Meet Our Speakers
Learn more about the speakers for Cold Chain Council 2019, Food & Beverage.
Food Logistics Magazine
Lara L. Sowinski is the editorial director of AC Business Media’s Supply Chain Network, which includes Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive. In her current role, she is responsible for developing executive level content for both brands. Sowinski started her career with positions at Fritz Companies (acquired by UPS in 2001) and Sony Corporation of America. She also served as Editor of World Trade WT100 before joining Food Logistics. In 2011, Sowinski was the first recipient of the Transportation Marketing & Sales Association’s Russell Award for Editorial Excellence, which recognizes editorial excellence for journalistic coverage of the transportation and logistics industry.
Jon leads Riskpulse’s forecasting operations and consulting services for energy, agriculture, and supply chain logistics. Based in Chicago, Jon brings over 30 years of experience and is widely considered one of the foremost experts on the impact of weather and climate on global commodities.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in meteorology, he spent 18 years on Wall Street in the commodity divisions within Citigroup focusing on risk management in agriculture, energy, and the financial sectors. At the end of Jon’s tenure, he was Chief Meteorologist of Citigroup. At Citigroup, he was recruited by Chesapeake Energy in 2003 and spent 10 years as Chief Meteorologist responsible for monitoring global weather/climate and its impact on energy and agriculture. His team developed state of the art tools to aid in mid-range and intra-seasonal forecasting and applied them to energy and agricultural risk management/hedging.
In 2015, Jon was given the prestigious Award for the Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology at the national AMS (American Meteorological Society) meeting for a distinguished career in applying meteorological and climatological knowledge to the energy, industrial, and agricultural sectors. In January of this year, Jon was awarded the Kenneth C. Spengler Award for outstanding vision to advance to role of meteorology in the new energy economy and outstanding leadership of the AMS Energy Committee and its conference.
Kombuchade was created by Matt Lancor, a local Rugby player for the Chicago Lions. He was on a mission to ﬁnd a functional beverage that was actively aiding his health and wellness journey. After trying Kombucha for the ﬁrst time in Seattle at the 2014 USA Rugby National Championships, he came back to Chicago and founded Kombuchade in June of 2015. Utilizing his skills as an engineer from the University of Illinois, Matt has blended the best of the western scientific world, with an ancient healing beverage from the east. Kombuchade’s different blends are created by brewing a batch of organic herbs and teas, then the solution is fermented in glass with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). What you get is an effervescent, probiotic sports drink, designed for high performance athletes.
After a decade of playing high level Rugby, Matt is no stranger to head knocks and concussions. Driven by personal experiences, his vision to provide a recovery drink for performance athletes and military veterans is coming true by this summer. In the form of Kombuchade infused with CBD & Phycocyanin (A high potency algae extract), formulated to maximize inflammation relief and provide neuroprotective benefits.
Commercial CC Manager
CN Intermodal Group
Kerwin Belle was appointed Commercial Manager – Cold Supply chain in August 2016 based in Brampton, Ontario Canada. He oversees the sales and marketing business development for CN’s domestic and International cold chain groups and is responsible for the retention and growth of approx $150M of revenue for the company’s Intermodal division.
Kerwin has spent over 19 years in transportation both in sales and operations and was most recently with NFI Industries as part of their first international based sales office in Toronto, ON. He is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree. He is the father of 3 children and spends time away from work by coaching youth baseball teams in Brampton.
R&D Technical Manager
Starbucks Coffee Company
Kieran Murphy leads the R&D process engineering team at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, WA. His background includes working in food additives, medical device and life sciences. He started his career in his home city of Cork, Ireland and immigrated to the US and started working for Starbucks R&D in 2013. His work at Starbucks focused initially on soluble/instant coffee products and ingredients within Starbucks-owned manufacturing plants. Kieran is passionate about bringing new innovation and products to Starbucks at an industrial scale. Kieran and his team have successfully scaled multiple products from lab-scale innovation to full scale manufacturing and distribution across the Starbucks platform.
While producing products at a large-scale, the Starbucks process engineering team strive to maintain Starbucks ethics and values in providing high end, natural and clean-label products.
Most recently, the Starbucks process engineering team has been focused on bringing new cold-coffee platforms to Starbucks. Kieran led the development of a new, patented process for producing cold-brewed coffee.
Herbalist/Educator/Public Speaker/Natural Products Promoter & Consultant; Advocate for the Use of Hemp as A Whole Plant, with all its Benefits. Founder/Owner of Hempress Tea, Authentic Hemp Chai Tea.
Diana Marie, Master Herbalist, has over 30 years of experience in the natural health industry. Diana founded The Front Range Herbal Institute, an herbal and natural health education company, which has educated over 150 students since 1997. Diana is a much sought after speaker on natural health topics and has spoken at the University of Colorado in Boulder, the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, and is a regular speaker at Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers throughout the state of Colorado. She has managed the Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage in Evergreen, Colorado, and was formerly a partner with Innovative Sales, a natural products brokerage company.
For the last quarter of a century, Diana has been passionately involved in all things natural. From being an educator and Master Herbalist to living off the grid for eight years, Diana is astutely aware of the natural world, while at the same time acting as a communication bridge between consumers and natural products. Her motto has always been “Food is Medicine;” and while supporting local farmer’s markets and organic farming, she has dedicated herself to educating consumers about healthier choices in what they consume and what they believe. Diana’s unique life experiences, education, and communication skills have given her the keen ability to take complex scientific information and present it in a way that is highly digestible.
Her oldest passion, Hemp, known as a medicine, a food, and a plant for utilitarian purposes for centuries, has recently become the center of attention in a world where the terms “CBD” and “cannabinoids” are becoming commonplace. Seeking to educate medical professionals and consumers about this plant as an herbal remedy has become her new focus while evolving the up and coming hemp-based beverage company, Hempress Tea.