Project NOSH Brooklyn 2016
A One Day Conference for Emerging Natural Foods Brands
Project NOSH Brooklyn, a one-day strategy and networking conference, puts the goals, needs, challenges and concerns of emerging food brands in the spotlight. The conference will bring case-based presentations and panels to the audience through an all star roster of speakers. Key issues to be discussed by industry members and other experts include topics like branding, marketing, sales growth, investment, emerging retail channels, applying innovation to new product categories while creating brand platforms, thinking about company structure, leadership, and professionalization, pricing structure, and creating partnerships with strategics and other capital sources.
Project NOSH Brooklyn Speakers
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).
Former Executive Global Grocery Coordinator, Whole Foods Market
Errol Schweizer has worked to build a more natural and organic food system for more than 20 years. A New York City native, Schweizer previously served as Whole Foods Market’s Executive Global Grocery Coordinator, during which his team helped bring more than 6,000 new products to the U.S. marketplace, and assisted dozens of brands in becoming household names. Their focus on ethical sourcing and product innovation drove profits and growth, while establishing Fair Trade, Organic, and Non GMO as generational shifts in consumer preference, and setting new milestones for quality and transparency in pet foods, cleaning products, HPP beverages, Kosher and Halal products, hemp, grass-fed dairy and eggs, vegan/plant-based ingredients, and much more across more than 80 product categories. Errol also serves on the boards of several organizations dedicated to a better food system, including Demeter USA, Xerces Society, Austin Food Policy Board and Farmshare Austin. His previous experiences include retail food cooperatives, community supported agriculture, urban gardening and many years of GMO labeling advocacy. He and his family reside on a small farmstead outside Austin, Texas
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.
Founder, Evol, Interim General Manager, Boulder Brands
Phil Anson is the founder of EVOL Foods and joined Boulder Brands when it acquired EVOL in 2013. After running Boulder Brands’ Frozen Foods segment and expanding both distribution and product offerings under the EVOL and Udi’s Brands, Phil was appointed the role of Chief Innovation Officer, where he built a world class innovation team and center while optimizing processes. In July of 2015, Phil was appointed the role of Chief Commercial Officer and became responsible for leading the combined sales, marketing, innovation, and insights efforts at Boulder Brands. In January of 2016, after a successful sale of Boulder Brands to Pinnacle Foods, Phil was appointed the role of Interim General Manager. Phil has 15 years of experience as a Natural Foods Entrepreneur in food manufacturing, marketing, sales, distribution, finance and strategic planning. Phil is a long-time culinary enthusiast and creative innovator who successfully grew one of the most compelling challenger brands found in the market today.
President and COO, Stonewall Kitchen
Lori King has over 25 years of professional experience. She was recently promoted to President and COO after 17 years as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Stonewall Kitchen. Stonewall Kitchen is a leading manufacturer of premium branded specialty food and related products, including jams, bottled sauces, crackers and pancake mixes. Stonewall Kitchen has grown to become a leader in the specialty foods industry, becoming a brand with international recognition and achievement of several global specialty food competitions at the Specialty Food Association. Lori has been a key driver in Stonewall Kitchen’s sales growth and financial stability. As the CFO/COO for the past 17 years, Mrs. King was responsible for the development, design, operation, and execution of the systems that create and deliver the firm’s products/services. She led the areas of finance, manufacturing, distribution, IT/IS, R&D, quality control, and human resources. She continues to lead the Company’s strategic planning processes and has been instrumental in developing and implementing high-level strategies aiding in the development of the Company’s marketing and merchandising strategies. Over her tenure, Lori has been a key driver in Stonewall Kitchen’s formidable sales growth and financial stability.
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.
CEO, Rhythm Superfoods
Scott Jensen is CEO of Rhythm Superfoods; manufacturer of organic plant-based superfoods snacks. He is the former CEO & President of One World Foods (Stubb’s Bar-B-Q), which he co-founded 20+ years ago with C.B. Stubblefield and two close friends. One World Foods was successfully sold to McCormick & Co. in 2015. Scott led Stubb’s in its national and international expansion to be the largest Super-Premium Bar-B-Q and Marinade brand in the country. He also co-founded and sits on the board of Stubb’s Austin Restaurant Company, the famous Bar-B-Q and Live Music Venue in Austin, Texas. Scott is a member of the Austin Chapter of WPO and the head of the Specialty Food Executive Forum. Scott graduated with a BS in Psychology and a BA in Business Communication from SMU and received his MBA from NYU. Before co-founding Stubbs, Scott was a marketing manager at James River Corporation (Dixie Cups & Plates, Brawny Paper towels and Northern Bathroom Tissue brands). Prior to NYU, he spent two years at the Bloom Advertising Agency (Publicis, USA) in Dallas working on several national consumer products advertising campaigns for Nestle Specialty Foods, Carnation, Ross Laboratories, Juicy Juice, Kern’s among others. He lives in Austin, TX with his wife and two sons.
