Executive Spotlight Archives - Green Market Report

StaffStaffMarch 26, 2020
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7min2350

DaVinci has been leading the vaporizer market for almost 10 years (the company launched its original vaporizer in 2012). Founder Cortney Smith (Cort) is known for engineering vaporizer devices that set the industry standard.  When Apple banned vaping apps, his team created the first on-device dosage control in just 3 days, to make sure every user has access to their dosage information. Cort has a vision for clean, responsibly built vaporizer devices that can put the cannabis industry at the forefront of mainstream consumer technology.

Executive Spotlight: Cortney Smith, CEO, and founder, DaVinci

Title: Founder, Inventor, and Chief Executive Officer

Company: DaVinci

Years at current company: Nine; I founded DaVinci in 2011.

Education profile: Graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Chinese and International Relations.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Before becoming a cannabis entrepreneur, I brought bungee jumping to China in the 1990s. I moved to China as part of my college education, and in 1991 I founded Bungee International, which designed, manufactured and installed large-scale theme park attractions across China. Bungee International became the world’s largest bungee jumping company, with over 2 million jumpers and 70 locations throughout Asia. My passion for extreme sports also led me to produce China’s first X Games event in 1998.

Company Mission: I founded DaVinci with the desire to change the world’s imagination of what is possible for plant-based wellness. Drawing from my history in manufacturing and hardware design, DaVinci’s mission is to innovate cannabis consumer tech while bringing responsible consumption to the forefront.

Company’s most successful achievement: We continue to design and produce new advanced devices that cannabis consumers deserve while tackling the challenges of the vaporizer market. From the 2019 vaping injury outbreak to the Apple App Store ban on vaporizer apps, we’ve weathered quite a few obstacles just in the past year.

Fortunately, our team has built responsibly from the start with clean, medical-grade hardware—and we have the ability to pivot at a moment’s notice. We started 2020 with the launch of the DaVinci IQ2. Our engineers designed an exceptional portable device that works with both flower and concentrates, and has new features that really resonated with cannabis aficionados. To overcome Apple’s app ban, for example, we developed the world’s first Load Your Own & Know Your Dose feature that gives consumers their dosage information right on the device. And the IQ2’s adjustable airflow is another innovation for which we’ve received a lot of positive feedback.

Necessity is the mother of invention. When you’re an inventor, you need to believe that anything is possible with human ingenuity. Without that inventor mindset, you don’t open yourself up to the new solutions that must be created in times of uncertainty. The cannabis companies that will succeed are the companies with a culture of possibility. That’s how you win in a market that faces as many barriers as cannabis does.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): No, we have no debt and have always operated as a boot-strapped organization.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes, we will be seeking capital in the future to aid in the expansion of the company.

Most important company 5-year goal: Consumers need quality cannabis brands they can trust. As the leading vaporizer brand, DaVinci has a responsibility to continue our legacy of safety and innovation in everything we do, and that comes from delivering a consistent product experience, whether that’s our debut Classic vaporizer that’s still on the market or a more recent model. Our goal for the next five years is to expand our product offerings while building brand loyalty and trust that we’re already known for. From the IQ2 to other new product categories we have in the works, we’re supporting cannabis consumers and moving the market forward for years to come.


StaffStaffMarch 24, 2020
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3min2310

Shannon Reed is a brand marketer with a decade of experience building global consumer focused brands. She’s worked on some of the largest brands in the world including Samsung, Google, Tinder and Bacardi.

Throughout her career Shannon has focused on marketing based on deep consumer insights, helping to launch first of its kind digital experiences for Google Star Wars as well as Tinder’s Swipe Night.

GMR Executive Spotlight Interview:

Full Name: Shannon Reed

Title: VP of Marketing

Company: Omura 

Years at current company: Less than 1 year

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: I have a deep love of technology and have had the honor of working with some absolutely amazing technology brands delivering first of its kind products with Google, Samsung and Tinder.

