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CFBN Events

connect. convene. facilitate.

We continue to closely watch the guidance of local, regional, and national government restrictions to best shape our future in-person and event offerings. In the meantime, we continue to offer a collection of virtual and hybrid events designed to create opportunities for connection, networking, and knowledge sharing amongst our industry! Our hope is to provide opportunities for our industry to connect via conversation, education, and virtual networking to keep innovation happening and keep our industry mobilized! Use the links below to connect to those events and STAY TUNED - we are working with all of our members to build out more content for the the coming months!   

Upcoming CFBN Events:

    • 8 Jun 2023
    • 1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
    • 245E North Avenue, Carol Stream IL

    Join us for an insightful and energetic afternoon exploring and discussing trends and solutions for the future of external supply chain. Featuring a panel of experts, we will discuss how companies are making the choice to outsource manufacturing, the benefits of doing so (as well as the challenges), and best practices for making it work successfully to more effectively manage increasingly complex supply chains across the enterprise. By outsourcing all or part of your manufacturing, there are opportunities to drive additional efficiencies, additional innovation, and to expand your business – but there are challenges as well.  

    Hosted by Frain Industries, the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network, and the Contract Packaging Association, there will be plenty of time for networking, tours of the beautiful Frain Manufacturing facility, drinks and refreshments.  Make time on your calendar to engage in this important discussion, and to get up to speed on the best practices for managing your company’s external supply chain.


    1:30 PM Welcome

    1:45 PM State of the Contract Packaging industry

    2:15 PM Panel Discussion and Q&A Featuring CPG decisionmakers, Co-Manufacturing Leadership, and Industry Analysts

    3:30 PM Networking & Social Session

    4:15 PM Tour of Frain Industries

    5:00 PM Event Close



    Charles WeinbergCEOMSI Express

    Charles cofounded Manufacturing Solutions International in 2008 starting with a single installation.  Prior to MSI, Weinberg managed contract manufacturing for Smurfit Stone Container for 6 years.  Weinberg’s Consumer Packaged Goods experience is based on 16 years of engineering and manufacturing roles at The Clorox Company, and 5 years of engineering and operations roles at Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Weinberg holds a Masters Degree in Business from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. 

    Thomas Koziel, Vice President R&D, McCain Foods

    Tom is the R&D VP for the North American Appetizer Division at McCain Foods, providing product solutions to Food Service, Quick Service Restaurants and Retail categories.  He has 25+ years of International Food Industry experience, always working to inspire and enable innovation from idea to market.  While working at Wrigley, Mars, KIND and McCain he worked across categories which include confectionary, snack bars, rice & grains and frozen appetizers & desserts.  Tom holds a MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a BS of Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

    Beth StatkusFounder, Sorridi LLC

    A recognized visionary and innovator, Beth collaborates with business leaders to shape ideas and technologies into viable, market-ready products. Sharing her 20+ years of CPG technical and commercialization expertise she guides clients through all phases of R&D, production, marketing, and new business development. Beth employs best practices from her experience at Kraft, The Wrigley Co. & Mars Inc. where she launched H&W innovations into US, EU and China. Beth holds a Food Science degree from Cornell University and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.  

    Ron PuvakExecutive Director, CPA The Association for Contract Packagers and Manufacturers

    Ron has been in the packaging industry for over 48 years. In 1976 he began his career as a Research Technician managing projects in Material Strength studies, Fracture Analyses and Technology Training. In 2007 he joined Plastic Technologies Inc. and for over 10 years he was the Managing Director, of the PTI’s/SBA-CCI joint annual event “The Packaging Conference”. In 2014 Ron was elected to be the President of ISBT. In addition, he has been a member of the Society of Plastics Engineers Blow Molding.  In September 2017 he accepted the position of Executive Director for the CPA.

    Alan Reed, Executive Director, Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network (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. 



    this event is sponsored by:

    • 13 Jun 2023
    • 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Perkins Coie Office, 110 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL

    M&A in 2023- there's bit of turbulence ahead so fasten your seatbelts and please remain seated!

