I sit at my desk, fingers to keyboard, for my last official act before the long Fourth of July weekend.

As we enter this holiday, there is much to be grateful for and to celebrate. While our country and the world are going through traumatic and frenetic times, we never lose sight of who we are, our morality, ethics and love of the U.S.A. Tragic events during previous months cannot diminish our capacity to be steadfast in our beliefs and to have concern for our fellow man. This weekend is a great time to reflect on all the good there is.

The past few weeks have been exciting and hectic times in my life, personally and professionally. First and foremost, two weeks ago my daughter was married. It puts in perspective what really counts in life: family, friends and good health. It was joyous beyond my greatest expectations. There is no celebration greater than seeing your child so happy. I still haven’t come down from that high.

Prior to the wedding was a week of celebration for our BevNET universe. In the course of one week, we successfully hosted three conferences, Project NOSH Brooklyn, the Brewbound Session in Brooklyn and BevNET Live. It is very gratifying to execute these events, and to receive universal accolades from the hundreds of attendees who supported our efforts to serve our various industries. We have always taken our mission very seriously, and it’s nice to be praised and rewarded for our efforts.


Within our BevNET Live conference, the New Beverage Showdown always is one of the most enjoyable aspects. It’s great to see the next generation of aspiring beverage marketers show off the heart and soul of their brands. It brought me back to earlier times to look at brands I admired early on in their cycle, similar to the brands we showcase in the Showdown. There are many brands that have gone on to great success. They are the ones this latest generation should emulate. I could cite so many brands, but space precludes naming them all. I’ve mentioned many standards, such as Arizona, Honest Tea, Fiji, Monster and Red Bull over the years, but want to name more of the recent ones to make it. These are brands and teams that I truly admire. Among my recent favorites are Vita Coco, Zico, La Croix, Sparkling Ice, Body Armor, Califia Farms, Core Natural and Bai. They all have achieved critical mass and become the newest standard bearers at retail.

There is a new group of brands coming behind these that can potentially join their ranks over the next few years. The industry continues to innovate and hopefully a future column will extoll the virtues of beverages next. Let’s celebrate them all.