Quarterly Keynote with Walter Robb, Former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market



Registration for this event is closed. Please join Naturally Chicago for our free Morning Mingles every Friday, 8:30-10 a.m., at LYFE Kitchen (413 N. Clark) and our Inaugural Naturally Chicago Insights, Thursday, June 6, 8:30-10 a.m., at SPINS (222 W. Hubbard; free for Naturally Chicago members, $10 for non-members. Check back soon for information about our next Quarterly Keynote.

Naturally Chicago’s first big event — the May 23 Quarterly Keynote featuring industry legend Walter Robb — was a sold-out smash!

Backing up Robb were Naturally founders and CEOs Tony Olson, SPINS; Brandon Barnholt, KeHE; and Jim Slama, FamilyFarmed, and inspiring Good Food Accelerator entrepreneurs Jordan Buckner, TeaSquares; Megan Klein, Field + Farmer, Ryan Pintado-Vertner, Smoketown; and Alison Velazquez, Skinny Souping.

Get all the dish in this Good Food News article by FamilyFarmed’s Bob Benenson.

Quarterly Keynote with Walter Robb, Former Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market
Thursday, May 23, 2019, 5:00-8:00 p.m.
BMO Harris 8th Floor Auditorium, 111 W. Monroe St., Chicago IL

$60 – Event Only – Quarterly Keynote with Walter Robb
$100 – One-Year Naturally Chicago Membership and Quarterly Keynote with Walter Robb Event

Naturally Chicago’s inaugural keynote speech will be delivered by Walter Robb, who oversaw the exponential growth of the Whole Foods Market company as its longtime co-CEO. His address will be preceded by a networking reception featuring beer, wine and (of course) Good Food from great producers and vendors who support Naturally Chicago. Along with the keynote, the program includes a panel of rising local entrepreneurs, remarks by Naturally Chicago co-founders, and audience participation in a q-and-a segment.

Here are the details:

5:00-6:15 p.m.

Doors open, and the NETWORKING RECEPTION gets under way. Thanks to our in-kind donors, attendees will enjoy delicious food from Field and Farmer (formerly Here Foods), Imperfect Produce, Jenny’s TofuSimple Mills, Sitka Salmon and Whole Foods Market; local craft beer from Begyle Brewing and Forbidden Root; and organic wine from Girasole Vineyards. In-kind services are provided by Chicago’s Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute. (Naturally Chicago thanks Washburne and FIG Catering for being Quarterly Keynote sponsors and Koval Distillery, Fruitbelt, Tempo and PRE Brands for their generous donations.)

6:15-8:00 p.m.

The Quarterly Keynote, featuring the following, will take place in the BMO Harris 8th Floor Auditorium:

  • Welcoming remarks by ERICA KUHLMANN, Managing Director and Head of BMO Harris Bank’s Food, Consumer and Agribusiness Group (and Naturally Chicago Board member), introduced by JIM SLAMA, FamilyFarmed CEO and Naturally Chicago co-founder.
  • Panel discussion featuring JORDAN BUCKNER of TeaSquaresMEGAN KLEIN of Field and Farmer, and ALISON VELAZQUEZ of Skinny Souping, rising-star CEOs who are graduates of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator and Naturally Chicago Board members. RYAN PINTADO-VERTNER — founder and principal of Smoketown, LLC and also a Naturally Chicago Board member — will moderate.
  • Remarks by Naturally Chicago co-founders BRANDON BARNHOLT, CEO of KeHE Distributors, and TONY OLSON, CEO of SPINS.
  • Keynote address by WALTER ROBB — now founder of Stonewall Robb Advisors and executive-in-residence at Seed 2 Growth (S2G) Ventures — who will share his expertise and perspectives on the rise of the Good Food movement, nationally and in Chicago, and the crucial role played by Whole Foods Market.
  • Audience Q-and-A