The Cannabis Society Worldwide Virtual Conference
Toronto, ON, Canada
On October 29th, The Cannabis Society is hosting a full day, virtual conference for the cannabis industry across international markets including Canada, US West Coast, US East Coast & Mid-West, Germany & Europe, Australia & New Zealand, and South America.
With the goal to unite the global cannabis community, The Cannabis Society will leverage the virtual conference to educate and support cannabis industry leaders who are committed to the continued growth of the sector in their respective countries and across international borders. The conference will provide attendees access to leading cannabis experts through keynotes, panel discussions, and one-on-one breakout meetings through the virtual conference platform.
The virtual conference will touch on topics such as:
Investor Outlook for 2020
Market Specific Business Development Opportunities
Regulation / Crisis Management
FOUNDING & GOLD MEMBERS:
Dr Sud Agarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Cannvalate
Dr Sud Agarwal is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Cannvalate, Australia’s first medically backed, medicinal cannabis company, focused on providing a seamless entry for global licensed producers of medicinal cannabis into the Australian market. He is a former medical director of the Cann Group (ASX:CAN) and has been an adviser to multiple listed/ unlisted companies and governmental bodies in the Medicinal Cannabis space.
Dr Agarwal received his medical qualifications in the United Kingdom before immigrating to Australia in 2001. He has since commercialised, scaled and successfully exited three healthcare businesses and has a track record for seeing business opportunities at their earliest stage, and building high performing teams.
Dr Agarwal is also an experienced property developer who has completed 7 projects comprising residential, commercial and mixed-use projects. As the founder and director of Sterling Property Group, he has proven his ability to achieve excellent design and planning results, manage construction projects and deliver multi-faceted built form outcomes on time, under cost and with superior quality.
A rare combination of extensive medical experience, commercialisation success in several healthcare businesses and a proven track record in property development, positions Dr Agarwal perfectly to lead Cannvalate.
Boris Blatnik, Chief Strategy Officer, KannaSwiss
Boris serves as CEO of KannaSwiss. He joined the team January of 2017 and has been instrumental in the rebranding and business development of the company. Prior to KannaSwiss Boris served as CSO and Co-founder of Numbridge Inc. from 2009 until 2016. Numbridge was a telecommunication app that helped people communicate over the GSM network. Boris served as CEO & Co-founder of Atlas Commercial Holdings from 2004 until 2009. Atlas established an interlocking network of global business alliances and partnerships to provide customized solutions that enable governments and local businesses in emerging markets to stabilize and upgrade their basic infrastructures. Formerly he was Founder & President of V Karting, an integrated go-kart facility with conference rooms, restaurant and entertainment/game space. His experiences range from construction to telecommunications to natural resource consulting working with such companies as MAN Ferrostaal and Petrobras.
Boris earned his A-levels from Aiglon College in Villars, Switzerland and then attended American University in Washington, DC. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Boris was raised in Switzerland and moved to the U.S. to attend university. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.
Jesse Harlan Alderman, Partner Foley Hoag Boston
Leveraging his regulatory expertise, Jesse Alderman co-founded the Foley Hoag Boston Cannabis practice, and assists clients in securing competitive municipal and state permits. He counsels these clients on complex issues of state regulatory compliance, and advises investors in cannabis industry acquisitions and transactions. Jesse Alderman also concentrates his practice on environmental, real estate and infrastructure development, with a focus on state and municipal regulatory matters, permitting and related litigation. Jesse has experience guiding clients through issues of state regulatory compliance, such as under MEPA, Article 97, Wetlands Protection Act and Chapter 21E, and devising strategies to win critical municipal approvals and zoning relief. Prior to joining Foley Hoag, he was a law clerk for Justice Robert J. Cordy of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Before law school, Jesse gained diverse experience in an array of environmental and energy issues as a reporter for The Associated Press in Boston and Boise, Idaho, and The Durango Herald in Durango, Colorado.
Elisabetta Faenza, Co-Founder and CEO, LeafCann Group (AUSTRALIA)
Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD), Deputy Chair Montegu Services Masters International Relations, Dip & Adv. Certificate Clinical Hypnotherapy, Diploma Marketing University of Illinois at Chicago.