Company Mission: At its heart Omura is a technology brand, founded by flower enthusiasts. Omura’s mission is to lead heat-not-burn technology innovation by delivering the cleanest whole flower vaping experience. 

Company’s most successful achievement: Development of our proprietary technology for the entire Omura Platform. We’ve created patented technology for our flower sticks, the method to fill our flower sticks, the filling equipment as well as the heat-not-burn technology within the oven itself.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): We’ve successfully raised $5 million in capital in the last year. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes. 

Most important company 5 year goal: We want to take the Omura platform global and become the go to brand for vaporization of whole flower. This will allow us to create a new category for consumers that focuses on the best way to vaporize whole flower. 


StaffStaffMarch 10, 2020
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4min4370

Parisa Mansouri-Rad also known as “The Marijuana Momma” is a marketing executive and Cannabis advocate whose experience as the mom of a special needs child propelled her into the industry. When spinal fusion surgery to correct scoliosis left her then 15-year-old daughter with a rare, life-threatening condition characterized by chronic abdominal pain, Parisa’s search for palliatives led her to Cannabis (Medicinal Marijuana). 

After witnessing her daughter’s dramatic improvement, Parisa decided to leverage her marketing experience to re-brand the maligned Cannabis industry through ongoing advocacy and education of the public on the benefits of medicinal marijuana.

Parisa graduated with honors from New Mexico State University with a Major in Agriculture Business and a Minor in Marketing. She serves as Market Leader Program Director for Women Grow, Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships for Women of Cannabis & President of MjMomma Consulting LLC, a Cannabis focused Marketing Agency.

GMR Executive Summary Interview:

Title: President 

Company: Mj Momma Consulting 

Years at current company: 4

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Leading a campaign effort to implant curbside recycling in my home town of Las Cruces, NM.

Company Mission: To help our clients achieve their most HIGHEST marketing goals and strategic communications objectives. To consistently provide the highest levels of professionalism and experience. To provide strategic counsel, creative solutions and timely, responsive services.

Company’s most successful achievement: my greatest professional achievements are watching our partnering brands succeeded. I’ve been blessed to help build and curate so many epic cannabis industry events this past year from National events throughout the US & Puerto Rico as well as Women Grow leadership Summit, National Women of Cannabis Conference & NYFW.   

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

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Absolutely 

Most important company 5 year goal: I hope to break into the entertainment side of the  industry and provide marketing avenues and opportunity for the brands I build on a larger national platform via television and Broadcast marketing.


StaffStaffMarch 6, 2020
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4min4530
Meet Alana Burstein. For years, wine had been Alana’s drink of choice when entertaining friends. After an evening of one too many glasses of wine, Alana knew that her relationship with alcohol needed to come to an end. Hitting rock bottom for Alana caused her to channel her energy into inspiration. Noticing the demand for a healthier and safer alternative to alcohol, she was determined to find a solution that would still allow people to be social while celebrating life. Frustrated with the sugary juicy taste of existing non- alcoholic wines and with legalization of cannabis on the horizon, her creativity sparked. The idea came to her for a cannabis beverage that would have all the best attributes of wine with none of the negative impacts of alcohol. Alana spent countless hours sourcing the best possible ingredients, technology, and team that could help bring her vision to life. The result is Viv&Oak, featuring premium California Wine, de-alcoholized and blended with cannabis for an elevated social experience; one that’s full of flavor, low in sugar and calories, and will leave you without a hangover. Alana hopes to help break the stigma around cannabis and encourage fellow health-conscious consumers open to new experiences to toast to something really worth celebrating.
Executive Spotlight Q&A:
Company: Viv&Oak Inc.
The company was founded: started in 2017, incorporated in 2019
My most successful accomplishment before cannabis is:  I have done a lot of things in my professional life but my most proud accomplishment is raising my three beautiful children into adulthood.
Our mission: Providing a solution for men and women who choose not to consume alcohol but want an elevated social experience with cannabis!
Our most successful achievement: Is the outstanding feedback on the taste and experience we are receiving from our customers.

