The Secret to Launching and Growing Successful Consumer and Retail Companies in Today's Marketplace
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The Secret to Launching and Growing Successful Consumer and Retail Companies in Today's Marketplace

When: Tuesday, November 7, 2017
6:00-8:00 pm
Where: Project Farmhouse
76 East 13th Street
New York, New York  10003
United States
Contact: Administrator

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The Secret to Launching and Growing Successful Consumer and Retail

Companies in Today's Marketplace:  Capturing the

Consumer's Preference for Sustainability and Sourcing Transparency.

Today’s consumer is more focused than ever on how and where the goods they buy are made. Hear from five company founders who are succeeding in competitive industries. From food to beauty to personal care, fashion and accessories, these businesses are all meeting the demands of an increasingly informed and engaged consumer.

The panel below will share how they got their start and why they have been successful. They will also share emerging trends in the business and how to stay ahead of them.

Join us at Project Farmhouse, a state-of-the-art, sustainable event space in Union Square where you will have the opportunity to network with these founders and other attendees at a reception with farm fresh hors doeurves and great wines. Join us for this lively, inaugural event of the new Consumer & Retail Committee of CBSACNY.


Diane Hatz, Founder & Executive Director of Change Food (moderator)

Diane is a nonprofit social entrepreneur who educates and raises awareness about food and farming. As Founder/Executive Director of Change Food and the Change Food Video Library, she advises, consults and develops creative projects to motivate people to take action to positively change the food system. She was founder/organizer for the TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” and Change Food Fest events, and has recently merged her event with the Seeds & Chips Summit in Milan, Italy, in order to create the largest food innovation event in the world. She is also Executive Producer of The Meatrix movies and founded several other food-based programs over her 20-year career in the food movement.

Yael Alkalay, Founder & CEO of Red Flower

From early experiments with botanical extracts in her childhood kitchen to watching her mother boil flowers and blend essential oils, Yael was fascinated by the art of scent from the very beginning of her life.  Yael continued her pursuit of botanical practices in college and expanded her study of the art of perfuming and purifying rituals by traveling throughout Japan, where she visited traditional bathhouses and hot springs. There she worked as Creative Director for the iconic Japanese cosmetics company, Shiseido, and later returned to the United States to work briefly for Calvin Klein and get her M.B.A. at Columbia University. But it wasn’t until a life-altering accident during her twenties when she fully grasped her purpose. While skiing on vacation in France, she experienced an intensive stroke that made her realize how fleeting life is and how essential it is to live fully, with appreciation and awareness. After making a full recovery, the spark of Red Flower was ignited. Yael was awarded the inaugural Eugene Lang Entrepreneurial Initiative Fund and founded Red Flower in 1999, opening a New York City boutique the following year. “My parents taught me to hold the sights, sounds and scents of a place in my mind to keep it alive. Now others can do the same.” - Yael Alkalay

Dan Horan, Chairman & CEO of Five Acre Farms

Dan has been creating and building food and farming businesses for nearly 30 years. He founded Five Acre Farms to keep farmers farming and bring the best local food to more people. Before launching Five Acre Farms, Dan served for ten years as President & CEO of Papaya King, the New York-based restaurant company, and was a General Manager at Gourmet Garage, an independent supermarket in New York City. In 1990, Dan founded Waldingfield Farm, an organic vegetable farm in Washington, Connecticut. As the business grew, he recruited his two younger brothers to join him, and Waldingfield Farm continues to operate to this day. Dan graduated from Tufts University and earned an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

Jamie Lewis (CBS '05), Founder of JLEW Bags

Jamie Lewis (aka "JLEW") is the founder of JLEW Bags, which handcrafts oversized bags, locally in New York City and principally sells direct to consumer. JLEW Bags are designed and handcrafted in New York using the world’s finest materials. It’s a work of love, done by hand at a small leather factory in Brooklyn. Her goal is to show the world that luxury can be made in America and the quality craftsmanship doesn't vary from the luxury leather collection to the cruelty free collection. Jamie was graduated from DePauw University from a management and entrepreneurship program, but moved to NYC on a dare to become an investment banker. Fast forward through twenty years of working on Wall Street plus earning her EMBA at Columbia Business School, she's finding her rhythm as an entrepreneur. Most recently she launched KNOCKOUT Times, a digital media asset championing women in sport. Her passion for boxing led to the creation of JLEW Bags, initially designed to carry all of her workout gear fashionably, as that product simply did not exist.

Jane Mosbacher Morris (CBS '12),  Founder and CEO of To The Market

Jane Mosbacher Morris is the Founder and CEO of To The Market, a socially-inspired business connecting ethical producers to businesses and consumers seeking social impact product. She previously served as the Director of Humanitarian Action for the McCain Institute for International Leadership and at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. She is the author of upcoming book Buy the Change You Want to See, scheduled to be published by Penguin RandomHouse/TarcherPerigee in November 2018. Morris is a member of VF Corporation's Advisory Council on Responsible Sourcing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, a MBA from Columbia Business School, and is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Sarah Ribner (CBS '16), Co-Founder of PiperWai

Sarah, a recent grad of Columbia Business School, entrepreneur, and certified aromatherapist is the co-founder of PiperWai, the first all-natural, charcoal based, non-toxic deodorant (that actually works). Childhood friend and co-founder of PiperWai, Jess Edelstein was inspired by Sarah’s dedication to clean living and decided she’d had enough of the struggle with harsh, chemical ingredients in conventional deodorants that irritated her sensitive skin. So she set out to invent her own formula. Excited to support a friend and complete a holistic health puzzle, Sarah was determined to put the deodorant to the test while volunteering on a service trip in South America. Together, they knew they found the “holy (healthy) grail” and refined the product. From there, they created a PiperWai community, undertook a successful crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo, pitched on Season 7 of ABC’s Shark Tank, and created a brand that is quickly becoming a household name! Since the airing of Shark Tank, PiperWai has grown into a multimillion-dollar brand with offices in New York and Philly. Sarah is a proud member of the EY Winning Women Class of 2017 and she has appeared on ABC, HSN, QVC, Fox and many other major media outlets.

Date:  Tuesday, November 7, 2017
6:00-8:00 pm (discussion 6:30-7:30; networking opportunities before and after panel)
Project Farmhouse, 76 East 13th Street, NY, NY
CBSACNY members $30; Non-members $45; more at the door! And, current CBS Students $30 with code ( for special code)
Your tickets include:  Wines by The Calling and by Joseph Carr - served thanks to the generous donation of Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits; accompanied by farm fresh appetizers from a local caterer.

SPECIAL OFFER Columbia Business School Alumni Club of New York offers TWO FREE events for new members who sign up for the first time ($85 or more).Click here to join now and then contact us for your promotional code before you register for the events of your choice (cannot be combined with other promotional codes; sports events, holiday parties and mixers are excluded.)


 This event was organized by the Consumer & Retail Committee of CBSACNY -- Deborah Schwartz (Chair), Felipe Marinho, Betty Wong, and Maurice Triquet.