Grant Ferrier is CEO and Principal of Nutrition Capital Network and Co-Chair of NCN Investor Meetings.
Grant founded Nutrition Business Journal in 1996, serving as Publisher, Editor-in-Chief and manager of the research team for more than a decade before selling the business to Penton Media. The NBJ segmentation and quantification of the nutrition industry has been cited by a wide range of government and private sources. Grant is also President and CEO of Environmental Business International Inc., a research and publishing firm he founded in 1988, and the publisher of Climate Change Business Journal and Environmental Business Journal. He has served as a lead consultant or principal advisor on proprietary consulting, research, and strategy development assignments in the both the nutrition and environmental industries, in addition to acting as a third-party advisor to several financing and M&A transactions and acting as an independent investor and/or board member in five companies besides his own. Grant has represented the nutrition and environmental industries in many government and business forums, testifying before three Congressional Subcommittees and serving on advisory committees for the United Nations, OECD, U.S. EPA and U.S. DOC. Grant has degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Conservation & Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Greg is one of the nation’s leading innovators in sustainable business, with two decades of experience in developing and managing companies associated with personal health, nutrition and environmental sustainability. Greg is CEO of Specialty Nutrition Group, Inc., a creator of branded and scientifically validated nutrition products. He has co-founded several branded nutrition and healthy living companies, including Brand New Brands, a functional food and beverage brand incubator, and Celsius, one of the first functional beverages with clinical studies proving efficacy. Greg served as turnaround CEO of Garden of Life and of GNC, where he was instrumental in expanding the company from $400 million to $1.5 billion in revenue. When GNC was acquired in 1999 by Royal Numico, he was Chairman of Royal Numico’s North American Executive Committee, overseeing all the company’s $2.5 billion specialty retail, mass market, and direct selling operations in North America. Greg is an NCN Principal and Chairman of the NCN Screening Committee
Michael Burgmaier is a Managing Director with Silverwood Partners focused on the food & beverage, healthy living and consumer sectors. Michael has been active in venture capital and M&A for consumer companies since the early 2000s. He has raised capital for numerous companies and clients, written business plans, prepared fundraising materials, facilitated exits and served on boards of venture-backed companies. At his former venture capital firm, CEI Community Ventures, Michael focused on natural, organic and premium consumer products and web 2.0/new media. He is also a former Consultant and Case Team Leader with Bain & Company, where he worked across several industries, including consumer products, biotechnology, durable goods and health care. Michael is the former Chair of The Natural Pasta Co. dba Putney Pasta and has served on the boards of The Rustic Crust, Be Products Co. (Be Fine Food Skin Care), Juno Rising dba ISIS for Women and Look‘s Gourmet Food Co. (Bar Harbor Foods). He has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University and a BA in Economics from Boston College. Michael is a member of NCN’s Selection Committee.
Matthew Roberts recently joined Abbott Nutrition as Head of Global Discovery. Previously he worked in Nestle’s Acquisitions & Business Development group, focusing on business utilization of food & life science technologies that add value by enhancing animal and human health & well-being. He has a long history of identifying target companies, completing value-added transactions, and working with companies to achieve growth post-transaction. He has served on the Board of Vet Centric and was a member of the Nestle Purina Pet Care’s Global Strategic Business Unit. As a Ph.D. research scientist, he managed laboratories focused on life science research, bioanalytical methods development, genomics, proteomics, and nutritional discovery. He is the author of 34 peer-reviewed scientific publications, 11 professional publications, five patents, and the editor of two scientific books. Matthew is an NCN Associate.
As a consultant since 1998, Bob Burke provides assistance in bringing natural, organic and specialty products to market across most classes of trade. This includes work in strategic planning, growth strategies, writing sales, marketing and business plans, budgeting, pricing, building distribution, broker selection and management, organizational development, strategic options, financing, branding, trade spending management and assistance around M&A, due diligence and venture strategy groups. He is also the co-author and co-publisher of the Natural Products Field Manual, Sixth Edition, The Sales Manager’s Handbook and Staking out Space on the Supermarket Shelf. Prior to consulting, Bob was with Stonyfield Farm Yogurt for 11 years as Vice President, Sales & Corporate Development and Vice President, Marketing & Sales. He has held marketing positions with Colombo, Inc. and Sperry Top-Sider. He received an MBA from Babson College.
Steve Allen is Chairman of the Screening Committee for Nutrition Capital Network Investor Meetings. Steve is former Vice-President, New Ventures for Nestlé in Glendale Calif. He has been in the food industry for over 20 years, working in Africa, the Middle East, the Far East and Switzerland. Prior to moving to the United States, he was head of the Nutrition Division of Nestlé in Canada. During his career he has had functional responsibility for marketing and sales, in addition to general management. His recent responsibilities were with the venture capital activities of Nestlé and the investments that Nestlé made in start-up companies in the U.S. and Canada. Steve has an undergraduate degree from the University of Leeds and a Master’s degree from the University of London. Nestlé is the number one food company in the world with sales over $90 billion. The company has a dominant position in nutritional products and is an acknowledged leader in research and development.
Tim Avila blends 20 years of experience in discovery, validation and branding of bioactive ingredients and consumer packaged nutrition products. He is the CEO of Systems Bioscience, Inc., a company specializing in providing Global Fortune 500 companies with business and product development knowledge regarding dietary supplements, natural and organic foods and consumer products and services. Tim’s client list includes Cargill, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble and Coca Cola. He also is General Manager of Zero Worries Foods Inc., the manufacturer and distributor of ZSweet brand all natural zero calorie sweetener. Tim is the inventor and developer of the ZSweet proprietary blend formulations. Before founding Systems Bioscience in 1997, Tim served with Metagenics, Inc. for five years, where he was responsible for numerous proprietary formulations. He was also advisor to Sambazon Inc. Tim passionately pushes boundaries for the nutrition and health & wellness industry and currently assists large and small companies in both consumer packaged and raw material innovations. Over the last 5 years, early stage ventures have been a focus with a raft of start-ups, incubator concepts and other industry-wide ‘farm system’ activities leading to successful new brands and companies via Tim’s ability to coach and guide entrepreneurs in all aspects of the venturing process. Tim has also worked as a Senior Executive Advisor to New Hope Natural Media Inc.
Ian Newton was formerly Director of Regulatory Affairs and Business Development with Roche Vitamins and DSM Nutritional Products. He actively participated in the global development of new ingredients and was responsible for regulatory affairs for vitamins and other nutritional ingredients. Ian was also responsible for North American market development and acquisitions for food and pharmaceutical ingredients and managed public relations and trade programs. Ian’s current activities include managing CERES Consulting and supporting clients as they look to launch and expand their nutritional products in the United States and Canada. In addition, he is a director of several health related companies and an active advisor for nutrition and trade associations.
Edward Hauck has held senior leadership roles in the natural products industry for over twenty years. He is currently a Principal at Nutrition Capital Network and a business consultant. Over his career, Ed has been a senior executive at multiple industry-leading organizations, including President of Healthy Directions, Chief Executive Officer of ProThera/Complementary Prescriptions, Chief Operating Officer at Stop Aging Now, and Executive Vice President at Great HealthWorks. Edward has led the successful sale process for three companies in the Natural Health industry that generated above-market multiples. He was the Co-Founder and Managing Director of a business incubator for Internet companies, Vector Development. Edward has an MBA from the JL Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and BA in Business and Economics from Wittenberg University.