Chicagoland was recently called “the Nation’s Capital of Food & Beverage Manufacturing” . But, what makes this great city such a hub and home base for so many looking to innovate, to disrupt, or to carry the traditions of food manufacturing forward? About 4,500 companies call the metro area home today, employing more than 130,000 people - and, by all projections, the industry is continuing to adapt, change and grow!
Join us for a conversation on why those companies wouldn't be - and shouldn’t be - located anywhere else!
Our panel of food industry insiders will take a look backward at the history of how Chicagoland became the center of the food universe...and where food and the industry is headed in the future.
A can’t miss conversation for anyone working in “food”!
Opening Presentation: Inventing Modern Food in America & Chicagoland
John Coupland, Professor - Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University
John Coupland is a professor of food science at Penn State and a former president of IFT. He is an expert in the physical chemistry of foods, especially lipid emulsions and crystals, and his research program strives to connect measurements of food structure with functional properties such as flavor, texture and stability. Dr. Coupland is also interested in the social context of food processing and in advancing the status of the food science profession.
Panel Speakers & Moderator:
Marc Schulman, President, Eli's Cheesecake Company
Marc S. Schulman is President of the Eli’s Cheesecake Company, one of the country’s largest specialty cheesecake and dessert bakeries, located on the northwest side of Chicago. The Cheesecake was the dream of Marc’s father, famous Chicago restaurateur, Eli Schulman, who created the signature dessert for his legendary restaurant, Eli’s the Place for Steak, and which made its public debut at the first Taste of Chicago in 1980. Eli’s Cheesecake was named a Chicago food icon by the Chicago Tribune, Pure Wow and Eater, as well as being featured in all forms of media, including the "O" List, Bon Appétit, The Food Network, Vice/Munchies, The Today Show and Good Morning America. Eli's has also had the distinction of going to Washington, DC and creating giant celebratory cheesecakes for the inaugurations of President William Jefferson Clinton and President Barack Obama.
Schulman and Eli’s are committed to promoting educational opportunities and careers in the food industry through partnerships with programs for individuals with disabilities, Refugee One, and the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, where Schulman serves as a co-chair of the Business Advisory Board. Schulman is a past President of the Magnificent Mile Association, was the founding Chairman of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival and with his wife Maureen, co-chaired the Seneca Park/Eli M. Schulman Playground Committee which rebuilt the park and created a playground in memory of his father, a fitting tribute since the park is located directly across the street from the former site of the restaurant, now Lurie Children's Hospital.
Schulman currently serves on the boards of the Illinois Council on Economic Education, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Lincoln Academy, The Happiness Club and the Chicago Cook County Workforce Board appointed jointly by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Schulman is a graduate of Northwestern University Law School and the University of Denver. He and his wife, Maureen, have three children, two cats and live on the near north side of Chicago.
Jacob Shapiro, Principal - Investments, Cleveland Avenue
Jacob Shapiro is a Principal on the investment team at Cleveland Avenue. Prior to Cleveland Avenue, Jacob was a member of the Consumer Investment Banking team at Robert W. Baird & Co. where he advised corporate and private equity clients on M&A transactions and provided other financial advisory services. Previously, Jacob advised high net worth families through various roles at Citi Private Bank. Jacob also has extensive investment experience in the Real Estate and Restaurant sectors including in fund syndications. He has been an active investor and adviser to several young companies in the Chicagoland area.
Jacob received his MBA in Finance and Real Estate from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History from Columbia University and Talmud (Jewish Law and Ethics) from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Jacob is active in several community organizations and just completed a four-year term on the Young Leadership Board of the Jewish United Fund. An entrepreneur at heart, Jacob founded an event ticket management company in 2011. In his free time, he enjoys exploring the Chicago restaurant scene, reading non-fiction and rooting for the Chicago White Sox and Blackhawks.
Daena Rexho, Director of Growth Solutions, KeHE Distributors
Daena is a Director of Growth Solutions at KeHE Distributors, where she develops merchandising retail strategies based on data analytics/trends, consumer insights, and industry knowledge. Over the course of her career, she has partnered with large CPG companies in food, beverage, spirits and more. For the past 4 years at KeHE, she has had the opportunity to work exclusively with Albertsons Safeway and now serves other major chains across multiple formats including e-commerce. Daena received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Boise State University. In addition to that, Daena was the recipient of KeHE’s Unsung Hero Award in 2017.
