Speakers (2023)

Sally Breden

Founder & Managing Director
The VGood Company

More about Sally

Sally Breden is the Founder and Managing Director of The V’Good Company, nut-free spreads made from chickpeas designed to satisfy the cravings of the mainstream nut butter lover who can’t eat nuts due to the impact of nut-allergies. Sally has created simple, healthy and delicious products suitable for schools’ nut-free environments. The V’Good Company’s Pea-NOT Butter and Hazel-NOT Choc were launched into Australia in 2020 and more recently into the USA.

Courtney Brown

Founder
GymBod

More about Courtney
Meet Courtney Brown, a mechanical engineer turned Ice Cream entrepreneur with his Better-For-You Ice Cream start-up, GYM BOD. Courtney’s passion for fitness and healthy eating led him and partner Cian to create a brand that focuses on creating high-protein, low-sugar ice cream that appeals to health-conscious consumers. The GYM BOD journey began in a garage in Toowoomba, where he started experimenting with different recipes for high protein soft serve. Fast forward 4 years and countless reformulations later, GYM BOD has grown to a $2M revenue business with a loyal following of fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious consumers, with GYM BOD ice cream available at 1200+ locations around Australia and NZ.

Cian Dawson

Founder
GymBod

More about Cian
Introducing Cian Dawson, a self-professed Ice Cream enthusiast and one half of the dynamic duo behind the Better-For-You Ice Cream Start-Up, GYM BOD. Alongside her partner Courtney, Cian kickstarted GYM BOD in a humble garage in Toowoomba, armed with nothing but a soft serve machine and a burning passion for delicious and nutritious ice cream. Fast-forward four years and Cian has left her corporate job to pour all her energy into GYM BOD full-time! Today, GYM BOD’s High Protein Low Sugar Ice Cream can be found in over 1200 locations across Australia and New Zealand. Thanks to their self-performing manufacturing facility in Brisbane, QLD, GYM BOD is able to churn out their mouth-watering treats at an unprecedented scale.

Chelsea Ford

Founder & Head Coach
Foodpreneurs Festival & Females in Food

More about Chelsea

Chelsea Ford is a highly regarded and award winning collaboration and business growth expert, coach and mentor. Chelsea helps foodpreneurs realise their dreams. Chelsea is the founder of the powerful and purposeful network, Females in Food®, the impactful Foodpreneurs Festival and creator of the Foodpreneurs Formula coaching program for women scaling packaged food and drink brands.

Diem Fuggersburger

CEO & Founder
Coco & Lucas‘ Kitchen

More about Diem
From Refugee camps in Indonesia to living in Australia with no money, no home, and no English, Diem Fuggersberger has risen from challenging beginnings to become a proud, passionate and values-driven business woman. In 2009, with her husband Werner, Diem founded Berger Ingredients with a focus on doing things a little differently. Their vision was to provide healthier, natural food ingredients to service their client’s needs. Since then, they’ve continued to be first to market, launching category-creating and award winning products. They’ve grown organically and are now featured in nearly 1000 supermarkets across Australia and are exporting overseas.

Sally Gosper

General Manager
Two Providores

More about Sally
Sally is responsible for the overall management, sales strategy and brand communication of Two Providores. Sally is a passionate supporter of Australian produce. Over her 20-year career in Australia and the US, she has brokered relationships between some of the world’s leading producers and chefs. From a country upbringing, Sally is fully invested in the Two Providores vision of keeping Australian producers producing. Sally has worked extensively in both the food & wine industry and her search for fabulous cheese knows no bounds.

Celia Harding

Founder
PR Shed

More about Celia
Celia Harding is a publicity expert who helps businesses tell the world their story and grows the profiles of the people behind them. Over the last two decades, she has worked with brands like Mastercard, Google, Smirnoff, Jack Daniel’s and V Energy, as well as working with big names and events including Splendour in the Grass, Openair Cinemas, The ARIA Awards, Neil Perry, Andy Allen, Nile Rodgers and Coldplay. Now Celia is on a mission to demystify the public relations process and make it more accessible to all, with the launch of a new PR subscription service.

Nicky Jackson

Founder & CEO
RangeMe

More about Nicky
Nicky Jackson, Founder & CEO of RangeMe, is a keeper of an entrepreneurial spirit and a leading voice for women in business and technology. The accelerated growth of RangeMe with her at the helm has catapulted Nicky as a true pioneer in the FMCG Technology space. The concept of RangeMe came to Nicky while developing a range of baby skincare products. Looking for ways to achieve fast distribution, she had the idea to create a single network to match sellers with buyers looking for products like theirs. Before launching RangeMe, Nicky worked as a Marketing Executive at Kellogg’s, Uncle Toby’s, Jim Beam, Britvic and RHM Foods. Today RangeMe is the largest Global Product Discovery Platform with over 250,000 suppliers, partnerships with leading retailers like Walmart and Tesco and across AUS, NZ, US, Canada, UK and European markets.

Matthew Jinks

Managing Director
Random Harvest

More about Metthew

Matthew Jinks is the owner of Australian Made and Owned Gourmet brand Random Harvest. He has spent more than 30 years in the food industry. He has worked with some of the worlds most exclusive brands including Lindt, Guylian, General Mills and Tabasco to name a few. He has experience in importing, exporting, wholesale distribution, retailing, manufacturing and brand ownership. He has run Australia’s biggest health food retailer and distributor and has experience in the challenging world of private label manufacturing. Matthew’s strengths lie in simplifying and providing solutions to the many challenges facing food businesses and using his knowledge and global contacts to achieve exceptional results.

