Kick 2019 off right with networking and a spirited discussion with three Chicagoland leaders who have built innovative teams. Our panel will feature: Katlin Smith whose team at Simple Mills is at the forefront of the clean food movement, Barb Pugesek who works to weave growth mindsets and experiential learning into the lives of FONA International’s employees, and Michelle Hayward who leads a team at Bluedog that Crain's named as the best company for women to work in Chicago in 2018. As you step up to lead your teams into 2019, pick up some pointers from three incredibly forward-thinking cultural leaders!
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Introducing the Speakers:
Katlin Smith, Founder & CEO, Simple Mills
Katlin has built a Chicago-based team that is reshaping the food industry. She launched Simple Mills in 2013 and today leads a company at the forefront of the clean food movement. Despite being in a crowded market with long-established competitors, Simple Mills ranks as the #1 natural baking mix, the #1 natural cracker, and the #2 natural cookie by dollar sales, according to SPINS. Simple Mills products are distributed in more than 16,000 conventional and natural grocery stores including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Target, Kroger, Safeway, and Amazon. All products are free of gluten, grain, dairy, soy, GMOs, excessive sugar, and artificial flavors and fillers. The current lineup includes baking mixes, frostings, almond flour crackers, sprouted seed crackers, and crunchy cookies. Smith is a former Deloitte management consultant, winner of the University of Chicago’s Booth School New Venture Challenge, a member of Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2017, and a regular columnist for Inc. magazine.
Barb Pugesek, Director of Customer & Culture Excellence, Fona Int'l
Barb has been a cultural and communication leader for 18+ years. She helps to articulate and execute FONA’s core values and people-driven culture, in all facets of the business. At FONA, a family-owned producer of taste solutions, Barb has held roles in marketing, employee engagement, and culture. In her current role, Barb tests and deploys new approaches and business models for driving customer solutions. She is an integral part of FONA’s Value’s Team and is responsible for programs designed to help employees understand and live out the business’ winning DNA such as growth mindset, experiential learning, and innovation hacking.
Michelle Hayward, Founder & CEO, Bluedog Design
Michelle has been in the food and beverage business since before she could see over the counter at her parents’ grocery store. Today, Michelle and her teams at Bluedog, an innovation, growth, and brand consultancy, work with 50+ global and national clients including Nestlé and Mars to drive clarity, unlock growth, and build paths forward amidst the complexity of market and organizational change. Michelle proudly served on Michigan State’s Marketing Advisory Council and mentors companies through Michigan State’s Conquer Accelerator program. She is currently the board vice president of the Everwood Foundation for the Arts.
This event is presented in partnership with CFBN Member, Fifty Gazelles.
Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network
802 Wesley Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60304
Tel (312) 525-9653