Acreage Holdings Inc. (CSE: ACRG.U) (OTCQX: ACRGF) continues its push to add strength to its consumer team with the additions of Stacey Kawahata, as the Vice President of Consumer Insights and Brand Strategy, and Joen Choe, as Vice President of Marketing. Acreage has already established itself as a leader with its star-packed board of directors and continues to add key hires from top consumer brands.
“Our long-term success depends on our ability to create differentiated national brands and products that connect with consumers. The addition of Stacey and Joen is a testament to our commitment to driving the growth of our brands and the industry overall,” said Harris Damashek, Chief Marketing Officer of Acreage Holdings. “They both bring an amazing track record and experience in creating, developing and growing breakthrough brands by connecting with consumers in culturally relevant ways.” Both executives will report directly to Chief Marketing Officer Harris Damashek and join a growing marketing organization with Acreage.
As VP of Consumer Insights and Brand Strategy, Kawahata will be responsible for bringing deep consumer understanding to the center of Acreage’s product, brand, and marketing executions.
Kawahata said, “In a few years, Acreage has established the largest company in the cannabis industry—what I see as the bedrock for creating a house of brands that will revolutionize how people think of cannabis and reach the many millions in the U.S. who need or want this plant to better their lives.”
Prior to joining Acreage, Kawahata worked at VICE Media for more than four years leading global brand, content and partnership strategy for VICE’s commercial and editorial arm. She was also a leader in VICE’s internal agency, VIRTUE, working with a number of brands including lululemon (LULU), Under Armour (UA), and Apple (AAPL). In this role, Kawahata also led strategy across several VICE partnerships with companies such as Samsung, Diageo, and ABI. In her role at Acreage, Kawahata will be responsible for crafting experiences and brands that resonate with the many different consumer segments across the cannabis industry, and creating marketing strategies, programs, and executions rooted in consumer needs.
As VP of Marketing, Joen will lead marketing strategy and brand management efforts across a growing portfolio of brands and retail concepts, including The Botanist, Acreage’s flagship retail brand.
On joining Acreage, Choe said, “As the leader in the industry with the largest national footprint, Acreage Holdings is uniquely positioned to create the first national brands in the industry and shape the development of the most significant new industry in the world. It’s a special challenge and privilege to build brands and experiences that will help craft one of the most significant moments in consumer behavior and culture.”
Prior to his position of VP of Marketing at Acreage, Choe drove brand and commercial marketing across a variety of industries, geographies, and sizes—from global icons like Nike (NKE), Luxottica, and Absolut Vodka to high-growth brands like vitaminwater (Coca-Cola), St-Germain (Bacardi), and Aviation Gin. In addition to his deep experience in brand and marketing leadership, Choe managed product and business operations and led media and communications in roles across multiple verticals. Choe also held a leadership role at a startup in mobile health and wellness, Tangram, with products sold at Apple, Best Buy, and Target before being acquired by Kakao Ventures.