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Speaker Topics for Sessions NIA 2023 Ojai

22 Billion Plastic Bottles. 

Americans throw away enough plastic bottles each year to circle the earth four times. Every hour, we throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles. Research shows only a tiny fraction of those bottles make their way through the recycling process. More than 95% of those bottles end up in landfills or worse.

What are legislators, retailers, and consumers doing to drive change? How can brands drive consumer loyalty through a responsible packaging strategy? And how do you ensure product protection with a sustainable packaging solution?

Rosalynd Resendiz,

Vice President of Supply Chain, TricorBraun

With 20 years of experience, Rosalynd is a seasoned packaging professional and currently leads TricorBraun’s supply chain efforts to support customers’ dynamic packaging requirements.

Rosalynd received her Bachelors in Packaging Science and Masters in Business Administration from Clemson University, followed by 15 years of engineering and manufacturing experience.

Adam Akerman

Co-Founder and CMO, BioBottles USA

A free thinker and creative that has a special talent for seeing what others have not, Adam specializes in brand creation, marketing, strategic thinking, and business development.

Adam is using his skills to bring BioBottles and Plastic IQ Technology to thepackaging industry and beyond as he pioneers more responsible packaging solutions that are both good for brands, consumers, and the planet.

A Flash in the Pan: The Fallout from the CBD, Cannabis, and Emerging Medicines Gold Rush

The legalization of hemp and its derivatives under federal law as well as the state-by-state legalization of cannabis have left very few winners in the room. For most, the experience left them nearly bankrupt and bereft of business opportunities. With emerging medicines, like psilocybin, the experience is rounding out to be similar to that of cannabis and CBD. In order to survive these industries, respectively, entrepreneurs and businesses need to be mindful of the state versus federal conflicts, including enforcement by the FDA and FTC, the lack of bankruptcy protection (at least for cannabis and psilocybin), and the need for serious due diligence by outsiders looking to come in.



Hilary is one of the premier cannabis business and regulatory attorneys in the United States, and is licensed to practice law in California, Washington and Florida. As chair of Harris Bricken’s Regulated Substances practice group, she helps cannabis companies of all sizes with their cannabis related business and regulatory needs.

Since joining Harris Bricken in 2010, Hilary has earned a reputation as an exceptional and fearless business law attorney. Hilary’s clients - startups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development – value her bold approach to business strategy.

In 2017, the American Bar Association named Hilary one of the top 40 young lawyers nationwide. In every year since 2014, Hilary has been chosen as a “Rising Star” lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine.

When will profitability, (and M&A activity) return to the industry?

With the economic questions mounting from the current state of the globe, prior cycles indicate that this may be an active time for M & A. Whether you’re looking from the buy-side or the sell-side, what if anything is different this go around from the world of finance in our space and what can be learned from the latest M & A, angel investing and capital market activity.

Eric Groman,

Senior Vice President

Jefferies LLC 

Consumer & Retail Investment Banking - Health, Wellness & Nutrition Practice

Eric Groman is a Senior Vice President in the Consumer & Retail group at Jefferies Financial Group (NYSE: JEF), a global investment bank, capital markets, asset management and financial advisory firm across 30+ international offices. Within the Consumer & Retail practice, Eric focuses entirely on the Health, Wellness & Nutrition sector, with particular experience advising brands and suppliers across the value chain in the nutritional supplement category.  Since joining Jefferies in 2020, Eric has advised on a range of M&A and capital raising transactions for clients including Best Formulations (sale to Sirio in 2023), Nutrafol (sale to Unilever in 2022), Emerson Ecologics (sale to Fullscript in 2022), Gryphon Investors (acquisition of Metagenics in 2022), Capstone Nutrition (sale to INW in 2021), Onnit (sale to Unilever in 2021), The Bountiful Company (sale to Nestle in 2021), and Wellful (financing for its acquisition of Adaptive Health in 2021). 

Eric has a BA from Harvard University where he graduated cum laude with a degree in economics.

Is FDA functioning at all?

CBD was booted to Congress by FDA (again). NAC was targeted, the agency was sued and reversed course and now the agency is repeating that pattern on NMN, which some say is a form of niacin. The agency is pushing hard for mandatory product listing but can’t seem to use search engines to find previously removed ingredients reappearing on the web. More natural products will come forward that may have applications as both drugs and foods and the agency seems ill-equipped to deal with that future. Has the time come to move dietary supplements to an agency that will manage them?