Past NOSH Live Speakers
Speakers will be announced closer to the event. Please check back for updates.
CEO & Co-Founder, RXBAR
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.
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).
Founder & CEO, Daily Harvest
Rachel Drori is the founder and CEO of Daily Harvest, the direct-to-consumer brand blending health and innovation to provide delicious superfoods straight to your freezer. Founded in 2015, Daily Harvest was launched as a solution to Rachel’s own daily challenge: squeezing in healthy, nutritious meals into her busy life. From the early days of hand-delivering homemade smoothies from her car, Rachel has built Daily Harvest into one of the fastest-growing nutritional food brands in the U.S. The company has over 100k subscribers, delivering activated breakfast bowls, “nice cream” sundaes, and soups to freezers across the U.S. Today, Rachel continues to reimagine ‘frozen fresh’ to make health foods convenient without sacrificing nutrition or taste. Prior to founding Daily Harvest, Rachel harnessed her skills as a customer-centric marketing executive, leading teams at Gilt Groupe, American Express, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Columbia Business School. She currently resides in New York City with her family.
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.
Founder & CEO, Presence Marketing
Bill started working in a natural food store when he was 16 and began reading books on nutrition and healthy living at a fervent pace. Paavo Airola, Norman Walker and Paul Bragg were some of the early natural food enthusiasts who influenced his lifestyle choices, along with the inimitable Dr. John R. Christopher, an early pioneer in herbal medicine. After nearly a dozen years of working in the Natural Products Industry, in varied roles within the sales and retail sectors, he launched Presence Marketing in January, 1990. He is surrounded by a dedicated cast of creative and intelligent people who carry out the mission of bringing healthy products to consumers, with great energy, passion, and resolve. With nearly 35 years of industry experience, he is uniquely qualified to lead Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence during booming as well as unstable economic times. His passion for sustainable agriculture, healthy foods and integrated medicine are key drivers behind his commitment to continue building Presence Marketing/Dynamic Presence, the only independently owned, national - natural products brokerage in the United States.
Meena R. Mansharamani
CEO, Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods
Meena Mansharamani is an innovative, strategic and passionate leader who has a track record of delivering impressive results in both corporate and start-up environments. As CEO of Maya Kaimal Fine Indian Foods, Meena leads a passionate and resourceful team committed to fulfilling Maya Kaimai’s mission of creating and offering exceptional Indian foods that are flavorful, approachable and modern. As President of Intend Growth, LLC., which she founded in January 2014, Meena partners with leaders of health and wellness brands committed to delivering higher levels of marketplace impact. Prior to these roles, Meena was Managing Director of Materne North America where she delivered breakout growth, raising the GoGo squeeZ brand from $7MM to $120MM in three years. Before joining Materne, Meena was SVP Innovation and Insights at Pepsi-Cola and VP Strategy at PepsiCo. She was also Vice President of the Consumer Products and Retail Practice at A.T. Kearney. Meena serves as a Board member of two PE-backed companies: Bare (VMG) and Elevation Brands/Ian's (Renewal Funds). Meena also serves on the Boards of Alex’s Lemonade Stand, committed to raising funds for childhood cancer research, and Animal Haven, committed to animal rescue. She is also a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Meena holds an MBA from Wharton and a MA/BA from Harvard.
Founder & CEO, Habit Inc.
Product Director – Center of Store, 7-Eleven
Ashley Borden joined global c-store retailer 7-Eleven Inc. in 2012 and assumed her current role as Center of Store Product Director in February of 2017. During her 5 years with 7 Eleven, Ashley has successfully managed a variety of food and non-food categories: Senior Category Manager of Confectionery as well as the Category Manager for Wireless. As a member of the Merchandising team, Ashley has spearheaded initiatives which focus on managing external relationships with vendors, improving internal collaboration between cross-functional business units and developing extensive merchandising plans which emphasize customer segmentation and exclusive brand product launches. Ashley has a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Christian University. She enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family.
