Target, Sprouts, and Whole Foods Market. The company has been featured by People, Black Enterprise and Entrepreneur and, in June 2019 closed a seed round of funding led by JAY-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners. Prior to launching Partake, Denise spent a decade in consumer packaged goods at various Fortune 100 companies. Most recently, she held the title of Director, National Sales in Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands division. Denise holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MBA from Arizona State University. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her husband, Jeremy, and their 5 year old daughter, Vivienne.

  • David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    David Lemley

    President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo

    David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    David Lemley

    President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo

    David Lemley, author of the new book, Beloved & Dominant Brands , has had a creative and strategic hand in shaping some of the world’s most iconic and fastest-growing brands including Essentia Water, Sahale Snacks, Yakima Chief Hops, Starbucks, REI, and Dry Soda. As the Founder and Chief Strategist of Seattle-based Retail Voodoo, David is on a mission to help better-for-you brands win customer’s hearts, minds, and souls. He partners with marketers, investors, and founder-owners to unlock the power of their brand’s promise to engage consumers, spark innovation, identify opportunity, and drive exponential growth.

  • Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Austin Stevenson

    Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa

    Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Austin Stevenson

    Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa

    Austin in the Chief Innovation Officer at Vertosa. He leads all commercial activities, including sales, marketing, and new business development. Prior to joining Vertosa, Austin leveraged his bio-tech experience building the regulatory Hemp/CBD testing program for Eurofins Scientific - a world leader in food, environment, and product testing services – where he built and designed quality testing protocols for CVS and other retailers who carried Hemp/CBD products. For over 10 years, Austin has advised start-ups, built businesses, and launched hundreds of new products in finance, technology, and cannabis cpg industries. With an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in New York City, and a Masters of Science from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom--Austin is passionate about creating impact around the world through new business development, and designing products that consumers love.

  • Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Eric Zeitoun

    CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo

    Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Eric Zeitoun

    CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo

    Eric is the CEO and Founder of Black Bamboo, a growth agency that helps marketers, investors and entrepreneurs develop and activate their brands with a forward-looking view on the world. A specialist in brand and innovation strategy he has advised numerous brands from Fortune 500 (Pepsi, Mars, Unilever, Heineken, Smucker…) to PE-backed or independent brands (e.g. Bragg, VEGA, Spindrift, Health Warrior, Dang, Saffron Road to name a few). Eric often writes in marketing and business publications and has been guest lecturer at Columbia Business School and NYU.

  • Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Katlin Smith

    Founder & CEO, Simple Mills

    Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Katlin Smith

    Founder & CEO, Simple Mills

    Katlin Smith is the Founder and CEO of Simple Mills, a Chicago-based company at the forefront of a clean food movement that is shaping the next generation of natural foods. Named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017, Smith launched Simple Mills in 2013 to provide a cleaner alternative to the natural baking mixes then on the market. Today, despite a crowded market space with long-established competitors, Simple Mills ranks as the #1 fastest-growing natural baking mix and cracker brand. Additionally, Simple Mills ranks as the #1 natural baking mix, the #1 natural cracker, and #2 natural cookie by dollar sales, according to SPINS syndicated data. Simple Mills products are currently distributed in more than 13,000 conventional and natural grocery stores including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target, Kroger and Safeway as well as through Amazon and Thrive Market. All products are free of gluten, grain, dairy, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers, addressing consumer concerns about food sensitivities and the safety of the food supply chain. The current lineup includes baking mixes, frostings, almond flour crackers, sprouted seed crackers and ready to eat crunchy cookies. Smith is a former Deloitte Consulting management consultant, winner of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge, and a columnist for Inc. magazine.

  • Kevin Rutherford, CEO, nuun - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Kevin Rutherford

    CEO, nuun

    Kevin Rutherford, CEO, nuun - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Kevin Rutherford

    CEO, nuun

    Kevin Rutherford is the President and CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) of nuun and Company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. He joined nuun in December of 2013. In his first year Kevin led the company to 30 percent growth and record setting revenue celebrating the brands 10 th anniversary. That growth was accelerated in 2015 growing an additional 40 percent on another banner year. This was led by across the board category growth in sports specialty, grocery and the natural space including the brands entrance into every Whole Foods in the country. In 2016 Kevin led the overhaul of the entire nuun line to 100% plant-based ingredients also certified as vegan and gluten free. And, in April of 2017 the brand launched the first sports drink product that is both Non-GMO Project Verified and Informed-Choice Safe for Sport. The focus on product purity has ushered in continued financial success and in Kevin’s first three years the brand grew by over 150%. Rutherford brought an impressive 18-year CPG marketing background to nuun. Previously, Kevin was President and CEO of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (The Caldrea Company) where he successfully grew the business by over 85 percent and was awarded Target’s Vendor of the Year 2012. Prior to Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Rutherford was Director of Marketing for Kashi Co. (subsidiary of Kellogg, Co.) where he managed the Bear Naked brands, successfully innovating the product line from granola into energy bars, cereal, and cookies. Kevin also worked for Miller Brewing Company as senior brand manager on the Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) business. He was responsible for re-launching MGD Light into MGD 64, considered one of the most successful launches for conventional beers in the last 10 years. Prior to MGD, Rutherford was a Senior Brand Manager at S.C. Johnson, Inc. where he managed a $200 million home cleaning product business. Rutherford started his career as a grocery-merchandising manager at Loblaw Co. Inc., the largest grocery retailer in Canada.  Rutherford is a values based, mission driven, hands on leader. He communicates the biggest accomplishment of his career as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day being selected for the Outside “Best Places to Work “ in 2012. He is personally driven towards living a healthy, active lifestyle and being a steward for the environment and sustainable living.

  • Stew Leonard Jr., President & CEO, Stew Leonard's  - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Stew Leonard Jr.

    President & CEO, Stew Leonard's

    Stew Leonard Jr., President & CEO, Stew Leonard's  - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Stew Leonard Jr.

    President & CEO, Stew Leonard's

    What should businesses be doing to support their black employees right now? All business leaders should take the time to have one on one conversations with their black employees. The conversation is the starting point. During these one-on-one conversations, it’s important to ask how they are feeling, what can you as a leader do to help, and what the organization can do to show support to the community. Many black employees might feel an overwhelming amount of emotional fatigue during this time. It’s important to be sensitive to this and give space where needed. Even if you don't know the right words to say, at least reach out. Even something as small as a heart emoji, just to show that you actually care, because the silence speaks louder. What’s your advice for a founder of color first starting out? Many people are not open to changing the way things have already been done. The best thing that has worked for me is to work very hard and stay true to your values. There will be people who will reject you, people naturally fear the unknown. But there will also be people who accept you and be more than willing to help you succeed because you are a genuine person. Try a common phrase, “Just do you.” Avoid getting caught up in the negativity of those who won’t or are not open to accepting you. If you stay true to your path, it’s inevitable that you will attract the right people to help you along your journey. What can businesses do more to hire black workers? It’s a really difficult subject. I've only had one other black person apply for a job and honestly they weren't the best fit for the position and we chose someone else. It wasn't because of race. It was just, at the end of the day, you have to choose the best person for the job but have not had a lot of people apply. Is there a way that the industry can seek out talent in underserved communities or at least have some type of internship program to help give opportunity to people of color? That's the way that we can combat that because I just don't see a lot of people applying and I'm guessing it's because you only know what you know. What should businesses be doing to support their black customers right now? Be sensitive to the matter, and show you care. Something that was really strong for me in the beginning: we were working with a social media agency and they would use all of their employees for the photo shoots and they had no black employees. So we would never get photos featuring black people or even people of color other than one Asian person every once in a while. I said it was ridiculous. We need to represent people of color through the photos. We need to represent all of our customers. This thing I like to say is black hands matter. Because, you know, we have to do food shots with hands. Representation matters. Do a better job. If someone or a brand messes up, what should they do? I’ve definitely seen this a lot this week. The best thing that I've seen is when people actually own up to their mistakes and they state their reasoning, both sides, and then get educated on what they did wrong and talk about it. I know people hate to admit fault, but that's the best way to do it is just own up to your shit. There's many different ways to support and not feel pressure to show up the way everybody else does. As long as everybody's contributing in some way, that should move everything forward. What about some industry-specific actions? How can the food and beverage industry better support black founders and black-owned businesses? Investors: Angel investors, VC and PE really need to step up and make an effort to seek out these founders. Having training courses or even a recruitment firm that helps to place minorities in the industry - it starts there because there are a lot of people like me personally. I know, because a lot of them reach out to me. They want to start food and beverage companies, but they just really don't know where to start, who to talk to, or anything. It's very intimidating. If we can ease that and open the doors, we're moving in the right direction. There has been some progress in supporting women's participation on board of directors. The same initiative should be taken for people of color. Investors can also pledge a certain amount of dollars per year to fund minority-owned businesses. I notice a large gap in awareness between both the investors and the founders. Many founders lack the resources to secure a meeting and many funds don't know exactly where to find these impactful, minority-owned businesses. Grocery Buyers: I'd suggest they make it a priority and policy to take meetings with brands and product companies that demonstrate diversity and maintain leadership or ownership with people of color. One company that does this well is Target TGT. Target values inclusivity in business and aims to expand opportunities for diverse suppliers. They also prioritize working with these suppliers to find innovative solutions that positively impact the communities they serve. Distributors: Distributors should identify these same brands, share the diversity of the brands that they carry, identity, and clearly communicate those brands to their channel partners.

  • Kim Jeffery, Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Kim Jeffery

    Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America

    Kim Jeffery, Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Kim Jeffery

    Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America

    Kim Jeffery is the retired Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, the leading bottled water company in North America and the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company in America. Nestle Waters owns 7 of the top 10 bottled water brands as well as Perrier and San Pellegrino, and had sales of $4.7 billion and 8,000 employees at the time of his retirement in 2014. He has over 45 years of experience in all facets of the consumer products industry including sales, marketing, M&A, manufacturing, logistics, sustainability and finance. Additionally, he managed the journey from entrepreneurial startup to mature multibillion market leader by focusing on organizational development and utilizing a values based leadership model which created a high performance culture.

  • Edzra Gibson, VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Edzra Gibson

    VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow

    Edzra Gibson, VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Edzra Gibson

    VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow

    Edzra Gibson, vice president of brand marketing at the #1 kids’ beverage brand in the U.S., good2grow, brings 14 years of brand marketing and CPG experience to the company. Prior to joining the good2grow team as director of brand marketing in 2015, Edzra supported multiple brands at Fortune 500 companies Abbott Laboratories and Kraft Heinz. In his current role at good2grow, he leads the brand marketing team in identifying future consumer-based growth opportunities that deliver against brand and financial objectives – including portfolio development and consumer activation strategies for national scale and customer-specific shopper marketing initiatives.

  • Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Adnan Durrani

    Founder & CEO, Saffron Road

    Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Adnan Durrani

    Founder & CEO, Saffron Road

    Mr. Durrani is the founder and CEO of Saffron Road Foods. According to IRI/SPINS Scantrak, Saffron Road is the fastest growing natural frozen entrée brand in USA and nationally ranked #2. Mr. Durrani is a serial food entrepreneur and venture capitalist for almost 30 years. Mr. Durrani founded Vermont Pure in 1991(sold to COTT beverages) and his venture firm Condor Ventures was a principal shareholder in Stonyfield Farms, Inc. , sold to Groupe Danone in 2001. He was also a principal of Delicious Brands, Inc., which he scaled, with the financial backing of Carl Icahn, to become the 5th largest cookie brand in the U.S. Saffron Road is sold nationally, in over 25,000 major US retail food stores, including Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, Costco, HEB, Target, Kroger, and all 14 banners of Albertsons/Safeway. Saffron Road is the leading world cuisines brand in the Natural/Organic sector, as well as being the #1 organic chickpea snacks brand. Whole Foods has noted Saffron Road as one of the most successful new brand launches in recent history, having made the Inc 500’s list of fastest growing co.’s for three years. Adnan has been recognized as one of the entrepreneurs who engineered “20 Ideas That Changed The Way The World Does Business”. The select list of these inductees include: Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s), Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farms), Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize, Grameen Bank), and Steve Case (AOL). Mr. Durrani is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is also Co-Chair of Columbia’s SEAS Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He was recognized by the Vatican and Ambassador to the Holy Sees for his “Interfaith In Business” model, where the Pope hosted him as a speaker at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

  • Brad Sterl, CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Brad Sterl

    CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread

    Brad Sterl, CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Brad Sterl

    CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread

    As President/Founder of Rustic Crust, the company that produces Rustic Crust Shelf stable pizza crust and American Flatbread frozen pizzas, Brad continues his personal mission of offering healthier options to the over-processed foods crowding America’s supermarkets and expanding America’s waistlines. “We know people want to eat healthier, but they may not have the time. Eating healthy has to be simple, easy and convenient,” says Brad. “That’s why American Flatbread and Rustic Crust appeal to so many.  I believe that your family, like mine, deserves more than the processed food mentality.”? With more than 28 years in the food industry, Brad’s experience includes food manufacturing, franchise development, sales/marketing, loss control and restaurant management.  In 2014, Brad brought the company back from a devastating fire that caused a total loss for the business. The turnaround included building out two facilities in one year while maintaining YOY growth. When he’s not covered in flour, you’ll find Brad strolling through farmers’ markets, visiting local growers, and creating new recipes for both Rustic Crust and American Flatbread. Brad is passionate about sourcing local and organic ingredients and purposefully blending them in interesting ways to create new and exciting flavor profiles. Publication Appearances: Frozen Refrigerated Magazine (2007–2019) Business NH Magazine (2006–2018) USA Today (2014) Wall Street Journal (2014) Brad is remarried, has two children, recently out of college and employed!

  • Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group) - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Elliot Begoun

    Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)

    Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group) - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Elliot Begoun

    Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)

    Elliot Begoun a 30-year industry veteran, author, and the Founder of TIG, a 1:1 customized alternative accelerator focused on helping emerging natural product brands grow. TIG works with its entrepreneurs to build nimble, capitalefficient, resilient brands that become tardigrades not unicorns. Catch him at FoodBytes, the Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute, the Natural Products Business School, and find his articles in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and New Hope.

  • Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Corinne Shindelar

    President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA

    Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA - BevNET & NOSH Virtually Live Summer 2020

    Corinne Shindelar

    President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA

    Corinne has over 38 years’ experience in the natural products industry and is a leader in organizing and facilitating partnerships that successfully strengthen all stakeholders. She has the vision to see what is needed, the tenacity to fight for what is right when others doubt and the diplomatic and business skills to make it happen. After 15 years of profitable retail management she was the Executive Director of two regional co-op grocers’ associations. Simultaneously she founded the Midwest Purchasing Co-op. In 2004 all three merged into National Co+op Grocers, of which Corinne was the founding President. She has spent her recent 15 years as the founder and former President/CEO of INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Cooperative). According to NFM “She built community and collaboration among retailers that makes the whole industry stronger” Corinne has served on numerus Boards, including MSI, (Mutual Service Insurance), NCDF as Chair for 10 years (now Shared Capital) and Chair of the Non-GMO Project for the past 10 years. Currently she is serving on the Climate Collaborate board, is a member of J.E.D.I. leadership initiative and is providing guidance to INFRA as its President Emeritus.

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Investor Speed Dating

 

 

On Tuesday, June 23rd and Wednesday, June 24th from 11:45am to 12:30pm and 12:30pm to 11:15pm ET, emerging brands will have the opportunity to have five-minute 1-on-1 virtual meetings with potential investors who specialize in CPG. Each brand will have the opportunity to speak to up to 5 investors.

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Virtually Live Summer 2020 Agenda: Two Days, 30+ Sessions

Attendees will have the chance to hear from top flight main-stage speakers and also to settle into topical small group discussions curated by the BevNET and NOSH teams. Spend your time in an expert-led education session exploring sales or marketing, or join a round table discussion on the ways brands are wrestling with the various disruptions brought by the COVID-19 crisis. Take part in a pre-scheduled one-on-one meeting with an investor, or just spend time socializing in one of the designated networking spaces.


Please note: All times US Eastern Time

  • 8:00 AM
    -
    11:00 AM
    Virtual Expo Open
  • 11:00 AM
    -
    11:10 AM
    Welcome
  • 11:10 AM
    -
    11:50 AM
    Main Stage Panel: The Black Experience in the Food and Beverage Business
    The main stage begins with a look at the food and beverage business from the perspective of Black entrepreneurs and employees. Designed as both a listening session and a way to point toward possible solutions to systemic racism within the industry, the panel will draw from the participants’ varied professional backgrounds for a frank conversation intended to provoke thought, identify race-based challenges within the business environment, and begin the hard work of changing it for the better.
    • Jomaree Pinkard, CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co.
      Jomaree Pinkard, CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co. -

      Jomaree Pinkard

      CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co.

      Jomaree Pinkard’s career journey has taken him from helping to develop and implement The Salvation Army's September 11 World Trade Center Recovery Program to consulting for the NFL. In 2012, he became the Co-Founder and CEO of a minority-led craft cocktail company, Hella Cocktail Co. In eight years, he and his partners have grown a hobby into a nationally distributed premium-quality food manufacturer producing a line of nonalcoholic cocktail mixers, bitters, and newest innovation Bitters & Sodas that make it easier and more accessible to craft delicious drinks at home or behind the bar. Jomaree is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce and also earned his MBA from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

    • Edzra Gibson, VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow
      Edzra Gibson, VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow -

      Edzra Gibson

      VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow

      Edzra Gibson, vice president of brand marketing at the #1 kids’ beverage brand in the U.S., good2grow, brings 14 years of brand marketing and CPG experience to the company. Prior to joining the good2grow team as director of brand marketing in 2015, Edzra supported multiple brands at Fortune 500 companies Abbott Laboratories and Kraft Heinz. In his current role at good2grow, he leads the brand marketing team in identifying future consumer-based growth opportunities that deliver against brand and financial objectives – including portfolio development and consumer activation strategies for national scale and customer-specific shopper marketing initiatives.

    • Denise Woodard, Founder & CEO, Partake Foods
      Denise Woodard, Founder & CEO, Partake Foods -

      Denise Woodard

      Founder & CEO, Partake Foods

      Denise Woodard is the Founder/CEO of Partake, a line of allergy-friendly snacks inspired by her daughter’s experience with food allergies. Since launching in July 2017, Partake’s first product - delicious, nutritious, allergy-friendly cookies - can be found in over 2,500 retailers including Target, Sprouts, and Whole Foods Market. The company has been featured by People, Black Enterprise and Entrepreneur and, in June 2019 closed a seed round of funding led by JAY-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners. Prior to launching Partake, Denise spent a decade in consumer packaged goods at various Fortune 100 companies. Most recently, she held the title of Director, National Sales in Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands division. Denise holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and an MBA from Arizona State University. She lives in Jersey City, NJ with her husband, Jeremy, and their 5 year old daughter, Vivienne.

    • Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa
      Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa -

      Austin Stevenson

      Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa

      Austin in the Chief Innovation Officer at Vertosa. He leads all commercial activities, including sales, marketing, and new business development. Prior to joining Vertosa, Austin leveraged his bio-tech experience building the regulatory Hemp/CBD testing program for Eurofins Scientific - a world leader in food, environment, and product testing services – where he built and designed quality testing protocols for CVS and other retailers who carried Hemp/CBD products. For over 10 years, Austin has advised start-ups, built businesses, and launched hundreds of new products in finance, technology, and cannabis cpg industries. With an undergraduate degree from Columbia University in New York City, and a Masters of Science from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom--Austin is passionate about creating impact around the world through new business development, and designing products that consumers love.

    • Jomaree Pinkard, CEO & Co-Founder, Hella Cocktail Co.
    • Edzra Gibson, VP, Brand Marketing, good2grow
    • Denise Woodard, Founder & CEO, Partake Foods
    • Austin Stevenson, Chief Innovation Officer, Vertosa
  • 11:45 AM
    -
    1:30 PM
    Investor Speed Dating
  • 11:50 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option I - Panel: The New Shape of On-Premise
    With on-premise beverage programs now being upended, how is that segment -- fountain drinks, kegs, brands heavily invested in hotel/office/airport/cruise -- going to look now?
    • Gerry Martin, President & CEO, Al's Beverage
      Gerry Martin, President & CEO, Al's Beverage -

      Gerry Martin

      President & CEO, Al's Beverage

      Gerry is currently President and CEO of Al's Beverage Co. and has been in the beverage space for almost 40 years having previously led Polar 's Sales and Marketing for 17 years and prior to that worked with Pepsi Cola on both the Bottling and Distributor sides. Gerry has a history of working closely with start ups and has a solid network of brand and channel contacts throughout the industry. While at Polar, Gerry was also the gatekeeper for new brand launches and would review as many as 300 items annually. Gerry has been a past Bevnet panelist on several occasions. Gerry is also a Board V.P. for the International Beverage Dispensing Equipment Association, IBDEA, which is focused on bringing dispensing innovation, safety and industry trend knowledge to its 200 plus members. Gerry's current employer, Al's Beverage Company is a leading independent Fountain and Frozen manufacturer with active relationships with KDP, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola and many other nationally dispensed brands. Al's, located in East Windsor CT, manages both a DSD and Distributor network throughout a good portion of the U.S.

    • David Belanich, President & Co-Founder, Joyride Coffee Distributors
      David Belanich, President & Co-Founder, Joyride Coffee Distributors -

      David Belanich

      President & Co-Founder, Joyride Coffee Distributors

      David Belanich is Co-Founder and President at Joyride Coffee. He holds a degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Philosophy from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Yale University. In 2015, David was recognized by the Specialty Coffee Association of America with the Distinguished Newcomer Award.

    • Jessi Moffitt, Director of Innovation, Canteen
      Jessi Moffitt, Director of Innovation, Canteen -

      Jessi Moffitt

      Director of Innovation, Canteen

      Jessi Moffitt is a foodservice & hospitality professional with over 18 years of industry experience, including leading national teams in program development, marketing, communications, user experience and training. As Director of Innovation at Canteen, a member of Compass Group, Jessi is responsible for creating next level breakroom & work from home experiences for the nation’s top workplaces. Jessi brings knowledge in emerging food & beverage trends, innovative equipment, and procurement to Canteen’s customers, resulting in an unparalleled customer experience. Prior to her time with Canteen, Jessi worked in healthcare food services for 10 years, including time supporting the largest contract services transition in the history of the industry. Based out of the Bay Area, Jessi can often be found spending time away from work with her husband, Greg, and their two spoiled dogs. She also enjoys cooking, traveling, finding hole-in-the-wall dining experiences, volunteering, hiking, and watching hockey.

    • Gerry Martin, President & CEO, Al's Beverage
    • David Belanich, President & Co-Founder, Joyride Coffee Distributors
    • Jessi Moffitt, Director of Innovation, Canteen
  • 11:50 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option II - Education Session: Finance; Finding Angels in a Crisis
    In this breakout session, Liv Foods CEO Wade Brooks -- a professor of entrepreneurial practice -- will discuss key factors early stage brands should take into account when attempting to raise money from angel investors, particularly during uncertain financial times.
    • Wade Brooks, CEO, Liv Foods Inc.
      Wade Brooks, CEO, Liv Foods Inc. -

      Wade Brooks

      CEO, Liv Foods Inc.

      Liv Foods CEO Wade Brooks -- a professor of entrepreneurial practice and the founder of a university-based angel investment fund -- will discuss key factors early stage brands should take into account when attempting to raise money from angel investors, particularly during uncertain financial times. Brooks has taken the temperature of angel investors around the current pandemic-induced downturn and will combine these new insights with his experienced viewpoint to give attendees a clear set of fundraising strategies.

    • Wade Brooks, CEO, Liv Foods Inc.
  • 11:50 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option III - Brand Building in Our New World of Crisis
    As the pandemic carries into the summer and the country tops 100,000 deaths, brands continue to face the challenge of how to tackle marketing during a period of national crisis. Should summer campaigns developed months ago be scrapped in order to not appear insensitive? Do consumers want to be reminded of the crisis around them through well wishes and inspirational branding? How can companies navigate this unique challenge to messaging and consumer communication?
    • Greg Fleishman, CEO & Co-Founder, Foodstirs Junk-Free Bakery
      Greg Fleishman, CEO & Co-Founder, Foodstirs Junk-Free Bakery -

      Greg Fleishman

      CEO & Co-Founder, Foodstirs Junk-Free Bakery

      Greg Fleishman is CEO of Foodstirs, the better-for-you baked goods brand he co-founded with Galit Laibow and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Foodstirs’ sole purpose is helping people connect and take comfort in the power of modernized fresh-baked, Junk-Free sweet snacks. Everything they make is lower sugar and USDA organic including baking kits, mixes, and the category’s first ever ready-made mini-donuts. Prior to Foodstirs, Fleishman started Purely Righteous Brands, a boutique brand building firm dedicated to fostering the growth of green space companies some of whom include Union Whole Earth Snacks, REBBL, Chameleon Cold-Brew, Suja, and Counter Culture. Fleishman has held general management and head of marketing roles at Sambazon, Coca-Cola’s Fuze & Energy portfolio, and Kashi, a unit of Kellogg Company where he launched over 2,500 new items across 17 food & beverage categories into 12 countries. In 2018, Fleishman was named to Forbes List of Top Consumer Catalysts. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Demeter Biodynamic, Nuun Hydration, 4th & Heart, Once Upon a Farm, and Lily’s Sweets.

    • Maya French, Co-founder, Koia
      Maya French, Co-founder, Koia -

      Maya French

      Co-founder, Koia

      Maya French is a Co-Founder of Koia, the protein packed, 100 percent plant-based beverage that uses natural ingredients to deliver deliciously nutritious flavors. French struggled with food-based allergies, such as being lactose intolerant her whole life, until she discovered the benefits of plant-based proteins when college friend and fellow Koia Co-Founder, Dustin Baker, was testing out recipes in his Chicago kitchen. At this moment, French realized her calling was to create a functional product that would contribute to providing consumers with a healthier lifestyle. With only experience in journalism and fashion retail, French took a leap of faith into unknown territory to follow her dreams and partnered with Baker to launch Koia. Discovering an innovative dairy and soy-free option with a balance of high protein and low sugar made French look and feel better as she committed to a healthy diet change. After years of trials and customer research, she has become a natural foods industry expert and professional. Her focus now is on growing the Koia brand and driving awareness among consumers of how plant based, healthy lifestyle choices can benefit them. “As someone who is lactose-intolerant, there aren’t many protein products that aren’t dairy-based. I make it my personal mission as a co-founder to let everyone know they have Koia as an option,” French says. Besides being dairy-free, French’s favorite thing about Koia is that it is sweet but not high in sugar. “You can still have the taste profile you want without the guilt,” she comments. She is also a fan of how Koia uses only simple ingredients that consumers can actually recognize, making it clear what you're consuming every time you drink a Koia! With the help of French, Koia launched nationally at Whole Foods Market and quickly scaled to become the most productive refrigerated protein brands in the natural channel within 18 months of inception, and is now sold in 5,000 stores across the country.

    • Raquel Tavares, Founder & CEO, 4th & Heart
      Raquel Tavares, Founder & CEO, 4th & Heart -

      Raquel Tavares

      Founder & CEO, 4th & Heart

      Raquel founded ghee butter brand, 4th & Heart, in her kitchen n 2014 behind a simple purpose, to reinvent butter for a healthier planet. 4th & Heart has grown into one of the category leaders since its founding. A devout Ashtanga Yogini, snowboarder, lover of all things food, Raquel was born in Brazil and later migrated at age six to Northern California with her mother and brother in the early 80’s. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her family and is mother to two young boys. She prides herself on the ability to tackle family, work, self and play – she wants to milk each minute of each day.

