Afrouz Naeini, MSc., MBA
- Senior Marketing Manager - Sweetness & Beverage
A driving force behind Ingredion’s North American sweetness innovation and strategy, Afrouz has a keen focus on carefully aligning Ingredion’s sweetener solutions with the latest consumer and market trends.
Afrouz has nearly 15 years of experience in commercialization of specialty ingredients to the food and beverage industry globally.
Afrouz holds an MSC in food science from the University of Guelph in Canada and an MBA from London Business School in the United Kingdom.
Bryan is an accomplished c-suite executive for both established and entrepreneurial companies with demonstrated general management, marketing and sales management skills with a proven history of building brands and generating outstanding sales and profit growth in highly competitive categories.
Recognized as a highly strategic and energizing leader with a passion for people development and the proven ability to translate deep consumer understanding into effective consumer and customer marketing and innovation plans.
Elaine has more than 15 years’ experience in multimedia business journalism and events management in the UK and the USA, covering subjects as diverse as industrial espionage, open innovation, and food labeling.
She has also organized and chaired face-to-face and online events from seminars and round table debates to conferences on everything from radio-frequency ID tagging to the gluten-free market.Elaine began her career in journalism at an online food trading exchange called efdex in the UK and went on to work for a series of publications including The Grocer, Food Manufacture and Food Ingredients, Health & Nutrition. In 2002, she was named Features Writer of the Year by the UK Periodical Publishers Association at its inaugural Food and Drink Journalism Awards.View more
Elaine moved from the UK to Ohio in spring 2011 to join the editorial team of two leading online publications: NutraIngredients-USA and FoodNavigator-USA. Today, she lives in California and edits FoodNavigator-USA.
- Director of Marketing & Category Management
- Mustard Seed Market and Café
Gabe Nabors is the Director of Marketing & Category Management as well as a 2nd Generation Owner of Mustard Seed Market & Cafe. Mustard Seed Market and Café currently has three locations in Northeast Ohio. Mustard Seed Market and Café is a full line natural and organic grocery store specializing in produce, meat, dairy, wine, and general grocery products, as well as vitamins, herbs, homeopathics, and natural health and beauty products.
In addition, Mustard Seed Market and Café offers a deli, restaurant and catering services.View more
Gabe graduated from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio with a degree in Finance. He has worked in the family business since he was 13 but came on full time in a leadership role since 2010.
Greg Paul, PhD, MBA
- Marketing Leader, Beverage Industry
- DuPont Nutrition & Health
Greg Paul, PhD, MBA, is Marketing Leader, Beverage Industry at DuPont Nutrition & Health. In this role, he is responsible for developing and implementing DuPont’s marketing strategy, research and customer-facing initiatives for ingredients in the beverage industry.
Previously, he was the marketing director for global consumer segments where he was responsible for developing marketing programs that link identified consumer needs in sports nutrition, weight management, healthy aging, and family/child nutrition with the nutritional and health benefits associated with DuPont’s food and dietary supplement ingredients.
Dr. Paul received a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in exercise physiology from The Ohio State University, a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences from the University of Illinois, where he was also an NIH-Postdoctoral Research Fellow in molecular biology, and an MBA from Purdue University.View more
- Co-founder and CEO
- Califia Farms
Greg Steltenpohl is the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Califia Farms, one of the fastest growing plant-based beverage companies in the world.
He has led the company’s rapid growth as an innovative leader of premium, natural beverages that make it easy for consumers to go “plant-powered” and live a dairy-free lifestyle.
From its iconic bottles to the delicious tasting beverages like Almondmilks, Aguas Frescas and Cold Brew Coffee inside them, Steltenpohl’s disruptive approach has made Califia Farms the top selling ready-to-drink coffee and almond milk brand in the U.S. natural channel, as well as the top selling specialty citrus brand.View more
Previously, he founded Odwalla Inc. which was acquired by Coke in 2001. In addition to his work with Odwalla, Steltenpohl co-founded the Interra Project in 2000, Adina for Life in 2004, and Califia Farms in 2010.
He has also served on the board of numerous organizations, including Slow Money Alliance, Social Venture Network, Frontier Natural Products and has been a long time member of the Institute of Food Technologists.
