January 22nd at 1:00 PM

NYC Consumer Goods Summit - Multiple Panels

New York


Panel Topics:

  1. Cannabis Panel: Emerging Landscape of Regulated Cannabis & Hemp Consumer Products
  2. PE Panel: What’s for Sale, What’s On Sale and Who’s Buying in the 2020 Consumer and Retail M&A Market
  3. IB Panel: Perspectives on the State of the Consumer Deal Market
  4. Executive Panel: Building a Brand and Attracting Customers Without Breaking the Bank


1:00 PM – 1:30 PM: Registration 
1:30 PM – 2:20 PM: Cannabis in Consumer Goods Panel
2:30 PM – 3:20 PM: PE Panel 
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM: Short Break
3:50 PM – 4:40 PM: IB Panel  
4:50 PM – 5:40 PM: Executive Panel 
5:40 PM – 7:00 PM: Cocktail Reception


Cannabis Panel: Emerging Landscape of Regulated Cannabis & Hemp Consumer Products
As the cannabis and hemp industries become legalized in different states across the country a variety of niche consumer products are coming to market while at the same time established consumer package goods companies are beginning to develop products for the broader consumer base. This panel will explore which large and small consumer segments are likely to be successful on a long-term basis, where investment capital is flowing into the cannabis related consumer space and how larger established consumer packaged goods companies are beginning to develop products containing cannabis and hemp derivatives.

Nate Whigham, President at EN Capital

Jeffrey Friedland, CEO at FC Global Strategies LLC
Alec Burkin, Director at Abacus Health Products, Inc. 
Laura Eisman, Co-founder at Her Highness

PE Panel: What’s for Sale, What’s On Sale and Who’s Buying in the 2020 Consumer and Retail M&A Market
The changing American consumer is creating uncertainty in the M&A market. As the buying power of millennials increases, consumers spent more in 2019 on the digitally advanced, the ethically sourced and the wellness-inducing. Despite a robust first half of 2019, though, M&A dipped in the third quarter and continued to trend downward in both volume and value. Financial investors in the consumer and retail space will continue to be challenged to separate fads from meaningful market trends, while navigating competitive transactions and international supply chain concerns. In this conversation, we will explore which sectors private equity investors feel can withstand an economic decline, their risk tolerance for products manufactured in China, and emerging trends that will dominate the 2020 M&A market and beyond.

Brian Francese, Partner at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP

Michael G. Knapp, Associate Director at Levine Leichtman Capital Partners 
Sarah Foley, Partner at SWAT Equity Partners 
Zack Vertsman, Vice President at TZP Group
Katie Storer, Vice President at The Carlyle Group

IB Panel: Perspectives on the State of the Consumer Deal Market
The deal market in Consumer Goods is in a state of upheaval as a number of external forces are reshaping the way consumer goods companies do business. The most important challenges include the increasing power of Amazon as a distribution channel, the decline of the department store channel, the desire of consumers to buy products whenever and wherever they want, and the impact of China tariffs on company cost structures. At the same time, these challenges present opportunities for emerging and digitally native brands who can now come to market with much lower barriers to entry than legacy brands in the past. Join us for a conversation with some of the leading Middle-Market Consumer Investment Bankers, as we explore how these forces and others are affecting the ability of consumer goods companies to raise capital in the coming year. 

Richard Baum, Managing Partner at Consumer Growth Partners

Richard Kestenbaum, Co-founder & Partner at Triangle Capital, LLC.
Mary Ann Domuracki, Managing Director at MMG Advisors, Inc.
William Susman, Managing Director at Threadstone Advisors
Billy Busko, Managing Director at Consensus Advisors

Executive Panel: Building a Brand and Attracting Customers Without Breaking the Bank
Large corporations have multi-billion dollar marketing budgets and teams of brand managers and analysts; lower middle market companies do not. So, how can a smaller consumer business compete for customers and build a brand when it’s up against the industry’s biggest players? 

  • What are some the most cost-effective forms of advertising in today’s market?
  • How do executives measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns? What has worked, and what hasn’t worked?
  • How do larger companies compete with their nimble upstart competitors?

Hear from executives about how they are building consumer awareness for their products, without the benefit of a $100M ad budget.  

Chris Sheeren, Partner at Longhouse Partners, LLC.

Chris Hamer, Founder at CrowdFlik, Inc. 
Justin Cupps, SVP of North America Wholesale at Under Armour
Jim DeCicco, Oldest Brother and CEO of Kitu Life, Inc


  • Opus Connect Members: No Charge 
  • Non-Members (On or before January 17th): $395
  • Non-Members (On or after January 18th): $495

By Invitation Only 

Opus Connect is a membership-based organization.  
If you have any queries, please contact lena@opusconnect.com  
*Opus Connect adheres to a strict no cancellations, no refunds, no application of registration fees to future events policy.  
Qualified substitutions are accepted. To send a substitute, please notify lena@opusconnect.com  
**Opus Connect reserves the right to refuse entry to prospective attendees 


Ice Miller
1500 Broadway
Suite 2900
New York, New York, 10036


This event starts on Wednesday January 22nd at 1:00 PM EST.


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Brian Francese
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
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Chris Sheeren
Longhouse Partners, LLC.
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Nate Whigham
EN Capital LLC
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Richard Baum
Consumer Growth Partners
Managing Partner


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Alec Burkin
Abacus Health Products, Inc.
Director of Business Development
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Billy Busko
Consensus Advisors
Managing Director
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Chris Hamer
Founder and CEO
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Jeffrey Friedland
FC Global Strategies LLC
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Jim DeCicco
Kitu Life, Inc.
Oldest Brother and CEO
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Justin Cupps
Under Armour
Senior Vice President, N.A. Wholesale
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Katie Harris Storer
The Carlyle Group
Vice President
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Laura Eisman
Her Highness
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Mary Ann Domuracki
MMG Advisors, Inc.
Managing Director
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Michael Knapp
Levine Leichtman Capital Partners
Associate Director
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Richard Kestenbaum
Triangle Capital, LLC.
Co founder and Partner
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Sarah Foley
SWAT Equity Partners
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William Susman
Threadstone Advisors
Managing Director
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Zack Vertsman
TZP Group
Vice President


Event Over
This event has concluded.