What Goes On at NOSH Live
Inspiring Speakers Give You Actionable Takeaways
We love it when a speaker brings an insight that makes everyone think. We ask for best practices, battle stories or cases that focus on innovation, growth and the lessons learned in the process.
Your Brand, Center Stage
NOSH Live features the "Pitch Slam" which allows startup brands to get instant feedback from a group of expert judges, the NOSH community and the world. Also, Sampling Stations allow you to showcase your stuff and get thoughts from the people who know what you are up against.
Networking Opportunities to Drive New Partnerships
There is nothing like being there and experiencing NOSH live with people who want to make better products and find partners and share experiences. This is your chance to collaborate and build partnerships that will help you succeed.
Education to Get You Started
Bootcamp the day prior will get you started on the right foot. Build a solid foundation and have special access to additional networking. An added bonus for young food brands.
NOSH Live Past Speakers
Co-Founder & CEO, Once Upon A Farm
John is the Co-founder and CEO of Once Upon A Farm, a company on a mission to build a purpose driven brand focused on reinventing a number of kid-food categories in the US toward better health & nutrition, while driving significant positive social and environmental impact. Company information can be found at www.onceuponafarmorganics.com. Prior to his new start-up, John spent more than 30 years in the natural and organic food industry running businesses with a sharp focus on sustainability and social responsibility. John was the longtime leader of Annie’s, Inc., a leading natural & organic food brand, in the US from 1999 to 2017. As CEO of Annie’s, he took the company public in 2012 under the symbol BNNY before General Mills acquired the business in 2014 for $820 million. For the following three years John ran the Annie’s operating unit and also advised General Mills’ small business incubator 301, Inc. He was recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® 2015 in Northern California. In August 2017, he transitioned into a new role as Chairman of the Bunny, where he continues to work with General Mills to drive leadership in company culture, organic and regenerative agriculture, and strategy support. Foraker received a B.S. in agricultural economics from UC Davis and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
Managing Director, CircleUp
Alison Ryu is a Managing Director at CircleUp, the investment platform providing capital and resources to early-stage consumer brands. In her role, Alison leads investments out of CircleUp Growth Partners, a data-driven, scalable fund which leverages CircleUp's proprietary technology Helio to invest in visionary founders. Prior to CircleUp, Alison was a Vice President at TSG Consumer, where she invested in consumer and retail brands. She also spent a year on the executive team of Backcountry.com, one of the TSG Consumer portfolio companies, where she led brand marketing and product development. Before TSG, Alison worked in investment banking at J.P. Morgan in the Consumer & Retail Group.
Co-Founder and CEO, Sir Kensington's
Mark Ramadan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Sir Kensington's, creators of all-natural, globally inspired condiments. While attending Brown University, Ramadan and his classmate, Scott Norton, were inspired by an article penned by Malcolm Gladwell, titled “The Ketchup Conundrum,” which suggested that it was impossible for new ketchup brands to compete with the nostalgic incumbent, Heinz. From there, Ramadan and Norton made it their mission to disrupt the broader condiment category by not only focusing on taste, but by building a brand identity that celebrated both food education and food entertainment. After two years of testing recipes and creating Sir Kensington’s story, the company launched in June 2010. Prior to Sir Kensington's, Ramadan worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York City, specializing in the consumer goods and travel industries. While completing his undergraduate program at Brown University, Ramadan gained experience at the financial companies Goldman Sachs and Oberon Securities. He graduated in 2008 from Brown with a BA in Economics and International Relations. Ramadan has been featured on Fast Company’s “1000 Most Creative People in Business” and Forbes’ “30 under 30” list.
Founder & CEO, Habit Inc.
Managing Director, Piper Jaffray
Janica Lane is a managing director at Piper Jaffray focused on providing investment banking and M&A advisory services to consumer companies in healthy, active and sustainable living industries, with a focus on food and beverage, as well as nutritional supplements. Prior to joining Piper Jaffray, Lane was a partner at Partnership Capital Growth, a boutique investment bank providing M&A and private placement services to health and wellness-oriented businesses. Prior to investment banking, Lane was a researcher at Stanford University’s Center for Environmental Science and Policy (CESP) and an equity research associate on Prudential Securities’ energy team. Lane has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She received dual bachelor's degrees (international relations and Spanish) with Phi Beta Kappa honors from Stanford University. She spent six months living in Santiago, Chile, as part of her undergraduate education and is fluent in Spanish.
