NOSH Live is Back and Returns to Santa Monica!
NOSH Live is a show designed to grow the better-for-you food industry by supporting the needs of the food brands driving it forward. The event brings community all-stars to the stage to provide actionable insights that help food businesses grow responsibly.
Off-stage we create plenty of time for sampling and discussion, and pack the show with potential partners from the supply, investment, retail and services community who have answers and solutions. Brand founders and CEOs leave the event with partners who materially impact their businesses for the better.
NOSH Live Winter 2021 Speakers
All-star speakers from established and up-and-coming brands inspire action through topics your business can apply now, like: lessons in growth, branding and marketing, how to raise and use capital, navigating the ever-changing state of retail, harvesting and harnessing customer insights and using data to make decisions. Industry experts drop knowledge on innovation, the investment climate and the future of the industry. You’re running a business. Our on-stage content is curated for co-founders, CEOs, CMOs, COOS, revenue leaders and decision makers from across your organization.
Stay tuned for updates! The speaker lineup will feature 20+ industry experts.
Founder, Lily's Sweets
Cynthia Tice got her start in the natural foods industry before green juice was cool. She opened a natural foods grocery store, Center Foods, in Philadelphia in 1978, and owned and operated that store for 20 years. As supermarkets realized the staying power of natural and organic foods, Tice began consulting retailers on how to launch or build out their natural and organic offerings. She also began advising brands looking to launch natural and organic products. While working with a client who wanted to launch a natural soda, Tice became aware of the opportunity for naturally sweetened, no added sugar foods. This trend was emerging because of growing consumer sentiments to limit sugar, along with all time high levels of distrust of non-nutritive artificial sweeteners. As a long-time user of stevia, when the ingredient was granted GRAS status in 2008, Tice began experimenting with making chocolate with stevia to satisfy her own need for a no added sugar chocolate (her favorite food) that she could eat daily. In 2011, the recipe was perfected using not only stevia, but also the finest Fair Trade, additive-free, and Non-GMO other ingredients in order to benefit both people and planet. By 2012, Lily's Sweets was on shelves in Whole Foods stores nationwide. Today, Lily's Sweets remains a leader in the no added sugar movement through continued innovation, and the company's chocolates and confections can be found in more than 24,000 stores nationwide. Lily's Sweets has been recognized by Forbes as a, "mission-driven company reinventing the packaged food industry.” Cynthia stepped away from the daily running of Lily’s in 2018, and spends her time working with Non-Profits, and mentoring young entrepreneurs. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband, Dennis, of 30+ years, near her parents, her children, and their spouses/partners, and four family dogs!
General Partner, VMG
Wayne Wu is a General Partner at VMG and cohost of VMG’s Unfinished Biz podcast. He currently serves on the board of Ancient Nutrition, Hello Bello, Milton's, Nutpods and Velocity Snack Brands among other brands within the portfolio. Previous board roles have included Babyganics, Justin’s, Lily’s and Perfect Snacks. VMG works intimately with founders and leaders of branded consumer product companies, providing the resources and guidance needed to propel them to their next level of growth and value. Beyond capital, our value-added investment philosophy commits our deep experience, strategic guidance and passionate focus to help our partners accelerate growth, brand awareness and achieve their own definition of success. Unfinished Biz focuses on the highs, lows, and challenges of being a Founder. Unfinished Biz hopes to make this journey more accessible to aspiring Founders and anyone interested in the ins and outs of running a business and building an emerging brand. VMG has worked closely and successfully with brands such as Ancient Nutrition, Babyganics, Briogeo, Drunk Elephant, Hello Bello, Justin's, KIND, Nature's Bakery, Lily’s, Perfect Snacks, Pretzel Crisps, Quest, Spindrift, Stone, SunBum, and Vega to name a few. The VMG team is excited to partner with the next generation of innovative, consumer product entrepreneurs, helping them to fully realize their founding vision to build iconic brands.
