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  • 22 Dec 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Now that Congress has passed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, you likely have questions about how it will affect you and your business. Plante Moran is here to help. Here’s what you need to know right now.

    Podcast series: Year-end tax-planning opportunities

    Businesses and individuals can take advantage of several tax-planning opportunities in the short window between now and the end of the year. These short podcasts arm you with everything you need to know to make changes now:

  • 19 Dec 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Well+Good, thank you for the shout out. Chicagoland may be cold, but we have some hot food ideas!

    Read the entire article here

  • 18 Dec 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    This Food Navigator article highlights the Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network. It features Executive Director Alan Reed and the organization's role in supporting the start-up culture and institutional industrial change throughout the region.  Read the entire article here

  • 27 Nov 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Data Analytics In The Food And Beverage Industry 

    In this episode of Food for thought: Data analytics in the food and beverage industry, Chris Moshier of Plante Moran and Steve Gaither, president of JB Chicago, discuss using in-store data to create timely, actionable insights and increase profitability.

    Topics covered include:

    • The hurdles of maximizing value in operational data
    • How to apply your wealth of data to optimize your marketing strategies

    Want to listen to this podcast? Click here

  • 24 Nov 2017 12:30 PM | Deleted user

    View the video here

  • 24 Nov 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Martha Blum AgriNews Publications Nov 16, 2017

    CHICAGO — Students will be the ones charting the course for the future of the agriculture and food industry.

    “The food and beverage industry is changing rapidly, and answers probably won’t be found by the adults in this room. It will be the students,” said Alan Reed, Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network executive director.

    “Food and beverage is a massive part of our economy, and it’s one of the things Chicago is best known for,” Reed said during the Sowing the Seeds: Chicago’s Leadership in Food and Agricultural Education event held at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences.

    “Companies come here for the talent that’s here,” he said. “There are 4,500 companies and 130,000 people here just in food manufacturing, which results in a $32 billion gross domestic product.”

    The Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network was launched about six months ago with the mission to bring together the food and beverage industry of the area.

    “The network was started because the MacArthur Foundation was looking for an inclusive industry to invest to grow the economy,” Reed explained. “They found that not only Chicago food and beverage has great prospects because everyone has to eat, but also the jobs with food and beverage range all the way from entry level to white collar jobs.”

    Panel members representing Chicago’s leadership in food and agriculture education provided the following comments during the event.

    Read the entire article here.

  • 16 Nov 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    The Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network is highlighted in this paper prepared for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, discussing inclusive economic growth and cluster organizations. The bottom line is that "new approaches to economic development must be and are emerging to fit the dynamics of the new economy and that inclusive growth must be an organizing principle informing successful transformative economies." One of the authors is CFBN Founder Robert Weissbourd.

    Read the entire paper here

  • 14 Nov 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    Kellogg’s venture capital arm to invest ‘very broadly’ in food categories

    13-Nov-2017 By Douglas Yu

    Kellogg’s venture capital fund, eighteen94 Capital, is planning to invest in various food categories around sustainability and functional ingredients next year.

    You can read the entire article here.

  • 12 Nov 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    At our November 9 Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network Innovation Breakfast, 90+ industry attendees learned about this new tool: ‘corporate venturing’. Companies like Tyson Foods and The Kellogg Company started their own funds to explore innovation externally.  This creates an opportunity for food and beverage start-ups to bring their innovation and work directly with large food and beverage companies.

    Many in the audience wondered, why would these large companies invest in outside companies? The Tyson and Kellogg panelists told us that food disruption will continue and that sometimes larger corporations like theirs cannot see food trends as quickly as smaller companies. That’s why these funds were created.

    “For example, it’s a fact that we need 60-70% more protein to feed the world by 2050. That’s why we just made a deal with Beyond Meat, an alternative animal protein,” says Tyson Ventures’ Justin Whitmore. Tyson launched its $150M venture fund in April 2017. “We will have more deals by this time next year, ones that fit our mission to grow our focus areas of sustainability, less food waste, and the internet of foods.”

