Who is Involved?
We have a dedicated boards of Directors of industry pioneers, recognized pros in their respective fields, and budding entrepreneurs. We also boast a vibrant and growing membership of companies interested in connecting and learning from others, and building the industry in Chicagoland. We bring people together for networking opportunities, to brainstorm great ideas, and to collaborate and create things together that grow business. We call on Chicago-area experts in the field for deep-dive educational seminars and events. And we know how to throw one heck of a party.
|Mike Loquercio Chairman
Area Director, Operations &
D&W Fine Pack
EVP & Chief Commercial Officer
|Janet Garetto Secretary
Industrial Council of Nearwest
President & CEO
Executive Director, Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs
World Business Chicago
Acting President & CEO
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
General Manager, Chief Sales and Marketing Director
Enjoy Life Foods
Founder & President
Freeborn & Peters LLP
Retired Kraft Executive
Chicago Section Institute of Food Technologists
Chief Flavor Officer
President, US Specialty
The Kellogg Company
|Dr. Bob Brackett
IIT - Institute for Food Safety and Health
Marketing Director, Thought Leadership
|Erica T. Kuhlmann
Managing Director, Food, Consumer and Agribusiness Group
|Dr. Ricardo Estrada
Vice President of Education and Program
Instituto del Progreso Latino
Alan Reed is the Executive Director of Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network. Prior to this role, Alan was Executive Vice President, Strategy & Innovation at Dairy Management, Inc., and was responsible for creating and driving innovative strategies to grow dairy demand. Alan has a degree in Telecommunications from Indiana University and an MBA in Management & Strategy from Northwestern University.
Patrick Schaffler has been with Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network soon after its inception, initially serving as interim COO, and now primarily as a Consultant for varying financial control needs and special projects. Prior to this role, Patrick served as the Executive Director at the Northern Michigan Catholic Foundation, leading the organization through an operational stabilization. He spent much of his career in Chicago, serving as a Director in Dairy Management Inc.’s Strategy, Insights and Planning department. Patrick has a degree in Finance and Business Economics from The University of Notre Dame.
Director Of Operations
Betsy Marantz is the Director of Operations of the Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network. Betsy comes to CFBN from the world of non-profit management, having worked in a variety of administrative roles throughout her career. Betsy graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and holds a joint-masters in educational administration and non-profit management from HUC-JIR.
Connie Christoff helps support Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network. Connie's whole life has revolved around food. She learned about food from the ground up-literally-as she worked on her family’s farm in Iowa. After returning to Illinois she worked for over 25 years for companies such as Unilever, Con Agra and McCain Foods, developing and marketing food products for retail and food service channels. Connie has an Economics degree from Loyola University (Chicago) along with a Culinary Arts degree from Robert Morris College.
Social Media Director
Tabetha Hawkins is the social media director at CFBN. Prior to this role, Tabetha was a promotional assistant at Clear Channel Chicago, where she helped facilitate on- and off-site marketing events. Tabetha has also worked as the social media manager for Mrs. Wig Boutique, a hair care start up business in Chicago. Tabetha received her Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations at Illinois State University in Bloomington, IL.
Mayra Cruz is the Administrative Assistant for Chicagoland Food & Beverage Network. Mayra comes to CFBN with over 20 years of administrative experience. Prior to joining CFBN, Mayra worked as an Executive Assistant at Dairy Management, Inc. She attended Northwestern Business College in Chicago.