Has the company raised any capital? We are self-funded but will be looking for injections of capital and great partnerships.

Our most important company goal in 5 years is:  By offering a great taste, experience, and approachable design, we will have helped women and men change their consuming preferences, with a much healthier alternative to alcohol.
You can thank us in the morning!™

StaffStaffMarch 5, 2020
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3min3940

Full birth name:  Ed Keating

Title:  Co-founder & Chief Data Officer

Company:  Cannabiz Media

Years at current company: 5

Education profile:  I received a BA in Russian Studies with a minor in Economics from Hamilton College.  After moving to Chicago, I got an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University with concentrations in Strategy and Marketing.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: While working for a Fortune 500 publisher I launched a workflow practice system that helped public companies create, manage and file their key Securities & Exchange Commission filings electronically.

Company Mission:  At Cannabiz Media, we are proud to be the leading provider of go-to-market solutions for the cannabis and hemp industry by breaking down barriers brought on by confusing state-specific licensing and regulations. As the industry’s verified source of license holder contact information and operational data, we are fanatical about creating a simplified experience that holistically supports business development strategies by fusing lead generation, email marketing, and analytics, up-to-date regulatory information and news, compliance verification, and a sales CRM all within one easy-to-use platform. 

Company’s most successful achievement:  Bootstrapping a cash flow positive and profitable company in the tumultuous cannabis space.

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

if so, how much?:

Any plans on raising capital in the future? No plans at this point.

Most important company 5-year goal:

Our goal is to better understand and penetrate the cannabis economy.  Worldwide we are tracking almost 100,000 cannabis and hemp licenses along with the companies that own them and the people who work in these businesses.  In the coming years, we’ll be increasing our relationships with key trade associations and the vendor community. This will provide our customers with one place to see and interact with the entire cannabis ecosystem.


StaffStaffFebruary 11, 2020
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3min4710

Full birth name: Olivia Alexander

Title: CEO & Founder

Company: Kush Queen

Years at current company: 5 years

Education profile: College Dropout (Loyal Marymount University) 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

Since the age of 2, I was a professional actress appearing in countless television shows, commercials, and films. 

Company Mission: The four pillars of Kush Queen that define our mission are innovation, equality, transparency, and quality. 

Company’s most successful achievement:

We’ve had a lot of moments at Kush Queen, but the most successful achievement is that we started the company with $0. In the cannabis industry, it is very rare to meet a company like Kush Queen and some days how we began truly blows our mind more than anything else. When you start with nothing, it changes everything.

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

If so, how much?: We did a small round of $400K 2 years ago during the first year of legalization in California. 

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

We are in this for the long haul, so we are taking our time to organically grow our business and build a strong foundation that starts with our audience.  Eventually, we will explore a capital raise.

Most important company 5-year goal: For Kush Queen, our greatest goal is to innovate. So many companies are large, which can make it extremely difficult to move quickly with new technology and innovation. Being a small team allows us to do things other companies cannot, so our biggest goal is to continue to be on the forefront and create products that are the first in the space.  In 5 years we hope to have our full line of psychoactive and non-psychoactive cannabis-infused cosmetics. 

 


StaffStaffJanuary 20, 2020
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5min8020

Full birth name: Ericka Pittman

Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Company: Viola

Years at current company: Less than a year, previously was at Combs Enterprises for almost a decade

Education profile: Bachelor’s Degree Corp Comm- Bernard Baruch College 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: Becoming Chief Marketing Officer of the #2 Premium PH Bottled Water Company

Company Mission: Viola is a purposeful brand that uses the power of cannabis to transform the lives of minorities by increasing representation, facilitating community building and providing employment opportunities.

Company’s most successful achievement: Viola is one of the largest independently owned African American Cannabis companies in the US with multi-state operations in Colorado, Oregon, California, and Michigan. 

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

if so, how much?: Viola recently raised a $16M in a Series A funding round which will go toward Viola’s continued expansion mission into the Michigan and California markets.

Any plans on raising capital in the future?

