Webinar | Food and Beverage

CxO Panel Series: How the New Norm is Impacting the Food & Beverage Factory of the Future

CxO Panel will discuss how digital technologies are being leveraged and strategically adopted to add value and solve problems moving into the future.

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Duration: 60 Minutes
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This webinar is hosted by Food & Beverage Industry News and sponsored by Rockwell Automation Australia.

Food and Beverage manufacturers are constantly challenged with producing consistent quality products to meet consumer tastes and demands.

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many food and beverage companies, particularly around meeting step-change consumer demand, ensuring employee safety and keeping essential manufacturing operations running during these unprecedented challenges.

This panel will discuss how digital technologies are being leveraged to assist with these challenges and how they can be strategically adopted to add value and solve problems moving into the future.

Agenda includes:

  • Keynote Speaker: Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand
  • Topic: Improved visibility and supply chain flexibility through leveraging Cloud and IIoT Technologies​
  • Keynote Speaker: Stewart Coleman, Industrial Business Director, Beca Australia
  • Topic: Business benefits that Digital Twin can bring to build, operate and maintain the Food & Beverage Factory of the Future
  • Pre-discussion: Glen Jacob, Executive Account Manager - Food & Beverage, Rockwell Automation Australia
  • Topic: Food & Beverage Factory of the Future
  • Panel Discussion Moderator: Mike Wheeler, Editor - Food & Beverage Industry News
  • Panelists: Rockwell Automation, Microsoft, Beca Australia, GS1 Australia and Foodmach
  • Q&A session with the CxO panelists – great opportunity to ask the CxO panelists any questions


Meet the Panel:


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Glen Jacob
Executive Account Manager – Food & Beverage, Rockwell Automation Australia​

Glen has over 25 years’ experience helping manufacturers apply automation and OT technology solutions to make their manufacturing operations more productive. Motivated by the goal of sustainable growth for the Food & Beverage industry in the Australia and New Zealand region, Glen works with F&B manufacturers to solve productivity challenges and drive value from investments in IT/OT technologies and solutions.

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Vanessa Sorenson
Managing Director, Microsoft New Zealand​

A passionate advocate for Aotearoa, Vanessa is responsible for ensuring Microsoft empowers all its customers and partners to achieve more. She joined Microsoft in October 2017, after more than two decades at Spark, New Zealand’s largest telco. In her first role at Microsoft as Director of Enterprise, Sorenson was tasked with driving business growth, forging strong relationships, managing Microsoft’s large Enterprise sales team and working closely with partners and key stakeholders. Even with decades of tech experience, Vanessa doesn’t consider herself a ‘classic techie’ – rather she is driven by what technology can do for all New Zealanders. She is a noted champion of diversity and inclusion across the ICT industry, encouraging change, fostering diversity and inclusion, driven by the belief that D&I is not optional but essential. Having carved out an extraordinary career that has included both wins and losses, Sorenson has committed herself to a lifetime of actively mentoring other businesswomen to become the best they can be. Outside of work, Vanessa is passionate about education, championing equal access to technology for all children and encouraging girls to embrace STEM.

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Stewart Coleman
Business Director – Industry 4.0, BECA Australia​

Stewart has been working with clients in the industrial segments for a number of years providing traditional business and engineering solutions to meet their needs. This covers a wide range of services ranging from front end engineering studies, procurement, project delivery, business integration and operations & maintenance support. Recently, he has been investing his time into emerging technologies that allow new ways to solve problems and create efficiencies that previously were not viable. These emerging technologies will enable the company’s industrial segment to achieve the next step change in manufacturing efficiency. His goal is to increase the productivity of the industrial world by thinking differently, making these technologies tangible and delivering them effectively.

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Peter Carter
Director – Development & Innovation, GS1 Australia​

Peter directs new business and innovation activity through industry collaboration and leads GS1 Australia’s traceability and trade modernisation program. He is an agricultural economist, innovator and passionate advocate for digital transformation in industry and government.

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Earle Roberts​
CEO, Foodmach

Earle Roberts is the CEO of Foodmach, one of Australia’s largest advanced engineering-to-order firms. Earle has over 15 years’ experience in C-level leadership roles; encompassing advanced manufacturing, automation and machinery, engineering and robotics; with successful projects around the globe. Earle’s belief in engineering innovation and Industry 4.0 as a key factor in our future productivity and wellbeing has resulted in a slew of industry awards. He holds mechanical engineering and marketing degrees and an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Panel Moderator:

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Mike Wheeler
Editor, Food & Beverage Industry News, Prime Creative Media​

Mike has 20 years’ experience in media and communications. He joined Prime Creative Media as Editor and Senior Content Writer for Food and Beverage Industry News in 2016. Much of Mike’s work experience has been focusing on the food and beverage, consumer electronics, education and health industries, in Australia and internationally.