2022 IBWA Annual Business Conference and Trade Show

October 24 – 27, 2022

Palmer House Hilton
17 E. Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603

Connect. Collaborate. Celebrate.

For the first time since 2019, IBWA members and conference attendees will meet in person to discuss the issues that are important to the bottled water industry and discover new ways to grow their businesses.




Education Sessions


CEUs Available

Early Bird Registration

15 Education Sessions

24 Speakers

Day 1


1:00pm – 2:00pm 

Cybersecurity Basics:
How to Protect Your Business and Customers

(1 Business CEU)

This session will cover the basics of cybersecurity such as threat modeling, how to protect your data and business, and risk analysis. Common cybersecurity attacks will be covered as well as ways to protect yourself, your business, your finance, and your customers. You will come out of this session by leveling up your cybersecurity knowledge and toolset. More importantly, you will start to think like an adversary which will help you defend yourself in the current cyber world.


Eric Chan-Tin, PhD
Loyola Center for Cybersecurity
Loyola University Chicago

2:15pm – 3:15pm

Reaching Sustainability Goals Through Collaborative Treasure Hunts

(1 Technical CEU)

Learn how a collaboration between facility optimization experts and your site team can uncover energy, water, and carbon saving opportunities hidden throughout your operations. This session covers how to conduct a collaborative site assessment, what results you can expect from the effort, and reviews common opportunities for energy and water conservation (including Top Ten Water Saving Opportunities for Bottling Plants).


Patrick McCarthy
Antea Group

2:15pm – 3:15pm

Building a Purpose Driven Culture in Route Operations

(1 Business CEU)

At Primo Water, we believe we are either winning – or learning – every day. Come learn from Bob Mason, SVP of Water Direct – North America, as he describes his journey in building a purpose driven culture for Route Operations. Bob will share the actions he has been taking, the tools he has been using to bring Primo’s purpose to life, and the benefits that he has seen from his focus on building a purpose driven culture on Associates, Primo Leaders, and our customers.


Bob Mason
Primo Water Corporation

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Making the IBWA Audit Program Work for You

(1 Technical CEU)

While all IBWA bottlers are familiar with the IBWA mandatory annual audit/inspection program, you may still have questions about it. Come learn the steps you can take to prepare for an audit, along with some of the most common items that are cited during an audit. You’ll learn how the IBWA audit program can work for you in maintaining regulatory compliance when doing business with your customers and the government.


Steven Feltman
Eagle Certification Group

Brian Neal
Eurofins Food Assurance

3:30pm – 4:30pm

Charting Water Source Resiliency in a Changing Climate

(1 Technical CEU)

The Western U.S. is currently experiencing unprecedented water scarcity issues, shown to be the worst in over 1,200 years. The ongoing drought has strained surface and groundwater resources and has further resulted in highly active and expanded fire seasons, record low reservoir water levels, and early-year adoption of water restrictions and use curtailments. But it is not only drought that is of concern. The rest of the United States is seeing increased rainfall and more extreme weather patterns. The result is more frequent flooding events, higher intensity storms causing increased erosion, pollution from water runoff, and associated stresses on water infrastructure. This presentation will provide facts and trends on the weather changes being recorded across the U.S. and will provide management techniques to assess and improve the resiliency of your water sources.


Louis F. Vittorio, Jr., PG
Primo Water Corporation

4:45pm – 5:30pm

Key Issues Forum:
What Keeps You Up at Night?

(.75 Business CEU)

So far in 2022, IBWA has hosted two virtual Leadership Roundtables. Now, we are excited to conduct our first one in person in Chicago. Bottlers and suppliers know that issues as wide-ranging as inflation, the environment, tariffs, FDA policies, changing customer preferences, etc., impact the day-to-day operations of our businesses and may be keeping us awake at night. Plan to join IBWA leaders as they open with a current topic and then help facilitate discussions and brainstorming.


Glen Davis
Absopure Water Company

Cate Gutowski
Primo Water Corporation

CR Hall
Hall’s Culligan


David Redick
Steelhead, Inc.




Day 2


8:45am – 9:45am

Charting a Course for Future Workforce Decisions

(1 Business CEU)

As employers strive to adapt and reset expectations for the future, the workplace has been transformed in ways that create heightened uncertainty, stress, and elevated retention risk in a world turned upside down. Charting a future for workforce and total rewards decisions amidst changing business and economic cycles creates added complexities for employers. Join this session to uncover and reduce emerging workforce risks, craft a proactive strategy to navigate the changing needs of their workforce, and manage the impacts that these issues can have on business operations, growth, and other important outcomes.


