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  • Innovation Series: Technology Behind The Scenes

Innovation Series: Technology Behind The Scenes

  • 7 Oct 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Virtual Event


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Join us for our next event in the 2021 Innovation Series.  The Innovation Series is the longest running series in CFBN's programming and originated in partnership with Fifty Gazelles as  "Innovation Breakfasts" originally hosted at Blue Dog in the West Loop. 

Today, this virtual series tackles a series of innovation topics of interest to all of us in the food and beverage industry.  Our attendees join us every other month on the second Thursday to explore where food is headed, what companies are making a true impact in the market, and who is helping to change the way we all do business!

At Technology Behind the Scenes, you'll hear from ingredient and taste technology experts and get firsthand insights, trend take-aways, and new ideas and technologies for your next creative product. You’ll also hear from industry leaders in enabling technologies in food and beverage for an insider’s scoop on disruptive ideas and technologies within the market. 


  • 9:00 am General Welcome 
  • 9:05 am  Taste & Ingredient Technology Panel
  • 9:50 am  Enabling Technology Panel 
  • 10:35 - 11:00 am Post-Panel Networking

First Panel:  Taste and Ingredient Technology

Jeremy Anderson (Moderator)Founder, Fifty Gazelles 

Jeremy is a business development professional with a passion for getting new ideas into market.  Fifty Gazelles’ practice focuses on building long-term contract manufacturing partnerships and adding capacity and external expertise to commercialization teams.

Mervyn de Souza, Chief Innovation Officer,   Edlong  Corporation                                                 

A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s College of Biological Sciences, Mervyn holds a Master’s degree in Microbial Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics. Mervyn brings with him a multi-disciplinary skillset and deep category experience. Prior to joining Edlong, Mervyn held high-level leadership roles within the industry and is the recipient of multiple patents for his work.

Andy Dratt, EVP & Chief Commercial Officer,   Imbibe

Andy has over 20 years of experience in the flavor and ingredient industry, working with and developing products for some of the largest companies in the food industry. I joined Imbibe eight years ago and have led the company to become one of the leading beverage development resources for CPG, QSR and private label brand owners.

Jennifer Howell, Director of Regulatory Innovation, FONA International 

A FONA leader for over 18 years, Jennifer is a passionate advocate for helping customers find solutions to their regulatory challenges.  A strong voice in the food and beverage landscape, she is adept at communicating complex and future-forward ideas in effective ways, embodying the spirit of FONA’s “dare to be different” approach.  Jennifer is a lead faculty for FONA’s Flavor University and has spoken at conferences for IFT, FlavorCon, PMCA and the Product Stewardship Society.  

Second Panel:  Enabling Technologies

Matthew Botos, CEO, ConnectFood

Matthew Botos is the CEO and Founder of ConnectFood. ConnectFood offers a step-by-step food safety plan generator to help companies comply with food safety regulations and the Food Safety Modernization Act. ConnectFood provides On-Demand plan reviews from a national network of food experts. Mr. Botos is currently on the Food Safety and Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) International Subcommittee and Chairman of the FSPCA annual conference. He is also one of approximately 30 approved Train the Trainer instructors of the FSPCA Lead Instructor program launched in October 2015 and has taught over 1000 of the nation’s leading food safety experts.