    • Greg Fleishman, CEO & Co-Founder, Foodstirs Junk-Free Bakery
    • Maya French, Co-founder, Koia
    • Raquel Tavares, Founder & CEO, 4th & Heart
  • 11:50 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option IV - Data Presentation: Nutrition, Immunity, and Ingredients; Demand Now and Going Forward
    With the pandemic causing more interest in immunity-related products, what specific nutrients are consumers looking for? What are the product attributes, and how well are those translating into brands -- and into sales?
    • Kathryn Peters, EVP of Business Development, SPINS
       Kathryn  Peters, EVP of Business Development, SPINS -

      Kathryn Peters

      EVP of Business Development, SPINS

      Kathryn Peters has served SPINS for 10 years across numerous key areas of the growing business. Her commitment to and passion for retail inspires her work developing and sustaining valuable retail relationships at the foundation of the SPINS ecosystem. Kathryn’s insight into helping retailers succeed with SPINS is informed by her previous vice president roles in merchandising and marketing at Ahold and BI-LO, LLC. as well as years of category management and sales experience with retailers during her time with Ralston Purina.

    • Jeff Crumpton, Retail Solutions Manager, SPINS
       Jeff  Crumpton, Retail Solutions Manager, SPINS -

      Jeff Crumpton

      Retail Solutions Manager, SPINS

      Jeff Crumpton has focused the majority of his 8+ year tenure at SPINS in retail facing positions. In his more recent roles, he has leveraged those skills to help develop products and solutions for SPINS retailer partners along with other critical industry partners such as distributors and certification partners. This experience coupled with his time at the Fresh Market on the purchasing side of the their business has informed his approach to developing products and solutions tailored to a specific client’s needs.

    • Xochitl Javier, VP Product Intelligence Innovation, SPINS
      Xochitl Javier, VP Product Intelligence Innovation, SPINS -

      Xochitl Javier

      VP Product Intelligence Innovation, SPINS

      Xochitl is an accomplished health & wellness industry professional, bringing years of CPG & Retail experience to her role at SPINS. As Vice President of Product Intelligence, Xochitl supports retail and brands by transforming product data into attributes that can be used to create actionable insights in critical themes like clean label, nutrition and sustainability. Prior to joining SPINS, Xochitl held business development, regulatory consulting, and product management roles at various biotech and food product testing & development organizations where she worked with retail, health, beauty, food, pet food and ingredient companies all over the world.

    • Kathryn Peters, EVP of Business Development, SPINS
    • Jeff Crumpton, Retail Solutions Manager, SPINS
    • Xochitl Javier, VP Product Intelligence Innovation, SPINS
  • 11:50 AM
    -
    1:00 PM
    Breakout Option V: Intro to CBD & Water-Soluble Emulsion Technology (Extended sponsor session! Ends at 1 p.m.)
    Learn from the industry-leading water-soluble CBD emulsion supplier, SoRSE Technology, the basics about CBD and how it can seamlessly be integrated into any manufacturing process to create safe, stable, and scalable products. This webinar will include a presentation and live demonstration of SoRSE CBD solutions.
    • Michael Flemmens, VP of Technical Business Development, SoRSE Technology
      Michael  Flemmens, VP of Technical Business Development, SoRSE Technology -

      Michael Flemmens

      VP of Technical Business Development, SoRSE Technology

      Michael Flemmens brings over 20 years of experience as a research scientist in technical support and product development. Prior to SoRSE, he served as Director of Corporate Technology Development for Secant Group, LLC. Michael has worked on a patented new cancer treatment, had a Type IV Drug Master File approved by the FDA, and received JECFA approval for a new food ingredient. He has also designed the build-out of seven novel manufacturing lines, and has held multiple government contracts for novel security products. Michael earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Towson University.

    • Michael Flemmens, VP of Technical Business Development, SoRSE Technology
  • 11:50 AM
    -
    12:30 AM
    Breakout Option VI - Shattering the Paradigms of Grocery Retail Logistics (sponsor session)
    Are you having trouble meeting retail compliance requirements at your largest customers? The problem could be in your approach to grocery retail logistics. See how long-time prevailing transportation practices can lead to missed deliveries and chargeback headaches. Zipline Logistics’ president and co-founder Andrew Lynch will be speaking about how you can reduce your retail delivery costs and improve overall performance through specialized logistics partnerships. Our exclusive focus in the grocery retail space gives us the unique ability to offer brands a consultative approach to enhancing their logistics function while minimizing spend. 
    • Andrew Lynch, President and Co-Founder, Zipline Logistics
      Andrew Lynch, President and Co-Founder, Zipline Logistics -

      Andrew Lynch

      President and Co-Founder, Zipline Logistics

      Andrew Lynch is President and co-founder of Zipline Logistics, an award-winning North American 3PL that specializes exclusively in the transportation of retail consumer goods. He works alongside clients ranging from some of the largest food and beverage businesses in the world to the brightest up-and-coming CPG brands in North America. Lynch and his team leverage data intelligence and strong industry relationships to help clients uncover transportation savings, build scalable supply chain strategies, and ace retailer compliance programs. Starting his career in carrier procurement and management within a Fortune 100 logistics company, Lynch has held positions of responsibility in all areas of third party logistics.

    • Andrew Lynch, President and Co-Founder, Zipline Logistics
  • 12:30 PM
    -
    1:30 PM
    Lunch, Livestream Interviews, Virtual Expo
    Make your way over to the Virtual Expo to see what's on display, or spend time with Taste Radio host Ray Latif as he interviews attendees.
  • 1:30 PM
    -
    2:10 PM
    Main Stage Presentation and Panel: Insights on Now, Next and New
    Black Bamboo, a brand and innovation consultancy focused on the consumer goods space, will share key learnings from polling and interviews recently conducted with leaders and influencers in the world of CPG (from investors, large CPG, small CPG and industry experts) to analyze the impact of the COVID crisis on consumer needs and attitudes over three time horizons:
    NOW (during the pandemics)
    NEXT (during the recession that's expected to hit over the next 24 months)
    NEW (coming out of the recession as we emerge into a new post COVID world)
    • Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo
      Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo -

      Eric Zeitoun

      CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo

      Eric is the CEO and Founder of Black Bamboo, a growth agency that helps marketers, investors and entrepreneurs develop and activate their brands with a forward-looking view on the world. A specialist in brand and innovation strategy he has advised numerous brands from Fortune 500 (Pepsi, Mars, Unilever, Heineken, Smucker…) to PE-backed or independent brands (e.g. Bragg, VEGA, Spindrift, Health Warrior, Dang, Saffron Road to name a few). Eric often writes in marketing and business publications and has been guest lecturer at Columbia Business School and NYU.

    • Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA
      Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA -

      Corinne Shindelar

      President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA

      Corinne has over 38 years’ experience in the natural products industry and is a leader in organizing and facilitating partnerships that successfully strengthen all stakeholders. She has the vision to see what is needed, the tenacity to fight for what is right when others doubt and the diplomatic and business skills to make it happen. After 15 years of profitable retail management she was the Executive Director of two regional co-op grocers’ associations. Simultaneously she founded the Midwest Purchasing Co-op. In 2004 all three merged into National Co+op Grocers, of which Corinne was the founding President. She has spent her recent 15 years as the founder and former President/CEO of INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Cooperative). According to NFM “She built community and collaboration among retailers that makes the whole industry stronger” Corinne has served on numerus Boards, including MSI, (Mutual Service Insurance), NCDF as Chair for 10 years (now Shared Capital) and Chair of the Non-GMO Project for the past 10 years. Currently she is serving on the Climate Collaborate board, is a member of J.E.D.I. leadership initiative and is providing guidance to INFRA as its President Emeritus.

    • Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road
      Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road -

      Adnan Durrani

      Founder & CEO, Saffron Road

      Mr. Durrani is the founder and CEO of Saffron Road Foods. According to IRI/SPINS Scantrak, Saffron Road is the fastest growing natural frozen entrée brand in USA and nationally ranked #2. Mr. Durrani is a serial food entrepreneur and venture capitalist for almost 30 years. Mr. Durrani founded Vermont Pure in 1991(sold to COTT beverages) and his venture firm Condor Ventures was a principal shareholder in Stonyfield Farms, Inc. , sold to Groupe Danone in 2001. He was also a principal of Delicious Brands, Inc., which he scaled, with the financial backing of Carl Icahn, to become the 5th largest cookie brand in the U.S. Saffron Road is sold nationally, in over 25,000 major US retail food stores, including Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, Costco, HEB, Target, Kroger, and all 14 banners of Albertsons/Safeway. Saffron Road is the leading world cuisines brand in the Natural/Organic sector, as well as being the #1 organic chickpea snacks brand. Whole Foods has noted Saffron Road as one of the most successful new brand launches in recent history, having made the Inc 500’s list of fastest growing co.’s for three years. Adnan has been recognized as one of the entrepreneurs who engineered “20 Ideas That Changed The Way The World Does Business”. The select list of these inductees include: Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s), Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farms), Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize, Grameen Bank), and Steve Case (AOL). Mr. Durrani is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is also Co-Chair of Columbia’s SEAS Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He was recognized by the Vatican and Ambassador to the Holy Sees for his “Interfaith In Business” model, where the Pope hosted him as a speaker at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

    • Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)
      Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group) -

      Elliot Begoun

      Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)

      Elliot Begoun a 30-year industry veteran, author, and the Founder of TIG, a 1:1 customized alternative accelerator focused on helping emerging natural product brands grow. TIG works with its entrepreneurs to build nimble, capitalefficient, resilient brands that become tardigrades not unicorns. Catch him at FoodBytes, the Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute, the Natural Products Business School, and find his articles in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and New Hope.

    • Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo
    • Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA
    • Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road
    • Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)
  • 2:10 PM
    -
    2:15 PM
    Break
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option I - Interactive Workshop on Now, Next, and New
    Moving deeper with our panelists and presenter, audience members will be able to ask questions and create a game plan for incorporating presentation findings into their branding and marketing plans, as well as discuss their implications for future consumer outreach and interaction.
    • Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo
      Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo -

      Eric Zeitoun

      CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo

      Eric is the CEO and Founder of Black Bamboo, a growth agency that helps marketers, investors and entrepreneurs develop and activate their brands with a forward-looking view on the world. A specialist in brand and innovation strategy he has advised numerous brands from Fortune 500 (Pepsi, Mars, Unilever, Heineken, Smucker…) to PE-backed or independent brands (e.g. Bragg, VEGA, Spindrift, Health Warrior, Dang, Saffron Road to name a few). Eric often writes in marketing and business publications and has been guest lecturer at Columbia Business School and NYU.

    • Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road
      Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road -

      Adnan Durrani

      Founder & CEO, Saffron Road

      Mr. Durrani is the founder and CEO of Saffron Road Foods. According to IRI/SPINS Scantrak, Saffron Road is the fastest growing natural frozen entrée brand in USA and nationally ranked #2. Mr. Durrani is a serial food entrepreneur and venture capitalist for almost 30 years. Mr. Durrani founded Vermont Pure in 1991(sold to COTT beverages) and his venture firm Condor Ventures was a principal shareholder in Stonyfield Farms, Inc. , sold to Groupe Danone in 2001. He was also a principal of Delicious Brands, Inc., which he scaled, with the financial backing of Carl Icahn, to become the 5th largest cookie brand in the U.S. Saffron Road is sold nationally, in over 25,000 major US retail food stores, including Whole Foods Markets, Walmart, Costco, HEB, Target, Kroger, and all 14 banners of Albertsons/Safeway. Saffron Road is the leading world cuisines brand in the Natural/Organic sector, as well as being the #1 organic chickpea snacks brand. Whole Foods has noted Saffron Road as one of the most successful new brand launches in recent history, having made the Inc 500’s list of fastest growing co.’s for three years. Adnan has been recognized as one of the entrepreneurs who engineered “20 Ideas That Changed The Way The World Does Business”. The select list of these inductees include: Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry’s), Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Farms), Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize, Grameen Bank), and Steve Case (AOL). Mr. Durrani is the Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and is also Co-Chair of Columbia’s SEAS Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. He was recognized by the Vatican and Ambassador to the Holy Sees for his “Interfaith In Business” model, where the Pope hosted him as a speaker at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.

    • Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA
      Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA -

      Corinne Shindelar

      President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA

      Corinne has over 38 years’ experience in the natural products industry and is a leader in organizing and facilitating partnerships that successfully strengthen all stakeholders. She has the vision to see what is needed, the tenacity to fight for what is right when others doubt and the diplomatic and business skills to make it happen. After 15 years of profitable retail management she was the Executive Director of two regional co-op grocers’ associations. Simultaneously she founded the Midwest Purchasing Co-op. In 2004 all three merged into National Co+op Grocers, of which Corinne was the founding President. She has spent her recent 15 years as the founder and former President/CEO of INFRA (Independent Natural Food Retailers Cooperative). According to NFM “She built community and collaboration among retailers that makes the whole industry stronger” Corinne has served on numerus Boards, including MSI, (Mutual Service Insurance), NCDF as Chair for 10 years (now Shared Capital) and Chair of the Non-GMO Project for the past 10 years. Currently she is serving on the Climate Collaborate board, is a member of J.E.D.I. leadership initiative and is providing guidance to INFRA as its President Emeritus.

    • Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)
      Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group) -

      Elliot Begoun

      Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)

      Elliot Begoun a 30-year industry veteran, author, and the Founder of TIG, a 1:1 customized alternative accelerator focused on helping emerging natural product brands grow. TIG works with its entrepreneurs to build nimble, capitalefficient, resilient brands that become tardigrades not unicorns. Catch him at FoodBytes, the Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute, the Natural Products Business School, and find his articles in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and New Hope.

    • Eric Zeitoun, CEO & Founder, Black Bamboo
    • Adnan Durrani, Founder & CEO, Saffron Road
    • Corinne Shindelar, President Emeritus, Founder and former CEO, INFRA
    • Elliot Begoun, Founder, TIG (The Intertwine Group)
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option II - Discussion: Best Practices for Building a Digital Brand Platform and eCommerce Business
    Direct to consumer, digital, and social media marketing is on the front burner right now.  Hear thoughts on how to build digital-first brands, and how to convert that online brand love into online sales through eCommerce.  
    • Benjamin Witte, Founder & CEO, Recess
      Benjamin Witte, Founder & CEO, Recess -

      Benjamin Witte

      Founder & CEO, Recess

      Benjamin Witte is the Founder & CEO of Recess, a consumer wellness brand creating products and experiences designed to help people feel balanced, centered and inspired so they can be their most productive and creative selves — despite an increasingly stressful world. Prior to Recess, Witte served as a Partner at Life Capital and Head of Mobile at AdRoll. He serves on the Board of Directors for the US Hemp Roundtable, the main industry coalition pushing the hemp industry forward.

