Executive Spotlight Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffJuly 19, 2019
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3min1470

Howard Lee is the CEO and co-founder of SōRSE Technology, a Seattle-based food and beverage tech company. Lee’s background spans both the startup and Fortune 500 world. Prior to SōRSE, Lee founded and fund-raised for two successful startups, served as CEO for Photo Works, a NASDAQ listed company, and as Senior Vice President at Disney, where he ran a division with thousands of people and millions of dollars in revenue.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Howard Lee

Title: CEO and Co-founder

Company: SōRSE Technology Corporation

Years at current company: 3+

Education profile: I attended College but didn’t graduate. Instead, I decided to go to Silicon Valley and work on start-ups in the early 80’s.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

  • I founded two successful companies that were Venture Backed. One was successful for investors and the other wasn’t.

  • I was the CEO of a NASDAQ listed company called Photo Works.

  • I was Senior Vice President of Disney Ecommerce & Catalog.

Company Mission: Our mission is to make working and consuming cannabis safer, easier, and more fun. We aim for our emulsion technology to be the standard for quality and safety in the industry. With the SōRSE emulsion, CBD, other cannabinoids, and terpenes can be added to any food, beverage, or topical product with even distribution, predictable onset, and without the cannabis taste or smell. The emulsion is also easily incorporated into any manufacturing process. These are differentiators that we see strengthening and improving the industry and benefiting producers and consumers in a significant way.

Company’s most successful achievement: Scaling the use of our emulsion to produce 10,000 units every 15 minutes for our customer(s).

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes.

If so, how much?: $10,000,000 to date.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? We do not have plans to raise additional capital; we are cash positive and profitable.

Most important company 5 year goal: Expanding our emulsion technology world wide and more thoroughly in North America


StaffStaffJuly 17, 2019
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3min2151

Dean Watershas been executing successful media/marketing strategies for a variety of Fortune 500 brands for over 30 years. After founding VIMBY, he forged a substantial alignment with Mark Burnett resulting in various nationally awarded creative campaigns. Last year, Dean founded The Flowertown Platform and The Flowertown Agency as a two-pronged approach designed to educate new consumers entering the marketplace and also to give cannabis brands the proper marketing tools for normalization.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

 

Full birth name: Dean Evan Waters

Title: CEO

Company: Flowertown, LLC

Years at current company: 1.5 years

Education profile: Started working in Media at age 18

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Worked in the cable industry from 1990-2004, many successes in the massive growth cable industry.  Started my own company that is still operating (2006-current day) called VIMBY.  VIMBY started as a destination website and ended up becoming a very successful brand studio after partnering w Mark Burnett. Many successful campaigns and awards with Mark Burnett as a partner for 9 years.  We were the Mark Burnett Content Studio.  VIMBY is still in existence in Burbank, CA.  

Company Mission: To equip new consumers with the confidence to explore the positive life-changing possibilities of cannabis, free of the existing stigmas. 

Company’s most successful achievement: We’ve secured an executive team comprised of award-winning creatives, producers and strategists along with strategic partnership with CohnReznick that is poised to be the industry leader in reaching new consumers entering the cannabis space.   

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: $2.5M

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: To be the trusted household name in cannabis education, content, and product/retail recommendations at the standard of current CPG markets.

 


StaffStaffJuly 16, 2019
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4min1380

Shea Alderete is a passionate and strategic entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the cannabis industry. Shea has focused on revolutionizing cannabis for the past decade to provide clean medicine from its extraction, using his technical background to produce premium cannabis product and employ cutting-edge technology at Gen X. Previously, Shea had a professional career in baseball and recognized that there was a gap in the market for anti-inflammatory medicines for pain relief. Shea has long term experience working with reputable brands in the cannabis industry such as Moxie and HTH, where he set the innovative standard for cannabis extraction and paved the way for their success. He has won numerous cannabis product awards with the Cloud Vapes brand, which today is a $70M USD-a-year profitable business. In addition to this, Shea has won the Chalice Cup of California for the best CBD products as well as the Canada Karma Cup for the best vaporizer and terpenes in 2016.

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

 

Full birth name: Shea Alderete

Title: Founder and CEO

Company: Gen X Biosciences

Years at current company: 4 years

Education profile: Bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Played professional Baseball. 

