Industry Stars Speak on Lessons Learned & The Future of the Industry
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.
Past NOSH Live Speakers
NOSH Live Summer 2020 speakers will be announced closer to the event. Check back for updates!
Vice President of Grocery, Whole Foods Market
Dan Epley is the Vice President for Whole Foods Market’s Grocery Team, based at the company’s headquarters in Austin, Texas. He leads the merchant teams for Dairy, Beverage, Frozen, Snacks, Candy, Meals, Baking, Essentials, and Breakfast. He’s a key leader for the merchandising evolution where Whole Foods Market has been moving from a decentralized, regionally based structure to a more centralized, hybrid model that is focused on customer-centric data-rich category management capabilities and improved execution. Previous to WFM he spent 26 years in Merchandising at Target Stores where he had leadership roles in Grocery, Domestics, Electronics, Home Improvement, and Sporting Goods. He’s known for brand development, innovative merchandising, strategic negotiations, marketing, process improvement, and sourcing. While not at work he enjoys going on adventures around the world, fishing remote Canadian lakes, and spending time with his family.
Founder & CEO, CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods
Gail Becker is the Founder and CEO of CAULIPOWER and Vegolutionary Foods. Already well known in professional circles, Gail’s career reached the highest levels of media, politics and business - including executive roles at Warner Bros., The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and Edelman. But as a mom of two boys with celiac disease, Gail was not happy with the gluten-free options available to her family. Who wants pizza that’s full of sugar and chemicals, or doesn’t taste anything like pizza, or takes 90 minutes to make? Seeing that the food industry offered no nutritious solutions for busy, foodie families to enjoy together, Gail took matters into her own hands and launched CAULIPOWER in early 2017. CAULIPOWER disrupted one of grocery’s most stagnant categories and is now the #1 gluten-free pizza and #1 fastest growing pizza brand in the U.S., with availability in over 22,000 stores. Earlier this year, CAULIPOWER was honored with Walmart’s “Supplier of the Year, Innovation” award. In 2018, Gail launched a new mother brand, Vegolutionary Foods, as a platform for innovative, approachable and convenient meal-hacking products, including the world’s first superfood toast, Sweet PotaTOASTS. Gail is a passionate advocate for new entrepreneurs, women in business and making vegetable nutrition accessible and delicious to all - especially kids.
Founder & CEO, RightRice
Proven entrepreneur and innovator, Keith Belling is the founder and CEO of RightRice, the breakthrough vegetable rice grain that launched nationally in February 2019 with Whole Foods Markets and on Amazon and is now available in all Kroger banners nationwide and other leading retailers. Keith is also the founder and former CEO of popchips, the innovative popped-snack company that launched in 2007 and was named one of “America’s Hottest Brands” by Advertising Age. Keith is on the Board of Directors of Restoration Hardware and has launched and led a variety of businesses including AllBusiness.com and has been an advisor, providing strategic counsel and/or an investor in a variety of innovative consumer and technology companies ranging from AllBusiness.com, Olly and Modern Meadow to JUST Foods and Ripple. Like popchips, which Keith led to almost $100 million in revenues in just over five years, RightRice redefines another household favorite. RightRice is a complete, plant-based protein that’s made from vegetables and has more than double the protein, five times the fiber and almost 40% fewer net carbs than a bowl of white rice, and comes in Original and four already seasoned flavors (Lemon Pepper, Spanish, Garlic Herb and Thai Curry). RightRice is quickly gaining awards and acclaim, including being named “Best Plant-Based Food” by PEOPLE magazine in 2019. Keith, based in San Francisco, is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and holds a J.D.from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager, Frozen Foods, Walmart
Laura Rush currently serves as Vice President, Divisional Merchandise Manager of Frozen Foods for Walmart Stores, Inc. Laura has been with Walmart since 2010. She began her career as the Sr. Director of TV, Home Audio Video & iPod/iPad business. In 2013 she moved to the Fresh Services Bakery Department as the Sr. Director on that team. She stayed there four years, and was most recently promoted to VP/DMM of Frozen Foods in Feb. 2017. Prior coming to Walmart, Laura worked for Sears Holdings (2008-2010), CompUSA (1996 – 2008) and Game Stop. She was always in electronics merchandising for those companies.
