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  • (Virtual Event) Liquid Courage: Building Your Spirit Brand

(Virtual Event) Liquid Courage: Building Your Spirit Brand

  • 29 Oct 2020
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


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Mark your calendars for this engaging, virtual event focused on building your brand and business within the Spirit Industry. Get an insider's scoop on the latest trends and innovations in the liquor channel, as well as challenges facing brands in the liquor, spirit, and booze space. 

Learn how to launch, grow, or further establish your brand in the liquor and spirit sector of the food and beverage industry. Don't miss out on the opportunity to hear from industry leaders throughout Chicagoland. 


  • 4:00 PM:  Opening Trends & Challenges in the Liquor Space Panel
    • Join Ilana Orlofsky (Imbibe) and Jeff Underwood (Menu Collective) as they discuss the current trends and challenges in the spirit brand industry.
  • 4:30 PM:  How To Launch and Grow A Liquor Brand Panel
    • Looking to start or grow your liquor brand?  Join Randy Bridgman, Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart, Stuart McCarroll, and Jordan Tepper for a great discussion on the essentials, considerations, and potential pivots you may need to take in this space.
  • 5:15 PM:  Breakout Sessions
    • CoLaboratory Virtual Tour - Come explore and learn more about the just opened CoLaboratory space!  Join Manager, Lani Peterson, for an exclusive tour of the space, and to learn more about how CoLaboratory is a great new addition to Chicago’s West Loop.  Presenter: Lani Peterson, Manager, CoLaboratory
    • Be Protected - Panel discussion around the design strategy and legal protection of marks and other branding components.  The panel will share experiences in advising brands on bottle, label, website and other branding formats from both a design and marketing perspective as well as a legal strategy and best practices standpoint.  Presenters:  Randy Bridgeman, Partner, Perkins Coie; Alex Garcia, Partner, Perkins Coie; Robert Kutyla, Partner, Kutyla Design
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM - Networking and EXPO tables will be open! 

Featured speakers for these discussions...

Randy Bridgeman, Partner, Perkins Coie

Randy is a partner in Perkins Coie’s business practice and the firmwide co-chair of its Corporate & Securities group. Randy is a corporate and M&A attorney often serving as outside corporate counsel to businesses in various stages of growth and in a wide variety of industries. Randy’s practice focuses particularly on representing privately held and family-owned businesses through the entirety of the sale process, providing owners advice on pre-sale preparations, sale strategy and processes, tax planning and structure, post-sale roles and family succession, in addition to taking the lead legal role in the execution of the transaction.

His recent engagements include the sale of a 135-year-old family-owned food additive manufacturer; several corporate venture investments and brand acquisitions in the food and beverage space; capital raising for emerging food and beverage brands; a series of cross-border and joint-venture transactions for a multinational food ingredient company; a multibillion-dollar public-private partnership; transactions involving complex intellectual property assets; and complex commercial contracting arrangements involving co-manufacturing, bottling, distribution, and equipment procurement. He also regularly counsels on corporate governance matters, particularly those of privately held and family-owned businesses.

Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart, PresidentKOVAL Distillery

Prior to opening KOVAL Distillery, one of the largest independent and woman-owned craft distilleries in the US, Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart spent over a decade as a full professor in both the United States and Germany. In 2008, she gave up tenure in hopes of a different quality of life; one that would afford an opportunity for her to work with her husband and return to the city she loved: Chicago. 

As owner and president of KOVAL, she has spearheaded product development, distribution, and marketing, turning her family business into an international presence with availability in over 55 export markets. In light of the COVID-19 health crisis, she led KOVAL's transition into producing much-needed hand sanitizer for those on the front lines, including medical organizations, first responders, and community non-profits. Sonat is also involved in a number of philanthropic organizations, was recently named Illinois Business Person of the Year by the National Small Business Association, is a federally appointed member of the Illinois Export Council, and has been inducted into the Disciples d’Escoffier.

Alex Garcia, Partner, Perkins Coie

Alex Garcia is a trusted advisor to emerging high-growth companies, well-known Fortune 500 companies, and famous personalities on legal matters involving trademark, copyright, internet, and advertising issues. Alex guides clients through their efforts to select, procure, and maintain their valuable brands in the United States and abroad, and assists some of the most famous brand owners in the world in developing innovative brand strategies for both procuring and protecting their brands. 

Named a leading trademark attorney in Colorado in the World Trademark Review’s WTR 1000 rankings, Alex is recognized for his work with both emerging innovators and established industry leaders.

Robert Kutyla, Partner, Kutyla Design

Robert's 25+ years of brand-identity experience has enabled him to deliver distinct and memorable impressions that have enhanced the reputation of his clients in the global marketplace. Using innovative ideas combined with thoughtful research, Robert has played an essential role in helping his clients achieve measurable annual sales growth. 

Always taking pride in the ability to distill idea into image, Robert and his team have helped develop visual strategies for some of the world’s most recognizable brands including:  Diageo's Jose Cuervo Tequila, Baileys Irish Cream,  Smirnoff Vodka, and  Malibu Rum. Creating brand identity and packaging for Sazerac’s 99 Brand Liqueurs,  Calypso Rums, Di Amore Amaretto & Sambuca, and Chi Chi’s line of mixed drinks, among others.  Project accolades include notable awards from national publications such as:  American Graphic Design, International Academy of Visual Arts, and Beverage Dynamics.

Stuart McCarroll, Founder & CEO, Menu Collective

Harnessing the knowledge and experience of a CEO combined with the true heart of a genuine salesman, Stuart knows the F&B business from all angles. He’s also a whisky connoisseur.

Ilana Orlofsky, Marketing ManagerImbibe Inc

Since joining Imbibe more than five 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 with flavor pairings 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. In her spare time, you may find her contributing Yelp reviews to maintain her elite status, practicing guitar, or researching her next travel destination. She has a B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.

Lani PetersonManager, CoLaboratory

With a unique background in pastry, beverage and design, Lani’s skills combine to push the limits of what’s expected. She loves Malbec.

Jordan Tepper, Co-Founder, Apologue Spirited Liqueurs

Jordan Tepper is the co-founder of Apologue Spirited Liqueurs. After graduating with his MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago-Booth, Jordan joined The Boston Consulting Group. At BCG, Jordan focused primarily on growth and go-to-market strategies for CPG companies, as well as Social Impact projects for Chicago entities. Jordan also works with Cleveland Avenue, a food & beverage focused venture firm in the West Loop. Jordan currently serves on the Auxiliary Board of the Good Food Accelerator. In his spare time, Jordan volunteers with Plant Chicago and Advocates for Urban Agriculture, and enjoys every minute of his limited spare time with his wife and two little boys.

Jeff Underwood, Director of Beverage Innovation, Menu Collective

An experienced mixologist, Jeff has done everything from opening restaurants to developing high-end mixology concepts. He knows spirits.

This event is FREE for CFBN members! REGISTER TODAY and we will share platform links closer to the event!

We are appreciative of the support of our sponsors for this event:


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