Company Mission: Gen X is consistently on the cutting edge of scalable production and delivers products that far exceed industry standards through its unique understanding of the chemistry and chemical processes involved in distillate extraction, coupled with access to the world’s best machinery and equipment. With the Company’s pending listing on the CSE and capital raise, Gen X is poised to be the leader in high-capacity and high-quality distillate production in California and beyond the Golden State.

Company’s most successful achievement: Gen X was the first ever cannabis brand to sponsor the 2016 X Games, giving Gen X national television exposure on ESPN and ABC as a sponsor of professional supercross star Tyler Bereman.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: Gen X has raised $3 million to date.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes, we are raising another $2-3 million.

Most important company 5 year goal: Gen X’s strategy to-date has been focused on utilizing cutting edge technology and our proprietary “molecular perfection” distillation process to produce premium cannabis products. The next five years will allow us to spread the platform, not only across the 50 states in the U.S., but internationally as well.


StaffStaffJuly 15, 2019
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5min1720

Thomas came to CannaTrac® with a long list of attributes. His previous business experience includes over 18 years in residential and commercial real estate finance. During this time, he managed a corporate office along with 4 out-of-state offices and was responsible for over 100 employees. 

His professional marketing and advertising experience started in 2005, where he assisted with the development of an improved marketing campaign for 14 publications. He saw a niche and this led him to start T E G Resources, Ltd., in late 2007, where he provided marketing consulting to small-medium sized businesses looking to expand within their market and become more efficient. 

Gavin started as a consultant for CannaTrac Technology in September of 2015, assisting with marketing. After helping retool the layout of the company’s marketing plan, the company hired him as the Director of Marketing in February of 2016 and promoted him to COO in May of 2017. While in his position as COO, he established relationships throughout the industry and beyond. In January of 2019, the Board of Directors appointed him to the position of CEO.

Since he took the chair over CannaTrac has exploded, becoming first to market in multiple industries and making history. Through innovative marketing strategies and the excellent network he has established, Gavin has brought CannaTrac into the limelight and is moving closer and closer to making the company the go-to payment solution for cashless transactions.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Thomas E. Gavin IV

Title: Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Company: CannaTrac® Technology, Inc.

Years at current company: 4

Education profile: Gavin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Governors State University and is currently certified by the Independent Community Bankers of America as a Business Analysis Professional (CBAP).

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Gavin gained valuable business and financial experience in his almost two decades in residential and commercial real estate finance, which included the management of over 100 employees. Following his time in the real estate industry, Gavin founded TEG Resources, Ltd. There, he used his business and marketing skills to assist many small to medium companies in enhancing efficiency and expanding into successful businesses. Finally, seeing an opportunity in an industry he is passionate about that merged his finance background with his unique ability to grow small businesses into successful ventures, he joined CannaTrac®.

Company Mission: CannaTrac®’s main mission is promoting safety within the cannabis industry through its cashless payment solution, the CannaCard®. The CannaCard® comes in both a physical card and a mobile app to encourage use through consumer convenience and remove cash from the cannabis industry. The Company also provides the cannabis industry with highly-vetted background checks through its company, FIRST, Inc, to strengthen trust between banks and cannabis companies. CannaTrac® educates both financial institutions and cannabis companies on how to work within the complicated federal regulatory framework to enhance partnerships that result in overall increased industry safety.

Company’s most successful achievement: CannaTrac® has recently announced a few large accomplishments, including placing CannaCard® loading stations in 18,000 locations, integration into the Adilas point-of-sale(POS) system, which serves more than 900 cannabis-related businesses, and a handheld POS system with popular payment service provider, NEXGO. Most notably, the Company has become the first-ever cannabis company to sponsor a red carpet event, including the Grammy Awards®, Oscars®, the Golden Globes® and Los Angeles Metropolitan Fashion Week.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: $3.1 Million

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: CannaTrac’s most important 5 year goals are to expand the brand into multiple countries and be recognized as the cannabis industry’s #1 cashless payment solution.