Elisabetta’s journey was prompted by a childhood diagnosis of a rare, deadly genetic condition, which led her on a quest to understand how our bodies, medicines, nutrition and the environment interact to switch damaging genes on and off. Before co-founding LeafCann Group, a licenced Medicinal Cannabis company based in Australia and the UK, Elisabetta’s work as a clinical hypnotherapist, corporate speaker and mentor assisted thousands of individuals to change unwanted behaviours, recover from trauma and achieve personal and career goals. In LeafCann, Elisabetta has brought together a talented team of experts from biomedicine, clinical research, quality assurance, education and training, controlled medicinal cannabis cultivation, extraction, policy, project management, facility design, regulatory affairs and IP management. Elisabetta manages a global team on three continents, all working to produce the highest quality Medicinal Cannabis products under GMP.
Jeffrey Finkle, Co-Founder, Viridian Members Fund
Named one of the “25 Angel Investors in New York You Need to Know” by AlleyWatch in 2014, Jeff has been a venture investor for ten years, an angel investor for eight years. Jeff is presently Co-founder of the Viridian Members Fund, the first member-managed fund in cannabis. He also serves as Chairman of the Evaluation Committee and Treasurer of the ARC Angel Fund. Jeff has been actively advising startups at Reitler Advisory Group and publishes insights to his blog www.finkabout.it. He is a frequent panelist, speaker, and judge on venture investing and pitch competitions in NY. Jeff has also guest lectured and held office hours for many incubators/accelerators including Start-up Leadership Program, 37 Angels, NYU Polytech Incubator (New York City and Brooklyn), DreamIT Ventures, and FashInvest. Prior to his work with angel and seed groups, Jeff was a partner of Odeon Capital Partners, an early-stage venture capital fund. Prior to Odeon, Jeff was an operating executive at CA, Inc., and Cheyenne Software, Inc., where he served as GM of the Unix Division, VP of Corporate Development, VP of Corporate Marketing, and Director of Product Management. Jeff also serves as Chairman of the Board of WellLife Network , a not-for-profit offering residential, clinical, and day programs to 25,000 individuals with developmental, psychological, and behavioral disabilities in NYC’s five boroughs and Long Island.
Adam Guskich Co-Founder, Medigrowth
Adam Guskich Co founded Medigrowth Australia in 2017 with a vision to create a globally respected medicinal cannabis company. Our mission is to become a global leader and valuable supply chain partner for superior medicinal cannabis extraction, laboratory testing, formulation, cultivation & innovation. A true circular economy from seed to solution.
Together with co founder Todd McClellan, “ we share a resolute belief in medicinal cannabis along with a combined vision for creating a company with the ability to effect substantial positive change in patient wellbeing.” This is the motivational driver for success. Their focus is aligned within four core pillars of the supply chain; Grow, Extract, Test & Research.
Adam will leverage his 20+ years of business experience to execute Medigrowth strategy. He is highly skilled in business operations, negotiation, retail, business to business engagement & relationship management. Adam has been instrumental in creating opportunity for Medigrowth, with the company positioned domestically & internationally with strategic partners ranging from extraction specialists, cannabis health & retail, genetics specialists, and collaboration with educational & University institutions.
Adam is inspired, focussed and driven. He has in depth knowledge and understanding of Australian legislation, licensing and regulation and will combine this knowledge with his unique skill-set to refine business strategy as the domestic and international landscape continues to evolve.
Matthew Nordgren, CEO & Founder, Arcadian Fund
Matthew Jason Nordgren is an ambitious executive, dedicated philanthropist, and accomplished athlete who brings a unique passion for creating strategic alliances. He brings breadth and depth of experience in finance, corporate development, and capital sourcing, as well as in building highly motivated teams of skilled professionals.
Mr. Nordgren is currently CEO and Founder of ARCADIAN Fund and ARCADIAN Capital Management, a venture fund/private equity strategy focused on the ancillary service providing companies in and around the cannabis and hemp industries. More specifically, on Series A/B type opportunities where proven businesses are looking for growth equity to continue scaling into new markets. He was recently name one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry” by High Times Magazine. Additionally, he is the founder of Nordco Consulting LLC, a private consulting firm dedicated to the business development of middle market companies with forward-thinking vision. To date, Mr. Nordgren has personally been involved with over $7 billion in transactions and maintains a portfolio of approximately 32 companies.
