Conference Schedule

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Timeframe: 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Alcohol Insights and Anticipating 2024 Trends

Kaleigh has 8 years of NIQ experience and considerable background working with clients in multiple categories. She has been involved with the Beverage Alcohol category for the last four years working on Thought Leadership and client specific business questions and projects. Kaleigh brings a unique skillset of analytic capabilities, as well as commercial selling story creation, and has significant background in bringing consumer insights to the forefront in support of sales trends. She has been pivotal in the NIQ strategy and tactics for Beverage Alcohol as the industry changes and develops.

 

Matt is a Associate Client Director at NielsenIQ. A Marketing Analyst with six years of experience and a record of achieving results. Adept in providing marketing insights through in-depth analysis, recommending actionable solutions, working in cross-functional teams, and managing multiple projects in a fast-paced work environment.

Timeframe: 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Top Strategies to Avoid Common Pitfalls When Launching Your Brand

Brian Rosen is globally regarded as a top authority in adult beverage thought leadership. Rosen, known for his expertise in sales and marketing has sold over $1.5B in alcohol over his career.

Named “Ones to Watch” at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Advisory Services. Named Top 100 globally in Leadership in 2019’s Power Rankings of beverage players.

Rosen was CEO of his own $100M -retail liquor enterprise, Sam’s Wines and Spirits of Chicago, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Adult Beverage Advisory Services, lead consultant in Trade Marketing at Anheuser- Busch. Rosen runs his own adult beverage sales firm, BevStrat as well as being general partner in his private equity firm, InvestBev. Rosen has led as CEO and sold two companies to equity firms.

Timeframe: 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

How To Generate New Revenue Streams For Restaurant Wine Sales

Explore cutting-edge approaches to boosting restaurant wine sales in our dynamic panel discussion. Featuring insights from top professionals like Mark Guillaudeu, Arthur Hon, Morgan Harris, Cassandra Sakai, Paul Carayas, Jeremy Shanker, and David Keck, this session will delve into innovative revenue streams tailored for enhancing the wine experience in pubs and bars. Join us to uncover strategies that promise to redefine industry standards and maximize profitability.

1. Mark Guillaudeu, MS : Sommelier at Wrigley Mansion

2. Arthur Hon : Beverage Director at the Modern - Union Square Hospitality Group

3. Morgan Harris : Head Sommelier at Saison Hospitality

4. Cassandra Sakai : Corporate Director of Beverage Operations at Gibsons Group

5. Paul Carayas : Wine Director at Chez TJ

6. Jeremy Shanker MS : Corporate Wine Director at Mina Group

7. David Keck MS : Owner at Stella14 Wines, Director of Hospitality at Golden Dog Farm

 

Timeframe: 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

How to Build A Sales Process To Grow and Get New Distribution

Are you ready to take your sales and distribution to the next level? Build a rock-solid sales process and Attract new distributors and expand your reach. Optimizing your existing distribution. Boost sales and maximize results with current partners. Key metrics to track: Data-driven insights to ensure your success. Systematic approach to conquer new markets. Expand your footprint strategically. Plus, a live Q&A session (15 minutes) gives you the chance to get your burning questions answered by Sid.

Timeframe: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

BIG Retail: Consumer Trends, Buying Criteria and What's Next

Timeframe: 12:30 PM - 01:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

New Revenue Streams For Bars

Join us for an engaging panel discussion on "New Revenue Streams for Bars," where leading industry experts will share innovative strategies to enhance profitability. Panelists include Julieta Campos, Mike Ryan, Abraham Vucekovich, Mark Braver, and Sam Garcia, all of whom bring a wealth of experience from top establishments like The Fifty/50 Group, Acurio International, and Tre Dita at the St. Regis, Chicago. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about pioneering approaches to revitalizing bar revenue.

