Andria is a transformational innovator who has successfully driven strategic growth at 5 companies in the intensely competitive CPG space across food, beverage and personal care. Her expertise is quickly identifying opportunities by understanding insights in the rapidly changing consumer, competitive, and industry landscape. Andria has extensive experience at top tier CPG companies like Kimberly Clark and Kellogg, and across a diverse range of categories and brands. She has worked on some of the worlds most recognized and valuable brands like Sara Lee, Cheez-It, Huggies, St. Ives, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, and Ball Park. She is the currently the Vice President of Innovation & Consumer Insights at Johnsonville where she built their new Innovation Center in downtown Chicago. Prior to Johnsonville, Andria was the Vice President of Innovation & Strategy at Sara Lee where she built their Center of Excellence during the transformation where she unleashed the potential of legacy brands through true innovation. Andria has continued to synthesize her learnings and best practices over the last 20 years and developed her own proven approach that has success rates well above industry norms both in terms of revenue generated, and sustainability – staying power in market.
Senior Marketing Director
E&J Gallo Winery
Co-Founder and CEO
The Chaat Company
Anshu Dua has over 15 years of start-up experience in the technology sector. He’s been on the management team of three start-ups playing a variety of roles including raising venture capital, scaling operations and positioning companies for successful exits. Chasing a passion to be reconnected with his ethnic background, Anshu switched his industry focus to food and launched The Chaat Company in 2015.
VP Innovation and R&D (Boulder Brands)
Senior Director, Global Platform Innovation - Biscuits, Gum & Candy
Brigette Wolf is the Sr. Director Global Platform Innovation - Biscuits and Gum & Candy, at Mondelez International. She is accountable for prioritized global innovation platforms in the Biscuit and Gum & Candy categories.
Brigette is a highly experienced marketing and innovation professional. She joined Kraft Foods Inc. in 2003 and has since held a number of key leadership roles in brand management, breakthrough innovation, technology portfolio management and global innovation. She has led and executed multi-market big bet projects for Mondelez collaborating across boundaries with cross-functional colleagues.
Prior to joining Kraft Foods, Brigette spent 5 years in Investment Banking at Morgan Stanly and Credit Suisse First Boston working in M&A and as a generalist across industries where she developed her strong strategy, problem-solving and analytical skills. She gained her MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and her BS in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Director of Innovation, Architecture & Strategy
Chief Innovation Officer
Chris serves as Chief Innovation Officer for SpoonfulOne. SpoonfulOne is consumer-centric start-up creating new food products and brands to help transform kid’s relationship to food allergies, so they can live rich and diverse food lives forever. Prior to SpoonfulOne, Chris was Chief Innovation Officer of Revolution Foods another Silicon Valley start-up dedicated to creating delicious foods to improve the health and wellbeing of students and families across the United States. Chris lead teams in both positions with the goal of creating new product innovations, new services, new products, and new brands to further the growth. Prior to these two positions, Chris founded, managed and then successfully sold DINE | The Food and Drink Branding Agency to Mattson, the largest independent food and beverage innovation company in the country. As a combined entity, Mattson/DINE assembled a team of 70 food professionals to create one of the richest environments in the food industry to innovate collaboratively with clients and consumers. During his tenure, Chris and his team launched over 20 new food brands with 60+ SKUs. Chris began his branding and marketing career working with Klondike Ice Cream Bars, Betty Crocker and Yoplait Frozen Yogurt. His background includes roles as business and brand strategist as well as creative director with a number of food brands before founding DINE. DINE, The Food & Drink Agency was created by Chris with the single aim of helping food entrepreneurs launch and promote disruptive new food brands. Chris also is a frequent speaker and lecturer at industry events including Food Vision, Fancy Food Show, Best of Food and Beverage Packaging, Next Level Summits, IFT and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. In addition, Chris is a featured contributor to business and food publications as well as served as a mentor on the Lifetime TV show "Supermarket Superstar". Specialties: Food and Drink, Branding, Innovation, Packaging, Marketing, Strategy, Distribution, Commercialization.