Matthew Bell, Managing Director, University of Illinois Discovery Partners Institute
Matt joins DPI as Managing Director after spending six years with Chicago-based venture capital firm Cultivian Sandbox Ventures and nine years at the University of Michigan where he led efforts in entrepreneurship and technology transfer. He serves as DPI’s Managing Director advising the Director on strategic, administrative and operational needs of the institute. He works with the director to establish and execute the strategic and business vision for DPI while overseeing all of the institute’s managerial functions and operations. As Managing Director with Cultivian Sandbox Ventures Matt helped raise over $250 million in capital, participated on several company boards and identified and invested into several disruptive food and agriculture companies.
At the University of Michigan Matt was the Director for the Coulter Translational Partnership Fund based within the Biomedical Engineering Department which provides close to a $1 million annually in translational funding to faculty originated translational research projects. Matt also was a member of Michigan’s Office of Technology Transfer where he spent several years offering faculty intellectual property advice, regulatory guidance, business mentorship, and business development throughout the campus. Matt has two degrees from the University of Illinois including a bachelor’s degree in Crop Sciences and an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
(Moderator) Alan Reed, Executive Director, CFBN
Alan Reed is the Executive Director of the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, a startup, nonprofit organization that brings industry players together, provides a forum for collaboration and support, and better connects the 4,500 companies in the industry across Chicagoland to drive innovation and growth in the region. The group leverages the power of the food & beverage industry in Chicagoland to grow the industry, and the local economy.
Networking events with The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network are an opportunity to access an inclusive network dedicated to bringing together all of the industry players of the greater Chicagoland area to develop meaningful and mutually beneficial business connections. The event provides a great opportunity to enjoy drinks and appetizers and an opportunity to mingle - forging new connections and circling back with contacts from other events, all while experiencing the power of the CFBN network!
Happy Hour beverages and light refreshments will be provided.
We are very appreciative of our event sponsors and partners for this event:
Mastering your value chain and logistics is key for any business or professional in the industry to climb to the top of the market. Controlling costs without sacrificing quality by targeting inefficient processes gives your business a huge financial leg up on your competitors. Nevertheless, value chain management can be a confounding process that often frustrates even the brightest minds in the industry when they try to do everything on their own, so it's worth considering how technology can be applied to make this process easier.
Join us to explore how data is disrupting the value chain for the food & beverage industry and how you can adapt in these rapidly changing times. Our panel of industry experts will take a look at the newest data analytic tools - such as blockchain and financial tools - to see where improvement and technology can assist.
Panelists & Moderator for this event:
Stephen Mancini, Senior Manager - Strategy, Technology, & Transformation Advisory; CohnReznick
Stephen Mancini is a Senior Manager in CohnReznick’s Strategy, Technology and Transformation Advisory practice. Stephen focuses his practice on areas of growth & innovation, corporate strategy, operational value creation, digital strategy and technology integration. Stephen works with clients on identifying and executing both strategic and operational initiatives for top line revenue growth and business optimization. As a former entrepreneur, he possesses a strong business acumen in many key stakeholder roles. Resultantly, he possesses the unique ability to bridge the knowledge gaps between business leadership improving organizational efficiency and creating value, not simply cut costing.
Prior to CohnReznick, Stephen co-founded and was the COO of The North Group, an award-winning and nationally recognized management and growth strategy consulting firm based in New York. Clients ranged from Fortune 500 companies such as IBM and MasterCard to small businesses and startups. The North Group specialized in assisting consumer facing businesses in industries such as Hospitality F&B, Hospitality Logging, Retail, CPG, FMCG and Beverage Alcohol. The North Group aided clients in strategy development & implementation, scale, product development and risk mitigation. Stephen regularly guest lecturers at Cornell University, Johnson School of Business, where he teaches Entrepreneurship and Business Management.
Martin Lutz, CEO - US Operations, ProLeiT
Martin Lutz is CEO of the U.S. operations of ProLeiT in their Chicago office. He has a professional dedication to the automation industry in food processing since more than 20 years. Starting with an apprenticeship as a brewer and maltster, he then studied as a brewing engineer at Weihenstephan University, in Munich, Germany. There he also did his Ph.D. work in the field of soft-processing of biomedia.
He joined ProLeiT in their business field of brewery automation and Manufacturing Process Execution in 1998. Since then he has worked in various positions related to process execution in the food industry, from shop floor automation and data management to data integration with commercial systems. In 2015 he moved to the United States for his current responsibilities and likes it.
