The 2016 Agenda will be live this Fall! View the 2015 Agenda below

Monday, March 30th

9:00 am to - 3:00 am

NC&B Keynote Speakers, Conference Sessions (Las Vegas Convention Center)

9:00 am to - 3:00 am

VIBE Registration – Ballroom Foyer, 2nd Fl

10:00 am to - 7:00 am

Exclusive VIBE hotel check-in (for all VIBE attendees) Lounge-Casino Level

Look for The Mint Lounge. Directly across the casino floor from hotel check-in

Day One: Tuesday, March 31

8:00 am to - 5:00 am

VIBE Registration Open – Ballroom Foyer, 2nd Fl

9:00 am to - 5:00 am

VIBE Pinnacle Sponsor Lounge/Non-­Al Bar – Grand Ballroom 1-4

10:00 am to - 7:00 am

Exclusive VIBE hotel check-in (for all VIBE attendees) Lounge-Casino Level

Look for The Mint Lounge. Directly across the casino floor from hotel check-in

10:00 am to - 10:30 am

NC&B Show Floor Opens Exclusively for VIBE Attendees

12:00 pm to - 5:00 pm

Technology Innovation Center -­ Madison A‐B

12:15 pm to - 1:45 pm

Networking Luncheon -­ N9NE Steakhouse

2:00 pm to - 2:35 pm

Emcee Introduction and Welcome

Tony Abou GanimModern Mixologist

Welcome and Introduction with award presentation to Sammy Hagar who presents donations to CORE


About Tony Abou Ganim

Tony Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made dozens of national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNBC, Fox News and more. Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, […]

2:35 pm to - 3:35 pm

Opening Keynote

Addison-Casino Level

The New Vibe in Business
Joey Reiman

Joey ReimanBrightHouse

We can survive 40 days without food, four days without water but our minds can only survive 30 seconds without meaning. Human beings are meaning-seeking creatures who thirst for greater purpose. Purpose has emerged  as  the  most  powerful  tool  in  commerce  and  Joey  Reiman  has  come  forth  as  the  world's  leading expert on bringing purpose to the world of business, helping companies discover, articulate, and activate  their  purpose. Named One  of  the  100  people  who  will  change  the  way  the  world  thinks by  Fast  Company, Joey Reiman is CEO & Founder of the global consultancy & International Center for Applied Purpose, BrightHouse, a company whose mission it is to bring greater purpose to the world of business. Reiman’s newest book, The Story of Purpose: The Path to Creating a Brighter Brand, a Greater Company, and a Lasting Legacy, has been named by The News & Observer as one of the top 25 books for Corporate America. Reiman takes you on a storytelling journey of purpose-­‐driven companies that will help you guide, inspire,  and  transform  your  own  organization. You  will  learn what  makes  your  company  distinctive  and  discover the force behind your organization that no competitor can replicate, serving you the best meal for your soul.

About Joey Reiman

Named Oneof the 100 people who will change the way the world thinks by Fast Company,Professor Joey Reiman is CEO & Founder of the global consultancy,BrightHouse, a company whose mission is to bring greater purpose to the worldof business. JoeyReiman’s newest book is called The Story of Purpose: The Path to Creating aBrighter Brand, a […]

3:35 pm to - 4:20 pm

VIBE Vista Operator Awards – Tony Abou-­Ganim & Edward Korry

4:20 pm to - 4:40 pm

Supplier Awards – Donna Hood Crecca & Tony Abou‐Ganim

4:40 pm to - 5:00 pm

Logistics Break

5:00 pm to - 5:55 pm

Translating Trends into Opportunities

Darren TristanoTechnomic, Inc
Donna Hood-CreccaTechnomic, Inc.

Tapping into emerging trends is crucial to succeed in today’s take-share environment. With growth expected to remain slow throughout 2015, unique and exciting beverage programs can be the differentiating factor for restaurants looking to build incremental sales opportunities. Technomic adult beverage experts Darren Tristano and Donna Hood Crecca will share current market and consumer insights, outlining forward-thinking strategies to spark increases in drink sales and profits and improve guest satisfaction.