Viola is poised to achieve substantial growth over the upcoming months.  We have developed an iron-clad business plan that we believe will carry us through this next business cycle. As we continue to assess the ever-expanding world of cannabis, we will evaluate the need for external capital and decide accordingly.

Most important company 5-year goal:

Viola plans to spearhead a purpose-driven lifestyle movement that results in more than 10,000 jobs, hundreds of new business owners and increased industry diversity through job opportunities, training programs, cannabis startup incubation and more.

Personal Bio

Ericka Pittman is a highly accomplished Marketing Executive with more than 25 years of success in the CPG, beauty, luxury goods, wine & spirits, food & beverage, tech and media industries.  Prior to joining Viola brands, Ericka was the Chief Marketing Officer at AQUAhydrate, Inc. where she was responsible for spearheading and directing the Company’s marketing, sales functions, and departmental goals, objectives, and operating procedures. Before, AQUAhydrate, Ericka spent 9 years at Combs Enterprises holding multiple roles within the organization including Vice President of the Chairman’s Office.  Ericka had previously spent 15 years working in interactive and publishing media, holding positions at iVillage.com; Honey, Heart & Soul, and Savoy Magazine (Vanguard Media Group); Baby Talk Magazine (Time Inc.); Glamour Magazine (Condé Nast); Vibe & Vixen Magazines (Vibe Media Group); and GIANT Magazine (Radio One Inc).

She currently serves as a member of a number of organizations including Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN), National Association of Professional Women and Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). She also lends her time and energy to a number of causes and other organizations, including Dress for Success and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).

Ericka holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Corporate Communications from Baruch College as well as an Executive Women in Leadership certification from eCornell University. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she now resides in Los Angeles, CA.

 


StaffStaffJanuary 6, 2020
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3min5350

Joshua Michael Swider began his career in chemistry at Eastern Washington University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and degrees in physics and biology in 2012. His quest for a deeper understanding of the science led him to pursue a graduate program in chemistry, while pursuing a PhD from the University of California San Diego in the joint doctoral at San Diego State University he obtained a master’s degree in analytical chemistry from SDSU. Throughout his nine years in college, Josh became interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabis and the lack of analytical research and public understanding associated with it. He wanted to change this, and with his knowledge and passion for the industry, Josh founded the lab in 2016. Whether cannabis is used for adult use or medicinal purposes, he’s made it InfiniteCAL’s mission to ensure only safe, quality products are allowed in the industry.

Executive Spotlight Q&A:

Years at current company: 3.5 Years

Education profile: Eastern Washington University- 2008-2012 Chemistry, Physics and Biology

San Diego State University 2012-2017 Analytical Chemistry

University California San Diego 2013-2017 Analytical Chemistry 

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: My most successful professional accomplishment before joining the cannabis industry was returning to college after 5 years of completing high school and attending graduate programs. 

Company Mission:  Infinite Chemical Analysis Labs’ mission is to provide the cannabis industry with accurate and timely analytical services of the highest quality, while meeting or exceeding our clients’ expectations.

Company’s most successful achievement: Maintaining the highest standards in the industry while expanding from 2 employees to about 50. 

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

If so, how much?: 200k 

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Yes

Most important company 5 year goal: InfiniteCAL’s 5 year company goal is to open analytical labs in 15-25 States and provide the best service in each state. 

 


StaffStaffDecember 24, 2019
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4min7100

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Executive Spotlight: Niccolo Aieta, Founder and CTO, Spherex

Full birth name: Niccolo Aieta

Title: Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Company: Spherex

Years at current company: Five — Spherex is celebrating its five-year anniversary!

Education profile: I received my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, researching hydrogen fuel cell technology. Before that, I got my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Planning, and Energy Management and Design, from Sonoma State University.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:  The culmination of my Ph.D. and post-doctoral work. My thesis, and associated patent, and seeing this work come to use in the real world through the 3M fuel cell program.

Company Mission: Using innovative extraction and refinement techniques, Spherex produces the industry’s leading distillates to deliver an ideal cannabis consumption experience.

