Upcycling Opportunities in the Food Industry 2023


Thursday, April 27th

Webinar  |  2pm - 3pm ET

The upcycled food and beverage industry is projected to reach nearly $100 billion within a decade, with a compound annual growth rate of 5% over that period.

How is upcycling – finding new, higher-value uses for items that would otherwise go to waste – impacting businesses and consumers? What’s driving the movement? And, what opportunities does upcycling offer businesses and investors?

The above questions and more will be addressed during The Food Institute’s exclusive webinar.


Connect with Paul Mariani and Eric Markin


Mesirow Panelists

Paul Mariani | Managing Director, Investment Banking | Chicago

headshot of Paul Mariani

Paul Mariani is a Managing Director with Mesirow Investment Banking. He is responsible for developing key sector-relevant relationships, originating transactions, leading deal teams throughout the transaction process and providing advisory services to food, beverage and agribusiness clients.

Paul has more than 20 years of experience as an investment banker with extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital formation transactions (both public and private equity and debt), and financial restructurings.

Over the course of his career, Paul has focused primarily on the food value chain with a particular expertise advising agribusiness, baking and milling, and branded and private label packaged food companies, distributors and wholesalers, ingredients processors, growers, restaurants, and retail grocery chains. Clients have included Fortune 500 publicly-traded companies, privately-held/family-owned businesses and private equity firms.

Prior to joining Mesirow in 2018, Paul covered the food, beverage and agribusiness industry for KPMG’s U.S. corporate finance practice. Before that, he was a Partner with Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. and he began his investment banking career in Chicago with Bank of America.

Paul currently serves on the board of Naturally Chicago, an organization focused on shaping and growing the natural and good food ecosystem.

Paul earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his Master of Business Administration from the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 and 79 licenses.

Eric Markin

Headshot of Eric Markin

Eric Markin is a Director in Mesirow Investment Banking. He is responsible for assisting with business development and leading the day-to-day transaction execution process across the food, beverage and agribusiness industries, with an emphasis on sustainable business models. His transaction experience spans a wide range of other industries as well, including aerospace and defense, B2B services, consumer and retail, distribution and supply chain, paper, plastics and packaging and technology, among others.

Previously, Eric was a Vice President at Mesirow Consulting, LLC, where he provided financial advisory services to companies and their creditors in restructurings and turnarounds. He also was involved in a number of high-profile litigation support / exert testimony assignments. Prior to joining Mesirow, he began his career at HFR Asset Management.

Eric served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.

Eric earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He holds FINRA Series 63 and 79 licenses.