About Darren Tristano

Darren Tristano is an Executive Vice President at Technomic, Inc. and is focused on expanding the foodservice industry knowledge base and sharing this intelligence with operators, suppliers and other key players. Over the past 20 years, he has overseen the growth of Technomic’s Information Services division. On Technomic’s consulting side, Darren leads the company’s Restaurant […]

About Donna Hood-Crecca

Donna Hood Crecca is the Senior Director of the Adult Beverage Resource Group at Technomic Inc. She is a veteran of the drinks industry, having written about beverage alcohol in on-premise establishments and at retail for nearly two decades. Before joining Technomic, she was Publisher & Editorial Director of Nightclub & Bar magazine; prior to […]

5:55 pm to - 6:00 pm

Closing Comments -­ Emcee Tony Abou-­Ganim

6:00 pm to - 8:30 pm

The View…The Moon…and The Stars of VIBE Cocktail Party
Open for ALL Featuring Celebrity Mixologists

Marshall AltierEdrington Americas
Kathy CaseyKathy Casey Food Studios & Liquid Kitchen
Kyle FordRemy Cointreau USA
Kim HaasarudLiquid Architecture LLC
Jason LittrellCritical Mass Events
Duggan McDonnellE&J Gallo
Jeremy MerrittLuxco Spirited Brands
Adam SegerCampari America & Tree Top, Inc.
Charlotte VoiseyWilliam Grant & Sons

Day Two: Wednesday, April 1

8:00 am to- 5:00

Technology Innovation Center -­ Madison A­‐B

8:00 am to- 4:00

VIBE Pinnacle Sponsor Lounge/Non‐Al Bar – Grand Ballroom 1­‐4

8:00 am to- 4:00

VIBE Registration Open – Ballroom Foyer, 2nd Fl

8:30 am to- 10:00

Networking Breakfast – N9NE Steakhouse – Casino Level

9:00 am to- 2:00

Day 2 CORE Silent Auction – Final Bids taken until 2:00 p.m.
Grand Ballroom 1-­4

10:00 am to- 10:05

Emcee Welcome & Introduction

10:00 am to- 11:15
hour 15

Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down

David CommerCommer Beverage Consulting
Cindy BusiHardrock Café
Matt DurbinTGI Fridays
Mac GregorySaint Marc USA
Todd KronebuschBuffalo Wild Wings
Annica KreiderMellow Mushroom
Helen MackeyRuth's Hospitality Group
Addison-Casino Level
hour 15

This standing room only session is back for a fourth year and moved into the General Session by popular demand. This year, the panel will consist of beverage executives from multi-unit operations with hands-on experience with trying and sometimes failing as they keep up with the trends. Please join David Commer and panelists as they weigh in on their thoughts about what’s  hot and what’s not in a chain environment within the beverage category. Hear real life examples as our panelists share their thoughts and experiences on liquor, beer, wine and alcohol-free trends.

About David Commer

David Commer is a Chain Account Beverage specialist with over 35 years experience in the hospitality industry.  Since 2001, Commer Beverage Consulting has provided independent and unbiased beverage services and strategies to many hospitality clients including Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, Maggiano’s, Cheddar’s, Uncle Julio’s and Mimis Café among others.  On a project basis, Commer provides sales […]

About Cindy Busi

As Worldwide Beverage Director for Hard Rock International for twelve years, Cindy Busi oversees worldwide drink development, beverage standards, inventory/cost control systems, beverage sales, innovative drink promotions, menus, beverage marketing and beverage music initiatives for the global Hard Rock brand. Cindy has won numerous awards for the beverage programs she has developed, has been featured […]

About Mac Gregory

Mac Gregory is an executive senior leader, master mixologist, certified advanced sommelier, speaker, educator, columnist, beverage consultant, competition judge and top executive in the International Food and Beverage Community. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, but raised on the West Coast, Mac earned a degree in business from Arizona State University. He began his career in […]

About Todd Kronebusch

Todd Kronebusch is the Vice President of Food & Beverage Innovation, a National casual dining restaurant and sports bar headquartered in Minneapolis, MN with 1081 restaurants across the USA and Canada. Todd has worked for Buffalo Wild Wings for 12 years and in his current role he focuses on where Food, Beverage & Daypart’s Strategy […]