 

  • Julieta Campos : Beverage and Bar Operations Director at The Fifty/50 Group 

  • Mike Ryan : Global Beverage Director, Acurio International

  • Abraham Vucekovich : Leading Bartender of Chicago

  • Mark Braver : Director of Operations, Partner at The Fifty/50 Group

  • Sam Garcia : Beverage Manager at Tre Dita at the St. Regis, Chicago

Timeframe: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Exploring Elegance: A Masterclass in Japanese Sake by Mr. Timothy Sullivan

"Exploring Elegance: A Masterclass in Japanese Sake" is an insightful session designed to delve into the refined world of Japanese sake. This masterclass offers participants an in-depth look at the traditional and contemporary methods of sake brewing, exploring its rich history and the subtle complexities that define its flavor profiles. The session will cover various types of sake, discussing the differences in taste, aroma, and pairing potential with food. Attendees will learn about the artistry behind sake production—from the selection of rice and water to the fermentation process—and how these elements influence the final product. This masterclass is an excellent opportunity for enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike to deepen their understanding of sake, enhancing their appreciation for one of Japan's most celebrated beverages.

Hosted by Mr. Timothy Sullivan. Timothy Sullivan is the Director of Education and lead instructor for classes at the Sake Studies Center at Brooklyn Kura.  He has over 16 years of experience teaching about sake and in 2007, he was awarded the prestigious title of Sake Samurai by the Japan Sake Brewers Association.

Timeframe: 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Beneath Beaujolais

The masterclass on Beaujolais wines offers an engaging and detailed exploration into one of France's most vibrant and dynamic wine regions. This session is designed for both new enthusiasts and seasoned connoisseurs, aiming to deepen their knowledge of Beaujolais' unique viticultural methods, terroir, and the varietal nuances of its wines, primarily made from the Gamay grape.

Timeframe: 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

How To Review Wines: Sommeliers Choice Awards

Come and join the Sommeliers Choice Awards masterclass, where the competition organizer takes you in the judging process on how to review wines. Each wine will be blind-tasted first for the food parability, typicity, quality and value score. Once the bling tasting is done, a packaging score will be given by assesing the package.

 

The top two questions that you will be attempting to answer as they judge are: “Would we stock this?” and "Will the consumer buy the 2nd glass". Hosted by our experience Sommeliers Choice Awards judge, you will have fun tasting wines and reviewing wines like the restaurant buyer.

Timeframe: 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Optimizing Transportation & Logistics: Strategies to Reduce Inventory Costs and Enhance Customer Service

Callan has 8 years of direct experience in transportation and logistics, specifically with wine wholesalers and distributors around the US. Prior to those 8 years, she worked in sales but had a bird’s eye view into the wine world as US Wine Transport was started and is still lead by her dad. She combines a unique understanding of the urgency of a highly motivated sales force with the operational expertise of US Wine’s team to design solutions that are ideal for independent players in the beverage space. US Wine Transport prides itself on saying “yes” to their customers and meeting their needs as they develop. Callan facilitates this by balancing the interests of all of the parties involved in making an order succeed so that US Wine’s customers can have a seamless experience, no matter where the order comes from, it’s size, or when it is submitted.

Timeframe: 10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Mastering The Digital Disruptions: Strategies For The 21st Century

Joseph V. Micallef is a judge and commentator on food, wines, spirits, and travel. He is also a historian, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and syndicated columnist. As a journalist and former war correspondent, he has written on an eclectic mix of topics from wines, spirits, and travel to military history and world affairs. For 30+ years, he was the CEO and Senior Producer of a media company. 

 

He holds the Diploma in Wines and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (London). He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Council of Whiskey Masters. The Advisory Board’s two dozen members are widely considered the leading experts on whisky in the world. He was awarded the honorific of Maestro Tequilero by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila, Vino y Mezcal A.C. in 2023.

 

Among his recent books is Scotch Whisky: Its History, Production and Appreciation, Additional books on Tequila and Italian Wines are forthcoming. Joe is a columnist for Forbes, where he writes on wines, spirits, and travel. He also is the International Editor of Irish Whiskey magazine.

 

He has spent more than 20 years judging wines and spirits, lecturing and writing about them, and he looks forward to many more.

Timeframe: 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

How to effectively work with importers and the changing models of distribution

The Panel will be broken into 2 parts.Traditional old model: How to find importers, what should your presentation deck include, how to ask for a close, what does an effective launch look like, what does first one year of partnership and support look like.