Shruthi Chandramouli, Marketing Director, Enjoy Life Foods
Colin Kerr, Director, Cross-Product Solutions & Advanced Analytics, Global Transaction Services; Bank of America - Merrill Lynch
Colin is director of cross product solutions for Global Transaction Services at Bank of America, and has specific responsibility for data and analytics strategy across the bank’s commercial banking products and services. His experience includes UK and US-based leadership roles in the development, sales and market strategy of global banking and payments solutions.
Prior to joining Bank of America, Colin was director for worldwide banking industry solutions at Microsoft. Colin is former member of the Strategy Advisory Board for the Banking Industry Architecture Network (BIAN), a not-for-profit organization focused on developing next-generation banking architectures. Colin is a Certified Treasury Professional and a regular contributor to industry events and publications.
Networking events with The Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network are an opportunity to access an inclusive network dedicated to bringing together all of the industry players of the greater Chicagoland area to develop meaningful and mutually beneficial business connections. The event provides a great opportunity to enjoy a morning cup of coffee and an opportunity to mingle - forging new connections and circling back with contacts from other events, all while experiencing the power of the CFBN network!
Morning beverages and light refreshments will be provided.
We are very appreciative of our sponsor for this event:
The Beverage space is a hotspot for Innovation in the marketplace today: beer, wine, liquor, performance beverages, CBD and cannabis infused beverages, alcohol-alternative, local specific, and everything in-between. The topic of "what are we drinking" and how innovation and new ideas are changing what is in our glass...is the focus of our final Innovation event of 2019: The Innovation Pub!
The Innovation Series is CFBN's premier event series - we host a series of morning breakfasts and complimentary specialty events that feature some of the most current trends and innovations happening! Did you catch our Innovation Speakeasy on Cannabis + CBD? It was our MOST popular event of 2019!
Join us for our FINAL event of 2019 - The Innovation Pub - combining networking, an amazing presentation and panel discussion on beverage innovations and trends, and your final opportunity to engage with the great CFBN network for the year! Don't miss out - this is going to be a great night!
Opening Conversation Speakers & Moderator:
Sarah Ross, Co-Founder, Vivify Beverages
While Sarah Ross started her career in marketing working for Campbell’s Soup, it wasn’t until she joined the beer industry for Coors Brewing Company that she truly found her passion. Sarah worked her way up through Coors and MillerCoors for 11 years to build an impressive portfolio with positions including Director of New Product Innovation and Senior Director for the Coors Family of Brands.
Sarah departed from MillerCoors to pursue the opportunity to launch Vivify Beverages in 2015. She recognized there was an increasing need in the alcohol beverage category for premium products that used real, natural ingredients, which had remained largely undeveloped in the category. She joined forces with former beer distributor Bob Walkenhorst to co-found and develop their two brands Bravazzi Hard Italian Soda and Itz Spritz. Her former MillerCoors colleague Anne Ellis joined the Vivify Beverage team ahead of the product launch in 2017. In December 2018, Constellation Brands announced they had invested in Vivify Beverages.
Andrew Zrike, VP Beer Innovation, Constellation Brands
Andrew Zrike is a senior marketing and innovation executive who has diverse global experience at both Fortune 100 and privately funded organizations where he has been tasked with growing consumer orientated businesses through brand strategy, disruptive innovation, and cross channel execution. Currently Andrew leads innovation for Constellation Brands beer division where he is responsible for accelerating the beer innovation portfolio both through extending the portfolios iconic brands and developing new brand platforms.
Prior to Constellation, Andrew worked at Performance Health, a PE owned company where he was head of brand marketing and responsible for rapidly growing a portfolio of sports performance and active brands including Biofreeze, one of the fastest growing new CPG brands in the US. Prior to Performance Health, he worked at Pepsico, leading Gatorade’s global sports hydration business. In this role he was responsible for developing the brand’s global growth strategy, integrated marketing, and innovation platforms with a focus on growing the business in Asia and Latin America. During this time, he developed G Active, Gatorade’s expansion into active hydration and launched it into over 20 global markets. Prior to PepsiCo, Andrew worked in marketing at MillerCoors where he focused on managing iconic beer brands, integrated campaign development, and developing and launching new brand platforms. Andrew began his career working in advertising at Ogilvy and Digitas. He has an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College.