Founder & CEO, Saffron Road
Mr. Durrani is the CEO and founder of American Halal Co, Inc. — which markets the Saffron Road brand line of culinary cuisines and plant based protein snacks. Saffron Road is the first halal product to be sold nationally in the USA. Whole Foods has noted Saffron Road as being one of the most successful brand launches nationally in their 30-year history. Saffron Road is now a leading Natural/Organic PLATFORM brand and is sold in over 20,000 retail food stores. According to A.C. Nielson/SPINS Scantrak, Saffron Road is the fastest growing natural frozen entrée brand in USA and nationally ranked #2. Mr. Durrani is a serial entrepreneur and investment professional for almost 30 years, as President of Condor Ventures, Inc., a venture firm devoted to strategic investing in natural food companies. His entrepreneurial ventures have resulted in a successful track record of scaling and growing niche beverage and natural food product lines into mainstream branded companies that also deliver disruptive social impact. Mr. Durrani founded Vermont Pure in 1991. Today, Vermont Pure/Crystal Rock is the 2nd largest bottled water company in the Northeast. Mr. Durrani was also a partner in Stonyfield Farms, Inc., which was sold to Groupe Danone in 2001. He was also a principal of Delicious Brands, Inc., which he scaled, with the financial backing of Carl Icahn, to become the 5th largest cookie brand in the U.S. Adnan also sits on the Board of Directors of Maple Hill Creamery.
Vice President, Global Snacks, The Hershey Company
Anthony (Tony) Tyree is Vice President, Global Snacks for The Hershey Company. He is responsible for fulfilling the company’s vision of developing a $2 billion snacks portfolio across the globe. In his role, Tony leads the development of the strategic plan for Global Snacks, which translates to country implementation plans across focus markets. Tony’s responsibilities extend beyond organic innovation platforms, like Hershey’s Spreads, Snack mixes and Brookside snacks, to strategic opportunities including mergers and acquisitions (e.g. Krave).
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Chief Brand Officer & Co-Founder, Foodstirs
Sarah Michelle Gellar is a Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winning actress best known for her roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ABC’s All My Children, CBS’s The Crazy Ones, and Cruel Intentions among others. Off screen, Gellar lends her time and support to child and hunger organizations as an advocate and activist. She works closely with No Kid Hungry and Baby Buggy as well as the nonprofit organization CARE. In October 2015, Gellar stepped into a new role as entrepreneur, co-founding Foodstirs (www.foodstirs.com) along with Galit Laibow and Gia Russo. Foodstirs is a culinary lifestyle brand that offers convenient, delicious and healthier ways to bring families together in the kitchen. From creative cooking kits to premium signature baking mixes, Foodstirs inspires creativity and curiosity, while emphasizing the importance of a healthier lifestyle.
CEO, Arctic Zero
Mr. Pandhi joined Arctic Zero in 2010 as CEO. Prior to joining Arctic Zero, Mr. Pandhi was a founding member at Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a billion dollar private equity firm. While at Huntsman Gay, Mr. Pandhi was responsible for evaluating and executing leverage buyout and growth equity transactions. Prior to joining Huntsman Gay, he worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Oppenheimer/CIBC World Markets in New York, New York. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics, magna cum laude, and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine on a Regents Scholarship; he earned his Master in Economics Degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
President & CEO, Consumer Insight Inc.