    Working capital at a stress point with interest rates climbing on debt and a number of investors remaining on the sidelines. At the same time retailer prices are the highest they’ve ever been while COGs are still going down… so there are margins to be made for those that can power though.  Add a little Silicon Valley Bank to the mix, and it’s a full-fledged free for all! Come chat about the M&A in 2023 and see who’s bearish and who’s bullish on the conflicting signals the market is giving!


    Steve Gaither, EVP of Growth Strategy, Io8

    1o8, is a creative meets commerce agency for CPG that focuses on brand strategy, creative and digital performance marketing . Steve was the founder of JB Chicago, a CPG focused branding and creative agency in 2000 with a client roster that included Unilever, Goodbelly and Dish Network. Steve exited the agency to C.A. Fortune in 2019, where he ran the Branding unit and became CMO of the larger organization.  As a mentor at the Good Food Business Accelerator, ICNC, the Food Foundry, Chicagoland Food and Bev, and The Hatchery, his relationships with entrepreneurs led him to co-found the Windy City Troublemakers, an early-stage food meetup and Podcast. Steve was also a partner in Spiral Sun Ventures and Windy City Food Brands, where he and his fellow CPG experts provided the capital and go-to market strategies that help brands accelerate their growth.


    Randy Bridgeman, M&A Lawyer & Business Legal Counselor, Perkins Coie

    Randy Bridgeman represents businesses and their owners in sale transactions, acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and general corporate matters throughout a wide variety of industries. He frequently serves as the client’s primary outside counsel, quarterbacking all its legal matters and utilization of legal resources.  

    Randy is the former firmwide co-chair of Perkins Coie’s Corporate & Securities practice, and with his more than 25 years in practice has extensive experience in representing privately held and family-owned businesses through the entirety of the sale process, providing owners advice on presale preparations, sale strategy and processes, tax planning and structuring, post-sale roles, and family succession, in addition to taking the lead legal role in the execution of the transaction.

    Helana Robbins-Huddleston, CPA, CIRA, Partner, Manufacturing and Distribution Industry - Co-Leader, Transaction Advisory ServicesCohn Reznick

    Helana provides transaction and related advisory services to clients in a range of different industries. She has over 22 years of expertise in financial due diligence, restructuring, cash flow budgeting, financial auditing, internal control evaluation, and business process improvement. In addition to her role in transaction advisory, Helana is the co-leader of CohnReznick’s Manufacturing & Distribution practice and is a member of the Firm's Private Equity and Venture Capital Industry Practice.

    Alex Davisson, Ventures Associate Food & Beverage, Plug & Play Tech Center

    Alex is a chemical engineer by training and started his career out in Research and Development for a large branded food manufacturer in Chicago. He helped launch a range of products across a portfolio of brands included Angies Boom Chicka Pop, Slim Jim, Snack Pack and More. Currently, Alex leads Plug and Play's Venture team for Food and Beverage where he both invests in pre-seed/seed stage startups, and helps match Fortune 500 companies with innovative startups globally. 

    This event is presented with our friends

    and sponsored by

    • 20 Jul 2023
    • 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • The Chicago Food Stop, 875 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

    It’s the best time of the year in Chicagoland – Summer!  Enjoy the longer days, warmer weather, fun activities, and maybe even relax a little. 

    It’s also a great time to build your professional networks, meet new people, and grow your business by joining us for our Summer Social.  Grab a drink and some barbeque, listen to some great local music, meet new industry contacts, and grow your business with CFBN -- the premier food & beverage industry organization in the region -- and our partners at World Business Chicago.

    While you’re networking, you can take a look around at The Chicago Food Stop.  This incredible and fun location showcases Chicago’s leadership in food innovation by highlighting the businesses and people the center for food in our nation.  The pop-up features four kiosks with retail offerings from Chicago-based food vendors, two photo-ready installations, a theater area, and a special exhibit from the Chicago History Museum.  We hope you learn more about why Chicagoans love their food and how the future of food is in Chicago. 

    This event is for CFBN Members and invited guests only. Members please log in to register for FREE.

    Not a CFBN member?  Click here for information on how to join the network and attend for FREE or register on our WAITLIST.

    This event is brought to you in partnership with:

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