BevnetFBU LA 2014
CMO, Splash Beverage Group
Founder & Managing Partner, Partnership Capital Growth Advisors
Partner, Greenberg Traurig, LLP.
Justin is an attorney and shareholder in the Denver office of the international law firm Greenberg Traurig. His practice focuses on representing companies in the beverage, food, and dietary supplement and providing assistance on regulatory and legal issues. He reviews labels and packaging, websites and other promotional and advertising materials to ensure that the labels are technically compliant and appropriate claims are being made. He assists many companies with responses to FDA actions like warning letters, inspections and recalls, as well as FTC investigations. He also prepares and reviews industry contracts such as supplier and manufacturing agreements. And lately, he has been defending companies in class action lawsuits over labeling claims like "all natural" filed in California and other states.
Former Director of Grocery, Whole Foods Market
Tim began his career in the natural foods industry in 1982, joining the team at The Semple St. Food Co-op in Pittsburgh. He later ran the East End Food Co-op, also in Pittsburgh. Prior to joining Whole Foods Market, Tim worked for Wellspring Grocery in Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Whole Foods Market acquired Wellspring in 1991 and Tim, a native New Englander, moved to Massachusetts when WFM purchased Bread & Circus in 1992. During his tenure with Whole Foods Market, Tim led the Grocery Team in one of the largest regions of the company. He participated in the expansion of WFM into Washington, D.C. and New York City, as well as London. Tim was also a key participant in the development of National Purchasing at Whole Foods. Tim Sperry started The Tim Sperry Group in 2006, where he helps entrepreneurs with endeavors such as bringing new products to market, navigating strategies with a focus on Whole Foods, understanding the nonGMO verification process, and preparing market overviews for the investment community.
CEO, Califia Farms
President, Barnhorn Growth Advisors
Brad is deeply involved with leading growth stage companies and investors at the intersection of the consumer products and private equity/financing communities as a Board Member and Advisor to both operating companies and institutional investors. His career path as an entrepreneur, CEO, board member, and investor has cut across all critical strategic and operational dimensions of growth stage consumer company-building. Currently Mr. Barnhorn serves on the Board of Directors for Krave Jerky, KeVita, Zola, Rhythm Superfoods, Health Warrior, IPS, Pint Size, and Red Rabbit, and as an Operating Advisor to Encore Consumer Capital, Winona Capital, Fundamental Capital and Silverwood Partners.
Chief Advisory Officer, MetaBrand
Her early career included various sales and management positions including Tropicana Juices (Pepsico) and Sundance Juice Sparklers (Stroh). Debbie transitioned to the retailer side of the industry where at 7-Eleven, Inc. she became Senior Director for Vault and Proprietary Beverages responsible for $3.3 Billion or 40% of all merchandise sales for over 5500 stores. In addition, during her tenure, she was the Director for Snacks and Grocery products. Debbie followed her passion for the industry and became the General Manager for retail sales for The FRS Company. She has since spent a number of years both consulting and in key management positions with start-up brands. She most recently was the CEO of Bazi, Inc., a public nutritional shot company. Overall, her diverse background includes a combination of retailer and packaged goods experience, something very unique to most people in the industry. She has experience with all channels of trade and specializes in main stream retail and business strategy and execution.
Senior Category Manager, Fresh and Easy
Joe has over 20 years experience working in purchasing for two large successful global retailers having spent 17 years with Costco Wholesale and 7 years with Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Markets. He has led teams through comprehensive category management programs that have met or surpassed his companies profitable sales plans. His success has come on both the private label and branded side of the packaged food business in both perishable and non-perishable food and non-food categories. He and his team have taken private label from concept, through package and design development and finally introduction. He has structured marketing plans, designed merchandising layouts that maximize category potential and driven trade through flyer and promotional product placement. He has managed teams of buyers, assistant buyers & support staff to achieve or exceed objectives throughout his career.
Founder/CEO, The Lyric Group
Rob has been involved in the specialty food trade for over twenty years, with a proven record of success in global sales, strategic planning, packaging, team-building, new product development, distribution, procurement and import/export management. He has deep and established relationships with buyers in every major distribution channel: specialty retail, grocery, club stores, foodservice, direct to consumer, drug and export. His long-standing sales relationships include retailers such as Whole Foods Market, Williams-Sonoma, Target, Walmart, Publix, The Fresh Market and Dean & DeLuca.