James McMillan, VP Business Development of Hexo Corp
James McMillan brings more than 20 years of executive experience in strategic sales, marketing and business development with an entrepreneurial spirit, strong negotiating skills, and expertise in developing growth markets to his role as our Vice-President for Business Development. A graduate of Concordia University (Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing/Finance), James has an established track-record of creating successful business development opportunities, building growth organizations, and establishing lasting customer relationships in diverse fields including communications, emerging technologies, energy management and now cannabis across both Canada and international markets.
As Vice-President for Business Development, James plays a leading role in identifying strategic opportunities in the expanding cannabis market. From the development of new and innovative product lines for the medical and recreational markets, to building strong relationships with commercial partners, James is responsible for establishing and expanding our market position in Canada and beyond.
Tommy Huppert, Founder & CEO, Cannatrek
Start-up entrepreneur and medicinal cannabis health economist, Tommy founded Cannatrek and put in motion it’s "seed to patient" industry strategy, corporate governance and cannabis licensing compliance structure.
A seasoned international CEO with 30 years of business and leadership acumen in pioneering new industries, Tommy has drawn together an expert team of associated alliances, to deliver the Cannatrek blueprint strategy.
Simon Dufour, Audit Principal, Hall & Company
Simon has been in public accounting since 2001. He provides assurance and consulting services to a variety of public and private clients and business owners in the cannabis, apparel, and branded consumer products industries. Simon is adept at developing and organizing an efficient work approach, and his specialized knowledge and experience includes consulting on various accounting and operational projects, performing detailed research on the accounting treatment of specific transactions, and benchmarking.
Tom Zuber, Managing Partner of Zuber Lawler
Tom Zuber has advised some of the most iconic companies in the world on their patent and trademark portfolios. He is at the cutting edge of cannabis patent and trademark law. Tom holds a law degree from Columbia Law School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Government School, and a biomedical engineering degree from Rutgers University, where he graduated with highest honors.
Gustavo Escobar, Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder, Clever Leaves
Current Clever Leaves Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder. 15+ years of experience in the health sector in Colombia. Co-Founder & President of the Board of directors Asocolcanna (Colombian Cannabis Industry Association). MBA & IT Engineering B licensed.
Lincoln Co-Founder & CTO of EnCann Solutions Inc.
Lincoln is a co-founder and current CTO of EnCann Solutions Inc., a Standard Processor applicant based in engineering and pharmaceutical principles with a focus on extractions and white-label services. A trained mechanical engineer, lean six sigma green belt, and graduate of the University of British Columbia, his extensive previous experience includes being the founder of an artificial intelligence start-up in the industrial analytics space, consulting engineering, and sales.
An enthusiast of extractions and cannabis science, Lincoln has been making personal extractions since the early 2000s. The emergence of the proposed Bill C-45 sparked his entrepreneurial spirit once more and so, what started out as a passion project to join the burgeoning cannabis industry has quickly developed into a living breathing entity now known as EnCann Solutions Inc.
A forward-thinker as well as a statistics and data geek, Lincoln has always been driven towards optimization of processes and all that entails. This has led to him devising a patent-pending, proprietary extraction system to bring cannabis extraction into the modern day by breaking the prosumer to industrial scale barrier. An undeniable advantage heading into the “next stage” of Canada’s legal market, cannabis concentrates.
Brock Lauritsen, Med Green Pharmaceutical
Brock is a business professional and entrepreneur with 10 years of consulting experience evaluating operational efficiencies, scalability and strategies of healthcare companies, as well as 5+ years in the cannabis industry covering all facets of the operation from cultivation through to formulation, marketing, strategy, etc.. As CEO, Brock’s view of the broader landscape and company vision, coupled with the understanding of the day-to-day requirements, provide invaluable tools as MGP scales to meet local and global demand.