    • Dan Baum, CEO, MULTIPLY
      Dan Baum, CEO, MULTIPLY -

      Dan Baum

      CEO, MULTIPLY

      Dan Baum is the CEO of MULTIPLY, a creative-led Social and PR agency focused on growing food, beverage, and CPG brands. Sample current clients include: Molson Coors, AriZona, Beam Suntory and Bolthouse Farms. Dan is originally from St. Louis and started his career in politics working for Kennedy speechwriter and strategist Bob Shrum. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Carmel Greer, and their four children.

    • Helena Price Hambrecht, Co-Founder, Haus
      Helena Price Hambrecht, Co-Founder, Haus -

      Helena Price Hambrecht

      Co-Founder, Haus

      Helena Price Hambrecht is the co-founder and Co-CEO of Haus. Prior to Haus, Helena was a Silicon Valley creative who helped shape brands like Facebook, Fitbit, Google, Instagram, Microsoft, Nike, Pinterest, Slack, Square, Twitter and Uber. Her work has been featured on ABC, CNN, The New York Times, Fast Company, Fortune, Glamour, The Guardian, and Inc.

    • Nik Sharma, CEO, Sharma Brands
      Nik Sharma, CEO, Sharma Brands -

      Nik Sharma

      CEO, Sharma Brands

      Widely known as “The DTC Guy” on the internet, a Forbes 30 Under 30 member, AdWeek’s Young & Influential and a resource brands and investors turn to for growth, Nik is a 23-year old DTC investor, advisor, and operator who has both assisted and led revenue growth at multiple organizations, including hint water and VaynerMedia. Prior to entering the world of commerce, Nik worked on social media campaigns for A-list celebrities including Pitbull, Priyanka Chopra, MAGIC!, to natively increase distribution as well as increase fan interaction and engagement for the purpose of driving album sales. Today, Nik words alongside brands and publishers to execute ROI-positive campaigns through cohesive digital strategies using paid, earned, and owned media properties.

    • Jason Badal, Director, CPG, Shopify Plus, Shopify
      Jason Badal, Director, CPG, Shopify Plus, Shopify -

      Jason Badal

      Director, CPG, Shopify Plus, Shopify

      Jason Badal is Director, Consumer Packaged Goods at Shopify Plus, the leading global multi-channel enterprise commerce platform. In this role, Jason manages the CPG segment within Shopify Plus to bring mass adoption of e-commerce to the industry. Prior to Shopify, Jason led business affairs and development at Rogers Sports & Media, a multiplatform media company that generates more than $1.2 billion in revenue per year, encompassing leading networks such as Sportsnet, NHL, FX and Citytv. He was also a technology and corporate lawyer at McCarthy Tetrault LLP and serves as an advisor to a number of startups in the sports and DTC industries. Linkedin and Twitter @jbadal.

    • Benjamin Witte, Founder & CEO, Recess
    • Dan Baum, CEO, MULTIPLY
    • Helena Price Hambrecht, Co-Founder, Haus
    • Nik Sharma, CEO, Sharma Brands
    • Jason Badal, Director, CPG, Shopify Plus, Shopify
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option III - Education Session/Trade Spend 1: Costs and Planning
    Bob Burke and John Maggiore take attendees into the ways they can create effective trade spend and promotional planning and the best ways to incorporate effective programs into company budgets -- and to monitor those programs for maximum sustained lift.
    • John Maggiore, Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing
      John Maggiore, Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing -

      John Maggiore

      Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing

      John has been in the grocery business for over 35 years, he founded Maggiore’s Sales & Marketing in 2003, as a consultant and broker to the Natural/Specialty trade. The primary focus on the brokerage side is with bringing Grocery, Dairy and Frozen brands to the market in the New England Supermarket Channel. Prior to setting out on his own John was the Category Manager of Natural Food for Stop & Shop Supermarkets based in Boston, MA. John pioneered the store with-in-a-store Natural Food departments at Stop & Shop, creating over 150 departments in less than five years. Natural Food sales grew at Stop & Shop from $6 million when John took over responsibility for the department to $67 million when he left. Before John became Category Manager of Natural Foods he had buying responsibilities in numerous categories including Specialty Cheese, Specialty Crackers, Gourmet Coffee, and Specialty Pasta as well as Frozen and Dairy Foods. Currently John is brokering some leading manufacturers in the Specialty/Natural Food channel including, Angie’s BoomChickAPop Popcorn, Red’s All Natural, Kettle & Fire Bone Broths, R.W. Garcia, Lily’s Chocolates, DrinkSimple and siggi’s Yogurt, and previously worked with other leading companies including Pirate’s Booty, Bear Naked Granola, Larabar, Justin’s, Kind Bar, Krave Jerky, Vita Coco and Ian’s Natural Foods. John is also on the Board of Directors of Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, Biena Snacks, Demers Food Group, BananaWave and serves as an adviser to Tucson Tamale, Bohana and Evoke Foods. John has delivered presentations and seminars at leading trade shows and conferences such as Natural Products Expo East & West, The NASFT’s Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, Bord Bia in Dublin, Ireland, Northeast Dairy/Deli/Bakery Association, Frozen & Refrigerated Association of New England, Canadian Consulates in Boston, and Kosherfest in New York. For the past seventeen years John, in conjunction with Bob Burke of Natural Products Consulting, has run full day seminars and networking events on “Becoming a More Effective Sales Manager in the Natural and Specialty Channel”. Since its inception over 30 seminars have been run in Boston, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco and they have educated over 1,000 participants from 400+ companies. Since 2016 John has been a business mentor for the Northeastern University McCarthy Venture

    • Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group
      Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group -

      Bob Burke

      Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group

      As a consultant since 1998, Bob Burke provides assistance in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market across most classes of trade. This includes work in growth strategies, sales modeling, pricing, building distribution, broker selection and management, organizational development, financing, branding, trade spending and assistance around M&A, diligence and go-to-market plans for international companies entering the US market. He is also the co-author of the Natural Products Field Manual, Eighth Edition. Prior to consulting, Bob was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as Vice President, Sales & Corporate Development. He received an MBA from Babson College. He currently serves as an outside director for EcoFish, Saffron Road, All Terrain, Halsa Foods, Uncle Matt’s Organics, Cali’flour Foods and King Arthur Flour. He serves on the advisory boards of The Chaat Co., and Thirsty Ventures. He is a former director of Stonyfield Farm, Orgain, Equal Exchange, Stirrings, and FoodState/MegaFood. He is on the Selection Committee at Nutrition Capital Network. He serves on the admissions committee of the Specialty Food Association. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Nutrition Business Journal. He is on the board of the non-profit Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute and also on the board of advisors of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Bob was named one of the "Top 25 Business Builders of the Natural Products Industry for the last 25 years” by Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine. He was also named an inaugural Senior Fellow at Food Sol at Babson College. Bob has delivered presentations, seminars and moderated panels at leading trade shows and conferences in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and the UK. He also runs full day seminars and networking events on “Becoming a more Effective Sales Manager” and “Financing your Natural and Specialty Products Company”. Bob lives in Andover, MA with his wife Kathy and their spoiled dog. Please see www.NaturalConsulting.com

    • John Maggiore, Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing
    • Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option IV - Panel: Ready-To-Drink Cocktails
    In this category overview, BevNET founder John Craven will discuss the growing trend of RTD cocktails and the tailwinds they are experiencing during at-home and takeout occasions, as well as the road ahead.
    • John Craven, CEO & Founder, BevNET.com
      John Craven, CEO & Founder, BevNET.com -

      John Craven

      CEO & Founder, BevNET.com

      As founder and CEO of BevNET, John Craven is a widely-recognized authority on the beverage industry and he is frequently cited in mainstream media. His vision shapes the editorial, publishing, and positioning of all of BevNET's properties, including BevNET.com, BevNET Magazine, Brewbound.com, BevNET FBU and their associated conferences. John is a graduate of Boston College with a BS in Marketing and Computer Science.

    • Neal Cohen, Co-Founder, Tip Top Cocktails
      Neal Cohen, Co-Founder, Tip Top Cocktails -

      Neal Cohen

      Co-Founder, Tip Top Cocktails

      Neal Cohen is the Co-Founder and CMO of Tip Top Proper Cocktails, a line of canned classic cocktails based in Atlanta, GA. Prior to Tip Top, Neal worked in festival marketing at Superfly, building brands such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Comedy Central’s Clusterfest via visual identities, social media, and content creation. The intersection of music, food, and art would ultimately shape the core of his career path. Neal also spent time working for a cocktail-related event series called Cocktail Magic; it was here that he met a number of superstars in the industry and first became interested in the beverage world. Since cocktails had always been fairly unattainable in festival settings, Neal and his childhood friend (and fellow music industry veteran) Yoni Reisman began developing the concept that would become Tip Top Proper Cocktails.

    • Lawrence Cisneros, CEO, Drnxmyth
      Lawrence Cisneros, CEO, Drnxmyth -

      Lawrence Cisneros

      CEO, Drnxmyth

      Lawrence Cisneros is the co-founder of DRNXMYTH. DRNXMYTH produces the world's first and only line of fresh bottled cocktails. Previously, he earned his J.D. at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, and B.A. at San Diego State University. He resides in Los Angeles.

    • Sean Venus, Founder & Distiller, Venus Spirits
      Sean Venus, Founder & Distiller, Venus Spirits -

      Sean Venus

      Founder & Distiller, Venus Spirits

      Sean Venus is the founder and distiller of Venus Spirits, located in Santa Cruz, California. Over the last 14 years he has helped develop and bring to market over 150 craft beers, organic and natural foods and beverages. In 2014 Sean founded Venus Spirits, a craft distillery focusing on small-batch organic whiskies, gins and agave spirits. Venus Spirits has been recognized with over 40 awards for their Wayward Whiskey, Venus Gin, and El Ladrón Agave Spirit. Most recently Venus launched a line of ready-to-drink cocktails. Sean is current president of the California Artisanal Spirits Guild.

    • Brian May, Co-Founder, Proof & Union
      Brian May, Co-Founder, Proof & Union -

      Brian May

      Co-Founder, Proof & Union

      Brian May is co-founder of Proof & Union LLC, maker of the innovative FULLBAR canned spirit and cocktail mixer brand. Prior to creating Proof & Union, Brian led global brand development for Founders Brewing Company, launching the brand in over 20 countries. Previously, Brian was in senior roles at Abercrombie & Fitch and Wolverine Worldwide, where he created Market Intelligence functions, led high-priority growth initiatives, and was responsible for corporate strategy and M&A. Brian also was a management consultant for 7 years and served a variety of clients as a growth specialist. Brian graduated from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business with a BBA and is married with two children aged 8 and 6. Additionally Brian is a fitness enthusiast, is passionate about his faith, family, and friends, and enjoys investing in and advising great people.

    • John Craven, CEO & Founder, BevNET.com
    • Neal Cohen, Co-Founder, Tip Top Cocktails
    • Lawrence Cisneros, CEO, Drnxmyth
    • Sean Venus, Founder & Distiller, Venus Spirits
    • Brian May, Co-Founder, Proof & Union
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option V - Data Presentation: How COVID Has Changed the Consumer
    Three months into COVID, after the initial panic-induced sales spikes have settled, what have we learned about consumer behavior with regards to food and beverage during this time?
    • Darrell Jursa, Principal, Media Intelligence & Innovation, IRI
      Darrell Jursa, Principal, Media Intelligence & Innovation, IRI -

      Darrell Jursa

      Principal, Media Intelligence & Innovation, IRI

      In his role at IRI, Darrell leads multi-functional communities that contribute to the design, launch and on-going enablement of solutions to solve for client business challenges; bringing together best of breed talent, partnerships and technology to deliver competitive advantage for global agency holding companies and their advertiser clients. Prior to IRI , Darrell spent two decades on the client and agency side of the desk creating and reinvigorating image-driven brands at The Omnicom Group, The Coca-Cola Company, The Interpublic Group of Companies, and AB InBev.

    • Joan Driggs, VP, Content and Thought Leadership, IRI
      Joan Driggs, VP, Content and Thought Leadership, IRI -

      Joan Driggs

      VP, 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 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.

    • Darrell Jursa, Principal, Media Intelligence & Innovation, IRI
    • Joan Driggs, VP, Content and Thought Leadership, IRI
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option VI - If COVID-19 doesn’t kill your brand, then a quality issue will. (sponsor session)
    Don’t let a quality issue kill your beverage brand. Learn how to ensure that your beverage’s consistent quality serves as an asset to your brand while saving money in the long run.
    • Hannah Krieg, Laboratory Technician, The Lab
    • Matt Hall, Director Of Innovation and Pilot Services, The Lab
      Matt  Hall, Director Of Innovation and Pilot Services, The Lab -

      Matt Hall

      Director Of Innovation and Pilot Services, The Lab

      Matt Hall is the Director of Innovation & Pilot Services at The Lab. Matt has spent more than 20 years in the beverage and brewing industry and has held positions across the operations spectrum to include Quality. Matt is passionate about transforming ideas into reality and bringing about “positive change” whether related to beverages, being part of a community, raising two kids, or his hobbies.

    • Kathy Evgen, Director of Sales, BevSource
      Kathy  Evgen, Director of Sales, BevSource -

      Kathy Evgen

      Director of Sales, BevSource

      Kathy Evgen, Director of Sales at BevSource, has more than 25 years of experience helping brands in a wide range of industries enhance their customer experience. For the past ten years, she has helped beverage companies develop, validate, and produce products that stand out in the market. With a passion for building relationships and improving client satisfaction, Kathy is an advocate for continuous learning, solid strategy, and powerful networks. She puts quality and trust at the center of her approach to partnering with visionaries as they bring new beverage concepts to life.