 


StaffStaffJuly 12, 2019
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8min3960

Jessica Billingsley is a technology pioneer, solutions creator and industry leader, providing proven compliance software solutions to the cannabis market. She is the Chief Executive Officer of Akerna—the first cannabis compliance technology company to be traded on Nasdaq—making her the first CEO from this market space to bring a company to a major U.S. exchange. Jessica is also the CEO of Akerna’s flagship subsidiary—MJ Freeway. She established MJ Freeway in 2010 and it is the leading seed-to-sale regulatory compliance technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. Akerna also offers Leaf Data Systems as a government resource for public sector compliance. Combined entities tracked more than $15 billion in world-wide, client cannabis sales to date. She is the first woman ever from the cannabis industry to receive the prestigious Fortune’s “Most Promising Women Entrepreneur Award” and is also recognized as one of Inc.’s “Female Founders 100.” Jessica received a degree in Communications and Computer Science from the University of Georgia and lives with her daughter in Denver.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Jessica Billingsley 

Title: Chief Executive Officer, Akerna and Chief Executive Officer, MJ Freeway

Company: Akerna and MJ Freeway

Years at current company:  Akerna launched in June 2019. Nine and a half years at MJ Freeway.

Education profile:  At 16 years old, I received a full academic scholarship to attend the University of Georgia, where I received a degree in Communications and Computer Science.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:  Prior to forming MJ Freeway, I built and managed technology operations with an emphasis on executive management, corporate culture, finance, and strategic relations. I launched my first company at 22, and I’ve been a successful founder, owner, COO and CEO of several companies.

Company Mission: Our technology empowers a compliant cannabis industry to prove outcomes that positively change lives every day.

Company’s most successful achievement: Nine years ago, my co-founder and I invented seed-to-sale tracking upon identifying the need for organic material tracking and compliance SaaS solutions in the growing cannabis industry. We were supporting one of the first cannabis dispensaries and grows in Colorado, and saw that cannabis needed technology built for it not adapted from other industries. And we believed visibility across the entire supply chain from seed-to-sale would be a requirement for the industry’s sustained growth. MJ Freeway was born with the launch of our patent-pending cannabis seed-to-sale technology. Today, seed-to-sale tracking is a requirement of most state’s that regulate legal cannabis. And to date MJ Freeway has tracked more than $13B in legal cannabis sales.

In 2017, in response to what I saw as the maturing of the cannabis market to multi-state enterprise businesses, MJ Freeway launched the cannabis industry’s first ERP. We also led the international expansion in the cannabis technology sector very early on in 2012 in Canada then into Spain. Today, our total international footprint spans 13 countries. Innovation and seeing what opportunities are next on the horizon – and then being ready for them first – is a hallmark of MJ Freeway and now Akerna. 

Most recently, I’m proud of an accomplishment that is a testament to the entire MJ Freeway team. Via a merger between MJ Freeway and MTech, a shell company formed for the purpose of acquiring a cannabis technology company, Akerna is the first software company that serves cannabis businesses to be traded on a major U.S. exchange. Akerna is traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol: KERN. It’s an unprecedented milestone signifying a shift in beliefs and generating ripples of opportunity.  

Finally, I’m proud to have broken a couple of glass ceilings by serving as CEO of a technology company and holding a CEO position in a publicly traded company. Unfortunately, both are very rare occurrences. MJ Freeway launched last year the One Woman Challenge campaign to empower women in their careers. I want to reverse the growing decline of women in tech. It’s appalling to learn there’s a smaller percentage of women working in tech today than 25 years ago. Please learn more about the #OneWomanChallenge on our website and social pages and get involved. 

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: $25M in private financing prior to this most recent public transaction.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes. Akerna’s strategy is to consolidate cannabis technology companies to connect data points in the global cannabis supply chain. Raising capital is a piece of our strategy to fully execute on Akerna’s strategy and is a reason for our listing on Nasdaq to be able to access more cost effective capital.

Most important company 5-year goal: To build the world’s most transparent and accountable consumer packaged goods supply chain. There’s an explosion of growth in consumers’ desire for transparency in products, which starts with transparency in the supply chain. With MJ Platform’s technology, I can tell you what farm the cannabis in your gummy was harvested from, what date it was harvested, and what nutrients were added prior to harvest. We can then follow the progression of the exact cannabis in that gummy until the moment it was sold to you. Seed-to-sale technology gives an unprecedented level of transparency across the supply chain. We intend to build on MJ Platform and grow Akerna through acquisitions to connect more data points across the cannabis supply chain and empower businesses, governments, and the public with the information they need to make better decisions. We are excited about the explosive growth of this industry and how compliance technology will underpin it. 


