Speaker Bio New York
Professor, Clover Leaf University
One of the most well respected master cultivators and breeders in the cannabis and hemp industries. Mr. Dunn’s exclusive knowledge and industry firsts have led him to an unparalleled expertise. As the CEO of THSeeds, he has introduced some of the most sought after strains in the industry and has won over 20 Cannabis Cups internationally. His clothing line, Hemp Hoodlum, has reached legendary status by expanding internationally to over 16 countries and hundreds of shops. His expertise in the industry has spanned over 20 years and his advocacy has helped re- birth the hemp industry.
Assistant Counsel to the Governor for Health, New York State Executive Chamber
Axel Bernabe has been appointed Assistant Counsel to the Governor with a focus on Health. Mr. Bernabe most recently served as a Partner with Constantine Cannon, P.C., where for over 10 years he specialized in healthcare, antitrust and complex commercial litigation, as well as on providing corporate compliance advice to companies in the healthcare and insurance industries. He previously served as an associate at Coudert Brothers, LLP, and articled with the Canadian Department of Justice. Mr. Bernabe has both a Bachelor of Laws (J.D. equivalent) and a Bachelor of Civil Laws from McGill University Faculty of Law, and a B.A. from the University of Ottawa.
Owner Operator, Boss Consulting
Owner and Operator, Aly Piscatelli, has been working in the Colorado Cannabis industry since 2011. From managing stores and production companies, to opening recreational shops and forging through the early days of the METRC system, she has stockpiled years of experience. She started BOSS Consulting in 2016, with goals of sharing her inventory control and METRC knowledge with other cannabis businesses. BOSS Consulting specializes in inventory audits, METRC, inventory SOP development and implementation, and employee training.
Co-Founder and Editor, Cannabis Wire
Principal, ABG Advisory / Equitas Partners Fund
Andi Goldman has managed $2 billion in institutional investments across numerous industries in her career. She’s been an angel investor in cannabis since 2014 and was the CFO and Head of Corporate Finance, for FLRish, Inc., which provides management services to the Harborside dispensaries and grow operations. Andi currently consults and advises for an array of cannabis companies nationally and has launched a cannabis investment fund, Equitas Partners. Andi has 20 years of institutional investment experience in private equity and lending, is a chartered financial analyst and was a corporate/securities lawyer.
Managing Attorney, Hoban Law Group
Brent has over 20 years of finance, legal and executive-level management experience at numerous small and mid-sized growth companies, law firms and investment firms.
Brent has managed and executed over $2 billion in capital raising, private equity, venture capital and M&A transactions. He has managed multiple investment funds up to $65 million in assets under management. He routinely advises investors, fund managers and companies regarding capital raising, structure, finance and operations. Brent is also an advisor and mentor to Canopy Boulder and serves as an advisor to various companies and investment funds in the cannabis industry.
In his legal practice, Brent specializes in the representation of closely-held entities and emerging growth companies through the whole business life cycle, including entity selection, formation, equity and debt financing transactions, acquisitions and the eventual transfer or sale of the business. In addition, Brent advises on capital raising transactions working extensively with companies looking for capital as well as venture capital and private equity funds. Brent also serves as outside general counsel to clients in support of operations, capital raising, corporate governance, commercial transactions, contract drafting and negotiation, intellectual property and general business matters.
In addition, Brent serves on the executive team of Mazakali, a leading capital advisory firm in the cannabis industry. Brent previously served as EVP, Managing Director and General Counsel of First Capital Ventures, a leading management services provider, accelerator and fund management firm.
Brent is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and served on active duty in the Air Force for five years, rising to the rank of Captain. He also holds a JD from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the University of Nebraska.
Owner, Compassionate Caregivers of Studio City (Cloneville)
Calvin Frye for the past five years has been both a dispensary owner and an MMJ industry consultant. Frye has held several key positions in the Biotech industry for major companies like Xoma, Amgen and Baxter Biosciences, such as working his way up from Research Associate to Associate Scientist. Frye also has over a decade of experience in the cannabis industry, having worked with some of the founders of the MMJ industry (Dennis Peron and Richard Eastman) as well as many of the industry pioneering groups in Los Angeles (Americans For Safe Access and Norml).
Mr. Frye has traveled the country to many (current) MMJ states on speaking engagements in order to help get MMJ legislation passed in those states. Mr. Frye has working knowledge of the regulatory issues within this industry from his experience with working with local LA government bodies and Agencies. Mr. Frye has also branded his line of cannabis genetics and trademarked the name “Cloneville” which he has attached to his genetics. In 2009, Mr. Frye consulted in the hydroponics industry where he gained extensive knowledge in the actual growing, set up and production of cannabis.