    • Erin Marvin-Barnes, Supply Chain Manager, BevSource
    • Hannah Krieg, Laboratory Technician, The Lab
    • Matt Hall, Director Of Innovation and Pilot Services, The Lab
    • Kathy Evgen, Director of Sales, BevSource
    • Erin Marvin-Barnes, Supply Chain Manager, BevSource
  • 3:00 PM
    -
    3:30 PM
    Main Stage: Coffee Talk and Interviews
    Enjoy interviews conducted by Taste Radio host Ray Latif.
  • 3:30 PM
    -
    4:10 PM
    Main Stage: Crisis and Culture -- CEOs on Maintaining Work Culture and Standards -- From a Distance
    A discussion of the way leaders and organizations have been both stressed and stretched, the battle for CEOs and Employees to stay healthy, and a discussion of the future of work
    • Chris Hunter, CEO/Co-Founder, Koia
      Chris  Hunter, CEO/Co-Founder, Koia -

      Chris Hunter

      CEO/Co-Founder, Koia

      As Co-Founder and CEO of Koia, Chris Hunter is currently focused on scaling the brand which has become the most productive protein beverage in retail. Launching in 2016, Koia’s initial product offering was a craveable, ready to drink, plant-based protein shake. Current offerings have extended into plant-based keto shakes and a line of planted-based elevated coffee. All products deliver on Koia’s mission to provide easy access to convenient, nutritious, and delicious plant-based nutrition. Hunter is a successful entrepreneur focused on creating, investing in, and scaling pioneering brands. He is the Co-Founder of iconic alcohol brands Four Loko and Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Furthermore, Hunter founded Perspective Projects, his private equity arm, in 2016 and Co-Founded Graze Provisions & Libations in 2018. Perspective Projects currently has investments in brands that are leading their space, including Vive Organics (functional shots), Beanfields (bean based chips), Factor (fully prepared healthy delivered meals), and Roar Organics (electrolyte infusioned drinks and powders). Graze Provisions & Libations is a locally driven food and beverage collective in the heart of Minneapolis’ North Loop. Hunter grew up in Northeast Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Marketing. He currently lives in San Diego with his wife and three young sons, where he maintains an active lifestyle by practicing yoga, cycling, running and surfing.

    • Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills
      Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills -

      Katlin Smith

      Founder & CEO, Simple Mills

      Katlin Smith is the Founder and CEO of Simple Mills, a Chicago-based company at the forefront of a clean food movement that is shaping the next generation of natural foods. Named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017, Smith launched Simple Mills in 2013 to provide a cleaner alternative to the natural baking mixes then on the market. Today, despite a crowded market space with long-established competitors, Simple Mills ranks as the #1 fastest-growing natural baking mix and cracker brand. Additionally, Simple Mills ranks as the #1 natural baking mix, the #1 natural cracker, and #2 natural cookie by dollar sales, according to SPINS syndicated data. Simple Mills products are currently distributed in more than 13,000 conventional and natural grocery stores including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target, Kroger and Safeway as well as through Amazon and Thrive Market. All products are free of gluten, grain, dairy, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers, addressing consumer concerns about food sensitivities and the safety of the food supply chain. The current lineup includes baking mixes, frostings, almond flour crackers, sprouted seed crackers and ready to eat crunchy cookies. Smith is a former Deloitte Consulting management consultant, winner of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business New Venture Challenge, and a columnist for Inc. magazine.

    • Kevin Rutherford, CEO, nuun
      Kevin Rutherford, CEO, nuun -

      Kevin Rutherford

      CEO, nuun

      Kevin Rutherford is the President and CEO (Chief Eternal Optimist) of nuun and Company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. He joined nuun in December of 2013. In his first year Kevin led the company to 30 percent growth and record setting revenue celebrating the brands 10 th anniversary. That growth was accelerated in 2015 growing an additional 40 percent on another banner year. This was led by across the board category growth in sports specialty, grocery and the natural space including the brands entrance into every Whole Foods in the country. In 2016 Kevin led the overhaul of the entire nuun line to 100% plant-based ingredients also certified as vegan and gluten free. And, in April of 2017 the brand launched the first sports drink product that is both Non-GMO Project Verified and Informed-Choice Safe for Sport. The focus on product purity has ushered in continued financial success and in Kevin’s first three years the brand grew by over 150%. Rutherford brought an impressive 18-year CPG marketing background to nuun. Previously, Kevin was President and CEO of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (The Caldrea Company) where he successfully grew the business by over 85 percent and was awarded Target’s Vendor of the Year 2012. Prior to Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Rutherford was Director of Marketing for Kashi Co. (subsidiary of Kellogg, Co.) where he managed the Bear Naked brands, successfully innovating the product line from granola into energy bars, cereal, and cookies. Kevin also worked for Miller Brewing Company as senior brand manager on the Miller Genuine Draft (MGD) business. He was responsible for re-launching MGD Light into MGD 64, considered one of the most successful launches for conventional beers in the last 10 years. Prior to MGD, Rutherford was a Senior Brand Manager at S.C. Johnson, Inc. where he managed a $200 million home cleaning product business. Rutherford started his career as a grocery-merchandising manager at Loblaw Co. Inc., the largest grocery retailer in Canada.  Rutherford is a values based, mission driven, hands on leader. He communicates the biggest accomplishment of his career as Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day being selected for the Outside “Best Places to Work “ in 2012. He is personally driven towards living a healthy, active lifestyle and being a steward for the environment and sustainable living.

    • Chris Hunter, CEO/Co-Founder, Koia
    • Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills
    • Kevin Rutherford, CEO, nuun
  • 4:10 PM
    -
    4:15 PM
    Break
  • 4:15 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    Breakout Option I - Interview: Branding and Marketing with Liquid Death
    Liquid Death rapidly made headlines and captured a loyal consumer base through evocative, heavy metal-themed marketing. A one-on-one talk with founder and CEO Mike Cessario about how brands can take a niche and build beyond it through evocative marketing.
    • Mike Cessario, CEO, Liquid Death
    • Mike Cessario, CEO, Liquid Death
  • 4:15 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    Breakout Option II - Education Session/Trade Spend 2: Tools and Execution
    In part 2 of their look at the basics of trade spend, Burke and Maggiore explore the types, values, and uses of different promotional discounts and distributor and retailer programs, all designed to create better movement for your brands, as well as give you the tools to track their execution.  
    • John Maggiore, Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing
      John Maggiore, Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing -

      John Maggiore

      Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing

      John has been in the grocery business for over 35 years, he founded Maggiore’s Sales & Marketing in 2003, as a consultant and broker to the Natural/Specialty trade. The primary focus on the brokerage side is with bringing Grocery, Dairy and Frozen brands to the market in the New England Supermarket Channel. Prior to setting out on his own John was the Category Manager of Natural Food for Stop & Shop Supermarkets based in Boston, MA. John pioneered the store with-in-a-store Natural Food departments at Stop & Shop, creating over 150 departments in less than five years. Natural Food sales grew at Stop & Shop from $6 million when John took over responsibility for the department to $67 million when he left. Before John became Category Manager of Natural Foods he had buying responsibilities in numerous categories including Specialty Cheese, Specialty Crackers, Gourmet Coffee, and Specialty Pasta as well as Frozen and Dairy Foods. Currently John is brokering some leading manufacturers in the Specialty/Natural Food channel including, Angie’s BoomChickAPop Popcorn, Red’s All Natural, Kettle & Fire Bone Broths, R.W. Garcia, Lily’s Chocolates, DrinkSimple and siggi’s Yogurt, and previously worked with other leading companies including Pirate’s Booty, Bear Naked Granola, Larabar, Justin’s, Kind Bar, Krave Jerky, Vita Coco and Ian’s Natural Foods. John is also on the Board of Directors of Vermont Nut Free Chocolates, Biena Snacks, Demers Food Group, BananaWave and serves as an adviser to Tucson Tamale, Bohana and Evoke Foods. John has delivered presentations and seminars at leading trade shows and conferences such as Natural Products Expo East & West, The NASFT’s Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, Bord Bia in Dublin, Ireland, Northeast Dairy/Deli/Bakery Association, Frozen & Refrigerated Association of New England, Canadian Consulates in Boston, and Kosherfest in New York. For the past seventeen years John, in conjunction with Bob Burke of Natural Products Consulting, has run full day seminars and networking events on “Becoming a More Effective Sales Manager in the Natural and Specialty Channel”. Since its inception over 30 seminars have been run in Boston, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco and they have educated over 1,000 participants from 400+ companies. Since 2016 John has been a business mentor for the Northeastern University McCarthy Venture

    • Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group
      Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group -

      Bob Burke

      Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group

      As a consultant since 1998, Bob Burke provides assistance in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market across most classes of trade. This includes work in growth strategies, sales modeling, pricing, building distribution, broker selection and management, organizational development, financing, branding, trade spending and assistance around M&A, diligence and go-to-market plans for international companies entering the US market. He is also the co-author of the Natural Products Field Manual, Eighth Edition. Prior to consulting, Bob was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as Vice President, Sales & Corporate Development. He received an MBA from Babson College. He currently serves as an outside director for EcoFish, Saffron Road, All Terrain, Halsa Foods, Uncle Matt’s Organics, Cali’flour Foods and King Arthur Flour. He serves on the advisory boards of The Chaat Co., and Thirsty Ventures. He is a former director of Stonyfield Farm, Orgain, Equal Exchange, Stirrings, and FoodState/MegaFood. He is on the Selection Committee at Nutrition Capital Network. He serves on the admissions committee of the Specialty Food Association. He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of Nutrition Business Journal. He is on the board of the non-profit Hirshberg Entrepreneurship Institute and also on the board of advisors of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Bob was named one of the "Top 25 Business Builders of the Natural Products Industry for the last 25 years” by Natural Foods Merchandiser Magazine. He was also named an inaugural Senior Fellow at Food Sol at Babson College. Bob has delivered presentations, seminars and moderated panels at leading trade shows and conferences in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and the UK. He also runs full day seminars and networking events on “Becoming a more Effective Sales Manager” and “Financing your Natural and Specialty Products Company”. Bob lives in Andover, MA with his wife Kathy and their spoiled dog. Please see www.NaturalConsulting.com

    • John Maggiore, Founder, Maggiore Sales and Marketing
    • Bob Burke, Founder, Natural Products Consulting Group
  • 4:15 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    Breakout Option III - The Philanthropic Brand
    A discussion on integrating philanthropy into your business for brands of all sizes, looking at how to effectively and authentically give back and how philanthropy and a social mission can be beneficial to brands from an investor and consumer standpoint.
    • Ryan Fortwendel, Founder, Minna
      Ryan Fortwendel, Founder, Minna -

      Ryan Fortwendel

      Founder, Minna

      Minna founder and CIO, Ryan Fortwendel is a former executive of e-commerce for Marc Jacobs. After spending over a decade in the fashion industry in New York City and Chicago, in 2016, he was inspired to make a fresh start, traveling across Asia and India exploring health and wellness. Upon returning to New York City in 2017, Ryan noticed a change in the beverage space; everyone was drinking sparkling water, but the flavors often fell flat or were artificial. After visiting a local cafe that served hot brewed tea poured over ice and topped with sparkling water, he saw an immediate space for a “better for you” sparkling tea beverage. Ryan crafted the perfect recipe for a delicious, lightly brewed sparkling tea with a clean, transparent label. Knowing that people are drawn to beautiful things, Ryan knew creative branding was equal to the product itself. Focusing on consumer shopping behaviors, as CIO, he has spent extensive time on product development, crafting a social mission, and beautiful packaging that pops off the shelf in a sea of beverage options. Since launching in Summer ‘19, community engagement and inclusivity have been at the core of Minna (meaning “everyone” in Japanese), which donates 1% of sales to nonprofits advocating for inclusion. As a gay founder, Ryan’s philanthropy inspired the name and message behind the brand. Organic, non-GMO Minna is served in beautiful art deco inspired cans that reflect three refreshing sugar-free flavor profiles that pop, with another one on the way.

    • Jensen Thome, CEO, This Saves Lives
      Jensen Thome, CEO, This Saves Lives -

      Jensen Thome

      CEO, This Saves Lives

      Jensen Thome is a dynamic business platform executive with more than 20 years of progressive leadership experience in building and operating brands in the food and beverage industry. He is experienced in small to large consumer products companies, grassroots start-ups to established organizations in need of change, and distressed turnarounds that have led to acquisition. He was promoted often as a young leader and eventually to the C-suite at 25, the early exposure helped to entrench the value of dynamic action, leading through people and establishing a self-reflective, values-based style that is now present in every endeavor. Ambition and passion has evolved to focus on emerging brands over multiple platforms working to make a lasting impact in the world.

    • Shadi Bakour, Co-founder and CEO, Pathwater
      Shadi Bakour, Co-founder and CEO, Pathwater -

      Shadi Bakour

      Co-founder and CEO, Pathwater

      Shadi Bakour is the CEO and Co-Founder of Path, a bottled water company that provides the first 100% reusable, recyclable bottled water in a sturdy aluminum bottle. An expert in the beverage industry, Shadi’s extensive experience and proven track record of growing disruptive beverage businesses has allowed him to drive the overall vision and strategy for Path. Shadi is responsible for overseeing all facets of the business, specializing in accelerating ideas through strategic foresight, drive, and determination. Previously, Shadi worked in Consulting and Private Equity at Booz Allen Hamilton and Abraaj Capital. Shadi excelled in academics and athletics from a young age, and received a full scholarship to Culver Military Academy, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the nation. Shadi graduated Summa Cum Laude from The George Washington University, where he received a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance and Economics. Shadi received a Full Scholarship, Dean’s List, and was a Board of Trustees Scholar.

    • Ryan Fortwendel, Founder, Minna
    • Jensen Thome, CEO, This Saves Lives
    • Shadi Bakour, Co-founder and CEO, Pathwater
  • 4:15 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    Breakout Option IV - Data Presentation: Edibles, Drinkables, and the Virus; The State of CBD Products During COVID
    The state of CBD products during COVID-19 and where the market goes from here
    • Jessica Lukas, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development , BDSA
      Jessica Lukas, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development , BDSA -

      Jessica Lukas

      Senior Vice President of Commercial Development , BDSA

      Jessica Lukas is the SVP of Commercial Development at BDSA, the premiere market research firm serving the global cannabinoid industry. Jessica is one of the most sought-after market research experts serving the cannabis market, priding herself in making data come to life with storytelling and actionable insights. Together with her team, she works with manufacturers, retailers, and investors to deliver unmatched insights and analytics to drive their businesses forward.  Prior to joining BDSA and the wild world of cannabis data, Jessica Lukas spent over 10 years working with and for top global CPG and beverage alcohol companies in insights, analytics, and marketing leadership roles.

