Event Details


A Practical Guide to Innovation: Nurturing Creativity in Conscious CPG

Wednesday, June 5, 2024, 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.

MISTA, 1069 Pennsylvania Ave, San Francisco, CA 94107

Join us at MISTA for "A Practical Guide to Innovation," an evening mixer + panel discussion to explore why innovation matters to CPG businesses of all sizes and how companies can foster a culture of innovation to help drive growth.

Innovation comes in many forms — from invigorating sleepy categories by uncovering whitespace, to developing new go-to-market strategies, to creating new operational processes.

Our panel will discuss how innovation is defined, explore methodologies, and discuss practical tips and watch-outs for developing new products and processes.

Whether you're a seasoned industry veteran or a budding entrepreneur, this event promises to equip you with practical tools and strategies to propel your company toward success in the ever-evolving landscape of natural products CPG. You'll leave with fresh ideas and actionable insights.


5:00 - 5:30 Mix & Mingle

5:30 - 6:30 A Practical Guide to Innovation Panel

6:30 - 7:30 Mix & Mingle

Light bites & beverages will be provided.

PARKING/TRANSPORTATION: There are usually spots out front of MISTA or along Pennsylvania Ave near 25th street. There is a Caltrain stop 2 blocks away, but no Bart connections. Easy on/off from the 280 extension.


  • Krystal Dawson (VP, SMB Team Lead at NIQ)

    Krystal Dawson

    VP, SMB Team Lead at NIQ


    Krystal serves as Vice President, Account Development | North America Small, Medium & Emerging Brands Team Leader for the BASES division of NielsenIQ.

    She has been with NielsenIQ for 17 years with a breadth of experience in strategic relationship management across the CPG, Retail, Telecom, Rx to OTC, and B2B sectors. Her background includes a blend of hands-on research, insights leadership, and business strategy consulting that allows for creative avenues to address her client’s research needs with a key focus on actionability of insights and win-win outcomes.

    Within the Innovation vertical, Krystal not only manages a large portfolio of global clients, she also serves as a mentor, BASES Global Leadership Team member, and leads the DE&I framework for North America - aimed at connecting Diversity, Equity & Inclusion objectives to action and accountability, evolving and enhancing the BASES culture.

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  • Marc Halperin (CCO and Culinary Director of CCD Innovation)

    Marc Halperin

    CCO and Culinary Director of CCD Innovation


    Marc Halperin, CCO and Culinary Director of CCD Innovation, Inc., has 40 years of CPG and foodservice experience. Born and raised in the Central Valley of California, he studied biology (BA, Reed College), piano performance (M. Mus, Boston University) and cooking (Grand Diplôme d'Etudes Culinaires, École de Cuisine La Varenne). He lived in Paris for two years, where he worked as a translator, Chef de Cuisine aboard a luxury cruising barge and at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants.

    Combining his interest in pedagogy, food, and the arts, Marc embarked on his professional career as a chef, a restaurant and bakery consultant, and as a Chef Instructor at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. In 1992, he co-founded CCD Innovation, a new product development and commercialization agency for the packaged goods food and beverage industry.

    Marc’s primary responsibilities are to direct and oversee the range of product development services offered by CCDI as well as to manage the 100-plus member Chefs’ Council. CCDI’s clients include most of the largest international Fortune 500 food manufacturers and restaurant chains. Marc has written for a variety of consumer and trade publications, spoken before numerous trade organizations and was the long-time Menu Development columnist for QSR Magazine. He is a member of the Research Chefs Association and lives in Oakland, CA.

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  • Dave Hirschkop (Entrepreneur, Board Member & Mentor)

    Dave Hirschkop

    Entrepreneur, Board Member & Mentor

    I am a trained coach and mentor at ICA and SKU, who founded and exited two food companies. Also, I currently help create educational content for the Specialty Food Association (where I am in their Hall of Fame) and Naturally Bay Area.

    I founded, operated and successfully exited Dave’s Gourmet, a gourmet sauce company that won dozens of awards, gained enormous media coverage, and reached millions of consumers by selling to thousands of stores.

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  • Scott May (Founder of MISTA)

    Scott May

    Founder of MISTA


    Leader of Innovation and Strategy in the food and beverage industry with over 35 years’ experience. Currently the Founder and Head of MISTA as well as VP of Innovation for Givaudan. I define innovation as creating mindset, culture, and ways of working that enable a company to continuously evolve and adapt to changing conditions and opportunities, manifesting in the creation of new futures. I am passionate about creating new experiences that enable people, teams, and companies to integrate new thoughts, leading to new realities and paradigms.

    I founded MISTA with the purpose to transform the global food system to meet the needs of the future… an abundant future that nourishes and delights people and planet. Exploring, experiencing, reflecting, and integrating together, as an ecosystem, is how we achieve the purpose. If not us, who? If not now, when?

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  • Jaime Reeves (Executive Vice President of Product Development & Commercialization at Mattson Innovation)

    Jaime Reeves

    Executive Vice President of Product Development & Commercialization at Mattson Innovation


    Jaime Reeves is Executive Vice President, Product Development & Commercialization at Mattson. She is responsible for leading product development & commercialization across Mattson’s diverse R&D team and manages a broad range of client relationships.

    Prior to joining Mattson, Jaime held various roles in the food industry focused on innovation, commercialization, cost savings and process development. She led several award winning product development groups at Del Monte Foods. Jaime began her career at Frito Lay/Pepsico where she developed new innovation for Doritos, Cheetos and Frito Lay Branded dips and explored new novel technologies for the snacking category.

    Jaime earned a Ph.D. in food science from the University of California, Davis, MS in food science from University of Georgia and BS in food science from California Polytechnic State University, SLO. Jaime is currently on the IFT Board of Directors and Cal Poly Food Science and Nutrition Advisory Board.

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1069 Pennsylvania Ave, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

If you have any questions please contact Events Team

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1069 Pennsylvania Ave

San Francisco, CA 94107


There are usually spots out front or along Pennsylvania Ave near 25th street. There is a Caltrain stop 2 blocks away, but no Bart connections. Easy on/off from the 280 extension.