For more than 25 years, Lempert, an expert analyst on consumer behavior, marketing trends, new products and the changing retail landscape, has identified and explained impending trends to consumers and some of the most prestigious companies worldwide. Known as The Supermarket Guru® Lempert is a distinguished author and speaker who alerts customers and business leaders to impending corporate and consumer trends, and empowers them to make educated purchasing and marketing decisions. As one of America’s leading consumer trend-watchers and analysts, Phil Lempert is recognized on television, radio and in print. For twenty plus years Phil has served as food trends editor and correspondent for NBC News’ Today show, reporting on consumer trends, food safety and money-saving tips, as well as showcasing new products, as well as regular appearances on ABC’s The View, FOX Business, Dr. Oz, The Oprah Winfrey Show, 20/20, CNN, CNBC, FOX, as well as on local television morning and news programs throughout the country. For almost two decades, he hosted the syndicated show Shopping Smart on the WOR Radio Network and now co-hosts the weekly Lost in the Supermarket podcast on iTunes. Phil Lempert was one of the pioneers of the new information media, founding SupermarketGuru.com in 1994. The website is now one of the leading food and health resources on the Internet, visited by more than 9 million people each year. SupermarketGuru.com offers thorough food ratings, analyzes trends in food marketing and retail, and features health advice, unique recipes, nutrition analysis, allergy alerts and many other resources to help consumers understand their food, health, lifestyle and shopping options. Phil is the founder and editor of The Lempert Report, Food, Nutrition & Science, Facts, Figures & the Future, and The Food Journal. He has been profiled and interviewed by USA Today, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek and Ad Age, and is interviewed by hundreds of publications each year. He is also a columnist for Forbes.com. He has served on the Executive Committee of Michelle Obama's Chefs Move to School program. He is the founder and CEO of the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance; and has developed and manages Foodservice@Retail: The Great Grocerant educational program for the National Restaurant Association, hosts and manages the Most Innovative Product Awards for the National Confectioners Association, developed the Supermarket Chef Showdown for the Food Marketing Institute, created and managed the Spud Nation Throwdown Competition for the National Potato Council. Lempert is the author of Being the Shopper and Healthy, Wealthy & Wise. His previous books include: Phil Lempert’s Supermarket Shopping & Value Guide, Top Ten Trends for Baby Boomers and Crisis Management: A Workbook for Survival. He is currently working on his next book which documents the important relationship between Millennials and food - YOLO, The Intersection of The Jazz Age with The Millennials' Passion for Food. Phil Lempert graduated from Drexel University with degrees in Marketing and Retail Management and did his Post-Graduate studies at Pratt Institute. He worked at McDonald’s and Howard Johnson’s before joining his family’s food brokerage firm. Lempert went on to create Lempert Advertising, a full-service, award-winning advertising agency that specialized in food and retail branding, marketing and public relations. A resident of California, Lempert’s roots are in the Belleville, New Jersey dairy farm started by his grandfather. The family food tradition carried on through his father’s work as a food manufacturer, distributor and broker and then to Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru®.
Vice President of Talent, VMG Partners
Cassie Nielsen is the Vice President of Talent at VMG Partners where she works intimately with founders and leaders of branded consumer product companies on their Talent and People strategies. VMG has worked closely and successfully with brands such as babyganics, Drunk Elephant, Humm Kombucha, Justin's, KIND, Nature's Bakery, Perfect Bar, Pirate's Booty, Pretzel Crisps, Quest, Spindrift, Stone, SunBum, and Vega to name a few. Prior to her tenure at VMG Partners, she did executive search at SPMB and various Operations and Talent roles at Goldman Sachs.
Senior Advisor, Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development, New York City Mayor's Office
Founder, Primal Kitchen
Ancestral health pioneer and ex-endurance athlete Mark Sisson is the bestselling author of the Primal Blueprint and Primal Endurance, and blogger at the top-rated health and fitness website MarksDailyApple.com. He is the founder of several companies: Primal Nutrition, LLC—devoted to designing state-of-the-art supplements that address the challenges of living in the modern world, Primal Kitchen®—delivering uncompromisingly delicious, nutrient-dense foods that are always dairy/gluten/grain/soy free and full of beneficial fats and high-quality protein, Primal Kitchen Restaurants—a franchise of primal/paleo-aligned restaurants that offer healthy, clean and organic fast-casual dining options, and Primal Health Coach—offering an unparalleled and fully-rounded health coaching and business education. Join Mark as he shares over 30 decades of research and experiential learning and unlocks the keys to building metabolic flexibility, becoming a fat-burning beast and taming hunger and cravings forever.
Sarah Palisi Chapin
CEO, Hail Merry
Sarah Palisi Chapin has served as Chief Executive Officer and board member of Hail Merry since 2009, when she and Ali Brushaber, chief product officer, joined Hail Merry founder Susan O'Brien in her home pool cabana to partner for growth. Susan had successfully created the brand and built a cult following for her raw lifestyle pure ingredient products and her shelf success suggested it would grow to be a leading brand. Now operating from a 30,000-foot kitchen, Hail Merry continues as a leading snack and dessert brand sold in natural, conventional and foodservice, with all products non-gmo verified, gluten-free, vegan, and which celebrate raw plant oils. Ms. Chapin brings more than three decades of experience in the food service industry, including a comprehensive understanding of strategy, franchising, commercial kitchen technology, brand management, product development, marketing, operational excellence, market expansion and acquisition strategy. She is a member of the board of Yummy Spoonfuls, and The Middleby Corporation (NADQ: MIDD). She has previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of Caribou Coffee Company, Inc., 2007 to 2013, and more than a dozen for profit private and public companies over a 20 year span. Previous positions include CEO of Enersyst Development Center (intellectual property R&D and licensing company in food) from 1995 to 2003, VP of Worldwide Business Strategy of Burger King Corporation from 1990 to 1995 (including food globally and co-development of their purchasing COOP RSI) and new concept development for PepsiCo and Pizza Hut.