Justin Cooper, Pharm Capital
Justin began his career on wall street in 2011 as an institutional salesman at Aegis Capital, a firm specializing in secondary offers for healthcare and technology growth companies. He later joined Etico Capital, a merchant bank that focused on PIPE transaction within the microcap arena. At his tenure there, Justin advised on over 100mm of public and private offerings. Following, Justin joined Accel Capital as a Managing Director, where he oversaw the refinancing of their future receivables program to offset position risk. Prior to forming Pharm Capital, Justin Co-founded C6 Capital, a family office providing working capital solutions to lower middle market US public and private Companies. Justin sits on the investment committee and oversees annual transaction values north of 75mm.
Jamie Pearson, Chief Operating Officer, Bhang Corporation
Jamie L. Pearson – Chief Operating Officer of Bhang Corporation is responsible for the overall vision and direction of the company on a global scale and its entrée into international distribution and capital markets. The daughter of a cannabis cultivator, she literally grew up in the industry and has watched it evolve from Reagan’s war on drugs to where it is now. Professionally before Bhang, Jamie founded and oversaw the day-to-day leadership, management and operations of a successful real estate investment, finance, and management firm. She currently owns a real estate portfolio that spans three countries. In 2015, she co-founded a celebrity cannabis agency, working with iconic artists such as Cypress Hill and Die Antwoord. She has personally owned cultivation operations in Northern California and Montana and has been a cannabis-friendly landlord for over 15 years. At Bhang, she is in charge of all areas of operations including corporate management, strategic planning, banking and finance, global licensee & vendor relationships, supply chain, customer service, hiring and personnel oversight. A certified team builder, published author and popular speaker in both the cannabis and real estate industries, Jamie's “best-of-both-worlds" experience is not only unique and unmatched, it provides a breadth of knowledge that appeals to newcomers and veterans alike. Selected as one of High Times Most Influential Women of Weed 2019, she is described as “… a widely recognized win/win deal-making ninja, … for Bhang—the world’s most-awarded and distributed cannabis house of brands featuring the eight-time Cannabis Cup winning line of gourmet chocolate bars and an award-winning line of CBD products." Jamie studied German at the University of Wuppertal (Wuppertal, Germany). She reads, write, and speaks fluent German. She has a B.A. from Vassar College and a Masters in Leadership from the University of Oregon. She serves on the advisory board of Liberty Leaf Holdings (CSE:LIB) and The Original Jack Herer Group.
Paul Pedersen, Co-Founder & CEO, Nextleaf Solutions
With more than 12 years experience in starting and financing emerging growth companies (including NASDAQ: TWER), Paul has spent the last five years focusing on the cannabis space.
Consulting with a variety of industry players, including Canada’s first licensed producer, Canada’s largest extraction/processor, and Canada’s leading seed-to-sale software provider has given Paul in-depth industry knowledge. Coupled with his business acumen, Paul provides a unique perspective in this field, making him a sought-after expert and regular feature within trade publications such as Marijuana Business Daily and Lift & co.
Robyn Rabinovich, VP Cannabis Strategy & Partnerships, TerrAscend
Robyn Rabinovich is a business development professional with extensive experience in the cannabis space. Her knowledge supports her ability to evaluate business development opportunities within Canada and across the globe. Robyn obtained her International Business Degree from Dalhousie University.
Matt Wolf, CEO, WVC Holdings, Inc.
Matt has been the CEO at Contract Pharmacal Corp. (“CPC”) for over 20+ years. He grew the company revenue from $15 million to $55 million in the span of 9 years. Since 2006 he has grown that business from $55 million to $195 million in 2018E. He has relevant experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing, contract packaging, generic drug development, nutraceuticals, retail pharmacy, analytical testing, international regulatory affairs, corporate development, FDA, DEA, and major pharmaceutical company audits. CPC has 17B annual solid-dose capacity, 120M annual bottling capacity, 625k sq. ft. production facilities, and hundreds of customers and has commercialized thousands of products worldwide. Matt has been instrumental in establishing a company mission and culture that is focused on quality, efficiency, and service. His refusal to accept mediocrity at any level has resulted in a top-tier, longstanding staff and a reputation as best-in-class in the industry.
