2020 Spark Change NEXTY Judges

Preliminary Judging: The first round of judging takes place in the New Hope Network office in Boulder, Colorado. Conducted by members of the New Hope Network content team, standards team, marketing team and NEXT Data & Insights team, our-in-house expert judges review hundreds of nominated products using these criteria to select 2-5 finalists in each category 

Final Judging: The final round of judging is conducted by a panel of invited industry experts, spanning specialties such as investment, retail, brokerage, social media influence, sustainability and more. These judges join the New Hope Network content team, standards team, marketing team and NEXT Data & Insights team to select the single winners within each category!

Jessica Beacom, RDN

Co-Founder, The Real Food Dietitians

Perspective: Influencer 

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with over 20 years of experience in food and nutrition. Together with fellow dietitian, Stacie Hassing, she creates delicious, approachable, gluten-free recipes that everyone can enjoy at The Real Food Dietitians.

Brandon Hernandez

Co-Founder, Whole Brain Consulting

Perspective: Operations 

Brandon Hernandez is a high-risk quality and food safety consultant with over 10 years of experience in every aspect of food safety, R&D and sanitation applications. With a B.S. in biology from Colorado State University and experience with Whitewave Foods corporate headquarters (formerly Zateca Foods), Rodelle/Custom Blending and Claremont Foods, Hernandez brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

Alaine Janosy

Global Platform Lead, Ecological Ingredients Development

Perspective: Sourcing

Alaine Janosy is the Global Platform Lead, Ecological Ingredients Development at Nestlé Purina PetCare. In this role, and in her work as an independent sustainability consultant to the food industry, Alaine works to create, enable, and expand strategies that drive adoption of regenerative farming practices. Alaine has worked extensively in sustainable agriculture and food production systems. Her past experience includes work with many top companies and organizations such as Nestlé, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Fairway Market, Slow Food USA, and Accenture. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as Co-Treasurer at Global Seed Savers, a nonprofit organization that partners with farmers to promote food sovereignty and climate resilient agriculture. She is also an advisor for Boundless Landscapes, a Public Benefit Corporation developing community embedded agriculture. She holds an M.A. in Food Systems from New York University and a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University.

Dave Janowicz

Vice President Merchandising & Retailer Operations, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy

Perspective: Retail

Mr. Janowicz has 39 years of experience in the food and drug store industry. Mr. Janowicz comes to Pharmaca from Supervalu, Inc. where he held the position of Corporate Merchandising Director in Health and Wellness. In this role, he was responsible for merchandising the Health and Wellness areas in all of the company’s 1,200 corporate-owned stores, as well as the 3,000+ independent retailers the company serviced. He served previously at Supervalu as the Merchandising Director in the General Merchandise and Seasonal categories. Prior to that, he spent 26 years with Albertson’s, American Stores and Jewel Companies holding management positions in merchandising, marketing and store operations. Mr. Janowicz holds a degree in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration and Economics from Illinois State University.

Olivia Omega

Co-Founder, Wallace Marketing Group

Perspective: Branding

As a TEDx speaker, diversity and inclusion advocate, and branding strategist, Olivia Omega is the co-founder at Wallace Marketing Group, and the author of Beautifully Branded: The Girl's Guide to Understanding the Anatomy of Brand You. Olivia is also the Founder Track Chair for Denver Startup Week, helping the world's largest free entrepreneurial event grow its DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) muscle.
With 20 years of corporate branding, advertising, and digital marketing experience, Olivia has studied the importance of authenticity for both brands and individuals, and what it means to show up in a genuine way. Half of her career was spent in corporate at an advertising agency and the other 10 years as an entrepreneur and small business owner. Brand identity played a large role in both.
Having worked alongside CPG brands and the natural food industry, Olivia was part of the original team at The Sterling-Rice Group who created the first NEXT Report and inagural NEXTY Awards.
Olivia has influenced the global brands of Frito Lay, Pepsi and Starbucks among others. She is a mom, wife, disco ball enthusiast and has been featured in USA Today, Entrepreneur, Business Week, People and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Olivia graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business and currently lives in Aurora, CO.

 

Alicia Robb

CEO, Next Wave Impact

Perspective: Investment

Alicia is the Founder and CEO of Next Wave Impact, an early-stage venture capital firm.  She was previously a Senior Fellow with the Kauffman Foundation for more than a decade (www.kauffman.org). Alicia received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She previously worked as an economist with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Office of Economic Research in the SBA. She is a prolific author on the topics of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial finance. She teaches workshops on angel investing and investor readiness around the globe.  She is an active angel investor, a limited partner in three early-stage venture funds, a mentor to various young firms, and an advisory board member for several nonprofit groups, including the Deming Center Venture Fund, the Kachuwa Impact Fund, and Vegan Investors.