Founder/Co-CEO, Halen Brands
Jason Cohen, Founder/Co-CEO, co-founded Mamma Says, Inc. in 1999, a food manufacturing company that produced biscotti. He grew the business from concept to gaining distribution at retail giants such as Costco, BJ’s and Trader Joe’s. In a few years, the company was able to establish a national brand where sales volume doubled year-over- year. In 2005, the business was sold to NONNIS Inc., a portfolio brand of Windpoint Partners for 4x revenue. In 2005, Jason co-founded World Gourmet Marketing, creating better-for- you snacks under the flagship brand Sensible Portions, which included all-natural, low-calorie snacks such as Veggie Straws, Pita Bites and Multi Grain Crisps. Again, his strategic plan was to sell into large format retailers such as Costco first. He then moved on to vendors such as BJ’s, Wal-Mart, Sam’s, ShopRite, Safeway, SuperValu, etc. Under his management, the company achieved double-digit growth and became one of the fastest rising snack food industry purveyors. The company went from $4MM in sales in 2005 to just under $100MM in 2009. In 2010, World Gourmet (and the Sensible Portions brand) sold for $110MM to The Hain Celestial Group, one of the leading providers of organic and natural foods. While at Hain Celestial, Jason served as President of Club and Snack Division, and was responsible for executing the sales strategy for brands such as Terra, Garden of Eatin’ and Sensible Portions. In 2011, Jason founded Rickland Orchards, the first shelf stable Greek yogurt brand. In October 2013, after sales soared to $50 million in just 18 months, the company was sold for $57.5 million to B&G Foods, a public company. In 2013, Jason partnered with the founders of SkinnyPop. SkinnyPop successfully went public in 2015 for 1.4 billion in shareholder value. In 2014, Jason received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Excellence in Emerging category in the New Jersey region. In January 2015, Jason co-founded Halen Brands, Inc., which quickly funded Chef’s Cut Real Jerky in March 2015. Halen Brands then purchased Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch in September 2015 and most recently partnered with Core Hydration in June 2016. Jason has also invested, raised capital, and previously or currently holds Board Member positions for various companies, mostly in the consumer products space including : Dippin’ Chips and Mrs. Thinster’s, Voli Vodka, Pearl Media, and two apparel companies - Trukfit and Asphalt Yacht Club.
Founder, Premium Growth Solutions
James is a strategy consultant for emerging food and beverage brands with a professional background in strategy consulting, market research and social science. He has advised well over 75 food and beverage brands on all aspects of growth strategy (i.e. marketing, innovation, channel placement and pricing), from large legacy brands such as Triscuit to small, early stage NOSH brands. www.premiumgrowthsolutions.com
Founder, Sonoma Brands
Born to a lauded Sonoma wine family, Jon Sebastiani has grown up working in and surrounded by the aura of wine, food and hospitality. Embracing his entrepreneurial spirit, Jon was involved in a variety of business pursuits at a young age. From helping drive the M&A process of his families winery, Viansa, to founding KRAVE Pure Foods which quickly became one of the fastest growing CPG companies in the country (acquired by Hershey in the spring of 2015), Jon has a wealth of valuable firsthand experience. Sebastiani is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and holds a dual MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and Columbia University. Sebastiani lives in Sonoma and is a passionate mentor, husband, father, athlete and philanthropist.