Donovan Kensley

Buyer – Gourmet Food
David Jones Food

More about Donovan
A retailer at heart Donovan has over 20 years experience in retail across 3 continents including Woolworths (South Africa); Marks & Spencer (UK); Coles and David Jones (Australia). Working his way through the retail leadership ladder from operations, supply chain, sales management and buying, Donovan has experienced a very sharp learning curve within the David Jones Department Store business arena with the focus on customer first. Product quality and integrity is the most critical attribute for David Jones and for Donovan.

Georgina Larby

Co-Founder
Pure Pops

More about Georgina
Growing up on a farm in Tasmania Georgi was born with a love of nature, the outdoors and fresh home grown food. Discovering at an early age the joy of cultivating and creating delicious food. Achieving a BBA in Sydney Georgi went on to combine her love of food with business whilst working in various catering companies across Sydney. Not long into her career she met her Pure Pops co-founder, Alice and one day they took an esky full of handmade mouthwatering pops to Bondi farmers market and voila, Pure Pops was born. Georgi’s favourite pure pop is the mini double choc.

Becky Mead

Managing Director
Play Innovation

More about Becky
Becky Mead is the managing director of PLAY Innovation, a specialist consultancy in consumer-led innovation. PLAY’s approach to innovation and developing new products is built around hearing the consumer’s voice from exploration & ideation to shelf placement & post-launch review. PLAY has proven time and again that keeping the consumer’s voice in your ear at every stage makes innovation and product development less risky.

Scott Mendelsohn

Owner & FMCG Investor
Natural Raw C

More about Scott

Scott Mendelsohn is a businessman, entrepreneur, mentor, and one of the Australian FMCG industry’s big thinkers. With his strong relationship-building style and wide-ranging networks, Scott has developed innovative partnerships and collaborations in every chapter of his business journey. Scott started his working life at Macquarie Bank while completing a Bachelor of Business at the University Of Technology Sydney. His passion for business and strong investor networks have underpinned the success of all of his businesses and projects. Now, Managing Director of Australia’s leading and beloved coconut brand Natural Raw C, he has built the company from a humble start-up to a $30 + million turnover company employing staff nationally.

Meredith Nightingale

Food & Hospitality Development & Concessions Manager
David Jones Food

More about Meredith
Meredith began her journey as an apprentice chef at Rockpool, she has worked across a number of notable restaurants & resorts including Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley. Throughout her time at David Jones, she has progressed whilst working in both stores & support management including Head Chef, Group Operations Chef & her current role Food & Hospitality Development & Concessions Manager where she leads the business development & management of the Fresh Food, Hospitality & Concessions business. Meredith is driven by her passion for the food industry, customer experience & service excellence.

Craig Rochat

CEO & Acting CFO
Land of Plenty Food Group

More about Craig
Craig Rochat, a former David Jones National Buyer, joined Lotus & Ming in January 2011, partnering with his wife and company founder, Karen Lavecky. Following a successful expansion and growth program the company re-branded in 2016 to become Land of Plenty Food Co. Over the past 11 years Craig has driven the Land of Plenty business strategic, operational and financial direction. The impact of covid was significant for the group and Craig developed an investment and acquisition strategy titled LOP 2.0. It is from this strategy that the group will end FY23 having delivered record sales revenue and profit.

Cass Spies

CEO & Managing Director
Twisted Healthy Treats

More about Cass
Cass Spies is the CEO and Managing Director of Twisted Healthy Treats. Cass’ career began when she studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Food Technology, before travelling to London where she then spent 13 years in the Financial Services industry finishing her career on a high as a Global Project Manager. Upon returning to Australia in 2009 with a young family, Cass fulfilled her dreams of starting her own business and Twisted Healthy Treats was born. Fast-forward 13 years, Twisted produces healthy treats that have zero added sugar, or lower levels of sugar, are lower in calories and based on clean, natural recipes. Twisted’s treats are available in 2500 supermarket stores nationally, 5000 school canteens across AUS and they are now available internationally in the USA, MENA region and China.

Alice Storey

Co-Founder
Pure Pops

More about Alice
Food was always part of my story. Starting as a chef in 2005 and moving into the world of food styling and recipe development, it was on a shoot for Gourmet Traveller that fresh hand-made ice pops caught my eye. Pair this love of food with our love of fun – Georgi and I took our freshly squeezed Pure Pops to the Bondi Markets. Ten years on Pure Pops are stocked across Australia in over 700 locations. We are all about giving Australians a delicious natural and plastic free ice pop choice. This year we’re looking to pump up the pop and add a clean twist on some of the iconic Aussie ice creams. Alice’s favourite pure pop is pine lime coconut or double choccy!

Tim Sykes

Director
Gertrude Grocer

More about Tim

Tim is a seasoned buyer for Gertrude Grocer Melbourne supermarkets. Bringing a wealth of experience in the world of commerce and importing when sourcing great local products. Tim has a diverse background that includes running a drinks importing and distribution business as well as working in finance, bringing a wealth of knowledge to his current position when procuring new products to consider for the Gertrude Grocer offering. With a keen eye for identifying the latest trends and consumer preferences, Tim carefully curates the Gertrude Grocer shelves to ensure the product offering meets the needs for a discerning customer base whilst also creating a great experience for those wishing to explore new or undiscovered products.

Mia Van Tubbergh

Partner in Charge of Sales
Elm Professional Services

More about Mia
Radio star and Sales Executive Mia Van Tubbergh has over 25 years’ experience in sales, and led the successful “Grow your Business” program on Alive FM, North-western Sydney’s premier community radio station, for over 3 years. Mia understands the importance of well-trained sales staff who are highly engaged and motivated, and works with sales teams to ensure that they know the culture of the company and buy into the passion. Mia specialises in working in sales in the food, retail and FMCG space, and has relationships with over 900 stores and buyers across Australia- she often laughs that she spends more time on the phone with buyers than with her husband and kid.
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