In 2016, Matt recognized the opportunity within the hemp and cannabis industries and ventured to Colorado to learn more. He assembled a team with deep investment, operating, and scientific expertise to form WVC Holdings, Inc. WVCH builds businesses and develops brands in the hemp and cannabis industries; Cultivarian, Uleva, and Kindred Wolf are the first of those. Through Matt’s leadership, WVCH strives to capitalize on the team’s decades of experience to positively affect an energized industry and to invest in products that will make a difference in peoples’ lives.
Richard Carleton, CEO, Canadian Securities Exchange
Richard Carleton was appointed CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange in July 2011. During his tenure, Richard and the CSE team led a re-capitalization of the exchange in 2012-2013 and established relationships with key influencers in the Canadian securities industry and beyond. These efforts positioned the exchange to take a leading role in the provision of public capital to entrepreneurial companies; from 2014 on, the CSE set a series of records for new listings, capital raised by issuers and trading turnover. An early advocate for the cannabis industry, the CSE is now the global exchange leader in the listing of issuers in the space. Recognized by the Financial Post Magazine as one of Canada’s “25 Cannabis Industry Power Players”, and a recipient of the American Trade Association’s “Captain of Industry” Award in November 2018, Richard is a frequent speaker on early stage company finance issues around the world.
A member of the Law Society of Upper Canada since 1987, Richard is a graduate of the University of Ottawa (B.A. ’81) and the University of Toronto (LL.B. ’85). He has also completed the executive development programme at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Damon Booth, CEO & Co-Founder, Melabis
Damon is the CEO and co-founder of several successful marketing companies including The ICO Guys and Digital Commandos. The ICO Guys are currently on their way to becoming Europe’s fastest growing Crypto and Blockchain Marketing platform and are already assisting many ICO projects to raise capital globally. With this in mind, he is now pushing Melabis forward as the companies Chief Marketing Officer.
Since he started his career in Wealth management back in 2007 he has travelled the world building relationships with investors in Asia, Europe and The Middle East, he not only has experience in marketing but also in investor management. He will work on the capital raise for Melabis and the investor aftercare to ensure the smooth running of the ICO.
Howard Katz, Managing Director, Mackie Research Capital
Howard is a 20 year capital markets veteran with a broad range of experience including both financing and advisory mandates to a wide range of sectors in the Canadian markets. Howard also has extensive management experience as a successful CEO having profitably sold his privately-held company in 2016. As a senior investment banker, Howard has led or co-managed billions of dollars in the junior and mid-cap sector in Canada. Howard is focused on the technology sector and special situations, providing advisory and finance solutions to clients, whereby leading management teams can share their successes with investors. Howard is a graduate of Yeshiva University, and earned his MBA from the Schulich School of Business.
Fabian Friede, Managing Director & Founder, Sanity Group
Nine years experience in building companies and managing international teams in various industries (marketplaces, eCommerce, Tech and more). Started three own companies with a strong passion for creating value for customers. Founder of Sanity Group with the purpose of unlocking the potential of cannabinoids to improve peoples’ health.
Oliver Zugel, Founder & CEO, FoliuMed
Oliver Zugel is the founder and CEO of FoliuMed, a Colombian-based producer of medicinal cannabis products offering branded, pharma-grade CBD/ THC products at affordable prices to European consumers. Mr. Zugel has a 20 year track record as CEO of a publicly listed, international gaming company and started his career as a partner at Monitor Group, Harvard Professor Michael Porter¨s strategy consulting and private equity firm. Oliver also is the Chairman of Taproot, the producer of the award winning “Roots” vape pen brand in Las Vegas, and a First Class Honours graduate from the London School of Economics.
Trisha LeBlanc, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP
Trisha is Grant Thornton’s national industry leader for cannabis. She brings more than 20 years of professional experience in accounting and audit to her role, along with a deep understanding of the cannabis industry, having worked with some of Canada’s largest licensed producers.
From complex financial reporting to general advice, Trisha takes on every challenge through a strategic lens. She assists clients with a range of issues, such as determining the best accounting for partnerships, joint and collaborative arrangements; understanding the accounting implications of complex or unique financing arrangements; accounting for the fair value of biological assets; and financial reporting benchmarking.
Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Trisha worked at a big four firm in Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Amsterdam, and The Netherlands.
Mauricio Krausz, Director of Regulatory and Government Affairs, Plena Global
An innovative and strategic thinker with more than 20 years’ experience in the international music industry, Mauricio is now combining his business expertise with his unwavering passion for medicinal cannabis through the establishment of ECONNABIS, a 30-hectare licensed cannabis production facility in Colombia, which was purchased by Plena Global Holdings in 2018.
As a trailblazer in the local Cannabis industry, Mauricio was successful in receiving one of the first production licenses in Colombia. As the founder of ASOCOLCANNA, Mauricio established a platform that brings together local industry players to promote, protect and guide the development of the cannabis industry within the Colombian legal framework.
Mauricio continues to actively work alongside government officials, medical experts, patients, and local growers in Colombia and abroad, to position Colombia as a global leader in cannabis cultivation and production and ensure that cannabis is accessible to customers and patients that need it to maintain or improve their quality of life.
Boris Moshkovits, Co-founder and Managing Director, alephSana
Boris Moshkovits is a Cannapreneur and experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working in the media, pharma and internet industry. He is the co-founder and managing director of alephSana, a company focused on scouting for qualified medical cannabis products globally and on bringing the best cannabis therapeutics to Germany and Europe. Moshkovits has served as International digital marketing manager in the pharma industry walking the fine line of marketing and digital storytelling in highly regulated markets. As a speaker Moshkovits has been talking about the mainstreaming of medical cannabis and the future of cannabis as a lifestyle product. He is also the co-founder of the CannaBusinessClub.Berlin, an initiative to empower the local cannabis scene. In his publishing career, he was the head of digital media for Ringier Publishing Germany and publisher of Amuse for Vice Media Germany. Prior to this, he has worked as an editor and publisher in Milan, Moscow and New York.
Lorne Gertner, Founding Partner & CEO, Hill & Gertner Capital Corporation
Ronnie Jaegermann, Partner - Head of Investment Banking, ALONI HAFT GROUP
Ronnie Jaegermann is a partner at Aloni Haft Group. He is a highly experienced entrepreneur and investment banker. He has experience in growing a business from start-up to a selling profitable company. Jaegermann is experienced in advising SMB's on raising debt and equity from financial institutions and private investors. He has been involved in successful fund raising exceeding $350 million in the last 15 years, and raised capital more than 19 times on different stock exchanges.
Jaegermann has a special understanding of the retail and high tech industries concentrating on raising capital through RTO's on the TSX -v The Toronto Stock Exchnage venture and raising capital on the Canadian Securities Exchange ( The CSE).
Jaegermann is a board member of WWT, a company providing smart irrigation solutions to the cannabis industry. He is currently in charge of M&A for the company raising $5MM in an RTO on the TSXV. Jaegermann is also a finance advisor to Innocan Pharma and Cannibble Foodtech Ltd and former advisor of Cannabis Pharmaceutical Inc. (OTC CNBX).
David Friedman, Founder, Panther Capital
David Friedman is the CEO of VividGro, a leader in advanced-applications of Agricultural technology (AgTech). Friedman is also the founder of the Panther Funds which have invested over $10 Million in 20 cannabis companies. Friedman is the former CEO of MJIC (now Manifest7) and successfully managed the company’s restructuring in 2015/2016. He also co-created the current algorithm for the Marijuana Stock Index for MJIC. Friedman is an investment and operations executive with over 25 years in venture capital, mergers & acquisitions and corporate finance. As CEO of VividGro, David is exploring the new frontier of the business of AgTech, an industry that is exploding with the recent legalization of cannabis across the nation and the effort to feed an ever increasing population. David has appeared on numerous networks and news programs as a leader in the business of cannabis, as well as running his own cannabis media organization and summit series.
Nathan Yagoda, VP of Strategy & Growth, Plus Products
Nathan is the Vice President of Strategy at PLUS Products, a leading hemp and cannabis food brand based in California. He played a key role in scaling the PLUS brand in California and now focuses on new market expansion as well as sales & marketing strategy. Nathan’s background centers around brands and consumer products working in strategy consulting at Booz & Company serving F500 CPG clients and in strategy and operations at Lagunitas Brewing Company.