Founder, ZICO; Managing Director, Powerplant Ventures
Mark Rampolla was the Founder and CEO of ZICO Beverages, launched in 2004. Under Mark's leadership, ZICO experienced nine years of explosive growth and became one of the fastest growing beverage brands in the world. Mark was recognized as BevNET's 2010 Beverage Innovator of the Year and has been featured in major media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Bloomberg, CNBC and Business Week. In 2013 The Coca Cola Company acquired 100% of ZICO Beverages. Mark continues to consult with The Coca Cola Company on ZICO and is also an angle investor and advisor to early stage companies in the beverage, food, crowd funding and technology industries. Mark started his career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Central America and later operated businesses across Latin America and the Caribbean for International Paper. He graduated from Marquette University and earned an MBA and Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University.
Chief Executive Officer, The Wedge Community Co-Op
Josh Resnik developed a passion for food as a kid making one hour treks into New York City with his family to seek out hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants. After graduating from Harvard Business School, Josh joined General Mills, where he had a successful 13-year career in marketing and general management on American-icon brands like Cheerios, Yoplait, and Betty Crocker. While he enjoyed working on innovations like yogurt in a tube and microwaveable desserts, he left in 2010 to marry his passion for smaller, entrepreneurial natural and organic food businesses with his large company training. He spent two years as CEO of Wild Idea Buffalo, a grassfed bison company in South Dakota with a mission of restoring the grasslands of the Great Plains. He has spent the past 3 1/2 years as CEO of the Wedge Co-op. The Wedge is a local institution in Minneapolis with over 16,000 member-owners; Josh is helping lead the Wedge through a period of rapid expansion, including the launch of a market-cafe-community space, building up a catering business, the growth of a distribution business that supplies 350 groceries and restaurants in the Upper Midwest with organic food, and the ground-up remodeling of their 25-year old grocery space. Outside of work Josh has written an annual food guide to the Twin Cities, helped establish Taste of the Nation in Minneapolis, served on the boards for Midtown Global Market and Mill City Farmers' Market, and is a passionate home cook.
Strategic Alliances Manager, SPINS
Kora Lazarski is Strategic Alliance Manager for Chicago-based SPINS. Kora’s strategic alliance and business development work at SPINS leverages her background and passions by creating strategic programs that grow the value of data for retailers, brands and the whole industry of people working for the common good. She previously worked in legal and sales, as well as performed on-the- ground consultation with Andean-region NGOs while backpacking South America, learning entrepreneurial skills to turn ideas to programs. She then returned stateside to hone this craft within a larger corporation committed to the health and wellness products industry. Here she directs strategy and business development for SPINS industry, trade, and media groups.
Managing Director, Accel Foods
President & Founder, IGNITE Sales Management and Consulting
After 13 years with General Mills, Kent has covered all aspects of the CPG industry. Winning awards throughout his career, his experience spans from category management to channels strategy to trade optimization to customer management to retail execution and more. A "category captain" in the natural/organic space, his final role at General Mills was directing the sales operations, trade marketing, and category management for the Small Planet Foods organic division. In 2007, he created IGNITE to take advantage of what he saw as the most significant white space in the industry: strategic sales management. During his tenure with Small Plant Foods, he witnessed many brands who needed more than what was at that time offered in the food space for emerging brands. What was missing was a more holistic view of growth and the strategy that drives it - focused on sales, but including all aspects of brand and product development. IGNITE's partnership model of shared goals amplifies the power of this broad strategic vision. Through IGNITE, Kent has developed a team and a structure that right sizes corporate process to small business. That same team also provides strategic leadership and management on the manufacturer side, in order to take full advantage of the ever-important broker, retailer, and distributor relationships.
Former Senior Regional Director, Whole Foods Market
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.
CEO and Co-Founder, New Frontier Foods Inc. (Ocean's Halo)
Senior Advisor, Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development, New York City Mayor's Office
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.
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.
Founder/CEO, Rick's Picks
Rick Field grew up making pickles with his family in the summertime in Vermont. He rekindled the passion for pickle-making in the kitchen of his one-bedroom apartment in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn over 15 years ago using fresh produce from the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket. And after a career as a television producer for VH1 and Bill Moyers, Rick founded Rick's Picks in 2004. Over the course of the next several years he built the company into a national brand known for savory, hand packed, all natural pickles made in season with produce from trusted local farmers. The company has won numerous industry awards for their innovative pickles of exceptional quality, distinctive flavor profiles and mouth-watering appeal. Rick's Picks makes pickles for people who cherish the traditions of home canning and appreciate the innovative spirit of the food world today.