Frye also owns Frye Consulting and Management Group, which handles consulting services from startup to full-scale production, including regulatory expertise.
Frye earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa (Big Ten Conference) in Science Education. He also attended graduate college with an emphasis in General Science.
Director of Sales and Communication, GrowFlow
Carly Bodmer holds an MA in Communications from the University of Southern California. In 2014, Bodmer led Artizen to become one of the largest flower producers in the state of Washington, managing over 800k in monthly sales. She was then hired to initiate the largest recreational cannabis purchase in history for the opening of NuWu Cannabis Marketplace, the largest dispensary in the country.
Dr. Carlyn Buckler PhD
Associate Professor of Practice, Cornell University
Dr. Chanda Macias
Owner and CEO, National Holistic Healing Center Medical Marijuana Dispensary
Chanda Macias, MBA, PhD is the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow. She is also the CEO and the owner of National Holistic™ a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise. National Holistic™ Healing Center is the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC, while National Holistic ™ Healthcare proudly produces CBD and cannabinoids as an alternative and natural product.
Dr. Macias also expanded her footprint through Ilera Holistic Healthcare which partnered with Southern University -one of two cultivation/processing facilities in the state of Louisiana. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association and is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access.
Dr. Macias earned a PhD in Cellular Biology from Howard University focusing in cancer research. She earned her MBA from Rutger’s University in Supply Chain Management. As a Research Scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral diseases and possible treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company, a Fortune 500 Company. She contributed to the launch of several billion-dollar brands. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations, U.S. and Global Patients (World Intellectual Property Organization).
Dr. Macias has four children and resides with her husband in the Washington D.C. metro area.
President, Clover Leaf University
Chloe Villano is the President and Founder of Clover Leaf University. Ms. Villano is a business consultant and entrepreneurial executive with 17 years of experience in business startups and turning companies toward success. Chloe is also the owner and founder of Clover Leaf Consulting®, working for years as one of the most sought-after cannabis business consultants in the industry. She has consulted for, developed, started, sold, and performed due-diligence for valuation on hundreds of successful MJ business nationally. After working with countless businesses such as dispensaries, centers, mass cultivation facilities, kitchens, and cannabis brands, she has used her experience to influence the growth of the industry to be safe, regulated, and responsible. She has worked alongside numerous government agencies to assist with the implementation of business standards, educational standards, and business procedures.
CEO, ONE Cannabis Group
Christian Hageseth has been our Chief Executive Officer and a Director since March 2018. Since July 2016 Mr. Hageseth was the President of CCR II, LLC, a marijuana cultivation facility in Aurora, Colorado. Between 2017 and 2018 Mr. Hageseth was the Chief Executive Officer of One Can Franchise, LLC, a firm providing franchising and consulting services to licensed marijuana dispensaries and cultivation facilities. Since 2015 Mr. Hageseth has been the President of American Cannabis Partners, a venture capital company in Denver, Colorado. Between 2009 and 2017 Mr. Hageseth was the Chief Executive Officer of Green Man Cannabis, a company which owns and operates two medical marijuana dispensaries, two recreational marijuana dispensaries and three marijuana cultivation facilities. Mr. Hageseth received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Arizona State University.
Cultivation Operations Manager, Revolutionary Clinics
Christine Champagne is a cultivation production/specialist and has been involved in the green industry for more than 30 years with a primary focus on improving plant propagation that improves plant growth rates, yields, quality while reducing labor cost and other costs associated with production. Ms. Champagne has developed training courses and methodologies and has implemented them with industry leaders who saw increased production output and quality while simultaneously lowering production unit costs. Ms. Champagne takes an integrated product management approach that incorporates standard production procedures at all touch points of the production cycle.
CEO and co-founder of WebJoint software based in Los Angeles. Dell’Olio started the company in 2014 at 19 years old. He has since raised more than $4.5m in venture capital and has grown the company to become the largest provider of cannabis delivery software solutions with an innovative brand platform that is revolutionizing the industry.
President and CEO, AgriLogic Consulting, LLC
Clif Parks is President and CEO of AgriLogic Consulting, LLC, an economic consulting firm that supplies risk management products and services to the agricultural, financial and insurance industries. As a diversified agricultural consulting firm, the company has provided services in policy development, strategic planning, finance, information technology and management for both private and public-sector entities. Mr. Parks has extensive experience in numerous sectors of the agricultural industry that range from his family’s diversified farming operation, to working in the United States (U.S.) House of Representatives’ Committee on Agriculture, the Center of North American Studies at Texas A&M University, and finally with the AgriLogic family of companies in an array of positions. His roles with AgriLogic Consulting, LLC have spanned from analyst to executive.