(Moderator) Erin Paul, Director of Design Strategy, Trinity Brand Group
Erin Paul is a strategic leader and creative problem solver with over 20 years of branding experience. She has led brand building initiatives for Constellation Brands, Coca-Cola, Albertson’s-Safeway, The Hershey Company, Campbell's and Unilever in addition to the successful launch of many new-to-world brands. Her unique background in design and strategy, together with her passion for understanding human motivation, has driven her passion for nurturing collaboration and translating insights into brands that inspire and drive engagement. Erin is a former educator at Northwestern University and author of the "Design as a Competitive Advantage” curriculum, author of numerous journal articles and publications, and public speaker. With a creative bent and talent for imagining possibilities, Erin blurs the disciplinary lines to bring clients unique solutions for the most challenging problems.
Trinity Brand Group is an independent strategy, innovation and design consultancy helping clients across industries build powerful brands that ignite excitement, engage consumers and drive business. Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with locations in Chicago and Ireland, we work with companies to realize their full potential by applying rigor and creativity across a full spectrum of services including brand and creative strategy; identity, package, collateral and web design; new product development and innovation; activation; and consumer research. For over 15 years we’ve developed over 50 brands across 25 countries on 5 continents.
Josh Deth, Founder, Revolution Brewing
In the summer of 1995, Josh Deth landeded a job at Golden Prairie Brewing. At this now-defunct brewery, Josh was just a novice, where he started learning the beer business by dutifully cleaning kegs and scrubbing tanks. A few years later, Josh dreamt up the idea for Revolution while working at Goose Island as a cellarman and brewpub brewer. After the first few tries at opening a brewery didn't work out, Josh opened Handlebar in 2003 with his wife Krista and a few friends. Always taking on more, he also held the role of Executive Director of Logan Square Chamber of Commerce, working to promote local businesses and simultaneously managing the Logan Square Farmers Market. In 2008, while working at the Chamber, he found a cool old building on Milwaukee Avenue with a nice tin ceiling. The brewery idea bubbled up again.
After a few years of raising funds, planning construction, and dealing with the zoning department, Revolution Brewing opened up in February 2010. We added our 2nd floor Brewers' Lounge in July 2011. Our production brewery and tap room opened in spring 2012, since then our brewing capacity has been continuously growing. Revolution currently distributes in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York City, and Wisconsin. In 2017, Revolution Brewing became the 40th largest craft brewery and 50th largest overall brewery in the country according to the Brewers Association Top 50 Brewing Companies by Sales Volume.
Lizzy Freier, Senior Managing Editor, Technomic
Lizzy Freier is a managing editor at Technomic, with a focus on menu trends. She covers trending flavors, ingredients, dishes and preparations for food and beverage at independent restaurants, emerging chains and top chain restaurant brands, as well as noncommercial operations. Freier has also analyzed global trends. She has presented at numerous conferences in the U.S. and Canada on menu trend development for restaurant operators, manufacturers and distributors. Freier has a degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and currently resides in Chicago.
Aimee Harvey, Managing Editor, Technomic
As managing editor, Aimee Harvey analyzes and reports on the foodservice market for the retail segment. She also specializes in restaurant concept analysis, trend tracking and custom research in an editorial capacity, as well as contributing content for the company's Supermarket Foodservice Insights Group and Convenience Store Insights Group. Harvey is a frequent speaker at industry events.
Ilana Orlofsky, Marketing Manager, Imbibe
Since joining Imbibe more than four years ago, Ilana Orlofsky has played an integral role in expanding the marketing initiatives of the boutique Chicago-based beverage development company. Her predilection for global cuisine and affinity for dynamic flavors, partly spurred by her love of travel, has helped fuel her passion for following market trends, developing product concepts and flavor recommendations and conducting ideation sessions. In addition to traveling all over the country and Canada to present to Imbibe’s customers, ranging from startups to billion-dollar brands, she has presented on consumer behavior and demand and beverage trends at several conferences, including Flavorcon and the National Restaurant Association Annual Show. Her trend insights and articles can be found across social media platforms and in several print and online publications including Prepared Foods, Food Navigator, Beverage Industry and SmartBrief. In her spare time, you may find her contributing Yelp reviews to maintain her elite status, in a Pilates class, or researching her next travel destination. She has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
We are deeply appreciative of our sponsors for this event:
We appreciate the support of our partners for this event:
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
1 W Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Tel (312) 525-9653