About Annica Kreider

AnnicaKreider is VP, Brand Development for Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers, a unique casual dining concept with over 175 units, currently experiencing double digit unit growth. In her role she is responsible for overseeing all areas of brand strategy and marketing including four walls, local store marketing, web properties, PR, menus and merchandising, consumer insights, product […]

About Helen Mackey

As the Vice President of Menu Strategy for Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Helen Mackey brings 15 years of experience to Ruth’s Chris Steak House. She is an executive level credentialed beverage executive, innovative brand marketer and noted culinary strategist. Helen is highly regarded for translating brands through beverage, food and innovative guest programs for transformative guest […]

11:15 am to- 11:30


11:30 am to- 12:30

Workshop Series # 1

Grand Ballroom 2-3

Annual VIBE Beverage Consumer Trend Monitor

Mike GinleyNext Level Marketing
Grand Ballroom 2-3

This session will feature the latest on-premise beverage trends from the Annual VIBE On-premise Consumer Trend Study. This is always one of our most popular break-out sessions because it is packed with actionable beer, wine and spirit cocktail trends that will help you sharpen your beverage program. The study is fielded exclusively for the VIBE Beverage Conference and includes questions supplied by the VIBE operators. This year’s study will also include questions supplied by the VIBE suppliers. The Annual VIBE On-premise Consumer Trend will be fielded in January, 2015 so that the information is the most current available for the March conference. All of the study’s 500+ participants will be on-premise national chain beverage consumers making the results highly actionable across beer, wine, spirit cocktail and alcohol free beverages. This year’s results will be presented along with the most recent drink menu visuals to help illustrate the key trends.


Kegs to Coravin– The New World of Wine Delivery Systems

George MiliotesDarden Restaurants, Inc.
Armando LuisVinfinity Systems, LLC.
Paige PetersonCoravin, Inc
Jordan KivalstadtFree Flow Wines

Preserving the wine and the bottom line are not mutually exclusive. Today systems exist to provide tasting flights of high end products with no risk of product loss. Bottles, boxes, cases, kegs, inert gas and vacuum systems provide options no matter what price point you seek to offer to your guests. Our session will demonstrate systems for wine containment, purchasing and preservation then we’ll taste some of the results

Hotels: Understanding the New Reality

Donna Hood-CreccaTechnomic, Inc.
Bob MidyetteFormerly Intercontinental Hotels Group
Emily WinesKimpton
Lou TropeDestination Hotels & Resorts

The hotel segment continues to be one of the fastest growing on-premise segments, but the complexity of the segment remains a challenge for many suppliers. Lodging operators need to innovate in multiple service areas, and the ability to keep guests on property and bring in outside consumers can drive success. This session will touch upon key themes and beverage trends impacting the lodging segment in 2015 and beyond, and will include a panel of three lodging operators that will discuss ways to succeed in this channel.

Technology Solutions You Can Use Monday Morning

Ben SalisburySalisbury Creative Group, Inc.
Annie AkinPatrick Henry Creative Promotions
Adam BillingsiMi Agency
Mark VidanoMarkeTeam Inc.

This panel will tap into the experience and knowledge of the top three marketing agencies currently serving multi-unit operators and explore their one-stop shop, turnkey technology offerings. While the technology tools available for restaurant & hotel operators are changing rapidly, we will explore the tools that are available today! Topics will include managing and executing promotions, education/training; incentives; and custom marketing materials

12:30 pm to- 2:00

Networking Lunch – N9NE Steakhouse

Casino Level

2:00 pm to- 3:00

Workshop Series # 2

Designing the Perfect Cocktail

Michael “Bumby” BombardStraight Up Beverage Solutions
Chad SolomanMidnight Rambler
John MilesSteelite International

Great ingredients are extremely important to making a great drink, but they are only as good as their counterparts and their creator… the glassware and the ice used is vital in delivering a great experience and the one delivering the cocktail needs to be well-versed in their art. Join us while we take a look at glassware trends, new styles, and why some Glassware could not only save you money, but could easily increase sales. We are also going to discuss Ice… its shapes, its clarity and how your ice can not only make a better drink and increase sales, but can save you money. Lastly, we are going to cover drink making techniques and bartender “tricks of the trade” that will ensure if you have great ingredients, the right glass, the perfect ice then you will have the perfect cocktail!