Founder & Managing Partner, Boulder Food Group
Founder and Managing Partner of Boulder Food Group, Tom previously co-founded EVOL Foods and was the COO of Bear Naked Granola. Under Tom’s management, both businesses were successfully sold to public companies. In addition to his role at BFG, Tom proudly serves on the board of directors of three non-profit organizations including Chef Ann Foundation, Just Label It and Growe Foundation. Chef Ann Foundation and Just Label It are focused at the national level on critical food related issues. The Growe Foundation works with Boulder Valley elementary schools to provide learning opportunities in school gardens. Tom is also the co-founder of the 929 Non-Profit Summer Series which takes place in Boulder, CO each summer. The event series benefits at least five non-profits each year and raises funds on their behalf. Tom was born and raised in Santa Fe, NM. He attended Santa Fe Preparatory School and then Vanderbilt University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with honors and dual degrees in Economics and Spanish. Tom lives in Boulder, CO with his wife and family.
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.
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.
Director of Regional Promotions Team, KeHE Distributors
35 years in grocery industry. Each career phase involving Snack foods. From well-known regional brands to nationally distributed market leaders, Michael has used direct store-door distribution, regional DSD and national distributors to reach the retail marketplace. His career has been in traditional grocery sales and marketing comprising the first half, and the current half continues in the Natural/Organic focused segment of the industry. Michael brings insights of marketing both branded and private label Snacks as a direct manufacturer, a broker, and a national distributor. He has watched snacking change from a few flavors of potato chips and a few types of pretzels, to an array of meat, nut fruit and vegetable snacks that in some cases have replaced meals. One thing has remained constant. Snacks are still that impulsive buy no matter what type of consumer is purchasing. And reaching that consumer is actually easier than ever.
Senior Intelligence Analyst, CB Insights
Zoe Leavitt is a senior intelligence analyst at CB Insights focused on CPG and retail innovation. Zoe's research has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, and more, and Zoe was named the #1 voice in retail for 2018 by LinkedIn. Along with her data-driven reports, she also leads the weekly newsletter CPG Insights. Prior to joining CB Insights, Zoe worked in equity research at Cowen and drove consumer analytics efforts at the consumer finance group of the Bank of China in Shanghai. Zoe graduated from Stanford University with a degree in International Relations.
Chief Marketing + Innovation Officer, Campbell's Fresh Division
Suzanne Ginestro is the Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer for C-Fresh, the new fresh food division of the Campbell Soup Company. In her role, Suzanne not only leads brand management for the Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet business units, but also spearheads the strategy & development of new product platforms, partnerships and acquisitions that will enable the C-Fresh Division to expand into more fresh refrigerated categories in the future. Prior to this expanded role, Suzanne was the Chief Marketing Officer for Bolthouse Farms, where she led brand strategy, product marketing, creative development, communications and digital engagement for the Bolthouse Farms fresh carrots, super-premium beverages, and refrigerated salad dressings businesses. Before joining Bolthouse Farms, Suzanne had more than 12 years of marketing experience and held leadership roles in both consumer packaged goods and the retail foodservice industry. Suzanne was the Vice President of Brand Marketing for Pinkberry, the Head of Brand Marketing for Red Bull North America, and held various brand management positions during her tenures at both Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream and Kraft Foods.