Founder, BN Partners, BIN Consulting
Bruce began his food career in the mid 1970s selling organic cookies, brownies, and desserts to natural and specialty food stores in the New York City area, including Bloomingdales. In 1984, a decade later, he founded B.I.N. Sales and Marketing Inc., represented everyone from major natural product companies to start-up brands including Amy's, Green & Blacks, Health Valley, Organic Valley, Newman's Own and quickly becoming the leading natural products sales & marketing agency on the East Coast. In 2006, B.I.N. was purchased by Advantage Sales and Marketing, a leading national sales and marketing Company based in Irvine, California. In addition to B.I.N. Sales and Marketing Inc., Bruce also co-founded Organic Brands LLC, in 1998. Organic Brands developed the Mediterranean Organic brand, a line of certified organic specialty food products. In 2007, Organic Brands was purchased by United Natural Foods (NYSE: UNFI), the leading distributor of natural products in the U.S.
President & Co-Founder, Purely Righteous Brands
Andrew has created some of the most iconic innovations and positioning in the natural greenspace, and thrives on developing new spaces and teams to win in-market. In 2013, he co-founded Purely Righteous Brands with longtime colleague and friend Greg Fleishman. Andrew has launched over 150 products, a multitude of advertising campaigns and a variety of brand architecture, positioning and brand strategy initiatives to drive growth and excite consumers. With nearly 20 years of experience in the natural food and nutrition industry, Andrew has led brands, marketing teams and founded his own natural food company In 2006 Andrew founded Earnest Eats, a natural foods brand, as well as began providing marketing, go-to-market and strategic direction to a number of companies in the natural and nutrition spaces, including Annie's Homegrown, Glaxo-Smithkline, Fuze/Coca-Cola, Coromega Omega-3, Mary's Gone Crackers, Mamma Chia and Pinkberry Yogurt. Before starting Earnest Eats, Andrew was head of Marketing at Kashi Company, a Kellogg Company, for over 11 years. Prior to Kashi, Andrew also served in brand marketing at Procter & Gamble and in business development at Saturn, a division of General Motors. Andrew has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School and a BA from University of Michigan.
Strategy Director, Interact On-Shelf
Adam has specialized in working with CPG brands during his entire 10-year career. His experience includes working on the Innovation Team at the Sterling Rice Group on accounts such as Hershey, Sabra, Ruiz and Tropicana. He has managed and overseen over 30 brand and package redesigns, ranging from Ciao Bella and Crystal Light to challenger brands such as Dei Fratelli and Noble Juices.
Partner & Client Director, Interact On-Shelf
Blake has 10 years of experience working on creative projects. Prior to Interact, he worked in production on TV commercials for large brands before eventually taking his skills to MTV. His love of food is what led him to Interact, where he works as a client director and project strategist and enjoys being able to see his work positively affect the sales of clients' products.
Founder & CEO, Way Better Snacks
Jim founded Live Better Brands, LLC. in 2011 and is the creator of its successful Way Better Snacks brand. A CPG industry veteran, Jim began his career in Sales with Borden in 1989, then Best Foods, before moving to the Natural Products industry with Celestial Seasonings. Jim held the positions of VP Sales and then SVP Sales with The Hain Celestial Group from 2000-2010. A student of the industry, Jim has been fortunate to work closely with some the legendary brand builders in the Natural Products industry over the past 15 years. These experiences, along with his drive to offer healthful, clean snack alternatives to consumers, led him to create Live Better Brands and launch its innovative Way Better Snacks brand into the market in the fall of 2011. The brand has received rave reviews and has experienced meteoric growth in its first year, quickly gaining distribution in over 20,000 stores.
Director of Business Development, Buyer's Best Friend
Quinn's passion for building scalable solutions to big problems has led him to a career at the intersection of entrepreneurship and the food & beverage industry. As Director of BD for BBF, Quinn plays a key role in customer acquisition and strategic partnerships, working with founders Adam Sah & Joyce Guan to establish BBF as a national leader in corporate vending. Before joining BBF, Quinn served as Director of Food for the venture-backed startup Eat Club, where he ran the core product team partnering with restaurants and creating daily menus for 25,000 office workers. Previously, Quinn served as Executive Director of Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard Project, and founded Feast Upon, the first home delivery meal-kit service.
Managing Director, Silverwood Partners
Michael Burgmaier is a Managing Director with Silverwood Partners focused on the food & beverage, Healthy Living and consumer sectors. Mr. Burgmaier has been active in venture capital and M&A for consumer companies since the early 2000s. He has raised capital for numerous companies and clients, written business plans, prepared fundraising materials, facilitated exits and served on boards of venture-backed companies.Mr. Burgmaier has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth as well as Master of Public Policy from Duke University and a BA in Economics from Boston College.
