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)
Director, Global Platform Innovation - Biscuits, Gum & Candy
Senior Manager, Culinary
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. In that time he worked on a vast array of products, literally from soup to nuts, including soups, beverages, sauces, entrees, baked goods, confections, and food service offerings. 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.
Dan takes a philosophical approach to product development looking to apply fundamental principles to projects. (This may be due to his deep thinking nature or perhaps his lack of specific knowledge, the debate is still open.) Some of the driving forces for him are, products need to meet expectations, it should be fun, and it should make sense.
Dan recently celebrated his 23rd wedding anniversary and is deeply committed to his wife and two children, who are happy to let him cook for them every night. When not working Dan likes to spend time with his family, coaching soccer and martial arts, and hosting dinner parties.
Director of Packaging & Innovation
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.
The Hatchery Chicago
Natalie Shmulik is the go to resource for everything food business related. Along with an M.L.A. in Gastronomy from Boston University, she has a wide range of experience working with supermarkets, culinary publications, consumer packaged goods companies and food service establishments. After successfully operating her own restaurant, Natalie was hired as a specialty consultant for one of Ontario’s largest supermarket chains where she enhanced consumer experiences through educational initiatives. Discovering her passion for innovation, Natalie was brought on as a brand strategist for the first cold brew tea company and later moved to Chicago, IL to run a food business incubator. With over 5 years of food incubation experience, Natalie has gained a unique perspective on the industry and what it takes to launch and grow a successful business. She was recently featured in Forbes and continues to play a valuable role in branding and marketing for food businesses around the country, with her specialty in trend forecasting. She is now the CEO of The Hatchery- Chicago's premier food business incubator.