VP of Product Development
Senior Executive Chef
Chris grew up in a small town west of Chicago. He started his culinary career at the young age of 13, working in a small local pizzeria. Working in kitchens all throughout school, Chris attended Eastern Illinois University for his undergraduate studies focusing on Food Science and soon after graduation started Kendall College’s Culinary Arts Program. During his schooling Chris was introduced to Chef Joel Findlay Chef/Owner of 302 West. 302 West was at its time one of the countries finest restaurants. Chris apprenticed at 302 and while there met his wife Sarah who was also a Chef. Chef Kline’s other restaurant experiences include, French Bistro, Jazz Supper Club, Private Dining Clubs, Corporate Dining, and numerous Fine Dining/White Table cloth restaurants. Chef’s culinary highlight was being invited to participate at the James Beard House with a Niche’ Restaurant.
After his restaurant career, Chris’s culinary path took another direction, back to the scientific side. Amazed by the manufacturing aspect of the business, Chris took the same approach he learned in the kitchens, and started to crave knowledge of the different segments of the business. he then started with a refrigerated Food Company, called Orval Kent / Chef Solutions, where in less than 3 years launched over 85 products throughout North America. Next he packed up his family and moved to Connecticut to work as a Chef / Bakery Product Technologist for R&D team of Pepperidge Farm. After hundreds of Milano cookies & few years in the Northeast, he then traveled to Florida and worked for Cargill as Strategic Accounts Chef developing sauces and dressing for companies such as Burger King & Applebee’s.
Sara Lee lured Chris back to his hometown of Chicago as a Senior Executive Chef in the winter of 2005. And in 2014 through the acquisition of Hillshire Brand by Tyson is happily a Tyson Team member leading the Culinary Strategy & Execution team.
Chef Kline’s other non-food based obsessions are his two sons (Jack & Luke), guitars & music and a rare form of fly-fishing from Japan called Tenkara.
VP of Culinary Excellence
Director of Product Development
La Terra Fina USA
Dan has been working in the food industry for over 25 years, starting in the trenches at Starbucks where he developed his deep love of good coffee and strong desire to work regular hours. He then managed to annoy his way into an internship at Mattson, the nation’s premier food product development firm, where they kept him and let him make things for over 11 years. While at Mattson he was featured in the 2005 Malcom Gladwell New Yorker article “The Bakeoff”. He was lured away from Mattson by Windsor Foods in Hayward to lead part of the product development team for frozen Asian meals and appetizers. Since he always has felt that he should be in charge, he jumped at the chance to prove it at La Terra Fina, a fast growing, premium brand currently placed in the deli category with dips and quiche leading their portfolio. This is where he and his small team do product innovation and renovation. During his tenure at La Terra Fina sales have tripled and they have successfully launched over 20 new products that account for a significant percentage of that growth.
Director of Packaging & Innovation
Jeff is a nationally acclaimed marketing leader, specializing in reigniting and food brands and categories. He is best known for GOT MILK?, transforming the iconic phrase from a local tag line into one of the best known, most influential campaigns in advertising history. Jeff credits much of the Got Milk? success to collaborations with “milk dependent” brands such as Cheerios and Oreos and characters such as the Pillsbury Doughboy and Cookie Monster. Jeff is a powerful and entertaining speaker who uses witty, often hilarious ads and illustrations to drive home serious, pivotal points about innovation and building brand potency. Prior to GOT MILK?, and his position as Executive Director of the California Milk Processor Board, Jeff had extensive CPG experience with Grey, JWT, McCann Erickson and Ketchum. In 2005, Jeff launched Got Manning?, a consultancy focused on reigniting food brands and categories. His clients have included Jamba Juice, Mighty Leaf Tea, the California Milk Board and Beyond Meat. Jeff is currently leading the development of the Utah Food BrandInnovation Center.
Co-Founder and CEO
Joe Heitzeberg is the co-founder and CEO of Crowd Cow. Prior to leading the startup that connects consumers with small-batch, independent farms, Joe was president of Madrona Venture Labs where he identified opportunities and built products and teams to spin them out as independent companies. Before joining Madrona, he held several executive roles including CTO at Whitepages.com. Joe attended MIT Sloan School of Management and the University of Washington. Now, he spends most of his days meeting with independent farmers and sourcing high-quality, sustainably produced meats around the country. Follow his adventures around the country at @jheitzeb.
