New York, NY
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New Leaf Tea CEO Eric Skae, Jones Soda founder Peter Van Stolk, and Activate President Dan Holland to present at BevNET Live on June 8.

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Below are overviews of their sessions:

Learn How to Stand Out from the Crowd, with Eric Skae
Competing in a crowded category can be tough – especially when you’re fighting for shelf space with well-financed brands and you are on a limited budget. But that’s just what Eric Skae has done with New Leaf Tea, a fast-growing all-natural RTD tea line that is quickly establishing a national footprint. It doesn’t happen overnight, however, and Skae will discuss the kinds of marketing, packaging and sales strategies it takes to execute growth in a highly competitive category like Ready-to-Drink Tea. His presentation will be highly informative both for entrepreneurs looking to “do it better” in an established beverage space as well as for companies trying to figure out a path to profitability from limited means.

Learn Why Brands Fail – and Succeed – from Peter van Stolk
It’s been a long journey for Peter van Stolk, whose innovative marketing practices took Jones Soda from a small, Seattle-focused entrepreneurial CSD into a nationally-distributed product frequently discussed as an example of cutting-edge branding. Since leaving Jones in 2007, van Stolk has been involved in online marketing, new beverage development and board memberships, and he will be presenting an invaluable talk discussing “Why Brands Fail.” The presentation will be followed by a unique panel of former beverage entrepreneurs discussing why their business plans went astray – and how their reversals of fortune can inform the future decision-making process for growing brands. It’s said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it – and the panel, which includes van Stolk, Bombilla & Gourd founder Ariel Nelson, and others, will be a brave and frank history lesson in how even the best plans can unravel in the face of adversity, so that doom does not befall BevNET Live attendees.

Life on both sides of the distributor’s desk with Dan Holland
Dan Holland was a beverage distributor for more than 30 years – most recently for Haralambos Beverage Co. in L.A., where we has Vice President and General Manager. During that time, he had a heavy role in approving or turning down new beverage brands that wanted space on the trucks. Now that he’s the President of Activate Drinks, Holland is asking the same questions that used to be asked of him – “will you carry us?” “how do we insure a good working relationship?” and “why haven’t you returned my calls?”
Holland will discuss the insights he gained from his three decades as a distributor – and whether those insights have helped him meet his expectations as he tries to crack new markets as an entrepreneur – in an exclusive discussion at this summer’s BevNET Live in New York City on June 8. Holland’s time on stage will provide real strategic knowledge to both marketers and distributors about the goals and challenges each face when setting up a working arrangement for mutual benefit. His appearance is just one part of BevNET Live’s programming that will fulfill its commitment to helping share the knowledge and experience of the beverage community for the benefit of entrepreneurial beverage companies and their partners.