Robert Lemke
Grant Thornton, LLP

8:45am – 9:45am

The Latest Developments in Water Filtration: a Part of High-Quality Assurance

(1 Technical CEU)

Safe drinking water is vital to our existence. It provides us with the hydration that every one of our organs needs to function. Bottled water offers a portable water source that is very safe if prepared correctly. All potable water should be checked for four major impurity categories: (1) metal contents, (2) organics contaminants, (3) solid particulates, and (4) living organisms. The removal of these contaminants to a safe level is critical, and several technologies can help reduce these contaminants to provide water that is potable. Bacterial contamination is the most critical issue since the detection usually takes 24 to 48 hours after the product is shipped or consumed by the end-user. Because of its associated risk level, the prevention strategies are of prime interest. Final filtration will be discussed as last line of defense. In addition, the integrity test will be reviewed as it is necessary to ensure these filters have been installed correctly and operating as intended to ensure of high-quality water production.


Majid Entezarian, PhD
3M Purification

10:00am – 11:00am

Emerging Contaminants: Keeping Updated on What’s New

(1 Technical CEU)

The milestone events in Flint, MI and Cape Fear, NC have prompted actions on the part of several states to establish drinking water regulatory limits for contaminates in advance of any federal actions. This is a fundamental change in the conventional regulatory process, which is predicated upon a methodical process of contaminant identification, occurrence surveys, and a limit setting process that balances health and economic feasibility. Today, water producers must simultaneously track and keep pace with new regulations (new contaminants or lower standards for existing contaminants) for per- and poly-alkyl substances (PFAS); 1,4-Dioxane; 1,2,3-Trichloropropane; BPA; microplastics; brominated & iodinated DBPs; Lead; etc. This presentation provides a detailed summary of all new emerging contaminants, each’s degree of risk and relevance to the bottled water community ,and future methods and tools to stay current with this dynamic and ever-changing topic.


Rick Zimmer
Eurofins Eaton Analytical, LLC

10:00am – 11:00am

Preparing Your Business for an Economic Downturn

(1 Business CEU)

Where is the economy headed and what does it mean for your business? With rising inflation and interest rates and continued economic uncertainty, it is important to prepare your business for a downturn. If you’re interested in how to manage your assets, optimize costs, and keep your business in the black, this is the session for you. Come learn the tips, tricks, and tools you can use to manage liquidity and controls costs.


Paul Melville
Grant Thornton, LLP

11:15am – 12:15pm

Alan Leff Memorial Lecture:
Machine Learning in Modeling the Elusive Daily Water Requirement

(1 Technical CEU)

As part of the Memorial Lecture Series, the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) is pleased to announce that Colleen Muñoz, PhD, and Michael Bergeron, PhD, will speak on common and novel hydration biomarkers in characterizing optimal hydration, related chronic health status/risk, and the role machine learning plays in hydration-health integrated systems research. The lecture will highlight findings and publications related to their DWRF-funded research project on “Machine Learning in Modeling the Elusive Daily Water Requirement” to evaluate plasma copeptin threshold as a primary classification differentiator and indicator of hydration status, as well as how an individual’s hydration knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors can be effectively utilized in a predictive model developed with machine learning to differentially classify LOW and HIGH drinkers.


Dr. Michael Bergeron
Women’s Tennis Association

Dr. Colleen Muñoz
University of Hartford

Day 3


8:00am – 10:30am     General Session / Keynote Presentation

The Proactive Growth Formula: How to Create Predictable Revenue Growth In Any Economy

(1.5 Business CEU)

Join Wall Street Journal bestselling author and revenue growth consultant Alex Goldfayn for this memorable and powerful keynote speech on how to actively—and very quickly—take control of your sales growth. The key is to take fast, simple, proactive actions that are proven to predictably grow revenue. Alex will review how to quickly plan these actions, implement them, and track them. Whether it’s your salespeople, route drivers, or executives, Alex will demonstrate high-impact, immediately applicable techniques that his clients use to bring on new customers, and add additional products like coffee and cups to existing customers. Alex’s clients proactively add 15 to 30% new sales annually, and in this speech, Alex will share how you can too. Every…single…year.


10:45am – 11:45am

Bottled Water Sales Trends

(1 Business CEU)

The bottled water category experienced accelerated volume growth in 2021, and the category widened its lead as the most popular packaged beverage in the United States, with growth continuing into 2022. In this fast-paced session, learn how the category and its key segments are performing, what key trends are driving the market, and the outlook for the future. Also, get perspective on competitive refreshment beverage categories like carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, and more.