Company’s most successful achievement: Building a better extraction process…in just one year.

At the time of Spherex’s founding in 2015, the industry’s highest efficiency using supercritical CO2 was roughly 50%. I saw that the cannabis industry needed more efficient refinement in the extraction process, so I founded Spherex to address this need.

Spherex uses science. That’s how we get it done. My scientific team’s technical prowess is second to none, and within one year we engineered an industrial-scale CO2 cannabis refinement operator with extraction efficiencies of over 95%. We can refine up to 120 pounds of raw cannabis per day.

Beyond that, we’re proud to have achieved profitability. Spherex is a profitable cannabis company in a time when there are still many barriers to growth, and we have done it by keeping our focus on the two founding principles we do best: Efficiency and scale.

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

if so, how much?: We have raised over $6 million in outside capital.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? We would be open to it. As a profitable company, we are able to self-fund, but we may entertain the right strategic or capital partner.

 Most important company 5-year goal: To grow existing markets while leading the charge for new markets. From cannabis beverages (and the launch of our infused sparkling water PHYX) to multi-state expansion, Spherex is looking ahead to where we can innovate next


StaffStaffDecember 18, 2019
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5min7372

Full name: Aviv Hadar

Title: Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder

Company: Oregrown Industries, Inc.

Years at current company: Six years

Education profile: Finished high school at New Trier Township in Chicago, Illinois. Accelerated rapidly in the University of Montana’s Computer Science program. Stopped attending classes to found a software company that recently celebrated its tenth year in existence. Experienced major success with the software company (www.ThinkBrilliant.com), and then transitioned over to Cannabis from the Tech sector.

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis: I consider two events to be pinnacle achievements prior to cannabis. 1) My software company was behind the viral “I’m with Coco” campaign that propelled Conan O’ Brien to stardom during his dispute with Jay Leno, and 2) My software company launched the original SoulPancake.com (Rainn Wilson’s social media and content platform) that was eventually acquired by Citizen Media.

https://www.fastcompany.com/1647023/next-tech-im-aviv

Company Mission: See below…

About Oregrown: Oregrown is a standout among brands. As Oregon’s premier farm-to-table cannabis company, the Oregrown team cultivates using organic methods and processes world-class products in the pursuit of unparalleled craftsmanship in every facet of their supply chain. As the first, exclusive Oregon producer for PAX Era, Oregrown’s cultivation and extraction professionals craft several of the state’s premier dispensary products including their own lines of Oregrown flower, extracts, and concentrates. Oregrown’s award-winning flagship dispensary located in downtown Bend, Oregon, an outdoor recreation destination and tourism capital of the Pacific Northwest, has been named Best Budtender (2019), Best Place to Work (2017), Bend’s Best Place to Visit for First Dispensary Experience (2016), and Bend’s Best Dispensary five years in a row (2015-2019).

Coming soon: Portland Flagship Retail (Winter 2019), Cannon Beach Retail (2020), and Eugene Retail (2020).

Company’s most successful achievement: This is also hard to articulate into one achievement. Since we founded the business, we have won Best Dispensary Five Years in a Row in our hometown of Bend, Oregon. We have been voted Best Place to Work for two years in a row. We have been voted Startup of the Year by the Bend Chamber of Commerce and we continue to stay strong and consistent in a consistently difficult market.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no): Yes. The company has successfully raised capital. From Retail Expansion to Brand and IP, and Wholesale and CPG development, we continue to offer lucrative investment vehicles and mechanisms and platforms for potential investors.

if so, how much?: We do not disclose exact fundraising numbers.

Any plans on raising capital in the future? Our financial modeling and current capital raises have been through private placement and family offices. These investments have been made based on sound business principles, core assets, structured management, and competent leadership. A deluge of institutional capital is waiting on Federal Guidance before flooding the sector. We have been contacted by many of those firms.

Most important company 5 year goal: Growth and profitability. If the perfect M&A transaction emerges, to take the ride



About Us

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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