StaffStaffJuly 11, 2019
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4min4030
Antonio Frazier is the Director of Operations at CannaSafe, the first ISO licensed cannabis lab in the world and the leading marketshare holder in California.
Het met CannaSafe President, Aaron Riley, while playing football together at Furman University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree; he also holds a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Clemson.
Frazier began his career as a Nuclear Quality Engineer for the Tennessee Valley Authority, certifying and verifying final construction of nuclear components. He then moved to aerospace engineering, performing quality assurance for the foundry, testing lab, heat treat, and special finishing departments for SKF USA (Baltimore).
Antonio enjoys using his industrial, public safety focused skillset to forge the standards of a burgeoning industry; cannabis is just a huge bonus. He’s an English Premiere League fanatic (Chelsea), married with two sons, and resides in Los Angeles, California.
GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A –

Full birth name: Antonio Frazier

Title: Director of Operations

Company: CannaSafe (https://csalabs.com/)

Years at current company: 2 years

Education profile: Antonio played football at Furman University with Aaron Riley, current president of CannaSafe. He wanted a degree in engineering, but Furman didn’t have an engineering program, so he ended up driving between both schools for two years and received 2 B.S. degrees – one from Furman University and the other from Clemson University in Materials Engineering.

https://www.furmanpaladins.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/091009aaa.html

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Reducing foundry scrap by over 25%, and therefore saved SKF USA over $100,000 per month on material waste. This lead me to win the 2015 SKF Excellence Award, a global recognition within the company. This was done by implementing new SOPs and six sigma practices, which lead to much better on delivery time of final parts and helped increase moral throughout the company.

Company Mission: To set the standard in cannabis science and ensure patients have safe access to medicine.

Company’s most successful achievement: Becoming the first ISO 17025 certified cannabis lab in the world. CannaSafe is now currently the market share leader for California compliance testing.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes, but not publicly.

If so, how much?:  N/A

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Our team has not decided on this as of yet.

Most important company 5 year goal: To have multiple locations across the country, and to help establish Federal industrial hemp (CBD) testing requirements.

 


StaffStaffJuly 10, 2019
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6min3150

Jill Ellsworth is founder and CEO of Willow Industries, Inc., which provides state-of-the-art, ozone-based technology for post-harvest microbial decontamination. Upon launching Willow Industries in 2015, Jill’s aim was—and remains—to protect consumers and patients by helping producers put clean, safe product on the market. 

Willow’s technology has proven to reduce yeast, mold, bacteria, mildew, E.Coli, and other dangerous pathogens, all while protecting the medicinal properties of the plant. The introduction of the WillowPureSM system to the market has provided growers a solution to passing newly set state regulation standards. 

Fueled by her passion for innovation and dedication to healthier living, Jill is a vocal advocate for the cannabis industry’s adoption of FDA-like standards and proactive promotion of safety measures.

Jill serves on the Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee for the City of Denver and is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master’s of Science in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science.

Prior to launching Willow Industries in 2015, Jill founded Vibrant Earth Juices (VEJ), a cold-pressed organic juice company, in 2010 and later parlayed VEJ into a beverage distribution company.

In 2013, Jill was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Emerging Business by the Santa Barbara Women’s Economic Ventures group. Most recently, Jill was selected by Marijuana Business Daily as one of their 2019 Women to Watch in Cannabis. She has also been honored by cannabis lifestyle magazine, GreenDorphin, as one of the 20 Most Influential Women in Cannabis and Industry Leaders Magazine as one of the Influential Businesswomen in the Cannabis Industry.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Jill Lynn Ellsworth (Maiden: Latham)

Title: Founder / CEO

Company: Willow Industries, Inc. (https://willowindustries.com/)

Years at current company: 3.5 years

Education profile: 

BS Communications – California State University, Northridge 

MS Nutrition, Dietetics & Food Science – California State University, Northridge 

Dietetic Internship : Registered Dietitian  – Cal Poly San Louis Obispo

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: I am most proud of the cold-pressed, organic juice business, Vibrant Earth Juices, I founded and launched in Santa Barbara, CA in 2011 and Denver, CO in 2013. Vibrant Earth was one of the first fresh juice companies in Santa Barbara and Denver and quickly became very successful. From this, I was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Emerging Business in 2013. This was the start of my vision to develop innovative products and/or solutions for consumers. 