Gary Hemphill
Beverage Marketing Corporation

1:15pm – 2:15pm

Defining and Recognizing Good Water Stewardship

(1 Technical CEU)

Up to this point, there has been little formal agreement amongst water advocates about what constitutes “good” corporate water stewardship. Besides the CEO Water Mandate, there have been no programs, standards, protocols, etc., that define and recognize enterprise-wide actions of corporate water stewards – until now. The Water Council recently launched, WAVE (Water Stewardship Verified), a process-based approach to helping a company understand water uses, impacts and risks across the enterprise, and then committing to the right actions at the right places and at the right times. Companies that complete the WAVE must also seek independent verification from SCS Global Services, adding a level credibility and transparency to corporate water claims not currently rendered by any other program. Learn about this new program and general approaches and trends in the realm of corporate water stewardship at this session.


Matt Howard
The Water Council

Rae Mindock
SCS Global Services

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Elections Have Consequences:
How Will the Midterm Elections Impact State and Federal Policies in 2023?

(1 Business CEU)

“Elections have consequences.” Those three words, which comprise the catchphrase of modern political times, were first uttered by President Barack Obama three days into his first presidential term. These words are still true today, if not even more so than they were in 2009. In this session, Cory Martin and JP Toner (IBWA staff)  will provide insight into the consequences of the 2022 midterm elections, including how it will impact policies affecting the bottled water industry in key states and the federal government.


Cory Martin
International Bottled
Water Association

James “JP” Toner
International Bottled
Water Association

3:30pm – 5:00pm

CPO Study Session

(1.5 Technical CEU)

This session is always a favorite among those attendees who signed up to take IBWA’s Certified Plant Operator (CPO) Certification Exam. Attendees should put their thinking caps on and be prepared to have some game show fun! If studying usually makes you sleepy, you won’t have to worry about that here, as industry experts will help attendees prepare for the CPO exam — but you will have to be fast on your feet! Do you have the answers to run a bottling plant? Take the challenge and find out!


Glen Davis
Absopure Water Company

Bob Hirst
Sonoran Drinking Water Advisors, LLC


Al Lear
International Bottled Water Association


Day 4


8:00am – 11:00am

CPO Exam

(Ticketed Event)

To keep their Certified Plant Operator (CPO) certification current, CPOs may either retake the CPO exam every three years or accrue the required 21 CEUs (up to 6 CEUs can be from non-technical/business topics) within each three-year period. IBWA members who want to take the CPO exam during the conference are encouraged to study the IBWA Plant Technical Reference Manual and the Bottled Water Code of Practice. 



IBWA Member Bottler/Distributor

Until 10/1/22:
$595 per person

After 10/1/22:
$695 per person

Non-Member Bottler/Distributor

Until 10/1/22: $900 per person

After 10/1/22: $1,000 per person 

IBWA Member,

Until 10/1/22: $850 per person

After 10/1/22: $950 per person

Non-Exhibiting Supplier

Until 10/1/22: $1,050 per person

After 10/1/22: $1,150 per person

Special Events

Monday, October 24
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Welcome Reception

Join your industry colleagues at this Welcome Reception to reunite in person after a two-year hiatus due to Covid. Time to celebrate and kick off the week at this relaxing event that will allow attendees to network with peers, catch up with old friends, and enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.

Tuesday, October 25
7:00pm - 9:30pm

DWRF Casino Night Fundraiser

The Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF) Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that this year’s fundraiser will be held at the historic Palmer House Hilton.  A lively casino night is planned, which will include a buffet dinner, drink ticket, and a variety of casino tables.

Not one for the tables? Use the evening to socialize and enjoy the company of other conference attendees. Tickets are $175 per person ($80 tax-deductible) and ticket supply will be limited on-site, so please register for the event by Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

DWRF fundraiser sponsorships are still available. Contact Claire Crane, conferences coordinator: ccrane@bottledwater.org.

Wednesday, October 26
8:00am - 10:30am

General Session, Annual Business Meeting, Awards Ceremony, Keynote Presentation and Continental Breakfast

Come hear Joe Doss, IBWA president and CEO, report on IBWA's latest achievements and predictions for what's in store for the future. IBWA Chairman CR Hall (Hall's Culligan) will discuss what he's learned during his tenure. Chairman Hall will also pass the gavel on to IBWA's 2023 Chairman Henry R. Hidell, III (Hidell International). IBWA will hold our Awards Ceremony to celebrate the commitment of individuals and companies to the bottled water industry. Plan to join us as we pause to recognize the contributions and achievements of bottled water professionals.