Director, Encore Consumer Capital
Bill joined Encore Consumer Capital in 2008. He is a director of Ancient Harvest, Brownie Brittle, California Splendor, Navitas Organics and Thanasi Foods. Bill is responsible for deal origination and execution as well as portfolio company oversight. Prior to Encore, he led corporate development for Nest Collective, a natural and organic consumer products company. Bill began his career at Swander Pace & Company (later acquired by Kurt Salmon, now Accenture), a strategy consulting firm servicing food, beverage, apparel, and retail clients, where he was a member of the firm’s Private Equity Practice and worked on multiple consumer transactions. After Kurt Salmon, Bill led the food and beverage practice of a boutique investment bank. Bill graduated with a BA in Public Policy from Stanford University. Bill lives in Marin County, CA with his wife and twin daughters, and enjoys training for triathlons. He previously served as the Chair of the Stanford Associates Board of Governors, Board Member of the Stanford Alumni Association, Board President for Wu Yee Children’s Services (a non-profit social services agency), and member of the Board of Trustees of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in San Francisco.
EVP of Sales, La Colombe
To those in the food and beverage industry, Kyle O’Brien is considered a modern-day visionary. He has a unique ability to identify great entrepreneurs and industry-changing products before they launch and help bring them to market. From Greek yogurt, to sliced and bagged apples, Kyle has carved an impressive notch across the food and beverage landscape. His approach is simple: combine natural ingredients, innovation, and a human element to yield market giants and epic brands. At 22 years old, O’Brien first focused his talent alongside a young entrepreneur whose plan it was to preserve sliced apples by using natural ingredients, such as Vitamin C, and suspending them in gas-flushed, breathable pouches. Kyle then pitched it to accounts from McDonalds to major school districts across the country, and the rest is history. O’Brien then met another talented craftsman, Hamdi Ulukaya, and was introduced to his yet-to-launch Greek yogurt company, Chobani, which would fundamentally change the world of yogurt. As a Partner and EVP of Sales, O'Brien built the sales and distribution structure and grew the business from its first cup into America’s #1 selling yogurt, capturing nearly 40% market share. His drive and commitment didn’t stop there, and O’Brien is not one to retire early. Next, O’Brien identified a new category-changing product and visionary entrepreneur, the Draft Latte, invented by Todd Carmichael, Co-Founder and CEO of La Colombe. O'Brien seamlessly assumed the role of Executive Vice President of Sales at La Colombe and immersed himself in the product and culture. Within months, he assembled a sophisticated nation-wide logistics, brokerage, and distribution network, paving the way for La Colombe’s Draft Latte to assume its position on every shelf and refrigerated case in America.
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, Project 7
Tyler grew up in a family pet food manufacturing business in the Panhandle of Texas so all he’s known is entrepreneurship and consumer products. Tyler went to school at Texas A&M and came back to work for the family business in 2001. Tyler created a specialty natural pet food brand and division called “Merrick” that was known for its innovative recipes and product quality. It became the best selling can pet food line and natural treat line in pet specialty in the mid 2000’s. It eventually was fully acquired by Nestle in 2015 after the company had partnered with private equity firm Swander Pace. Tyler left the business in 2007 but still served on the board of Merrick in order to start his own entrepreneur dreams. He started a creative agency called 29 Agency and not long after he started incubating Project 7 in the fall of 2008. The vision for the brand was an idea of making a “Newmans Own 2.0” a charitable / philanthropic brand of everyday products across the grocery store. Think brandless before brandless but all about charity. Buy this bag of coffee and provide a meal, buy this pack of gum and plant a tree. They did that for about 5 years and the business was not sustainable anymore… the brand had lost all major customers due to velocity. Merrick relaunched the company in the winter of 2014 as a specialty candy brand. Today Project 7 is in retailers like Target, Starbucks, Cost Plus World Market, Caribou Coffee, Wegmans, HEB, Whole Foods in Q1 of 2018 and specialty stores alike. Tyler married his high school sweetheart from Hereford Texas and they have been married for 16 years. They have 3 daughters and live in Capistrano Beach, CA and their company is headquartered in San Clemente, California.
VP, Product and Brand Strategy, JUST Goods Inc.
Tenured senior executive with over a decade of specialty and natural food industry experience. Most recently, was award-winning leader of the Grocery division (dry goods, dairy, frozen, bulk) of the Northeast Region of Whole Foods Market (33 stores in NY, NJ & CT). Responsible for purchasing, operations and P&L for the department generating highest revenue in the region and highest revenue/store in the company.
