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  • Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024!

Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024!

  • 6 Dec 2023
  • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Nixon Peabody Office, 70 West Madison, Suite 5200, Chicago IL 60602



CFBN and Chicago Section IFT are closing out 2023 together!  Join us for a year in review of the trends and learnings that made 2023 memorable as well as insights to help prepare members and guests for the year ahead.

You'll hear remarks and reflections from a variety of industry leaders who will share with us their learnings from 2023, and their goals and prognostications for 2024.

Following the reflections there will be (as always) amazing networking along with festive food and drink that you can enjoy while overlooking the incredible views of Lake Michigan and Millennium Park provided by our hosts, Nixon Peabody.

Don't miss saying goodbye to 2023 and celebrating with your industry colleagues and peers!  All registered attendees will receive a gift from Chicago's own Vosges Chocolate.


5:00pm  Doors Open/Registration

5:30pm  Remarks & Reflections

6:15pm  Q&A with Audience

6:30pm  Networking 

8:00pm  Event Close


Steve Gaither, EVP of Growth & Strategy, 1o8

Steve Gaither is the EVP of Growth and Strategy for 1o8, a creative meets commerce agency for CPG that focuses on brand strategy, creative and digital performance marketing . He 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. 

Janet Garetto, Intellectual Property Partner & Co-Leader, Nixon Peabody

As a patent and trademark lawyer, Janet continues to serve an industry which holds deep personal and familial significance.  She advises  her clients, which includes food and beverage as well as pharmaceutical and medical device companies, on brand development strategies. This process involves trademark procurement, trademark portfolio development and maintenance, addressing brand misuse issues and developing internal branding guidelines and best practices.

Bridget Hegg RDN, MBA, Associate Director, Datassential

As a food enthusiast and dietitian, Bridget brings a unique point of view to the foodservice industry. She is an associate director at the market research firm Datassential.

Datassential makes the food industry smarter, providing trend software, predictive analytics, and consumer and operator insights that help manufacturers, food retailers, and chain restaurants innovate and sell more intelligently.

Rifle Hughes, Business Partner and Brand & Practice Lead, JPG Resources

Rifle Rifle is a Business Partner and the brand and strategy practice lead at JPG Resources, a leading food & beverage innovation consultancy.  He has spent more than twenty years creating and growing brands with strong consumer connection for renegade startups and beloved household names. Much of his success comes from his empathetic yet call-it-like-it-is approach fusing classic strategy, design-thinking, and cross-functional vision that bridges the gap between big ideas and the implications of execution. He has had an impact across a wide range of brands including Nestle, Hormel, Constellation, Nautilus, Kraft-Heinz, Pepsi, Sunsweet, Sun-Maid, and Monster Energy.  

Pontus Mattsson, Vice President, Silva International

Pontus Mattsson is currently Vice-President, Supply Chain & Administration at Silva International, Inc. Pontus also currently serves as the immediate Past-President of the American Spice Trade Association. Through his almost 20 years at Silva, he has held various procurement and supply chain functions. In his current role at Silva International, he oversees procurement, international operations, and quality assurance. His current responsibilities include oversight of regulatory compliance with relevant authorities throughout the supply chain, direct procurement and supply chain sustainability.

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