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NAMA Reveals First 3 Speakers For Coffee Tea & Water Show

Posted On: 6/6/2011

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CHICAGO -- The National Automatic Merchandising Association reports that three inspiring speakers will share their experiences with conference-goers at this fall's Coffee Tea & Water Show. The event is set for Oct. 18 through 20 at Bally's Resort in Las Vegas.

Ross Colbert is executive director and global strategist at Rabobank (El Centro, CA). The beverage industry veteran's career has included service with Coca-Cola Bottling of Miami, Beverage Canners International and Cadbury Schweppes. Most recently he was managing director of mergers and acquisitions (Americas) for Zenith International, an international consulting, market intelligence and financial advisory firm specializing in the global food and beverage industry. At Rabobank, Colbert is responsible for developing the group's food and agribusiness research and advisory research portfolio.

Steven Smith cofounded Stash Tea Co. in 1972, and launched Tazo Tea Co. in 1994. At Stash Tea, he and two partners introduced iced herbal and specialty black teas to retail and foodservice accounts throughout North America. After Stash's acquisition by Yamamotoyama Tea Co. (Tokyo) in 1993, Smith established Tazo and developed more than 60 proprietary blends in multiple beverage formats. Starbucks Coffee Co. acquired Tazo in 1999. After a brief retirement, he organized Steven Smith Teamaker (Portland, OR), a blender and packager of premium full-leaf teas. He is recognized internationally as one of the tea industry's leading entrepreneurs.

Jeb Blount is chief executive of and author of People Buy You (Hoboken, NJ, 2010) and two other bestselling books on selling. He has more than 20 years' experience in sales and marketing, and an enviable record of turning around troubled organizations. As a public speaker, Blount is highly regarded for his ability to inspire his audiences to action. In his celebrated Power Principles keynote, he emphasizes five critical strategic steps: define what you want and write it down; invest in yourself, a little bit every day; get a coach -- and take action.

"We're still in the early stages of our planning," said NAMA director of coffee and water service Roger Stewart. "The Coffee Tea & Water Show promises to be a powerful experience that delivers tangible tools, resources and insights to help this critical segment of our industry continue to grow."

Current information on the event will continue to be available at NAMA's OCS website. Stewart also invites operators to check out the show's Facebook page, "Coffee, Tea & Water 2011."