Do Casual Dining Operators Really Provide Value to Consumers?

Warren SolochekThe NPD Group, Inc.

Over the past five years Casual Dining chains have increased the level of promotional offerings offered to consumers. This has been done to drive visits in a slow/no growth environment. Yet, there has not been an increase in visits to CDRs since the end of the recession. The lack of growth among CDRs leads one to the conclusion that the promotions that are being run do not provide enough of a value to incent visits. The objective of this session will be to explore the promotion trends for CDRs since the recession ended and determine if the offerings are providing value. In the eyes of consumers, how does value get translated in restaurants beyond discounted prices? What strategies and tactics should be considered to drive visits and build customer loyalty to a chain?

What’s New on Drink Menus? Calorie Counts.

Darren TristanoTechnomic, Inc
Daniel HoffmanMarriott International
Maeve PesqueraFleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Winebar
Mary MeltonPF Chang’s

Are you ready for Menu Labeling? Starting December 1, 2015 restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations across the country are required to list calories on the menu, including for alcohol beverages, and to provide additional nutrition information upon request. Darren Tristano of Technomic will lead a discussion about the implications of the new federal regulations on your drink menu and your guest experience. Learn how the consumer may respond, and hear from top operators how they’re approaching compliance and menu development in the new age of transparency.

Technology Tools and Tactics for Today (and Tomorrow)

Ben SalisburySalisbury Creative Group, Inc.
Bob FenleyBeverage Metrics
Shawn GentryZiosk
Josh SaundersUncorkd

We will discuss the latest and greatest, customer-focused tools in use today. Tabletop kiosks put the ordering and payment processing in thehands of consumers, aid in the acquisition of loyalty program participantsand facilitate immediate customer feedback. We will also look at high techtools that help you manage inventory, control costs, increase sales,reduce labor, and provide real-time analytics and pricing intelligence.

3:00 pm to- 4:00


3:15 pm to- 4:15

Workshop Series # 3

Providing an Operator Edge with Big Data

Bill PecorielloGuestMetrics
Brian BarrettGuestMetrics
Wolfgang LindbauerMarriott Worldwide
Vincent PolcariGlynn Hospitality Group
Tony QuintalQuaker Steak & Lube
Knowing your consumer

GuestMetrics is combining their data resources to credit card demographics and linking the “who” behind the “what” (time, place, occasion, items ordered); this allows operators to better target their customers with the best product offerings to drive sales and traffic.  These operators are also using the latest Business Intelligence tools and Benchmarking to determine assortment and pricing; and using Category Management tools to work with suppliers (promotional programs, measure returns) to improve their profits and gain and edge in the market. The discussion will help other operators and suppliers understand that in the era of Big Data, ground breaking insights about  the consumption behavior of their own consumers and the overall market place can be used to improve profitability by better understanding their consumers, how they drink/eat and how to price/assortment/promote in order to maximize profits.

Better Taps, Better Beer, Better Profits

Stephen BeaumontBeaumont Drinks
Patrick KirkBuffalo Wild Wings
Marc SawyerWorld of Beer Francising
Marty SchusterSiebel Institute of Technology
Cian B. HickeyMicro-Matic

Co-author of The Pocket Beer Guide 2015 and The World Atlas of Beer, Stephen Beaumont, leads a panel of draft beer experts who will show you how and why your beer taps may right now be costing you money, and how to remedy the situation. Topics covered will include gas mixtures, keg sizes and profitability, foaming and line infection, the growing use of one way kegs and how to pour the best – and most profitable – pint of ale or lager.

Harper A-B

Bar Roll Outs – Refreshers and Re-Do’s

Kathy CaseyKathy Casey Food Studios & Liquid Kitchen
Ashley CeraoloCalifornia Pizza Kitchen
Max EnnamanyLandry's Inc.
Brad WardWalt Disney Parks and Resorts
David MorganOmni Hotels
Harper A-B

Is your bar layout relevant to today’s offerings? Does your concept need a total beverage overhaul? Do you struggle with rolling out seasonal beverage LTO’s? Does your training program embrace today’s worker? Join Kathy Casey and industry leaders as they share their personal experiences, tips and techniques, challenges and successes for new beverage program roll outs from total re-do’s to brand beverage refreshers to LTO best practices. Seminar will cover defining new programs, bar layout and smallwares for today’s fresh beverages, how to get consistency, consistency, consistency, training and taking it to the field.