Managing Partner, The Giannuzzi Group, LLP
Since January of 2011, Nick Giannuzzi has served as Managing Partner of The Giannuzzi Group, LLP – a premier boutique law firm specializing in the representation of fast-growing, independent companies in the hospitality, food and beverage industries. Prior to forming The Giannuzzi Group, Mr. Giannuzzi was a partner at Donovan & Giannuzzi from 1996 through 2010 and an associate at Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts from 1992 to 1996. Mr. Giannuzzi received a B.A. from Harvard University in 1989 and a J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1992. Mr. Giannuzzi served as outside general counsel to Glaceau, the owner of the Vitaminwater and Smartwater brands from the formation of the company until the sale of the company in 2007 to Coca-Cola for over $4 billion. He also served in the same capacity on behalf of Town Sports International, the parent company of New York Sports Clubs from 1997 to 2010, providing legal assistance and guidance to the company in connection with its growth from 6 health clubs to approximately 160. More recently, Mr. Giannuzzi served as outside legal counsel and a board member of Nurture Inc., d/b/a Happy Family, a leading organic baby food company until June 2013 when he oversaw the sale of the company to Group Danone. In 2015, Mr. Giannuzzi oversaw the sale of KRAVE Jerky to The Hershey Company, as well as the partial sale of Suja Juice to The Coca-Cola Company. The Giannuzzi Group currently represents over 120 high-growth consumer brands companies located through the United States. Mr. Giannuzzi, on behalf of his clients, has recently completed sale and financing transactions with Pepsi, General Mills, Bacardi, Hain Celestial, Group Danone and other multi-national strategic companies. Mr. Giannuzzi recently became a member of the board of directors of Committed Capital Acquisition Corporation (OTC QB: STKS), a publicly traded company which recently merged with The ONE Group LLC, a hospitality company that owns the “STK” brand of restaurants and develops and provides turn-key food and beverage services for high-end hospitality venues such as the Cosmopolitan Hotel, Gansevoort Hotel Group, Hippodrome Casino, ME Hotels and the Perry Hotel (owned by Starwood Capital). Mr. Giannuzzi has long-standing, substantial and varied experience providing legal and strategic advisory services to complex organizations, including those in consumer brands.
Co-Founder, Three Jerks Jerky
Jordan Barrocas is an entrepreneur form Miami, Florida who co-founded Three Jerks Jerky in 2013. He has lead the company to average yearly growth over 450% and recently appeared on the hit ABC television show Shark Tank. After fielding offers from four out of five Sharks, Jordan successfully negotiated a partnership from investor and fashion mogul, Daymond John. Jordan received an MBA in Finance from the University of Miami in 2011 and has practical experience in finance, manufacturing, retail and packaged consumer products.
Founding Twin, Three Twins Ice Cream
Neal Gottlieb launched Three Twins Ice Cream in 2005, and has since expanded his business from a single scoop shop to a national brand sold in nearly 4,000 locations across the United States. Though he started the California-based company with no ice cream production experience, Gottlieb’s goal has always been to build Three Twins into a major brand of reasonably priced, inconceivably delicious organic ice cream.
CEO, Four Sigmatic
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/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.
Drew Braithwaite is the COO of Chapul, a food company committed to introducing a more sustainable protein source, in the form of crickets, into the Western diet. Prior to Chapul, he worked as an operations executive for environmental and mission-driven organizations in rural Tanzania, Haiti, and Park City, Utah. Drew has extensive experience implementing solutions to complex environmental challenges, and a particular interest in harnessing the power of entrepreneurship to drive environmental innovation. Drew earned a B.S. in Environmental Science from Utah State University, and a MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
|“The inaugural NOSH conference had the gravity and intelligence of a mature forum. A curriculum in food business fundamentals, an introduction to new innovation, a great cast of characters, and strong inspiration to keep fighting the good fight -- I am already looking forward to Round 2.” - Shane Emmett, CEO, Health Warrior|
|“Project NOSH delivered a stage of rich and practical content from successful investors and brands in natural. Most rich were the multiple breaks for direct interaction between emerging and proven brands, and moments of connection. Hail Merry grew directly, with immediate benefits. We hired Konnect PR from a conversation that began there, hired key talent, and met a strong new customer we couldn’t get to previously.” - Sarah Palisi Chapin, CEO, Hail Merry|
|“Project NOSH allows entrepreneurs to be more than just attendees at another conference. They become active participants who help guide the discussion, helping them and their peers as they innovate and create new brands, products and companies. If you are thinking of turning your idea into a company or if you have a product that you want to grow into a household name, Project Nosh is the place to start." - Amit Pandhi, CEO, Arctic Zero|
|“Project Nosh L.A.'s speaker list was very diverse, from the entrepreneur launching into their first Whole Foods' regions, to some of the most accomplished veterans in the Natural Foods industry; yet the content was structured so every speaker delivered keen insights for all in attendance. Kudos to Bevnet for pulling together a conference that was truly worth my time.” - T.J. McIntyre, CEO, Bobo’s Oat Bars|
|"Offering direct access to top thought leaders within natural foods, and a pool of resources and potential relationships, NOSH is a must for emerging brands." - Julie Podolec, Co-Founder, Modern Pop|