    • Jessica Lukas, Senior Vice President of Commercial Development , BDSA
  • 4:15 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    Breakout Option V - Myth Busting: Pandemic Edition -- Dispelling 5 CPG Urban Legends (sponsor session)
    Exploring five urban legends about the future of operating a packaged food & beverage business during the age of COVID-19.
    • Glenn Pappalardo, Business Partner, Strategy & New Initiatives, JPG Resources
      Glenn  Pappalardo, Business Partner, Strategy & New Initiatives, JPG Resources -

      Glenn Pappalardo

      Business Partner, Strategy & New Initiatives, JPG Resources

      Glenn is Business Partner at JPG Resources, co-leading their Strategy & M&A practices. He has more than 20 years of experience in the emerging food and beverage space, ranging from M&A to strategy, international expansion to innovation, both as a consultant and an operator. Prior to JPG, Glenn held leadership roles at RXBAR, Kashi, Kellogg, and in consulting (Deloitte, PwC) with responsibilities in the US and internationally. He has experience in food operations across various business models and life cycle stages (startup to mature), including designing and directing the international business for RXBAR and leading international expansion and long-term innovation in the Natural & Organic space for Kashi and Kellogg. He also directed the post-acquisition incorporation of RXBAR with Kellogg under a true stand-alone model. During his consulting career, Glenn led 30+ strategy and M&A projects across Consumer Products for corporate and PE clients in the US and abroad, leading industry focused teams and developing new service offerings and practice areas around CPG at both Deloitte and PwC.

    • Rifle Hughes, Strategy & Innovation, JPG Resources
      Rifle  Hughes, Strategy & Innovation, JPG Resources -

      Rifle Hughes

      Strategy & Innovation, JPG Resources

      JPG Business Partner, Strategy & Innovation Rifle has spent more than 25 years building compelling brand-consumer connections and conceiving new products for businesses spanning start-ups to beloved brands such as Nestlé, Hormel, Constellation, Nautilus, Pepsi, Sunsweet, Sun-Maid, and Monster Energy. Known for his ability to create and grow brands by bridging the gap between strategy and the bottom line, Rifle has a knack for identifying opportunities and creating new value for companies. Rifle earned an MBA in strategy & finance from Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business.

    • Glenn Pappalardo, Business Partner, Strategy & New Initiatives, JPG Resources
    • Rifle Hughes, Strategy & Innovation, JPG Resources
  • 4:15 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    Breakout Option VI - Enhancing Functionality with Probiotics (sponsor session)
    Over the last few months, daily lives around the world have changed considerably. These changes have resulted in consumers’ increased awareness and prioritization of being proactive in one’s health. Functional food and beverages play a vital role in supporting healthy choices. Join us as we discuss probiotics, how they can support the health of consumers and how your formulations can benefit from the inclusion of Bacillus subtilis DE111. 
    • Leanne Levy, Director of Marketing, Food & Beverage, Deerland
      Leanne  Levy, Director of Marketing, Food & Beverage, Deerland -

      Leanne Levy

      Director of Marketing, Food & Beverage, Deerland

      Growth-oriented marketing professional with distinguishing achievements in facilitating product demand, brand development, and stakeholder satisfaction fulfilling organizational goals, missions, and objectives. Brings over 20 years of creativity and experience bridging science and business in various management roles. Belief that collaboration and originality is key to business success.

    • Maricarmen Grethen, Food Scientist, Deerland
      Maricarmen Grethen, Food Scientist, Deerland -

      Maricarmen Grethen

      Food Scientist, Deerland

      Highly motivated food scientist with over 5 years of experience in research and product development in the hydrocolloid industry working closely together with domestic and international customers. Specialized in the stabilization of beverages (e.g., with dairy and alternative proteins at different pH values; fruit flavored drinks; shelf stable and refrigerated) and of diverse food products (e.g., yogurts, dressings, desserts, fruit products). Considered a key contributor to the growth of the business across functions (e.g., marketing, QC, production) driven by a passion for learning and teaching others, paired with a proactive attitude and a high level of standard.

    • Leanne Levy, Director of Marketing, Food & Beverage, Deerland
    • Maricarmen Grethen, Food Scientist, Deerland
  • 5:00 PM
    -
    5:00 PM
    End of Programming Day
  • 5:00 PM
    -
    6:00 PM
    Home Bar Happy Hour - Presented by ForceBrands and Cooper Spirits

Please note: All times US Eastern Time

  • 8:00 AM
    -
    11:00 AM
    Virtual Expo Open
  • 11:00 AM
    -
    11:05 AM
    Welcome
  • 11:05 AM
    -
    11:45 AM
    Main Stage Presentation: Buyers, Believers, and Adapting Consumer Education
    Food & Beverage brands spend a lot of time telling people how different they are. But the quarantine, limited availability, and Google have shown us that in the consumers’ mind, most brands are interchangeable -- unless you start showing them you’re different. This interactive session and workshop will help introduce the new fundamentals of consumer education.
    • David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo
      David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo -

      David Lemley

      President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo

      David Lemley, author of the new book, Beloved & Dominant Brands , has had a creative and strategic hand in shaping some of the world’s most iconic and fastest-growing brands including Essentia Water, Sahale Snacks, Yakima Chief Hops, Starbucks, REI, and Dry Soda. As the Founder and Chief Strategist of Seattle-based Retail Voodoo, David is on a mission to help better-for-you brands win customer’s hearts, minds, and souls. He partners with marketers, investors, and founder-owners to unlock the power of their brand’s promise to engage consumers, spark innovation, identify opportunity, and drive exponential growth.

    • David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo
  • 11:45 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option I - Workshop: Brand Traction Audit Live
    Presenter David Lemley will work with a pre-picked brand to audit and tune up for improved consumer education and interaction.
    • David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo
      David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo -

      David Lemley

      President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo

      David Lemley, author of the new book, Beloved & Dominant Brands , has had a creative and strategic hand in shaping some of the world’s most iconic and fastest-growing brands including Essentia Water, Sahale Snacks, Yakima Chief Hops, Starbucks, REI, and Dry Soda. As the Founder and Chief Strategist of Seattle-based Retail Voodoo, David is on a mission to help better-for-you brands win customer’s hearts, minds, and souls. He partners with marketers, investors, and founder-owners to unlock the power of their brand’s promise to engage consumers, spark innovation, identify opportunity, and drive exponential growth.

    • Emily Griffith, Founder/CEO, Lil Bucks
      Emily Griffith, Founder/CEO, Lil Bucks -

      Emily Griffith

      Founder/CEO, Lil Bucks

      Chicago-native Emily Griffith was living her best life surfing and working a marketing job in Sydney, Australia, when she came across her new favorite superfood, sprouted buckwheat. Blown away by the texture and next-level nutrition of sprouted buckwheat on top of an acai bowl, Emily became obsessed with this sustainable superfood, and is on a mission to share the love of buckwheat with crunch-lovin’, health-conscious Americans! Emily graduated from Indiana University Kelley School of Business in 2014, and then worked in digital marketing for 3 years at agencies in Chicago and Sydney, Australia. She then ran her own marketing and graphic design business for 2 years before transitioning to Lil Bucks full time. Emily loves travel, adventure sports, smoothie bowls and cocker spaniels.

    • David Lemley, President + Head of Strategy, Retail Voodoo
    • Emily Griffith, Founder/CEO, Lil Bucks
  • 11:45 AM
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    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option II - Finance Methods: Preparing Your Company to Sell and Maximizing Value Post-COVID-19 (sponsor session)
    If you want to sell your business to a strategic or financial acquirer, it is important to understand what creates value. Whipstitch Capital will discuss these key drivers – and what has remained the same and what is new post-COVID.
    • Nick McCoy, Co-founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital
      Nick McCoy, Co-founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital -

      Nick McCoy

      Co-founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital

      Nick McCoy is a Co-Founder and Managing Director with Whipstitch Capital. Nick has over 20 years of investment banking experience. Nick co-founded the investment Bank, Silverwood Partners, where he headed up the consumer division with Mike Burgmaier. In 2015 Nick joined forces with Mike Burgmaier to form Whipstitch Capital with the goal of creating the industry’s largest independent investment bank exclusively focused on leading companies in the healthy and innovative consumer market. Previously Nick was in the Investment Banking Group at First Albany (now Jeffries), Director of M&A at Allmerica Financial Corp, and a Senior Associate, Corporate Development at Wheelabrator Technologies. Nick often speaks and is quoted on various investiture and acquisition-related topics. Nick is an avid road cyclist and thinks it’s ok to cross country ski in below-zero temperatures. He’s a health-focused foodie, cooks frequently and has an extensive knowledge of wine and whiskey (just ask him). Nick is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has an MBA from Wake Forest University and an undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire.

    • Mike Burgmaier, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital
      Mike Burgmaier, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital -

      Mike Burgmaier

      Co-Founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital

      Michael Burgmaier is a Co-Founder and Managing Director with Whipstitch Capital. After a career in public policy and completing an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in 2001, he became a consultant at Bain & Company, Inc. Since early 2004, Mike has been active in the M&A and private equity/venture capital consumer space. In 2008, he was named as a “40 Under 40” leader in the Natural Products Industry by Natural Foods Merchandiser. In 2009, he partnered with Nick McCoy to lead the consumer practice at an investment bank and focused on the better-for-you/premium consumer space. In 2015, Mike and Nick joined forces to form Whipstitch Capital with the goal of creating the industry’s best investment bank exclusively focused on leading consumer companies in the healthy living industry. He often writes about, gives talks and is quoted on various investiture and acquisition-related topics. Since 2004, the Whipstitch Capital Team has completed over 100 transactions in the healthy living sector with companies such as Thayers Natural Remedies, PepsiCo, CORE Nutrition, Spindrift, VMG Partners, Flying Embers, GoodBelly, General Mills, Vita Coco, Purple Carrot, LesserEvil, Country Archer, Uncle Matt’s Organics, KeVita, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Sunrise Strategic Partners, Peeled Snacks, Blake’s All Natural, ConAgra Brands, Yasso, KarpReilly, Saffron Road, Emil Capital, Sunsweet, TSG Consumers Partners, Monogram Capital, PowerPlant Ventures, and more. He earned an MPP from Duke University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Boston College. He works out of Yarmouth, Maine where he lives with his enthusiastically supportive partner Rachel, his three active children and their beaglador Morgan. Mike is an avid bike rider (in his basement), former runner (oh those knees…), gym-goer, T-shirt wearer, massive Foo Fighters fan and semi-health food nut.

    • Nick McCoy, Co-founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital
    • Mike Burgmaier, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Whipstitch Capital
  • 11:45 AM
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    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option III - High Anxiety: Consumer Trends in THC Products During the Pandemic and Beyond
    The state of THC products during COVID-19 and where the market goes from here
    • Liz Connors, Director of Analytics, Headset
      Liz Connors, Director of Analytics, Headset -

      Liz Connors

      Director of Analytics, Headset

      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.

    • Blake Fery, Data Analyst, Headset
      Blake Fery, Data Analyst, Headset -

      Blake Fery

      Data Analyst, Headset

      Prior to Headset, Blake worked in consulting at Accenture in San Francisco for two years with clients in the Communications, Media, and Technology sectors. After a few years in consulting, Blake decided to move to Seattle and join the digital music team at Amazon. At Amazon he worked on strategy and content licensing initiatives for products such as Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited, using data to better inform strategic decision making.

    • Liz Connors, Director of Analytics, Headset
    • Blake Fery, Data Analyst, Headset
  • 11:45 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option IV - Education Session: Communications and PR During Crisis
    When it comes to communications, internal crises are tough, but external crises are even harder to handle, as COVID-19 and social upheaval have demonstrated for brands.
    • Sabina Gault, CEO, Konnect Agency
      Sabina Gault, CEO, Konnect Agency -

      Sabina Gault

      CEO, Konnect Agency

      Sabina Gault is the CEO of Konnect, an award-winning communications and marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Austin, TX and Denver, CO. A seasoned and passionate PR and marketing practitioner, Sabina’s approach to client service, strategic communications, and measurable results are apparent in Konnect’s rapid rise from a startup to a mid-size agency with an average annual growth rate of 60 percent. With more than 40 employees across its 4 offices, Sabina leads a team of dedicated staffers who provide a boutique-level personalized service combined with an adept ability to effectively build brands that has resulted in a long list of legacy clients. Since founding the agency in 2009, Konnect has been named the #1 PR Agency on the Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing U.S. Companies” list – five years in a row- and was included on the Austin, TX and Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” listing among many other accolades. Sabina is a graduate of Berkeley and currently resides in Westwood, California with her husband and two children who keep her grounded and contribute to the motivation that drives her success.

    • Sabina Gault, CEO, Konnect Agency
  • 11:45 AM
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    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option V - Tapping the Dietitian and Nutritionist Channel
    How brands can utilize nutrition experts as well as effectively work with nutritionists as a source of connection to new shoppers.
    • Jenna Amos, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Communications Manager, Siggi's
      Jenna Amos, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Communications Manager, Siggi's -

      Jenna Amos

      Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Communications Manager, Siggi's

      Jenna Amos is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Communications Manager at siggi’s dairy, where she leads all nutrition communications efforts and serves as siggi’s in house nutrition expert. During her time at siggi’s, Jenna has successfully grown siggi’s dietitian focused programs and efforts to become major points of difference and valuable levers for the brand in the competitive yogurt landscape. Jenna’s prior experience in both clinical and retail settings has given her the understanding of how connecting brands with the influence of dietitians can improve our diet quality. Jenna has maintained brand authenticity while launching both siggi’s sessions, a free continuing education series for dietitians, and siggi’s starters, a community nutrition grant program that awards $20K grants to dietitians. Jenna has shared her nutrition expertise in numerous publications, including Business Insider and Elite Daily. Jenna received her BS from Boston University and completed her dietetic internship at VCU Health in Richmond, VA.

