Education Event: Why Data is Worth the Investment

Thursday, Aug 22, 2019 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
networking nights/other event

To continuously provide education for real world situations, we present monthly Education Events. Learn from the experts how to succeed with your business!

Why Data is Worth the Investment

When: August 22, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Where: New Hope Network (5541 Central Ave, Boulder, CO 80301)
Subject Track: Business Essentials

With countless data metrics and service providers, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when trying to decide which data to buy, how much to purchase and how to put it to good use. Different organizations utilize data in unique ways, so it’s important to be certain you’re investing resources in the optimal place and using it to make informed decisions for your business. In this session, we’ll explore the types of information available to CPG and Emerging Cannabis brands, talk through a variety of usage occasions for applying different data metrics and discuss how your company can leverage the information to drive decisions in product development, acquisition targeting, brand equity tracking and more. Whether you are an entrepreneur, work for an emerging brand, are in private equity, or any other role in the CPG or cannabis world, smartly utilizing data can profoundly impact your daily responsibilities.

Learn from the Experts

Russ Forester – SVP Insights & Analytics, Hain Celestial. Naturally Boulder Board member.
Jessica Lukas – Vice President of Consumer Insights, BDS Analytics
Rich Clark – SVP of Sales, Perfect Bar
Shawn Edwards – Founder and Managing Director, Mindsight

Meet the Panelists

Russ Forester
Russ is a 15-year veteran of the Natural Products Industry. Throughout his career, Russ has held many roles at Hain Celestial, becoming an integral part of driving the growth from $400MM to nearly $3B in net sales today. Currently, as Senior Vice President, Analytics & Insights, Russ leads a team that provides category management expertise and consumer insights to drive the Company’s growth strategy. Russ holds positions on both the Supplier Advisory Councils at Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market. Russ also supports various corporate initiatives for Hain Celestial including acquisition targeting and due diligence as well as investor relations support. Russ is proud to call Colorado home for 22 years and considers himself a native in the heart of the natural products community. Russ Forester is a Naturally Boulder Board Member focusing on annual events and special opportunities. Russ lives in Boulder with his two daughters and Golden Retriever. Fun Fact: Russ moved to Boulder in 1995 to see a Phish concert at Red Rocks. He’s never regretted that decision and to date has seen over 100 Phish concerts.

Jessica Lukas
Prior to joining BDS Analytics, Jessica Lukas spent 10 years working with top global CPG and Beverage Alcohol companies at BASES (Nielsen Innovation) and on the shopper marketing team at Dr Pepper Snapple Group. After taking a short break to develop and launch an app with a business partner, Jessica returned to data analytics—but this time for cannabis. At BDS Analytics, she is the VP of Consumer Insights. BDS Analytics is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, and is the leader in data, market research, analytics, and consumer insights for the cannabis industry.

Shawn Edwards
Shawn Edwards is the founder and managing director of Mindsight, a consumer and brand research firm that specializes in providing growth-driving consumer insight to CPG enterprises of every size. Over the last 7 years, Shawn has led the growth and evolution of Mindsight to include 21 quantitative and qualitative insight professionals in two locations, all of whom service over 200 clients spanning multiple industries, categories, and countries. Prior to founding Mindsight, Shawn spent over 15 years in a range of consumer insight management and director roles at Kraft, Clorox, Microsoft, and WhiteWave. Through that experience and his tenure at Mindsight, Shawn has personally designed and managed nearly every type of custom qualitative and quantitative research. As a self-described research nerd, Shawn is passionate about using research to find out why people do what they do, and then using that insight to help create big business-building ideas. While he counts himself lucky to have played a part in many successful new product innovations, his best launches—and certainly his favorite ones—are currently ages 17, 12, and 10.


Members: $25, Non-members $35 (includes taco bar dinner).
Day of the event: Members: $30, Non-members $40.
Refund requests will be honored up to 48 hours before the event.

New Hope Network (5541 Central Ave, Boulder, CO 80301)

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