Chief Executive Officer, Twin Cities Co-op Partners
Josh Resnik has spent two decades in the food industry, and the last five years as CEO of Twin Cities Co-op Partners (TCCP) – one of the leading food co-ops in the country. In his role at TCCP, Josh oversees four natural/organic food businesses based in Minneapolis – two grocery stores (Wedge and Linden Hills Co-ops), a food distributor that serves a seven-state area (Co-op Partners Warehouse), and a food production business that sells prepared foods wholesale, as a Caterer, and at the Wedge Table – a mini market and café. In his role, Josh works closely with many up and coming local vendors in helping them prepare for retail, grow their in-store presence, and start up with a distributor. TCCP’s mission is “Build community by developing a strong local food system.” Outside of work, Josh serves as a judge in the Food and Agriculture Division for Minnesota Cup – the largest statewide startup competition in the US. He also is on the board of Mill City Farmers Market, and was previously a board member of Midtown Global Market and Twin Cities Taste of the Nation. Prior to running TCCP and the Wedge, Josh was CEO of Wild Idea Buffalo, a grassfed meat company based in Rapid City City, South Dakota Also, he spent 13 years in marketing and general management at General Mills – working on American icon brands like Cheerios, Yoplait, and Betty Crocker. There, he helped lead two $50+ million startups of new products at General Mills. Josh is also a passionate foodie, who loves exploring new cities and finding the best BBQ, tacos, or hole-in- the-wall markets.
Author, Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America
Michael Ruhlman is the author of critically acclaimed books including The Soul of a Chef, The Elements of Cooking, Ratio, and Ruhlman’s Twenty. He has collaborated on several bestselling cookbooks, including The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, and Alinea. Ruhlman has written about food and cooking for the New York Times, Gourmet, Food Arts, and other publications. He was born in Cleveland and lives in New York City.
Regional Grocery Buyer, Whole Foods Market
John Lawson has lived in NYC for the last 20 years, and has worked in food retail for nearly all of them. He has been with Whole Foods Market since 2005, and a Regional Buyer since 2009. John is passionate about ethical & sustainable food sourcing, and in his current role he enjoys partnering with brands for product development, strategy, and growth.
Partner, Managing Director, Beechwood Capital
A seasoned operator and investor with over 15 years of experience in management, operations and marketing, Kahn co-founded Beechwood Capital to identify and invest in unique, disruptive growth-stage branded consumer products companies. The founders of Beechwood Capital have deep entrepreneurial and operational experience, including founding and building The Holmes Group (with brands such as Crock-Pot®, Rival®, and Bionaire®) from a start-up to an $800 million branded consumer products leader, which they sold to the Jarden Corporation in 2005. Food and Beverage are a significant focus of Beechwood Capital with current investments in Banza, Foodstirs, and WTRMLN WTR. Kahn holds a B.S. in Marketing from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from The Anderson School at UCLA. He currently serves as board member for Banza, a board observer for MiniLuxe, and a board advisor for Tatcha.
Managing Director, Accel Foods
CEO, Kite Hill
Matthew has spent the last 20 years building disruptive consumer brands that have challenged established industries with products that are better for people and the planet. As the CEO of Kite Hill, Matthew leads the company’s efforts to replace traditional dairy in people’s lives with great tasting, plant-based foods. By marrying patented biochemistry with traditional dairy production techniques, Kite Hill has developed a broad range of cultured nut milk products, including artisanal cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, entrées and even desserts. Kite Hill is now seen as a gold standard in plant-based dairy products. Under Matthew’s leadership, Kite Hill has raised $25 million, most recently closing an $18 million round led by 301 Inc., General Mill’s venture capital arm, and CAVU Venture Partners. Kite Hill’s product leadership and industry influence were recently recognized by Forbes and CircleUp who selected Kite Hill as one of the 25 most innovative consumer brands of 2016 and have been covered by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune and numerous other publications. Prior to leading Kite Hill, Matthew was the CMO of Impossible Foods, a company developing plant-based options to one day replace our global reliance on industrially raised meat. Matthew was instrumental in raising upwards of $50 million in capital and introducing the public to the Impossible burger through a feature article in the Wall Street Journal. Matthew hasn’t always worked in the plant-based world. He joined Impossible Foods after founding Fork in the Road Foods, a leading sustainable meat company. Matthew started his food career in strategy at Starbucks and managed several food brands at The Clorox Company after earning his MBA from Cornell’s Johnson School.
Pitch Slam Volume 4: Your Brand Center Stage
Catapult you and your company into the spotlight. Pitch Slam participants are the celebrities of NOSH Live. Be the center of attention among hundreds of industry executives and gatekeepers, receive instant feedback from an expert panel of judges, and compete for $5,000 cash prize.
Summer 2017 Conference Highlights
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