Greg holds a degree from Stanford University in Environmental Science.
- Head of Soft Drinks
- Euromonitor International
Howard Telford is the Head of Soft Drinks research at Euromonitor International, a world leader in strategic research solutions and business intelligence.
In his role on Euromonitor’s beverages team, he provides insights on consumer trends and market performance in the industry across 100 markets.
Howard’s insights have been cited in a variety of national programs and publications including CNBC News, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Fortune magazine.
He has been with Euromonitor International since 2010.
- Application Specialist, Beverages
- DuPont Nutrition & Health
Jason Mueller is an Applications Scientist with DuPont Nutrition & Health with more than 5 years’ experience in the beverage industry.
Jason currently supports ready-to-drink and powdered beverage application projects for North America customer accounts.
He holds certifications in aseptic and retort processing and packaging, and leads food safety regulatory compliance for beverage applications at DuPont Nutrition & Health.
Prior to DuPont, Jason worked at Kerry Ingredients & Flavors for nutritional beverage applications, supporting product development and turnkey aseptic solutions. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in food science from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.View more
Julie Emsing Mann
- Global Protein Program Manager
As Global Protein Program Manager, Julie focuses on strengthening Ingredion’s portfolio of plant-based protein solutions, working closely with Ingredion partner AGT Foods, one of the world’s largest pulse processors.
She holds four U.S. patents and is a well-known speaker and industry leader in food technology and proteins.
Julie earned her master’s degree in food science and nutrition from Drexel University and a bachelor’s in food science from Penn State University.
- Food Scientist - R&D, Applications Team
- TIC Gums, Inc.
In his role as a food scientist at TIC Gums, now part of Ingredion, Marshall works at the forefront of beverage innovation.
He began his career at TIC Gums in the R&D beverage technology group.
With expertise in beverage processing equipment and rheological analysis of beverages, he now works directly with customers to help solve their beverage formulation challenges and develop consumer-winning solutions.
Marshall earned his B.S. degree in food science from Penn State University.
- Amin Talati Upadhye LLP
Ryan Kaiser heads the Class Action/Business Litigation and Trademark practices at Amin Talati Upadhye, LLP, a Chicago law firm focused on FDA, FTC, Patents, Trademarks, Licensing and Litigation for food and beverage companies.
Ryan represents food and beverage clients in a wide range of matters, including class action, breach of contract, government investigation, false advertising, trademark, trade secret and related intellectual property disputes.
Raised in a family with deep roots in “Big Food” companies, Ryan recently served as Vice Chair for the Food Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association.
- Co-founder and CEO
- KRā Drinks for Athletes, Inc
Sarah is the CEO and co-Founder of KRa Organic Sports Drinks. Prior to launching KRa, Sarah spent nearly 20 years as a partner at the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago, focusing her law practice on complex commercial litigation.
Sarah started KRa to follow her entrepreneurial spirit, her passion for health, and her love of sports. As an athlete and parent of 4 athletes, her goal is provide great-tasting, better for you, organic sports drinks to all athletes. Sarah is also proud to have co-founded KRa for Play, KRa’s giveback program that supports community organizations serving disadvantaged kids through sports.
- Founder and CEO
- Perspective Branding
Simon, an Englishman, began his career in London working for Landor. He worked on corporate identity, retail environments and ultimately consumer packaging where he has spent most of his career. In 1999 Simon moved to Landor San Francisco, where he led creative teams for Pepsico International, Suiza Foods and Frito-Lay North America business.
In 2003 Simon relocated to Spain as Creative Director to rebuild a depleted Landor office – focusing on building new client relationships and creating a full working studio offer.Although based in Madrid, Simon also was responsible for a creative team in London (upon winning a multi-agency pitch for Royal Numico), leading all creative work and co-managing the account across Europe. In 2005 Simon left Landor and moved back to Bay Area to found Perspective: Branding.View more
Whilst focused on the US market, Simon brings a unique global perspective to all his projects blending strategy with design to create powerful products and brands for: Pepsico, Kraft, Danone, United Dairy Farmers, United Bisuits, Nestlé, Pepsico, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Mission Foods, Wise Snacks, Whitewave Foods, Sugar Foods and Dymatize Nutrition.