    And for both companies, it’s not just about the money they can bring to the table. “We want to know what Kellogg can bring to the party. Does the startup just need funding? Or are they seeking product experts, marketing, or procurement experts,” said Simon Burton from The Kellogg Company’s venture fund, Eighteen94. “We want to help these start-ups unleash all of their talent by using our talent.” Kellogg’s fund is 18-months old and is worth $100M, Simon adds, “For now it’s $100M. We may increase the amount. It’s all so new.”

    Also on the panel, Michael Schopin. A partner at Zenfinity Capital, he works with food start ups. Being from Chicago he’s seen a lot of change in our region’s food & beverage landscape. “In Chicago we have a lot of early businesses that need seed money. And on the flip side we have a lot of huge companies. We have very few $10M-$50M food and beverage companies here.” Schopin adds, “My fund seeks out wise entrepreneurs with a good work ethic, specifically one that wants to grow their $10M company into a $50M company.”

    The event’s hour-long discussion also touched on how research and development helps these teams find new ventures to invest in, as well as the power of networking early.

    All three did agree that every startup needs to go with the best partner, not the most money. “What are you looking for in a partner? Is your new partner as excited as you are about your product? Having these internal conversations is key,” adds Whitmore.

  • 8 Nov 2017 12:00 PM | Deleted user

    CHICAGO – Nov. 6, 2017 – Freeborn & Peters LLP is pleased to announce that Partner John Shapiro is the recipient of the 2017 Leadership Excellence in the Law Award bestowed by the National Diversity Council and the Illinois Diversity Council. He received the award at the Councils’ 4th Annual Illinois Leadership Conference, held October 31. As part of the recognition, Mr. Shapiro also participated in a discussion on building high-performance teams.

    “I am grateful for this recognition,” Mr. Shapiro said. “I plan to continue to invest my time in work that improves the lives of those from diverse populations, focusing particularly on the underserved and others in need.”

    The Leadership Excellence in the Law Award recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves through their leadership, resolve, and outstanding achievements for the benefit of their clients and their communities. Among other criteria by which the councils evaluate nominees for the award, the attorney must receive a high degree of peer recognition for leadership excellence and professional knowledge; exemplify a noteworthy commitment to fairness, equity and justice in client representations and professional collaborations; maintain a superior level of integrity and dignity across the full spectrum of legal dealings and responsibilities; and demonstrate commitment to pro bono and community service.

    Mr. Shapiro is a Partner in Freeborn’s Complex Litigation Practice Group and is Co-Chair of the firm’s Food Industry Team. He also serves as Chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and as a member of its Diversity and Inclusion Committee and its Professional Review Committee. In addition, Mr. Shapiro serves as general counsel of Inspiration Corporation, a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and self-sufficiency through the provision of employment training and placement, housing and other social services. In his most recent role, Mr. Shapiro is a member of the Board of Directors of Chicagoland Food and Beverage Network, a new non-profit focused on creating a collaborative working environment for food and beverage manufacturers to, among other initiatives, drive inclusive economic growth and workforce development in Chicago area communities in need. Chicagoland Food’s mission is to turn the Chicago into the Silicon Valley of the food and beverage industry in a way that benefits community members through career development and employment opportunities and bolsters communities through economic development.

    The National Diversity Council is the first non-profit organization to bring together the private, public and non-profit sectors to discuss the many dimensions and benefits of a multicultural environment. For more information about the 4th Annual Illinois Leadership Conference, visit

    ABOUT FREEBORN & PETERS Freeborn & Peters LLP is a full-service law firm, headquartered in Chicago, with international capabilities and offices in Springfield, Ill.; Richmond, Va.; New York City; and Tampa, Fla. Freeborn is always looking ahead and seeking to find better ways to serve its clients. It takes a proactive approach to ensure its clients are more informed, prepared and able to achieve greater success – not just now, but also in the future. While the firm serves clients across a very broad range of sectors, it has also pioneered an interdisciplinary approach that serves the specific needs of targeted industries.

    Freeborn is a firm that genuinely lives up to its core values of integrity, effectiveness, teamwork, caring and commitment, and embodies them through high standards of client service and responsive action. Its lawyers build close and lasting relationships with clients and are driven to help them achieve their legal and business objectives.

    For more information, please visit

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