Company Mission: Willow Industries strives to be the cannabis industry’s most reliable and innovative solution for producing clean, safe cannabis that consumers can trust.

Company’s most successful achievement: Willow’s most successful achievement was innovating a solution to a huge problem in the industry – microbial contamination. While we were very ahead of our time when we first launched Willow, we remained focused and patient, knowing the industry needed to catch up to our vision and what was important to the future of the industry. Staying the course and not giving up before the industry understood our value is our most successful achievement. Now with many cultivators adopting our tech, we continue to focus on our vision and goals.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes

If so, how much?: We have raised $2 million. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Certainly. We have very aggressive and aspirational goals that will lead us to the need for more financing. Right now, we are focused on executing our plans for the most recent funding round. 

Most important company 5 year goal: We look for Willow to become a standard for consumer safety in the cannabis industry (modeling safety standards from the food & beverage industries) and for cultivators to see Willow as the solution for clean cannabis. We are focusing our efforts on cannabis compliance and helping to educate the regulatory sector of the industry as well. We will continue to push the boundaries for clean cannabis innovations, while keeping consumer safety at the focal point of our goals.

 

 


StaffStaffJuly 9, 2019
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7min3090

Erin Gore is founder and CEO of Garden Society, a California-based, cannabis-focused benefit corporation serving women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of their daily lives. Garden Society creates artisanal confections and sun-grown pre-rolls that connects biodynamic farming, sustainable ingredients and strain-specific cannabis in a variety of products. 

Garden Society stems from Erin’s personal journey of striving to find balance in her life, as both a mom and entrepreneur, and being surrounded by women feeling the same pressures. Alongside her business partner, Karli Warner, the company is built on their shared passion to encourage women to explore non-traditional ways of managing pain, anxiety and stress relief, as well as relaxation and joy via cannabis– all a means of providing a better quality of life. 

Three years since founding, Garden Society is now a flourishing, well-rounded cannabis wellness brand poised to reach and help women across the state of California enrich their lives with safe and clean cannabis. 

Erin is an active member of the Northern California cannabis community, and frequently speaks on the topics of cannabis and entrepreneurship. She’s a fearless advocate for women-owned cannabis businesses, and equally dedicated to breaking the stigma and rewriting the script around the plant. With a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Erin is also fluent in the science-based talk of cannabis and production. 

Prior to Garden Society, Erin worked with her husband Tom on their joint venture with Constellation Brands on Tom Gore Vineyards, an award-winning farmer’s wine. Before the wine business, she had a decade-long corporate career at Henkel, where she managed a global adhesive business valued at nearly $100 million. Her time at Henkel provided a solid foundation in leadership, development, and achieving exceptional financial results.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name:  Erin Kay Gore

Title:  Founder/ CEO

Company:  Garden Society

Years at current company:  3

Education profile:  BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

My most successful accomplishment at my previous company was having the career path I did, on my terms, with the colmenation winning Business of the Year.  I was faced with a lot of challenges and adversity throughout my career being one of the few women in my division within the technical and business units of a chemical CPG company.  I worked hard to build excellent EQ to overcome these challenges, and create opportunities for myself by intentionally managing up and being a good team player.. I excelled at every opportunity I earned through listening, creativity, being coachable, hard work and grittiness to get the job done.  Right before I resigned, I won Business of the Year with my team. I thought back to the first position I had at the company, and was so proud of how intentional I had been using every difficult situation to help me grow as a leader and employee, and also to demonstrate how diversity of age and gender can be an asset to every team.

Company Mission:  Garden Society is a benefit corporation creating a sisterhood of women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of our daily lives. 

Founded in Sonoma County by Erin Gore and Karli Warner in 2016, Garden Society offers high quality cannabis-infused confections and sun-grown flower pre-rolls that connect biodynamic farming, sustainable ingredients and strain-specific cannabis in a variety of products. Garden Society edibles and pre-rolls are intended to be enjoyed responsibly to relieve pain, alleviate stress, and enable each of us to live our lives more fully. Our goal is to help everyone find a ‘Fresh Perspective’ in the joy that cannabis brings to our everyday lives!  