Jeff Howard, Managing Partner, Salveo Capital
Jeffrey Howard is a Managing Partner in the fund. Prior to Mr. Howard joining Salveo Capital, he spent 21 years on Wall Street in roles of increasing responsibility. Mr. Howard's last role on Wall Street was with the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) where he was a Managing Director - Global Head of Prime Services. His responsibilities included running global Futures, OTC Clearing, Interest Rate Prime Brokerage and FX Prime Brokerage. In that role he managed 90+ people across North America, EMEA & Asia Pacific, was responsible for the growth strategy of $150 million business and managed a $50 million front-to-back budget. In addition, while at RBS, Mr. Howard was responsible for restructuring and strengthening their Prime Services offering by exiting non-core activities, strengthening the bank balance sheet by reducing billions in RWA's (risk weighted assets), tightening financial and operational risk management and repositioning the business to compete in the post Dodd-Frank regulatory environment. Mr. Howard was RBS's representative on the Board of Directors of FIA Americas & FIA Europe (Futures Industry Association). In addition, Mr. Howard was appointed a member of the RBS Senior leadership Team within the Markets & International Banking division. This was a small group of the most senior executives within the bank responsible for driving strategy within their capital markets division.
Mr. Howard has become active in the cannabis space as both an investor & advisor to early stage growth companies within the industry. Mr. Howard leverages his 20+ years of senior level capital markets experience to source deals and perform due diligence on emerging cannabis focused companies, while providing financial & operational risk management guidance.
Patrick Barry, Director and Chief Investment Officer, Granite Hall Partners
Pat Barry is Director and Chief Investment Officer of Granite Hall Partners. As Chief Investment Officer, Mr. Barry oversees fund construction, the firm’s investment processes and underlying manager due diligence. He is a member of the Investment Committee.
Prior to joining GHP, Mr. Barry led the efforts of Frontier Partners as it expanded into private equity by assisting domestic and European private equity firms in raising institutional assets domestically and abroad. Prior to Frontier Partners, Mr. Barry spent eight years with JP Morgan Asset Management and its heritage organizations focused upon alternative asset programs, including construction of customized products for Institutional and Sovereign Wealth Fund clients in the Middle East and Europe.
Mr. Barry earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University in 1996.
Sean Dollinger, President & CEO at New Spark Media Inc
I am a serial entrepreneur with an ability to take an idea from conception through execution, with a diverse background in all facets of e-Commerce. At the age of 17 I started a delivery company which picked up and delivered absolutely anything anyone wanted. It grew with in months to being the largest delivery company of its type in Canada. At the age of 21, I began my entrepreneurial venture with the successful establishment of an online technology company. Following this, future projects included 4 successful e-commerce companies including an online fashion e-commerce web-page, a website development business, and a cellphone reception company.
In 2014, I started Namaste Technologies, my first public company. As cannabis became more accepted I recognized an opportunity to not only grow Namaste Technologies, originally centered around cannabis accessories, but believed in the good that the business could do in providing people with an easy way to access products and ultimately different cannabis formulations available. Owning and operating over 30 retail sites across the globe, Namaste Technologies is currently the largest e-commerce distributor of vaporizers and accessories world-wide.
Since leaving Namaste in March of 2019 I have went on to provide advisory services for 3 public companies which have seen there market caps double in just 3 short months. The focus is on explaining the story in a simple way investors can relate to.
Throughout the establishment and development of dozens of companies, I've gained an extensive amount of knowledge as to what benefits a business and what does not, with hopes that my future business endeavors will benefit people all over the globe.
Every day I strive to bring 100% commitment to the work that I do, and my goal as an entrepreneur is to create something that will be beneficial to the masses and improve the lives of many. I feel that throughout the last 39 years I have achieved the knowledge and experience necessary to create something in the not too distant future, which I believe will give back to the world whilst also improving the lives of many.