New model: the changing landscape of the partnership and bottleneck issue. How can brands work with importers and have them as logistics and compliance partners? How do the roles in this new model look? We will also discuss self distribution models. Speakers include:

1. Rachel Speckan : Portfolio Manager at Maverick Wine Co

2. Daisy Penzo : Founder and CEO Tuscany Wines Import

3. Christopher Bauer :  Vice President, National Sales at Wein bauer

4. Lee Schlesinger - Vice President, Portfolio Management and Education at Winesellers, Ltd

5. Raj Sabharwal : Founding Partner at Glass Revolution Imports

6. Sebastian Perez Companc - Sales and Business Development Manager at Puerta Del Abra

Timeframe: 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

How To Build New Wine Drinkers In Non-Alcohol and Neo Prohibition Era

 

Join us for a compelling panel discussion titled "How To Build New Wine Drinkers In the Non-Alcohol and Neo-Prohibition Era," featuring prominent winemakers. Our panelists include Susan Danenberger, Owner and Winemaker at Danenberger Family Vineyards, and Caroline Schrader, Winemaker at City Winery Chicago. They will explore innovative strategies to engage and expand wine audiences in an era where non-alcoholic preferences are becoming increasingly popular. This session will provide valuable insights into adapting wine marketing and production to meet changing consumer trends.

 

1. Susan Danenberger : Winemaker/Owner Danenberger Family Vineyards

2. Caroline Schrader : Winemaker at City Winery Chicago

 

Timeframe: 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Insights and Innovations from Leading Distillers

Join us for an enlightening panel discussion titled "Insights and Innovations from Leading Distillers." Our distinguished panelists include Ari Klafter, Head Distiller at Thornton Distilling Company and President of the Illinois Craft Distillers Association; Andrew Howell, Founder and Co-owner of Thornton Distilling Company; and Jeff Ruhle, Master Distiller and Owner at Idlewild Spirits. This session will delve into the latest trends, challenges, and innovations within the distilling industry. Gain firsthand knowledge from these industry leaders on how they are pioneering new techniques and flavors in the world of spirits.

 

1. Ari Klafter : Head Distiller Thornton Distilling Company and President Illinois Craft Distillers Association

2. Andrew Howell : Founder & Co-owner of Thornton Distilling Company

3: Jeff Ruhle : Master Distiller and Owner, at Idlewild Spirits 

Timeframe: 12:30 PM - 01:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Exploring Hemp Beverage Trends with Midwest Distributors Panel - Hemp Distributors Panel

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion titled "Exploring Hemp Beverage Trends with Midwest Distributors." This enlightening session will feature insights from industry experts including Ryan Crane from Strategy at Canopy Growth Corporation, Christopher Lackner, Founder and President of the Hemp Beverage Alliance, and Wesley Phillips, Business Development Manager at Glunz Beer. Our panelists will discuss the emerging market of hemp beverages, focusing on consumer trends, regulatory landscapes, and innovative strategies for distribution in the Midwest. Whether you’re involved in production, distribution, or simply interested in the evolving landscape of hemp-infused products, this panel will provide valuable perspectives and networking opportunities.

 

1. Ryan Crane : Strategy at Canopy Growth Corporation

2. Christopher Lackner : Founder and President at Hemp Beverage Alliance

3. Wesley Phillips : Business Development Manager at Glunz Beer

Timeframe: 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

Shochu & Sake Masterclass by Mr.Toshio Ueno

Join us for an exclusive Shochu & Sake Masterclass led by Mr. Toshio Ueno, a distinguished expert and the first in the world to hold a Master of Sake (酒匠), Master Sake Sommelier (日本酒学講師), and WSET Sake Educator diploma, alongside a WSET Diploma in Wine & Spirits. Mr. Ueno, creator of the Sake School of America and the English Shochu Adviser Certificate program, will guide participants through the delicate nuances of shochu and sake, offering a unique and immersive learning experience that promises to deepen both understanding and appreciation of these traditional Japanese beverages.

Timeframe: 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Venue: Morgan Manufacturing Mezzanine

How To Review Spirits: Bartender Spirits Awards Winners

Come and join the Bartender Spirits Awards masterclass, where the competition organizer takes you in the judging process on how to review spirits.