OUR MANIFESTO:  We are girlfriends, wives, moms, sisters, bill-payers, breadwinners, caretakers and peacemakers. We are multi-taskers, with a huge passion to pursue all this world offers. We are a sisterhood of like-minded women. We are pioneers, in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of our daily lives. We seek new ways to regain perspective—and constantly look for ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary.  We are NOT superwomen, but we ARE amazing.  Welcome to Garden Society.

Company’s most successful achievement:  To be in a position post July 2018 where we are continuing to build a strong brand presence and scaling so quickly that we have to raise capital to propel our growth to its potential. Also, that we’re really helping people find a better life for themselves.  I’m so inspired by how we help people and so proud of what we’ve built.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):   Yes

If so, how much?:  Initial Investment in 2018 of $1.3M.  

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Yes, currently fundraising to continue to propel our fast growth.  

Most important company 5 year goal:  In 5 years, we will continue pushing towards our vision of becoming one of the most positive, powerful and trusted global cannabis brands for women, with quality products that matter to both consumers and partners.


StaffStaffJuly 8, 2019
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8min3630

Born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, Jeffrey D. Welsh began his career on the performance side of the entertainment industry. Following undergraduate studies at The Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut, Mr. Welsh moved to Los Angeles to pursue his first love as a professional saxophonist while earning a Masters of Music degree from the University of Southern California. After several years of recording for television and film, as well as touring internationally, Mr. Welsh decided his skill set would be best served on the business side of the entertainment industry, and headed to Pepperdine Law School in Malibu, California in 2010. 

It was at Pepperdine where Mr. Welsh met Luke Stanton and began his foray into the legal cannabis community, entrenching himself into California corporate formation and criminal defense in both Los Angeles and Ventura Counties during law school and into his first year of professional practice. 

In June of 2014, Jeffrey accepted a position in Corporate Business Affairs at the largest talent agency in the world, William Morris Endeavor, now WME | IMG, while simultaneously continuing to work in the legal cannabis industry part time. In this unique position, Mr. Welsh’s goal was to develop an understanding of the nuanced entertainment industry while concurrently connecting entertainer-advocates with projects and groups actively working in the cannabis space. Mr. Welsh was able to develop relationships with some of the most visible entertainers under WME representation, and is currently facilitating deals for several of those entertainers in the legal cannabis industry. 

In an effort to return to his musical roots, Mr. Welsh moved to the Personal Appearance Department at WME in February of 2015. In that same month Mr. Welsh co-founded the Frontera Law Group with Luke Stanton, and joined Frontera full time in July of 2015. Through aggressive networking and an unrelenting desire to be the first mover in the cannabis to entertainment/media space, Mr. Welsh fostered an extensive network with the current and future tastemakers of the entertainment industry to facilitate deal flow between these two industries. 

In April of 2017, Mr. Welsh co-founded a full-service creative agency, Composite, with Cody Tesnow, Charles Hayes, Duco Muller, and Luke Stanton. Composite helps guide and grow brands in the legal cannabis industry, and specializes in creative & content production, marketing research & strategy, and product development. 

By navigating this unique path, Mr. Welsh is sensitive to specific legal issues involved in entertainment and cannabis coming together, such as intellectual property, endorsements, licensing, criminal and civil liability and other business and legal considerations. Mr. Welsh and Frontera have been recognized as national 

thought leaders in the cannabis industry by Entrepreneur Magazine (named as one of the Top 100 Cannabis Leaders in 2018), and by MG Magazine (named as one of the Top 50 companies to work for in the cannabis industry in 2018). 