Managing Partner, Finn Capital Partners
Patrick Finn is Managing Partner at Finn Capital Partners, a firm he co-founded in 2013 to invest in and support high-growth early-stage consumer-goods companies across multiple categories. He founded Finn Capital Partners to address what he saw was a material capital market inefficiency: great consumer goods companies often have trouble accessing capital to fuel growth. He deeply enjoys partnering with his portfolio companies to help them realize their potential. Prior to Finn Capital Partners, Patrick worked at method products, Inc., Diageo and Kendall Jackson in various marketing and general management roles. Representative investments include: Barnana (Board member), Obi Probiotic Sodas, Mamma Chia and San Franola Granola. Patrick graduated from Williams College and has an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Executive VP of Snacks, B&G Foods
With over 25 years of consumer package goods experience as an Entrepreneur and Intrepreneur, Michael has led and created top-selling products across several food and beverage companies including Snapple and Ben & Jerry's. Currently as EVP Snacks at B&G Foods, he is in charge of Pirate's Booty, New York Style, TrueNorth And Rickland Orchards, which he co-founded and sold to B&G Foods in October 2013. Additionally he has served as the CEO of Balance Bar Nutrition Co., Chief Marketing & Operations Officer at Snapple Beverage Group, where he was also a key player in the turnaround of Snapple following the acquisition from Quaker Oats for $300 million and its sale three years later for $1.1 billion to Cadbury. Other positions include Chief Marketing Officer at Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Co-founder/CEO of Lesserevil Brand Snacks, and strategic marketing roles at Inbev, Unilever, and Grey Advertising. Mr. Sands earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Babson College and was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement for executives under 40, and was an Inc. 500 award winner for one of the fastest growing private companies in 2009 with Lesserevil.
VP Business Development, SPINS
Bobbi Leahy has over 25 years CPG experience across retail, manufacturer and information supplier organizations, including 11 years with SPINS. In her current role as Director of Sales-West, Bobbi works with SPINS' western region manufacturer clients, to solve for business objectives utilizing SPINS services across retail channels & consumer behavior measurement. Bobbi lives with her daughter Northern California.
Owner, 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 strategic planning, writing sales, marketing and business plans, budgeting, pricing, building distribution, broker selection and management, organizational development, strategic options, financing, branding, trade spending management, US market entry plans for international companies and assistance around M&A, due diligence and venture strategy groups. He is also the co-author and co-publisher of the Natural Products Field Manual, Sixth Edition, The Sales Manager's Handbook and Staking Out Space on the Supermarket Shelf. Prior to consulting, Bob was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as Vice President, Sales & Corporate Development and Vice President, Marketing & Sales. He has held marketing positions with Colombo, Inc. and Sperry Top-Sider. He received an MBA from Babson College.
Co-Founder & CEO, Tasty Brand, Inc.
Liane Weintraub is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tasty Brand, Inc., an organic snack food company that manufactures and markets healthy snacks for kids of all ages across the United States and in some international markets. Since 2007, Liane has been on a self-proclaimed "tasty mission" (along with her partner, Shannan Swanson) to improve the nutritional options available to families, while maintaining the brand's unique "fun and festive" vibe that is so often lacking in health foods. With its eye-candy package design and light-hearted social media tone (Liane is Tasty Brand's online "voice"), Tasty Brand connects with moms, its core audience, on an empathetic and empowering level.
President & Co-Founder, Purely Righteous Brands
Greg has created and grown some of the world's largest and most successful brands during his 20-year career - launching 500+ items across 17 food and beverage categories into 12 countries - focusing primarily on the "natural green Space". Greg is currently president & co-founder of Purely Righteous Brands LLC (PRB), a boutique consultancy dedicated to fostering the growth of "green space" health food & beverage companies. Clients include Tasty Brand, Revolution Foods, Arctic Zero & SUJA Juice - all committed to revolutionizing the spaces they are in. Under PRB, Greg served as Chief Marketing & Strategy for Suja, the #1 cold-pressured fresh juice brand in the US where he led business strategy, marketing, innovation, and retail customer development. There he positioned the portfolio, created & launched 35 new items (including two sub-brands) and built 3 sales channels. Prior to that, he served as CMO of Sambazon, the maker of fresh amazon superfood-based beverages. As CMO, Greg led marketing, strategy, innovation and business development for Coca-Cola's FUZE & Energy portfolio. He also worked for over 14 years as an executive marketer at Kashi/Bear Naked and Kelloggs.