Senior VP of Merchandising & Product Development, Thrive Market
A twenty-five year veteran of the Natural Products industry, Jeremiah has been on all sides of the business and supply chain, literally from seed to shelf. Thrive Market’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising + Product Development, Jeremiah also served for 7 years as the Executive Global Coordinator for the Beauty, Apparel & Wellness categories at Whole Foods Market, a $1.5 billion annual division of the business during his tenure. During his time at WFM, he pioneered multiple, industry changing, quality standard initiatives including natural beauty standards (AKA WFM’s Premium Body Care standard), organic labeling requirements for personal care, and the largest ever sustainable packaging guidelines for a major retailer later adopted by WalMart. Jeremiah is also a passionate advocate for and creator of Fair Trade standards that changed the natural products landscape. In addition to developing hundreds of branded products that line natural food store shelves and managing the Whole Foods & 365 private label brands, he also helped Dr. Andrew Weil develop his branded product platform. Thrive Market launched in November 2014 and has skyrocketed to become the largest national Non-GMO food retailer in the US while democratizing access to natural + organic foods for all Americans. Jeremiah was part of the startup team and built the initial product launch catalog and also is responsible for Thrive Market’s premium quality, yet value priced, private label program. Since December 2015, Thrive has launched over 370 private label items with over 500 more products in the pipeline scheduled for launch in 2018 & beyond! 98% of the items launched to date are Certified Organic with a focus on regenerative agriculture practices as well. Jeremiah and his team spend countless hours sourcing the highest quality, organic + non-GMO products so that Thrive Market Members can feel confident they are getting the absolute best for themselves and their families everyday. When not working as an eco-superhero, he can be found in the Texas Hill Country practicing hot vinyasa yoga, spending time with his daughters, or checking the surf report and planning his next escape to the coast.
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.
Founder, Siggi's Dairy
Siggi Hilmarsson was raised in Iceland on a traditional Icelandic diet. After moving to the United States to attend Columbia Business School, Siggi started to miss a staple of his childhood diet; skyr, the traditional Icelandic yogurt he grew up with. Yogurt here in the US had far too many ingredients and was much too sweet for his liking so he took matters into his own hands and started making yogurt in his apartment kitchen. After months of experiments, the skyr showed enough promise and soon moved from Siggi’s kitchen to a local agricultural college in Upstate New York, where the first ‘professional’ batch of siggi’s was made. Within a year, Siggi quit his corporate job, set up formal yogurt production and started selling his products at an outdoor farmers market in New York City. From kitchen to dairy plant, and from a local New York City market to Whole Foods as his first retail customer with national distribution, demand for siggi’s yogurt grew quickly. From inception, simple ingredients and not a lot of sugar has been Siggi’s motto and that still holds true today. Siggi’s homegrown knowledge for yogurt and his passion for reducing sugar in our diets have made him a go-to expert with appearances on national TV such as ABC, CNN and CBS Sunday Morning. He has been recognized by Food & Wine Magazine’s 40 Under 40 and Paper Magazine’s cheeky Beautiful People issue.
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.
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.
CEO & Co-Founder, Perfect Bar
You could say Perfect Bar, LLC's CEO and Co-Founder Bill Keith was born a leader. After all, he’s the eldest of 13 siblings known for producing The Original Refrigerated Protein Bar on the market. 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 Bar continues to carve out desirable, high-velocity fridge real estate in some of the largest grocery store chains nationwide, including Costco, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks and 7-Eleven. Learn more at www.perfectbar.com.
COO & Co-Founder, Perfect Bar
Leigh Keith is Perfect Bar, LLC’s Co-founder and COO, who at 19 years old launched the brand that revolutionized the highly-competitive functional foods category by producing The Original Refrigerated Protein Bar. Alongside older brother and CEO Bill, and their 11 siblings, Leigh has played an integral role in the continued success of Perfect Bar with functions spanning all facets of the company, including marketing, accounting, operations and human resources; having grown the company, today, to nearly 100 employees. Over the course of 13 years, Leigh has been consistent in her leadership style, grounded in the family culture and work-life balance on which the brand was founded. As COO, she remains steadfast in building healthy communities from the inside out, which is evident by the Perfect Bar’s clean ingredient labels, industry accolades, employee volunteer and benefits package, and regular donations to hundreds of charities each year. Learn more at www.perfectbar.com.
Founder, Green Park Brands & HIPPEAS
Co-Founder & Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Farm
Gary Hirshberg is Co-Founder and Chief Organic Optimist of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World (Hyperion, 2008). Gary frequently speaks on topics including sustainability, organic agriculture and the profitability of green business. Gary serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Blue Apron, Forager, Orgain, Peak Organic Brewing, and UNreal chocolates as well as Advisory Board member for Applegate. He has received 12 honorary doctorates and numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership including a 2015 Champion for Children Award from Mount Sinai Hospital’s Children’s Environmental Health Center and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the US EPA.
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