Music has always remained a tremendously positive outlet of creativity for Mr. Welsh, and he continues to utilize that passion for creative expression by performing live saxophone and DJ sets as frequently as possible in the greater Los Angeles area.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name: Jeffrey Dennis Welsh

Title: Co-Founder of Frontera, Co-Founder of Composite

Company: Frontera Law Group, Composite Agency

Years at current company: 5 years at Frontera, 2.5 years at Composite

Education profile:

University of Hartford – Bachelor of Music, Saxophone Performance  – Graduated May 2007

University of Southern California – Master of Music – Graduated May 2009

Pepperdine University School of Law – Juris Doctor – Graduated May 2013

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: In college I became the first saxophonist to ever win the Van Rooy Competition, which is the largest monetary undergraduate music competition in the United States.  I was fortunate enough to also perform a United States premier of Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Cyber-Bird concerto for saxophone and full orchestra.  At USC, I performed with both the Hollywood Bowl and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras.

Company Mission: Frontera’s corporate mission is to provide invaluable strategic advice for companies in and around the cannabis industry through an ecosystem of cannabis thought leaders in an effort to expedite and facilitate successful and sustainable cannabis businesses.

Composite’s corporate mission is to elevate brands into a legal and universally respected cannabis industry that contributes to the well-being of society. 

Company’s most successful achievement: For Frontera, I am most proud of the fact that we are the largest cannabis focused law firm in the State of California, both in terms of number of clients represented (over 300) and in size of our staff.

Frontera have been recognized as national thought leaders in the cannabis industry by Entrepreneur Magazine (named as one of the Top 100 Cannabis Leaders in 2018), and by MG Magazine (named as one of the Top 50 companies to work for in the cannabis industry in 2018).

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No

Any plans on raising capital in the future? For Composite yes, for Frontera as a law firm we are unable to take on growth capital.

Most important company 5 year goal:

For Frontera – to continue organically expanding our bandwidth, and our ecosystem of partners in an effort to maintain preeminence in California.

For Composite – to have at least 2 brands that we created in-house be acquired!

 


StaffStaffJuly 5, 2019
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4min2800

Matthew (Matt) Karnes has over 25 years of diverse finance and accounting experience. Prior to founding GreenWave Advisors LLC, Matt worked in equity research focusing on the Radio Broadcasting and Cable Television industries for First Union Securities. Matt also covered Satellite Communication at SG Cowen and in addition, worked with the top ranked Consumer Internet analyst at Bear Stearns & Co – this team was consistently recognized by the Institutional Investor’s “All America Research Team”.  As a sellside equity analyst, Matt authored and co-authored numerous emerging industry research reports including such names as Google, Sirius, XM Satellite Radio, DIRECTV and EchoStar Communications.

Matt was also Principal and Senior Equity Analyst at Bull Path Capital Management, a New York City based hedge fund, where he was responsible for investment strategies of emerging technologies primarily within the Technology, Media and Telecom sectors. Prior to his career on Wall Street, Matt held various finance and accounting positions at PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Deloitte as well as at Texaco Inc. where he worked throughout the U.S., Europe, The Caribbean and Asia. Additionally at Chase, Matt was responsible for implementing the bank’s corporate accounting policies on commodity, interest rate and foreign currency derivative products. Matt graduated from Fordham University with an MBA in finance and earned a B.S. Business Administration with a double major in accounting and finance from Miami University (OH). Matt is also a Certified Public Accountant.

 

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A- 

Full birth name: Matthew Alan Karnes

Title: Founder

 Company: GreenWave Advisors (founded in 2014)

Years at current company: 5

Education profile:

Miami University – Oxford, OH: B.S.  Majors, Accounting and Finance

Fordham University – NewYork, NY: MBA International Finance

Certified Public Accountant – New York State

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: There is not one single accomplishment that stands out as the “most successful”. I have had the privilege of working with the best and brightest throughout my career with a success story each step of the way.  Starting with my tenure as an auditor at a “Big Four” accounting firm to the experience gained as an equity analyst at a Bulge Bracket investment bank, there have been many accomplishments but realized  mostly through team work.

Company’s most successful achievement:   As the industry gets ready to explode, we have much more to accomplish. Given my background in accounting/auditing, as well  buyside and sellside equity research, GreenWave is uniquely positioned to provide unbiased, independent financial research and analysis. In this regard, and with 5 years now under our belt (GreenWave was founded in 2014),  we are better able to read between the lines, connect the dots and ask the probing questions. With so many uknowns that loom, we provide a differentiated service offering with our brand established as the “go to” resource for investors.  

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Not at the present time

Most important company 5 year goal: Stay tuned.



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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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