General Manager, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer
Enjoy Life Foods
Joel Warady serves as both General Manager, and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Enjoy Life Foods, a leading brand in the North American Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly CPG category that has experienced 11 consecutive years of growth under his guidance. He has been ranked as one of the Top 50 CMOs on Twitter by Social Media Marketing Magazine, one of the Top 50 Most Influential CMOs on Social Media by Forbes.com and most recently was included in Brand Quarterly magazine’s list of 50 Marketing Thought Leaders Over 50. Joel is proud to serve as an advocate for the food intolerant and food allergy communities within the North American food industry, with a focus on proper labeling and food safety.
Founder and CEO
Luke Saunders is the founder and CEO of Farmer’s Fridge, a rapidly growing network of 150+ automated smart Fridges stocked with wholesome, chef-curated salads, sandwiches, bowls and snacks. Regularly challenged by finding fresh food on the road as a traveling salesman, Luke arrived at the concept for Farmer’s Fridge: good health starts with what we eat and eating well shouldn’t be hard. Drawing on his entrepreneurial experience, Luke set out to build a disruptive yet simple way to make fresh, healthy food as accessible as a candy bar - and now reaches thousands of customers daily across Chicago and Milwaukee, with additional markets coming soon.
Senior Manager, Consumer Insights
Molly Hug is a Consumer Insights professional with over 17 years of experience in the Casual Dining Restaurant segment having worked on multiple brands including Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, and most recently Red Lobster. She is the voice of the consumer for multiple areas of the business including advertising, product development, and the overall guest experience. A trained focus group moderator and proficient in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, her goal is to transform consumer data into meaningful and actionable insights to aid smarter decision making and ultimately strengthen the business. Originally from the Midwest, Molly resides in Orlando, Florida, holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Stetson University. In her free time, she enjoys travel, yoga, volunteering for the Second Harvest Food Bank and performs improv comedy at a local theater.
The Hatchery Chicago
Natalie Shmulik is the CEO of The Hatchery Chicago, a premier, non-profit food and beverage incubator on the West Side of Chicago. Natalie has an MLA in Gastronomy and over 10 year of experience in the food and beverage space ranging from owning and operating her own restaurant, consulting for supermarket chains, cookbook publishing, marketing and social media and food business incubation. Natalie specializes in trend forecasting as well as brand strategy for startups.
VP, Global Culinary Innovation
CKE Restaurants, Inc.
Perumal Gandhi is a co-founder of Perfect Day, a food company on a mission to create delicious animal-free dairy products, while leaving a kinder, greener footprint on the planet. Perumal’s background is in Biomedical Engineering (SUNY Stony Brook). Prior to co-founding Perfect Day, Perumal worked in the Rubinstein Lab at Stony Brook to develop functional tissue engineering scaffolds, as well as the Shrivastava lab at IIT-Bombay to create a microcapsule theranostic device allowing for site-directed cancer treatment.
Senior Manager Product Innovation
Bimbo Bakeries USA
Rebecca is a natural explorer, using strategic thought and a solution-orientated mindset to fuel her curiosity; bringing empathy, imagination and persistence to find the best route forward.
As the Senior Manager of Innovation at Acelerada, a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA, Rebecca is designing an innovation roadmap in the bread & baked goods categories. Her innovation experience extends into the snack, wine and spirits categories, where she worked in ideation and commercialization at KRAVE Pure Foods/The Hershey Company and Diageo.
Prior to traditional roles in innovation Rebecca spent several years on the agency side (Raison Pure, Interbrand and Landor Associates) supporting strategic development for her clients; and three years at Conde Nast Publications as a travel and photo editor for Cookie Magazine.
Rebecca has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Arizona and a Masters of Professional Studies in Branding from the School of the Visual Arts in New York.
Shane Durkee is Chief Innovation Officer at Swanson Health, overseeing product innovation and development, research and regulations, and product quality.
Previously, Shane was Senior Vice President, Research and Product Development, Maximum Human Performance; Director, Global Innovation and New Technology at Bayer Consumer Care AG in Basel, Switzerland; and held R&D leadership roles for Bayer’s U.S. nutritional business.
Shane has a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Weber State University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. He’s served on the Senior Scientific Advisory Council for the Council for Responsible Nutrition and science advisory board of Virgo Publishing.