    • Allison Baker, Founder & CEO of Hazel & Dot Growth Consulting, Former Director of Nutrition at The Kroger Co
      Allison Baker, Founder & CEO of Hazel & Dot Growth Consulting, Former Director of Nutrition at The Kroger Co -

      Allison Baker

      Founder & CEO of Hazel & Dot Growth Consulting, Former Director of Nutrition at The Kroger Co

      Allison is an award-winning business leader in the wellness and nutrition space, having served as the Director of Nutrition at The Kroger Co., America’s largest grocery retailer, the Vice President of Business Development at Baze, a Berlin-based personalized nutrition startup, and now as Founder & CEO of her wellness-focused business growth firm, Hazel & Dot Growth Consulting. Allison is classically trained in the Culinary Arts, holds a Master’s degree in Nutrition Science, and has spoken on stages and panels throughout the nation as a thought leader on health and wellness trends, profitable wellness-driving business models, and the role of personalization in health. Throughout the course of her career, Allison has led and managed several multi-million dollar projects, including the development and launch of OptUP, Kroger’s national nutrition scoring digital application, and has pioneered profit-driving business models with both food and beverage CPGs and health insurance companies. In 2019, Allison was selected as one of Business Insider’s “30 Leaders Under 40 Changing The Future of Healthcare,” and has been selected by Progressive Grocer as a Top Women in Grocery “Rising Star” recipient. Today, Allison partners with emerging businesses in food, agriculture, and healthcare to achieve meaningful growth through clear product-related points of difference and value-driving partnerships.

    • Mariely Rosado-Martínez, 2020 Retail Dietitian of the Year and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Healthy Path Markets
      Mariely  Rosado-Martínez, 2020 Retail Dietitian of the Year and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Healthy Path Markets -

      Mariely Rosado-Martínez

      2020 Retail Dietitian of the Year and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Healthy Path Markets

      Based in Puerto Rico, Mariely Rosado-Martinez is a Registered Dietitian and currently works as a retail dietitian at Healthy Path Markets, a chain of three supermarkets in the west side of Puerto Rico where she works with consumers, the community and food buyers. The Healthy Path Market continues to grow with key services and programs directed by Mariely including the in-store nutrition clinic, Healthy You Challenge (for employees and extended to clients), corporate programs including alliances with several entities like Universities, medical offices and local TV news and radio stations. Mariely leads the procurement of products at industry trade shows, launches these products at stores and presents them as solutions for her clinic customers' individual needs. Mariely also serves as the writer of the monthly Healthy You Magazine keeping customers updated with nutrition articles and evidenced based new findings. She also works as a Registered Dietitian in a corporate and clinical program conducted for employees at Hewlett Packard. Rosado-Martinez received two bachelor’s degrees in biology and nutrition, and a Master of Health Sciences in Nutrition all from the University of Puerto Rico. She also completed certifications from different Universities including the Professional Food Buyer Training from Cornell Institute for Food Systems. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance where she was named the 2020 Retail Dietitian of the Year.

    • Jenna Amos, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Nutrition Communications Manager, Siggi's
    • Allison Baker, Founder & CEO of Hazel & Dot Growth Consulting, Former Director of Nutrition at The Kroger Co
    • Mariely Rosado-Martínez, 2020 Retail Dietitian of the Year and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Healthy Path Markets
  • 11:45 AM
    -
    12:30 PM
    Breakout Option VI - The Next Generations of Energy Drinks (sponsor session)
    It is an exciting area in beverage. Premium, more functional energy has exhibited massive growth over the last few years. Major brands like Bang, C4, Celsius, G-Fuel, and more, are developing a new category with growth that energy drinks have never seen before. What are the target functionalities that are paving the way for this success? And how has ingredient discovery and technology changed to make this possible? Let's dive into The Next Generation of Energy Drinks and caffeine with a Q&A to follow.
    • Brian Zapp, Creative Director, Applied Food Sciences
    • Brian Zapp, Creative Director, Applied Food Sciences
  • 11:45 AM
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    1:30 PM
    Investor Speed Dating
  • 12:30 PM
    -
    1:30 PM
    Lunch, Livestream Interviews, Virtual Expo
    Make your way over to the Virtual Expo to see what's on display, or spend time with Taste Radio host Ray Latif as he interviews attendees.
  • 1:30 PM
    -
    2:10 PM
    Main Stage Panel: Evolution in Crisis with Kim Jeffery, Brad Sterl, Stew Leonard Jr.
    How three industry leaders evolve, and thrive, in the face of daunting challenges.
    • Kim Jeffery, Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America
      Kim Jeffery, Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America -

      Kim Jeffery

      Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America

      Kim Jeffery is the retired Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Waters North America, the leading bottled water company in North America and the third largest non-alcoholic beverage company in America. Nestle Waters owns 7 of the top 10 bottled water brands as well as Perrier and San Pellegrino, and had sales of $4.7 billion and 8,000 employees at the time of his retirement in 2014. He has over 45 years of experience in all facets of the consumer products industry including sales, marketing, M&A, manufacturing, logistics, sustainability and finance. Additionally, he managed the journey from entrepreneurial startup to mature multibillion market leader by focusing on organizational development and utilizing a values based leadership model which created a high performance culture.

    • Stew Leonard Jr., President & CEO, Stew Leonard's
      Stew Leonard Jr., President & CEO, Stew Leonard's  -

      Stew Leonard Jr.

      President & CEO, Stew Leonard's

      What should businesses be doing to support their black employees right now? All business leaders should take the time to have one on one conversations with their black employees. The conversation is the starting point. During these one-on-one conversations, it’s important to ask how they are feeling, what can you as a leader do to help, and what the organization can do to show support to the community. Many black employees might feel an overwhelming amount of emotional fatigue during this time. It’s important to be sensitive to this and give space where needed. Even if you don't know the right words to say, at least reach out. Even something as small as a heart emoji, just to show that you actually care, because the silence speaks louder. What’s your advice for a founder of color first starting out? Many people are not open to changing the way things have already been done. The best thing that has worked for me is to work very hard and stay true to your values. There will be people who will reject you, people naturally fear the unknown. But there will also be people who accept you and be more than willing to help you succeed because you are a genuine person. Try a common phrase, “Just do you.” Avoid getting caught up in the negativity of those who won’t or are not open to accepting you. If you stay true to your path, it’s inevitable that you will attract the right people to help you along your journey. What can businesses do more to hire black workers? It’s a really difficult subject. I've only had one other black person apply for a job and honestly they weren't the best fit for the position and we chose someone else. It wasn't because of race. It was just, at the end of the day, you have to choose the best person for the job but have not had a lot of people apply. Is there a way that the industry can seek out talent in underserved communities or at least have some type of internship program to help give opportunity to people of color? That's the way that we can combat that because I just don't see a lot of people applying and I'm guessing it's because you only know what you know. What should businesses be doing to support their black customers right now? Be sensitive to the matter, and show you care. Something that was really strong for me in the beginning: we were working with a social media agency and they would use all of their employees for the photo shoots and they had no black employees. So we would never get photos featuring black people or even people of color other than one Asian person every once in a while. I said it was ridiculous. We need to represent people of color through the photos. We need to represent all of our customers. This thing I like to say is black hands matter. Because, you know, we have to do food shots with hands. Representation matters. Do a better job. If someone or a brand messes up, what should they do? I’ve definitely seen this a lot this week. The best thing that I've seen is when people actually own up to their mistakes and they state their reasoning, both sides, and then get educated on what they did wrong and talk about it. I know people hate to admit fault, but that's the best way to do it is just own up to your shit. There's many different ways to support and not feel pressure to show up the way everybody else does. As long as everybody's contributing in some way, that should move everything forward. What about some industry-specific actions? How can the food and beverage industry better support black founders and black-owned businesses? Investors: Angel investors, VC and PE really need to step up and make an effort to seek out these founders. Having training courses or even a recruitment firm that helps to place minorities in the industry - it starts there because there are a lot of people like me personally. I know, because a lot of them reach out to me. They want to start food and beverage companies, but they just really don't know where to start, who to talk to, or anything. It's very intimidating. If we can ease that and open the doors, we're moving in the right direction. There has been some progress in supporting women's participation on board of directors. The same initiative should be taken for people of color. Investors can also pledge a certain amount of dollars per year to fund minority-owned businesses. I notice a large gap in awareness between both the investors and the founders. Many founders lack the resources to secure a meeting and many funds don't know exactly where to find these impactful, minority-owned businesses. Grocery Buyers: I'd suggest they make it a priority and policy to take meetings with brands and product companies that demonstrate diversity and maintain leadership or ownership with people of color. One company that does this well is Target TGT. Target values inclusivity in business and aims to expand opportunities for diverse suppliers. They also prioritize working with these suppliers to find innovative solutions that positively impact the communities they serve. Distributors: Distributors should identify these same brands, share the diversity of the brands that they carry, identity, and clearly communicate those brands to their channel partners.

    • Brad Sterl, CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread
      Brad Sterl, CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread -

      Brad Sterl

      CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread

      As President/Founder of Rustic Crust, the company that produces Rustic Crust Shelf stable pizza crust and American Flatbread frozen pizzas, Brad continues his personal mission of offering healthier options to the over-processed foods crowding America’s supermarkets and expanding America’s waistlines. “We know people want to eat healthier, but they may not have the time. Eating healthy has to be simple, easy and convenient,” says Brad. “That’s why American Flatbread and Rustic Crust appeal to so many.  I believe that your family, like mine, deserves more than the processed food mentality.”? With more than 28 years in the food industry, Brad’s experience includes food manufacturing, franchise development, sales/marketing, loss control and restaurant management.  In 2014, Brad brought the company back from a devastating fire that caused a total loss for the business. The turnaround included building out two facilities in one year while maintaining YOY growth. When he’s not covered in flour, you’ll find Brad strolling through farmers’ markets, visiting local growers, and creating new recipes for both Rustic Crust and American Flatbread. Brad is passionate about sourcing local and organic ingredients and purposefully blending them in interesting ways to create new and exciting flavor profiles. Publication Appearances: Frozen Refrigerated Magazine (2007–2019) Business NH Magazine (2006–2018) USA Today (2014) Wall Street Journal (2014) Brad is remarried, has two children, recently out of college and employed!

    • Kim Jeffery, Former Chairman and CEO, Nestlé Waters North America
    • Stew Leonard Jr., President & CEO, Stew Leonard's
    • Brad Sterl, CEO, President, Founder, Rustic Crust / American Flatbread
  • 2:10 PM
    -
    2:15 PM
    Break
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option I - Innovation and Sustainability in E-commerce Delivery
    A discussion with food and beverage e-commerce platforms -- how they’re changing e-commerce delivery through innovations in packaging, sustainability and last-mile delivery.
    • Ben Jones, Founder & CEO, Ohi
      Ben Jones, Founder & CEO, Ohi -

      Ben Jones

      Founder & CEO, Ohi

      Ben Jones is the founder of Ohi, the next-generation e-commerce fulfillment solution enabling e-commerce brands to offer their customers a premium, environmentally responsible, same-day delivery experience through a data-driven inventory management platform and micro warehousing. Jones started his career in Sales and Trading at HSBC, where he built a $20M annual revenue business from scratch and quickly became a rising star in the industry. Everything changed after a serious back injury, which left him temporarily paralyzed and requiring a major spinal operation. During the 16 months recovery that followed, Jones was unable to walk far or carry anything heavy and therefore became increasingly reliant on e-commerce. The frustration of having to wait 3 to 5 days to receive online orders vs. being able to get them same-day in stores made him realize that e-commerce was increasingly falling behind Amazon. In order to bridge this gap, Jones left banking to pursue his dream of solving that pain point.

    • Tom Szaky, Founder & CEO, TerraCycle
      Tom Szaky, Founder & CEO, TerraCycle -

      Tom Szaky

      Founder & CEO, TerraCycle

      Tom Szaky is founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams. TerraCycle operates in 21 countries, working with some of the world’s largest brands, retailers and manufacturers to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration. TerraCycle is the lead company in a new circular shopping platform called Loop that enables consumers to shop for some of their favorite brands in durable, reusable packaging. Launched in May 2019, Loop is a key step in helping to end the epidemic of waste that is caused by single-use consumption. Szaky and TerraCycle have received hundreds of social, environmental and business awards and recognition from a range of organizations including the United Nations, World Economic Forum, Schwab Foundation, Fortune Magazine, Time Magazine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Szaky is the author of four books, “Revolution in a Bottle” (2009), “Outsmart Waste” (2014), “Make Garbage Great” (2015) and “The Future of Packaging” (2019). Szaky created, produced and starred in TerraCycle’s reality show, “Human Resources” which aired on Pivot from 2014-2016 and is syndicated in more than 20 foreign markets on Amazon and iTunes.

    • Jim Parke, CEO, Otter Products
      Jim Parke, CEO, Otter Products -

      Jim Parke

      CEO, Otter Products

      As President and CEO of Otter Products, Jim Parke drives strategic development. His deep understanding of corporate structure and finance as well as experience developing early-stage companies has positioned Liviri to thrive in a growing direct-to-consumer marketplace. Parke also serves as CEO for Blue Ocean Enterprises Inc. where he manages all operations for the company, including the real estate and professional services functions of the company. He’s held this role since 2013 and has overseen the formation and acquisition of new business ventures ranging from start-up companies to multinational corporations.

    • Ben Jones, Founder & CEO, Ohi
    • Tom Szaky, Founder & CEO, TerraCycle
    • Jim Parke, CEO, Otter Products
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option II - Hard Kombucha: Building a Category During a Pandemic
    A panel looking at a hard-charging category that sits at the nexus of trends.
    • Greg Serrao, Co-Founder and CEO, JuneShine
      Greg Serrao, Co-Founder and CEO, JuneShine -

      Greg Serrao

      Co-Founder and CEO, JuneShine

      Greg co-founded hard kombucha brand, JuneShine, in a garage in 2018 with a simple purpose, to brew honest alcohol for a healthier planet. Fast forward two years and JuneShine has grown into one of the category leaders poised for national expansion in 2020. He was recently recognized on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Food & Drink List for his early success at JuneShine.

