Project NOSH Summer 2017
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A Business Strategy Conference for Natural Foods Brands
Project NOSH Summer is a strategy and networking conference that puts the goals, needs, challenges and concerns of natural food brands in the spotlight. Explore growth strategy, sales, marketing, investment, and more through case-based presentations and panels by an all star roster of speakers.
Director, Retail Brand Partnerships, Starbucks
Deb joined Starbucks 5 years ago, and for the past year has led the Retail Brand Partnerships team. She and her team run the snack category across North America and have the enviable task of finding new food brands for Starbucks stores that customers can feel good about—ones made with simple, pure ingredients and crafted with love and care. Prior to working with food entrepreneurs to build a snack business for Starbucks stores, Deb spent 12 years in traditional consumer packaged goods. At Starbucks she created the shopper marketing and shopper insights function from the ground up, and managed various coffee brands for the FDMC channel including Starbucks packaged coffee, Seattle’s Best, and VIA Instant coffee. At Kimberly-Clark she worked in various brand management and innovation roles. There she managed the creation of multi-brand marketing programs and the brand and shopper marketing efforts for the U by Kotex® launch, which won numerous awards including an IRI product Pacesetter, a Silver Effie for Shopper Marketing, and a Gold Hub Prize. Prior to Kimberly-Clark, Deb worked as a consultant with several leading retailers for Kurt Salmon. Deb has an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
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.
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.
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, Revelry Brands & Bear Naked
Brendan Synnott is the Founder of Revelry Brands and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PACT | ORGANIC, makers of super soft organic cotton apparel. Synnott is leading his team to change the apparel industry for good. Synnott has built multiple lifestyle brands from scratch. His work has produced a unique signature across product categories that align with the millennial generation’s evolved relationship with consumption. In 2002, at the age of 23, Synnott co-founded the healthy snack company, Bear Naked that was later acquired by Kellogg. In 2009, he founded Revelry Brands as a vehicle to provide strategy, people and capital to new ventures including co-founding EVOL Foods. Currently, Revelry holdings include the pet care brand I and Love and You, candy brand Little Secrets as well as apparel brand PACT | ORGANIC. With a degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, Synnott has levied his strengths to not only follow his passions, but tap into his competitive and energetic nature, which has included a role with the talent department at Saturday Night Live and a stint as a cast member on CBS’s Survivor.
CEO & Co-Founder, Sunrise Strategic Partners
Stephen Hughes (Chief Executive Officer) is a pioneer in the natural and organic food and beverage industry, and a veteran food industry executive with over 30 years of experience. Most recently Steve was Founder, Chairman and CEO of Boulder Brands, a publically-traded natural food and beverage company with a portfolio that included well-known brands EVOL, Udi's Gluten Free, Glutino, and Earth Balance. Steve has previously worked in leadership positions on such brands as Celestial Seasonings, Silk, Tropicana and Healthy Choice. Steve's network includes relationships with the industry's founding leaders, key influencers and decision makers, including cutting edge retailers, sales and marketing organizations, advertising agencies and consultancies. But most importantly, Steve has been fortunate to have a strong partner - and love of his life - in his wife, Grace. Throughout Steve's career, she has always kept Steve focused on doing the right thing - which ultimately led them to Boulder and to Steve's passion for the natural products industry. In 1992, Steve was offered the coveted job as Chief Marketing Officer of Frito Lay. Grace's reaction was 'Do you really want to wake up every day and sell potato chips?' Always the first one to see the next new thing, this insightful comment by Grace completely changed the trajectory of Steve's career - for the better. Steve received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Steve currently serves on the board of Good Belly, PACT Apparel, Perky Jerky and Teton Waters Ranch.
Co-Founder & President, Quest Nutrition
Tom Bilyeu is the co-founder and president of Quest Nutrition and the host of the weekly thought leadership talk show, Inside Quest. Tom and his business partners have been working as a team for 13 years, across multiple companies. Quest Nutrition, however, was the company that broke the mold. Previously driven by an obsessive focus on profitability and companies designed to be sold, Tom and his partners founded Quest with a different vision: building a company with a mission - a company designed to last. To do so, they asked themselves one question, “What would we love doing even if we were failing?” Enter Quest Nutrition. In just five years, Tom has helped grow the company from a modest passion project into the second fastest growing private company in America, with over 57,000% growth in its first three years alone (via Inc. 5000). For Tom the mission of Quest is deeply personal – he wants to save his mom and sister from metabolic disease. To do that he plans to transform the entire food industry by creating foods that taste as good as they are good for you. That’s what makes Quest more than just a food company, it’s a company that will never stop innovating until global nutrition has been freed from the stranglehold of junk food. Tom is a forever student of life. His obsession with mastering skills has molded him into a well-rounded leader, battle-hardened and unafraid to fire moonshots.
Strategic Advisor & Former Exec 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
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, BIGR Ventures
Duane began his career in natural foods over 16 years ago. In that time he has served in management positions for several prominent natural foods companies, including Frontier Natural Products Co-op and WhiteWave. In 2004 Duane co-founded Pixie Mate, a specialty tea business, and from 2007 to 2015 he held several senior management positions for Boulder Brands, ultimately serving as the Executive Vice President of the Balance segment for Boulder Brands, responsible for 3 of the 6 businesses in the portfolio. Concurrent to this role, Duane was the Managing Director of the Boulder Brands Investment Group from 2013 to 2015. Duane currently sits or has sat on the Board of Directors of Suja Juice, EPIC, Temple Turmeric, Primizie, Live Soda, Bonafide Provisions, Rebbl and Thorne Nature Experience, a Boulder-based environmental education non-profit.
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.
Project NOSH Attendees Say...
"Project NOSH continues to provide insights, inspiration, and an incredible community for passionate food entrepreneurs and investors. It is a best in class event and experience." - Errol Schweizer, Co-Founder, BeyondBrands
"I got to hear directly from people who've achieved what I want to achieve. Attending NOSH LA was a great reminder of the tremendous possibilities in natural foods." - Karsten Ch'ien, Yumami Food Company
"...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 is a wonderful event for startup brands as well as industry thought leaders focused on innovation... NOSH is a delightful ecosystem that cares about natural, organic, sustainable, healthy food brands and accelerating their success in market." - Dena Strehlow, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
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