Lawrence Wilder, Partner, Miller Thomson
Lawrence Wilder's practice focuses on representing public and private entrepreneurs and assisting them in successfully growing their businesses. Lawrence handles all aspects of the development curve, from initial equity funding to IPO’s. His merger and acquisition practice encompasses private and public M&A transactions (both friendly and contested). Lawrence has also acted in connection with various special committee mandates where he advises special committees on all aspects of corporate governance in the context of complex public transactions.
Over the past few years, Lawrence has acted in connection with many of Canada’s leading transactions in the REIT and Hospitality space. In 2017, he acted for a vendor client in connection with the first special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) qualifying acquisition to be completed in Canada. He also has a busy international private equity practice, acting for numerous leading international and Canadian private equity funds as well as institutional investors and their investee companies, in a wide variety of industries.
Sandra Gogal, Partner, Miller Thomson
In 2014, Sandra became the Lead of Miller Thomson’s Cannabis Industry Group acting for licenced producers or other entrepreneurs wishing to enter the cannabis industry in Canada. She advises clients and prospective businesses with respect to regulatory and licencing requirements for the cultivation, sale and distribution of medical and recreational cannabis, with a view to emerging markets in product development and retail in Canada and abroad.
Codie Sanchez, Managing Partner, Cresco Capital Partners
Codie Sanchez is a Managing Partner at Cresco Capital Partners, a private equity fund in the legalized cannabis space. She previously lead First Trust's Latin America Investment business and held positions at Goldman Sachs, State Street, and Vanguard. She started her career as a journalist where she won the JFK award and the Howard Buffett Foundation grant for covering human trafficking. Sanchez is a pundit and columnist on investing, cannabis and startups, highlighted on The Today Show, Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, People en Español, Business Wire, etc. She has an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, a master’s from ESADE and Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and a B.A. from Arizona State University. She sits on the board of Magma Partners a venture fund in Chile, Hispanic Executive publication and is actively involved in AEI.
Courtney Letica, CEO & Founder, Medlead Therapeutics
Courtney Letica formed Medleaf Therapeutics in 2018 with a mission to better the lives of New Zealanders through the introduction of high-quality, medicinal cannabis products. The vision for Medleaf formed after Courtney witnessed his terminally ill uncle Gregory Moses be denied medical cannabis by Oncology and DHB in March 2018 and his Grandad with crippling rheumatoid arthritis be denied cannabis access by his Rheumatologist. Courtney set out to make it his mission to ensure medical cannabis would be accessible and affordable for all New Zealanders. Medleaf is a first-mover amongst NZ cannabis companies and is poised to be a leading supplier for New Zealand.
Finn Age Hänsel, Founder & Managing Director, Sanity Group
Finn Age Hänsel, 36, studied Business Administration in Germany, Hungary and New Zealand. Following a 4-year engagement at BCG with focus on medical and health, he joined Rocket Internet in Australia from 2011 to 2013, as a Managing Director. After founding the largest australian online fashion retailer, THE ICONIC, he went on to become the Managing Director of the ProSiebenSat1-Incubator, EPIC Companies. In 2015 he founded the Berliner Berg brewery and became a Business Angel for multiple Berlin start-ups including CrossEngage, SMACC, Cars24 and Einhorn. After 4 years being CEO at the scale-up Movinga, Finn founded the Sanity Group, a European Cannabis company, together with Fabian Friede.
Sanjay Desai, Partner,Grant Thornton LLP
As a Partner with Grant Thornton’s Advisory Services Group, and National Leader of Business Consulting, Sanjay helps clients accelerate their business growth by designing and implementing effective business solutions. Specifically, Sanjay and his team works to identify and tackle a vast array of business barriers in the go-to-market, sales and marketing, human capital management, performance improvement and digital transformation spaces.
Sanjay brings a strong passion for taking things apart, understanding how they work and putting them back together (in a better state than they were before). Over the years he has developed this talent—first, in the technology sector, where, as a key leader, he helped a prominent company go public and achieve its aggressive growth ambitions. Next, as the founder and owner/operator of a high-growth boutique consulting firm—which was strategically acquired by Grant Thornton.
Sanjay’s entrepreneurial background affords him a unique connection with clients. Having travelled this road before—and acquired a broad range of industry expertise along the way—he’s able to identify their unique path to operational excellence, help them mitigate the associated risks and seize the opportunities required to execute it.
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