Ballroom 5-6

Social Media Targeting And Tools In The Alcohol Beverage Space: Keeping it Legal

Elizabeth DeContiGrayRobinson, P.A.
Ballroom 5-6

It is not a fad. Social is mainstream and it is here to stay. Are you a retailer trying to understand how to talk to your consumers in a legal, compliant way, using social media? Are you trying to use supplier dollars to create alcohol beverage programs involving social media, through engagement, devices, and more? We market socially now online, via mobile, and on the premises using tablets and other devices. “Tied house” laws, which govern the financial relationships among all three tiers are not keeping pace with our social world. Members of all three tiers are moving to technological marketing, and need to understand how to integrate traditional tied house restrictions into this activity in order to keep things legal. We will discuss some examples of state alcohol beverage enforcement policies in the social media context, and will also address how to use social targeting and tools in state environments where specific policies have not been adopted yet.

4:15 pm to- 4:45

Networking / Travel Break

4:45 pm to- 4:50

Emcee Welcome Back to General Session: Tony Abou-­Ganim

4:50 pm to- 5:55
hour 05


Stanley NovackSammy's Beach Bar & Grill
Cindy BusiHardrock Café
Stuart MeliaCraftworks Restaurant & Breweries
John O’ConnellHyatt Hotels
Rob FarringtonTGI Fridays
hour 05

Learn how this year’s honorees actually put together their award winning programs so that you and your organization can start generating ideas for next year and maybe even receive your own VIBE Vista Award.  You’ll hear the answers to such questions as:

  • Where did their ideas come from?
  • What were their objectives?
  • What were they trying to achieve?
  • How did they develop their program?
  • What was the basis – product, seasonal, trend, food, health, corporate initiative,
  • Whom did they need to sell the program to (within their organization) and how did they go about it?
  • Who was involved in program development?
  • Did they have both internal & external resources?
  • How did they decide on timing, POP material and advertising?
  • Did they do any external advertising (LTO, FSI, etc.)
  • What role did staff and management training play and who developed that training?

And, you will have the opportunity to ask your own questions.

About Stanley Novack

Stan Novack, recognized as one of the “Marketing 100″ by “Advertising Age”, was responsible for the creation, development and implementation of the “Cheers” branded theme restaurant concept based on the television series. He pioneered the development of other specialty concepts including micro-breweries, sports grills, wine bars and Irish Pubs in non-traditional environments.Working with entertainment icons, […]

About Cindy Busi

As Worldwide Beverage Director for Hard Rock International for twelve years, Cindy Busi oversees worldwide drink development, beverage standards, inventory/cost control systems, beverage sales, innovative drink promotions, menus, beverage marketing and beverage music initiatives for the global Hard Rock brand. Cindy has won numerous awards for the beverage programs she has developed, has been featured […]

About Stuart Melia

Stuart is a creative Restaurant Executive with 20 years’ experience in Hospitality. Upon moving to the United States from England in 1995, Stuart embarked on a successful career with Darden Restaurants making an impact in various roles from Operations & Concept Development to New Restaurant Openings. In 2004 Stuart joined Logan’s Roadhouse as Director of […]

About John O’Connell

John O’Connell has over 30 years experience in the industry and has spent the last 23 years with Hyatt Hotels, holding a variety of positions during that time. He is a consummate beverage professional and is an accomplished mixologist as well as a Certified Sommelier. Mr. O’Connell has helped define many of the aspects of […]

About Rob Farrington

As the U.S. Director of Bar & Beverage Innovation, Rob Farrington leads all beverage and bar strategic initiatives including marketing platforms, innovation and promotional strategies. A versatile and savvy marketing executive with over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry delivering strategic marketing plans, new product launches, creative advertising and customer focused solutions with […]

5:55 pm to- 6:00

Closing -­ Emcee Tony Abou-­Ganim

6:00 pm to- 8:00

Rockin’ on the Rocks Happy Hour & Hors d’oeuvres – The Moon

The Moon 53rd Floor