CEO, Lily's Sweets
Jane Miller has 30-years of executive experience in the food industry. She has worked with both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. She is also the founder of Janeknows.com, a career advice website geared towards young leaders starting their careers. Jane is the author of Sleep your Way to the Top (and other myths about business success), a sassy business book targeted at Millennials. Jane is currently the CEO of Lily’s Sweets and has held several other CEO roles in the natural and organic industry, including Rudi’s Bakery, ProYo High Protein Ice Cream, and HannahMax Cookie Chips. Over the course of her career Jane was part of an executive team that brought Hostess out of bankruptcy, worked for HJ Heinz as the Chief Growth Officer and then the President of the UK & Ireland Division. She also ran the Western division of Bestfoods Baking. Jane spent the first fourteen years of her career at PepsiCo, where she rose to be the President of the Central division of Frito-Lay. Jane currently serves as a board member at the University of Colorado Leeds Business School and Eldorado Springs Artesian Water. In 2013 the Denver Business Journal named Jane the Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for her work mentoring young professionals and start-ups. Her other honors include the Boulder Chamber of Commerce’s Women Who Light the Community Award in 2015 and the Naturally Boulder Industry Leader Award in 2016. In 2015, Jane established the Jane Knows Scholarship Fund at Leeds supporting students who are the first in their family to go to college. In 2018, Leeds recognized Jane with a non-alumni service award. Jane has a degree in Russian Studies from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, where she received a 2017 Alumni Achievement Award. She earned her MBA degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
Chief Development Officer, The Hershey Company
Kris Meulen is the Chief Development Officer for The Hershey Company, where he has responsibility for Global M&A and Corporate Development. Kris has played a leadership role in building Hershey’s non-confection snacking portfolio through acquisitions and streamlining the business by divesting non-core domestic and international assets. He started and manages Hershey’s internal C7 venture arm, and was the Chief Financial Officer of Amplify Snacks during its acquisition and integration of Pirate’s Booty snacks. He also had responsibility for Hershey’s One Bar Nutrition platform after its acquisition in late 2019. Before joining Hershey, Kris was with Anheuser-Busch InBev, where he was Vice President of M&A and had responsibility for the VC arm within ZX Ventures, the global growth and innovation group within AB InBev. Prior to AB InBev, he was an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley and served as an Associate Director of Investment Banking at UBS Investment Bank. Kris started his career in technology having spent time working at CCC Information Services and was a founding member of DriveLogic an ecommerce start-up. Kris has a bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics, Statistics and Economics from the University of Chicago and earned an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey
Mr. Novak is the Global Head of Houlihan Lokey’s Consumer, Food & Retail Group. He focuses most of his time leading transactions in the high-growth segments within Food & Beverage, including the better-for-you and health and wellness brands. He serves on the firm’s Management Committee and leads a group of over 100 consumer professionals worldwide. Since joining Houlihan Lokey in 1996, Mr. Novak has led more than 250 corporate finance engagements involving M&A, debt financings, and corporate restructurings. He has handled assignments for food, consumer products, retail, entertainment, and manufacturing companies. Prior to joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Novak spent five years in international investment banking, serving highly leveraged middle-market and Fortune 500 multinational corporate clients, primarily in consumer-branded goods. Mr. Novak also spent two years in the investment banking department at Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he specialized in M&A and debt and equity underwriting.
Vice President, Houlihan Lokey
Mr. Ng is a Vice President in Houlihan Lokey’s Consumer, Food & Retail Group, focused on providing investment banking and M&A advisory services to consumer companies, with a specific focus on the high-growth emerging branded food & beverage / active nutrition space. Since joining Houlihan Lokey in 2014, Mr. Ng has worked on a variety of engagements including sell-side M&A transactions of some of the biggest category disrupters, other corporate finance assignments, and fairness opinions, including 20 sell-side M&A transactions in the healthy, active, and sustainable living industry. Additionally, he served in the Air Force for two years and competed on the Singapore National Youth Water Polo Team.
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In the interest of making our events as safe as possible for both attendees and staff, we will be implementing enhanced safety protocols similar to other industry events, professional and college sporting events and restaurant practices.