Below is information about our 2019 speakers.
Food and Beverage Services Leader, Marcum LLP
Louis Biscotti is the national leader of Marcum's Food and Beverage Services group. He has been an entrepreneurial leader in accounting for over 40 years.
Mr. Biscotti has focused his efforts on improving his clients' growth and profitability and has guided many companies in their development from small emerging entities into organizations worth hundreds of millions of dollars. While his clients represent a variety of industries, he is particularly well known for his work in manufacturing and distribution, especially with food and beverage companies.
Mr. Biscotti's multi-disciplinary background as a CPA with an MBA that includes an advanced study in manufacturing, systems analysis, management consulting, strategic planning and technology, and his designation as a CITP (Certified Information Technology Professional), has earned him national recognition as an accounting and business management specialist.
He is a frequent lecturer and published author on various financial and business topics. He contributes a monthly column to Forbes, on the food and beverage industry. His expert advice has also appeared in both national and local publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Long Island and New Jersey Business News, Supermarket News, and Food Dive. He is a featured panelist and speaker at local and national events, including the WCBS Annual Small Business Breakfasts, Bloomberg Radio, and the Capital Roundtable series.
Mr. Biscotti founded a series of best practice forums for food and beverage companies, which attract nearly 500 senior executives annually, as well as an annual food and beverage survey. He has been honored several times in "Who's Who in Accounting" in Long Island Business News.
An active member of many local chambers of commerce, Mr. Biscotti served as a trustee for the Foundation for Accounting Education and was a board member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). He is a former president of the Accounting Circle and an Executive Advisory Board member of St. John's, his alma mater, and Molloy College. He also serves on the advisory boards for many of his clients, where the cumulative experience of his 40 years in practice and work with nearly 1,000 companies gives those clients an invaluable edge.
Co-founder / Managing Member, Remedy Products LLC
Mr. Kurz is a consumer products, media, technology and entertainment executive with over 20 years of investor/operator experience in strategic planning, business development & operations, marketing and managerial finance. Particularly adept at entering and assimilating into unfamiliar industries with innovative products and ideas, Kurz has helped numerous investors and entrepreneurs to navigate new marketplaces and distribution channels.
Most recently Kurz founded Basin Sports LLC, a soccer-focused sports entertainment and management company, to educate and advise ownership groups on the soccer economy in the U.S., including the challenges of running clubs, building academies and growing fan bases within highly competitive multi-media markets. His work has included successfully engaging with local and state political operatives on multiple projects to help shape public support around related real estate development opportunities. Prior to that, Kurz cofounded Themis Group and their multi-award winning Escapist Magazine.
Without prior experience or relationships in digital media, he successfully raised and deployed $12M over 10 years across 3 business lines, grew staff to 40+ full time employees and 100+ freelancers, and oversaw the launch of the very first regularly scheduled original episodic programming on the internet which helped them win the Webby for best digital lifestyle property. Kurz began his career at Lehman Brothers before helping launch the venture capital arm of Eagle Ocean Transport Inc. Kurz received his BA from Tulane University and his MBA from Suffolk University. He currently resides in New Canaan, CT with his wife and 3 children.
Executive Vice President of Finance, Bozzuto’s Inc.
Chris is the Executive Vice President of Finance for Bozzuto's Inc. joining Bozzuto's in 2015, he brought 20 years of Wall Street expertise, industry leadership and executive management experience to the company. Prior to joining Bozzuto's, Chris was a Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager at Lazard Asset Management. Chris and his team built a global fixed income and equity derivative portfolio of 3.5 billion in assets. In 2010, Chris's hedge fund was recognized as the Hedge Fund of the Year by Institutional Investor.
Prior to joining Lazard, Chris served as Chief Investment Officer at Argent Funds Group, where he oversaw the Global Fixed Income and Equity Portfolio management teams. His Credit Research team was recognized as Best in Class in 2006 and 2007 by Institutional Investor. Chris also served as Managing Director for McMahan Securities where he was responsible for growing Sales & Trading, which attained record performance under his leadership.
Throughout his career he has acquired intense experience in P&L Ownership and Management. Chris has focused on investing in various companies leveraging his experience in corporate restructurings, Mergers and Acquisitions and managing teams to strengthen innovation, marketing and operational efficiency.
Chris holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor's of Science in Finance from Saint John's University.He serves as a senior advisor at Aegis Capital providing clients with operational and financial expertise. Chris holds Series 7, 55 and 63 Licenses.
Executive Director, GreenWave and Owner, Thimble Island Ocean Farm
Bren Smith, GreenWave executive director and owner of Thimble Island Ocean Farm, pioneered the development of restorative 3D Ocean Farming. A lifelong commercial fisherman, he was named one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s “25 People Shaping the Future” and featured in TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2017”. He is the winner of the Buckminster Fuller Prize and has been profiled by CNN, The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and elsewhere. He is an Ashoka and Echoing Green Climate Fellow and author of Eat Like a Fish: My Adventures as a Fisherman Turned Restorative Ocean Farmer.