Organizers for Cannabis Products Exchange have announced the keynote speakers for the 2021 event, slated to be held virtually April 27-28.
Santi Proano, Lighthouse Director, Ocean Spray, will open the event with the first keynote address. Proano has more than a decade of experience creating disruptive innovation and building brands across CPG, hospitality and micro-enterprises.
Proano currently lends his passion for positive impact by leading the Lighthouse Incubator at Ocean Spray, focusing on health and wellness with new brands including CarryOn, a line sparkling CBD-infused waters. Featuring Relax and Recover varieties, CarryOn launched in June 2020.
An American native of Ecuador, Proano is a student of culture, passionate about helping others reach their potential. After graduating with a B.S. in accounting, he began his career at Starwood Hotels. He then served as a Peace Corps micro-enterprise volunteer, helping low-income coffee growers in Ecuador develop their own brand of coffee.
Since receiving his MBA from the University of Michigan, Proano has worked on renovation of legacy brands at Kraft Heinz and served as a founding member of the Innovation Lab at Tyson Foods, including the creation of alternate protein brand RAISED & ROOTED, as well as YAPPAH!, a concept inspired by a tradition in his homeland.
Keith Villa, Ph.D., co-founder of CERIA Brewing Co., will give the keynote address on April 28.
Villa is the creator and former brewmaster of Blue Moon Brewing Co. during his 32-year career at MillerCoors. He created the cloudy, unfiltered Belgian-style beer, first brewed at the 10-barrel Sandlot Brewery inside Denver’s Coors Field, that would go on to become the No. 1 craft beer in America, helped in part by the Valencia orange slice he suggested bartenders place on every rim.
Now retired from Coors, Villa and his wife, Jodi, are focusing on the next stage in their careers — development of the premier commercially available craft beer infused with THC and CBD. Their CERIA (rhymes with “area”) Brewing Co. launched the non-alcoholic cannabis brew in December 2018 in Colorado. Plans are to expand to other states where the use of recreational cannabis is legal.
Villa earned an undergraduate degree in molecular biology from the University of Colorado Boulder. His first job in 1986 was conducting molecular biology research on yeast for the Coors brewery in Golden. He later earned a Ph.D. in brewing science and fermentation biochemistry at the University of Brussels.
CERIA Brewing Co. offers two cannabis-infused, dealcoholized beers:
- Grainwave, with 5 mg THC — a medium-bodied Belgian-style White Ale brewed with blood orange peel and coriander
- Indiewave, with 10 mg THC and 10 mg CBD — a West Coast IPA made with light caramel malts and Cascade, Citra, and Amarillo hops
The company also offers dealcoholized, non-infused versions of both beers.
Backed by Cannabis Products Magazine, along with Prepared Foods, Food Engineering and Food Safety Magazine, CPX21 also will lay the groundwork for merging the federally regulated food and beverage industry with the fragmented legal cannabis edibles and beverages industry.
For more information or to register, preparedfoods.com/CPX.
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