President & CEO, The Tofurky Company
Jaime Athos is a visionary and passionate leader in the plant-based foods industry. With more than 14 years of experience building and supporting its growth, Athos is energized by the ever-increasing opportunity and adoption of plant-based foods worldwide. Prior to his current role as President and CEO at The Tofurky Company, Athos held a variety of other positions within the brand that is also his family’s business, from a college summer job making tempeh to roles in quality assurance, research and development, and operations. As a category leader Tofurky serves a purpose beyond the plate, acting as an engine for global change. Athos exemplifies and manifests this change by way of plant-based political activism, eco-friendly manufacturing, and pursuit of food innovation that helps people to make better choices for farm animals, the environment and health. Athos holds a Doctoral degree in neurobiology and behavior from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science degree in fish biology from the same. He is a founding member of the Plant Based Foods Association, where he currently serves as president of the Board. The association aims to ensure a fair and competitive market place for all businesses selling plant-based foods, promoting policies and practices that improve opportunities for the industry, and educating consumers.
EVP, Retailer Services, 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.
Founder & CEO, Perfect Snacks
You could say Perfect Snacks CEO and Co-Founder Bill Keith was born a leader. After all, he’s the eldest of 13 siblings known for producing Perfect Bar: The Original Refrigerated Protein Bar. Bill’s quest to create Perfect Bar began in college, when he submitted a business plan for a class project, outlining his concept for a first-of-its-kind refrigerated protein bar made with whole food ingredients — a concept hatched from a childhood recipe, created by his father. Over the next 13 years, Bill and his younger siblings worked tirelessly to turn the crowded, $6-billion protein bar industry upside down, leading consumers away from the highly-processed, non-perishable snack aisles, to the fresh and functional snack and beverage coolers where Perfect Snacks products continue to carve out desirable, high-velocity fridge real estate in more than 27,000 stores nationwide, including Costco, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and 7-Eleven.
Founder and CEO, Purely Elizabeth
Elizabeth Stein is the founder and CEO of Purely Elizabeth, an all natural and organic food company based in Boulder, Colorado. Stein launched the company in October 2009, with a goal to create foods you obsess over, made with innovate, nutrient-rich ingredients. Elizabeth is a certified holistic nutritionist with a background in business marketing from Boston University. She is passionate about building a company that is dedicated to helping consumers thrive on their wellness journey.
Jeni Britton Bauer
Founder, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Jeni Britton Bauer is an American ice cream maker and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the artisan ice cream movement, she introduced a modern, ingredient-driven style of ice cream making that has been widely emulated across the world but never duplicated. Jeni opened her first ice cream shop, Scream, in 1996, then founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002. Her first cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller and won a coveted James Beard Award in 2012. It quickly became the de facto bible for anybody making their own ice cream or thinking about opening a new-style ice cream shop. Her second cookbook, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts (2014), took ice cream to the next level with an array of incredible plated, layered, and piled-high ice cream-centric desserts. Today, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a Certified B Corporation with 34 scoop shops, an online shop at jenis.com, and distribution in top grocery stores across the country. As Founder, Jeni remains the beating heart of the company and is in charge of all creative output—from the ice cream itself to the supporting details that enhance the experience of eating it. Jeni is a 2017 Henry Crown Fellow and has been recognized by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business today.
T.J. McIntyre joined Beryl Stafford and Bobo’s as CEO in December 2015 with the mission of building the Bobo’s business and brand into a leading natural foods company that bakes simple, nourishing food. T.J. was previously the Executive Vice President over natural brands at Boulder Brands where he oversaw the acquisition and management of Udi’s, Glutino and Evol and grew the portfolio from $20M to over $400M in 6 years. Prior to Boulder Brands, he served as Brand Manager of Silk at White Wave Foods, leading up to its acquisition by Dean Foods. From 2005 through 2009, he pursued entrepreneurial endeavors in specialty tea and coffee, including co-founding Pekoe Sip House, a regional tea-coffee chain in Boulder, Colorado. Mr. McIntyre holds a BA degree from Michigan State University, and an MBA with a concentration in marketing and entrepreneurship from the University of Oregon.
Co-Founder & CEO, Siete Family Foods
Merchandising Client Lead for Natural Foods, 84.51° (Owned by Kroger)
Alex Trott, Senior Client Lead, is responsible for natural foods merchandising. Previously, Ms. Trott worked as Client Lead at 84.51°. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Miami University. 84.51° helps companies create sustainable growth by putting the customer at the center of everything. Using a sophisticated suite of tools and technology, 84.51° works with some of the world's leading CPG manufacturers and partners. With more than 700 talented and fearless associates, 84.51° is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co.
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