    • Bill Moses, Founder and CEO, Flying Embers
      Bill Moses, Founder and CEO, Flying Embers -

      Bill Moses

      Founder and CEO, Flying Embers

      Bill Moses is an influential leader, proven innovator, and inspiring mentor in the beverage industry. As Founder & CEO of Fermented Sciences Inc. (FSI), Bill steers the helm of an advanced innovation lab that's transforming the alcohol industry with “better-for-you” products. Flying Embers, a hand-crafted, hard beverage brand, sprung from Bill's cutting edge work at Fermented Sciences Inc. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Flying Embers, as well. Prior to Fermented Sciences Inc. and Flying Embers, Bill was the Co-Founder, former Chairman, and CEO of KeVita Probiotic Drinks, a high-growth beverage brand acquired by PepsiCo Inc. in Dec. 2016. Established in 2009, Bill helped the brand achieve epic results, growing KeVita from a small California brand to an international leader sold in 20,000+ retail locations across North America.

    • Todd Kent, CEO, Boochcraft
      Todd Kent, CEO, Boochcraft -

      Todd Kent

      CEO, Boochcraft

      Todd has been an entrepreneur for the past 26 years starting his first business when he was just 16 years old. Creating a culture of community at each business is a personal goal and he looks to create that “family feeling” in and outside the office. When he’s not working you can find Todd engaged in some of his favorite past times such as running, biking or climbing.

    • Bridget Connelly, Co-Founder and CEO, Luna Bay
      Bridget Connelly, Co-Founder and CEO, Luna Bay -

      Bridget Connelly

      Co-Founder and CEO, Luna Bay

      Bridget is the CEO and co-founder of Luna Bay. Bridget is a Chicago native turned San Diegan who wanted to create something that combined her passions: brand building, a health-conscious lifestyle, nature and her intrinsic ability to bring people together. Bridget flexed her entrepreneurial spirit and launched Luna Bay Booch in the summer of 2019. Bridget comes with a background in brand and community building with experience both in the US and overseas. She’s contributed to the success of brands like lululemon, CLIFbar, Ironman, Powerbar, Gillette, Mizuno, Rose and Fitzgerald (based in Uganda), and more. She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelors in marketing and communications.

    • Greg Serrao, Co-Founder and CEO, JuneShine
    • Bill Moses, Founder and CEO, Flying Embers
    • Todd Kent, CEO, Boochcraft
    • Bridget Connelly, Co-Founder and CEO, Luna Bay
  • 2:15 PM
    -
    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option III - Education Session - Leveraging Your Brand for Breakthroughs and Growth: Rethinking your strategy for the new normal (sponsor session)
    • Kelly Criswell, Chief Creative Officer, The GRO Agency
      Kelly  Criswell, Chief Creative Officer, The GRO Agency -

      Kelly Criswell

      Chief Creative Officer, The GRO Agency

      As The GRO Agency Chief Creative Officer, Kelly Criswell lives and breathes CPG packaging. After 17 years steeped in the space, she still spends her days studying packaging design with a keen eye for impact, identity, hierarchy, and clarity.

    • Danielle Muller, Chief Strategy Officer, The GRO Agency
      Danielle  Muller, Chief Strategy Officer, The GRO Agency -

      Danielle Muller

      Chief Strategy Officer, The GRO Agency

      Danielle Muller is the VP of Strategy at The GRO Agency, leading the next generation of GRO creative strategists attuned to the modern CPG landscape. With a contagious curiosity and furious-mind, she is passionate about connecting people with the things that move them. Harnessing left-and-right brain synergy, industry insight, and collaborative creativity, she crafts attuned strategy with both authentic and pragmatic perspective. With over 15 years of experience in dynamic brand creation, marketing, and operational strategy, Danielle has worked with everyone from spunky start-ups to Fortune 500 luxury brands. Leveraging her broad cross-industry experience, she draws from the full scope of opportunity to bridge brands and consumers, driving revenue and defining culture.

    • Kelly Criswell, Chief Creative Officer, The GRO Agency
    • Danielle Muller, Chief Strategy Officer, The GRO Agency
  • 2:15 PM
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    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option IV - Case Study: Building An Innovative Brand Outside of NY, LA, SF, Austin…
    How are food and beverage startups able to work with retailers and distributors outside core markets to help seed and build an audience for innovative products?
    • Shouvik Ganguly, COO, Synapse
      Shouvik  Ganguly, COO, Synapse -

      Shouvik Ganguly

      COO, Synapse

      Shouvik handles marketing and operations for Synapse, and is a senior beverage industry leader with a proven passion and established leadership credentials. He has worked in the industry for over twenty years, of which eighteen years were with Coca-Cola in different geographies including the U.S. Business Unit, India, and global marketing teams. He has worked in sales, bottling operations, built brands, led large teams, executed global launches, run category businesses, and led successful innovations, producing compelling results. Shouvik is responsible for breakthrough innovation in Coca-Cola– like Plant Bottle and SplashBar– which he led from strategy to a multi-country launch. He was instrumental in the company’s introduction and the growth of the brewed beverages category.

    • Briana Warner, CEO, Atlantic Sea Farms
      Briana Warner, CEO, Atlantic Sea Farms -

      Briana Warner

      CEO, Atlantic Sea Farms

      Briana has dedicated her life to doing well by doing good. She is passionate about her incredible home state of Maine and working to help the coast adapt to and mitigate some of the effects of, climate change. After serving several tours in the U.S. Foreign Service, Bri opened and sold a wholesale bakery in Portland focused on pies with an international flair and employing recent refugees resettled in the Portland area. Before taking the helm at Atlantic Sea Farms in 2018, she worked to diversify coastal incomes as the Economic Development Director at the Island Institute, a non-profit focused on sustaining island and coastal communities both in Maine and elsewhere. She is responsible for overseeing 10x growth in two years at Atlantic Sea Farms and popularizing fresh, Maine-grown kelp products throughout the country in partnership with fast casual chains, tastemaker restaurants, meal-kits, and grocery stores.

    • Jen Faigel, Executive Director, CommonWealth Kitchen
    • Shouvik Ganguly, COO, Synapse
    • Briana Warner, CEO, Atlantic Sea Farms
    • Jen Faigel, Executive Director, CommonWealth Kitchen
  • 2:15 PM
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    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option V - Telling Cultural Stories Through Food and Beverage
    Consumers are looking for brands that tell a unique story, celebrate diversity, and allow them to travel around the world through a meal. This session will seek to examine how several brands have successfully taken this path and what hurdles they faced along the way.
    • Chitra Agrawal, Founder, Brooklyn Delhi
      Chitra Agrawal, Founder, Brooklyn Delhi -

      Chitra Agrawal

      Founder, Brooklyn Delhi

      For the past 10 years, Chitra has been specializing in teaching, serving and writing about food based on her family’s recipes from India. She wrote a cookbook Vibrant India (Penguin Random House) and founded Brooklyn Delhi, an Indian-American food brand in 2014 to bring the flavors she was creating to a wider audience. The brand quickly attracted a cult following at local New York markets and at specialty stores across the country and now Brooklyn Delhi's award-winning condiments and sauces can be found in Whole Foods, Albertson's, Walmart and in Blue Apron meal kits. Chitra's products have been featured by food critics at the NY Times, Saveur, Food & Wine and more. She holds an MBA from NYU Stern.

    • Ibraheem Basir, Founder and CEO, A Dozen Cousins
      Ibraheem Basir, Founder and CEO, A Dozen Cousins -

      Ibraheem Basir

      Founder and CEO, A Dozen Cousins

      Ibraheem Basir is the founder and CEO of A Dozen Cousins, a natural food brand that makes convenient products inspired by traditional Creole, Carribean and Latin American dishes. The brand is inspired by his childhood growing up in the culinary melting pot of Brooklyn and is named after his daughter and her 11 cousins. Prior to launching A Dozen Cousins, Ibraheem obtained his MBA from the Wharton School of Business and served as a Marketing Manager on a number of natural food brands including Larabar and Annie's Organic.

    • Vanessa Pham, Co-Founder and CEO, Omsom
      Vanessa Pham, Co-Founder and CEO, Omsom -

      Vanessa Pham

      Co-Founder and CEO, Omsom

      Vanessa is a co-founder of Omsom, a new Asian pantry staple that makes cooking your favorite Asian dishes with uncompromised flavors and hard-to-find ingredients possible in any home kitchen. She and her sister Kim, first-generation Vietnamese-Americans, created Omsom to reclaim the cultural integrity of Asian cuisines that are too often diluted in the grocery aisle. In the few short weeks since launch in May 2020, Omsom has been praised by several publications including Food & Wine, Epicurious, TechCrunch and Forbes. On the heels of their launch, Vanessa was also named one of 9 entrepreneurs making “waves in their respective industries” by People Magazine. Vanessa is a Harvard alum and prior to starting Omsom advised Fortune 500 CPGs on their growth and retail strategy as a management consultant at Bain & Company. She’s also managed a $3M e-commerce business while studying Sociology and Economics at Harvard. She loves thinking about the cultivation of vulnerable and wholehearted work culture, painting watercolors, and cooking all things fermented, caramelized and braised.

    • Nona Lim, Founder and CEO, Nona Lim
      Nona  Lim, Founder and CEO, Nona Lim -

      Nona Lim

      Founder and CEO, Nona Lim

      A native of Singapore, Nona first started her career as a management consultant in London. After a long stint there, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005. In 2006, she started the first online meal delivery business before it was trendy and created the first food-based detox program in 2010. While running her business, Nona was also a competitive fencer for many years, representing Singapore. During training, she craved convenient, nutritious food that could fuel her performance, and which reminded her of home. Finding limited options, in 2014 she pivoted and launched her eponymous brand. Nona’s Singaporean food heritage drives the brand’s obsession with authentic flavor and serves as the platform for its continual exploration of the delicious cuisines found throughout Asia. She is also a certified nutrition consultant and is active in both the local community and the food industry. She was the President of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and is currently a Board Director of the Specialty Food Association.

    • Chitra Agrawal, Founder, Brooklyn Delhi
    • Ibraheem Basir, Founder and CEO, A Dozen Cousins
    • Vanessa Pham, Co-Founder and CEO, Omsom
    • Nona Lim, Founder and CEO, Nona Lim
  • 2:15 PM
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    3:00 PM
    Breakout Option VI - Tips for Working With Stevia in Beverages (sponsor session)
    Learn how to quickly optimize stevia in beverage product development, along with other secrets to creating reduced-sugar formulations that consumers will love.
    • Leanne Wortman, Senior Food Scientist , Cargill
      Leanne  Wortman, Senior Food Scientist , Cargill -

      Leanne Wortman

      Senior Food Scientist , Cargill

      Leanne Wortman is a Senior Food Scientist with nearly a decade of experience at Cargill. In her current role, she focuses on stevia ingredient development and specializes in sugar reduction in beverage applications. She pairs that expertise with an extensive background in product development, a combination of knowledge and skills that enables her to help customers create great-tasting products sweetened with stevia.

    • Alan Skradis, Technical Services Manager, Cargill
      Alan  Skradis, Technical Services Manager, Cargill -

      Alan Skradis

      Technical Services Manager, Cargill

      Alan Skradis is a technical service manager for Cargill’s Starches, Sweeteners and Texturizers business. Throughout his 23-year tenure with the company, he’s served in a myriad of R&D roles, from product development and process optimization to analytical chemistry and quality assurance. In his current position, Alan puts his extensive experience to work for customers, serving as the go-to expert on the Cargill’s expansive portfolio of sweeteners, including stevia, erythritol, cane sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, tapioca syrup and corn syrup. He frequently partners with customers to support their product development efforts, helping to solve formulation challenges, remedy technical issues and foster innovation.

    • Leanne Wortman, Senior Food Scientist , Cargill
    • Alan Skradis, Technical Services Manager, Cargill
  • 3:00 PM
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    3:20 PM
    Livestream Interviews
    Enjoy interviews conducted by Taste Radio host Ray Latif.
  • 3:20 PM
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    4:00 PM
    Main Stage: Citizen Chef, Citizen CPG: Fighting Food Insecurity Together
    Chef Tom Colicchio will discuss how he became aware of the issues facing some Americans in their own food access, and where he sees the problems in our current food system. He’ll offer attendees advice on how to marry running a business with being an advocate and suggestions as to how to move the industry forward towards a more equitable place.
    • Tom Colicchio, Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist,
      Tom Colicchio, Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist, -

      Tom Colicchio

      Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist,

      Tom Colicchio is the chef and owner of Crafted Hospitality, which currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark and Temple Court; Los Angeles’ Craft Los Angeles; and Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Tom made his New York cooking debut at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern before opening Craft in 2001. Outside of his fine dining restaurants, Colicchio opened ‘wichcraft – a sandwich and salad fast casual concept rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003. In late 2018 Tom and his team opened Small Batch in Garden City, NY, a casual dining restaurant celebrating pride of place through commitments to local ingredients, purveyors and people. In an effort to broaden his long-standing activism around food issues, Tom served as an executive producer to the 2013 documentary “A Place at the Table” about the underlying causes of hunger in the United States. This eye-opening experience led Tom on a journey to Washington DC where he has been a mainstay in our nation’s capital in the years since. From holding members of Congress accountable on their voting records around food to working with former FLOTUS Michelle Obama on the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, Tom has established himself as the leading “Citizen Chef” advocating for a food system that values access, affordability and nutrition over corporate interests. Tom and his restaurants give back to the community through their impact partnership with FEAST and by serving on the boards of Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, and Wholesome Wave. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Lori Silverbush and their three sons. When he’s not in the kitchen, Tom can be found tending to his garden on the North Fork of Long Island, enjoying a day of fishing or playing guitar.

    • Tom Colicchio, Chef & Owner, Crafted Hospitality; The Jersey Tomato Co. Ambassador; Food Activist,
  • 4:00 PM
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    4:05 PM
    Conclusion and Wrapup

1000+ Including These Food & Beverage Brands Attended