Mr. Parks’ principal focus since joining AgriLogic Consulting in 2001 has been on crop insurance program development and expert review. In this role, he has often led diverse teams of industry leading experts in the development of an array of actuarial, time series, structural econometric, simulation, and invasive species models for a broad range of applications, many of which became the underpinnings of a variety of crop and weather-based insurance programs. In addition to his vast domestic experience, Mr. Parks has been responsible for developing, proposing, and evaluating several international crop insurance products in Australia, Brazil, Colombia, and Ireland. Currently Mr. Parks and his staff oversee crop insurance program development and maintenance; portfolio management and risk allocation for insurance providers; as well as providing specialized economic, risk management, insurance and agricultural consulting services to a broad array of clientele.
Director of Engineering, Desert Aire, LLC
Craig Burg serves customers from the cannabis and other industries by engineering indoor climate management systems. He was chosen by peers to serve on committees for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). He currently oversees research and development, custom system engineering, product testing, manufacturing engineering and quality at Desert Aire and has three patents pending.
Cristina Buccola Esq.
Cristina Buccola Counsel PLLC
Cristina is a sought-after attorney, advisor, and advocate who focuses her legal and business acumen on helping her clients build and sustain viable enterprises.
As the founder of Cristina Buccola Counsel PLLC, Cristina is retained by cannabis and hemp companies, lifestyle and wellness entrepreneurs, media outlets, investors, and artists to advise on M&A matters and investment opportunities, to design brand protection and licensing programs, to develop strategic ventures, and to manage day-to-day legal needs. She also assists cannabis and hemp producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and applicants in navigating the legal, licensing, regulatory, and operational challenges they face. Cristina is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Illinois (retired).
Cristina undertakes public interest/policy work related to medical cannabis and economic and social justice issues, has testified in front of the New York State and New Jersey Legislatures about cannabis regulatory programs, and has worked with elected officials on developing cannabis legalization positions. She is a member of the New York Cannabis Bar Association and the National Cannabis Bar Association. Cristina also serves as Counsel to Serenity Garden Harlem, a community garden in Sugar Hill, NYC.
Before dedicating herself exclusively to the full-spectrum law practice that is CB Counsel, Cristina served as the General Counsel of High Times and was a partner in an adult-use cultivation concern.
Cristina received her BA from The Gallatin School at New York University and her JD from The University of Chicago Law School. She cut her teeth in the M&A and private equity departments of white-shoe law firms in NYC and Chicago. She also served as the General Counsel and Director of Human Resources of an international technology company.
CEO and Founder, MFive Consulting &, Retired, Master Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy SEAL
Dan Marshall is the founder and President of MFive Consulting LLC, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). He provides strategic level consulting across multiple disciplines leveraging 23 years of Special Operation Forces (SOF) experience to team with key industry leaders on ways to increase corporate performance.
Marshall served 23 years of active military within the United States Special Operations Command as a Navy SEAL and Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator. He retired as a Master Chief after serving at multiple east coast SEAL Teams. He has held all levels of tactical and operational leadership positions. He has served in numerous conflicts around the globe to include nine operational tours in combat.
Since retirement Dan has been an advocate and speaks across the country about Traumatic Brain injury and Veteran’s Health Initiatives. He was selected as the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), TBI Champion, to speak of his experiences of dealing with TBI during the 2015 National TBI Awareness Month. He also sits on the Veteran Advisory Board for the National Foundation for Integrative Medicine, a non-profit organization that is committed to finding 21st century medical solutions. Dan uses his first-hand experience of dealing with TBI and other related combat injuries to help educate and share his experiences of exposure from military training and combat operations. He continues to help raise awareness of the impacts of TBI and Veteran Health Issues by breaking down barriers of identifying and seeking help for injuries using alternative methodologies.
President and CTO, Strainprint Technologies Ltd
As President and Chief Technology Officer at Strainprint David is responsible for the on-going development of the Strainprint application and emerging analytic products. David works directly with the company’s developers, customers, partners, physicians and clinicians to deliver on the vision of a crowd sourced medical cannabis tracking ecosystem. David has a broad technical and business background with over 20 years of experience managing product and engineering teams for major multi-national technology companies. David has spent the last 5 years working in the medical cannabis industry and has experience working in commercial cultivation and distribution in Holland, Jamaica and Canada. David has a BCom from York University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Windsor.
David Roberson Esq
Experienced Tax Incentives & Management Consulting Attorney, Leyton
David Roberson is a licensed attorney and certified third-party neutral, who utilizes his legal skill set to qualify and monetize tax incentives, specifically the R&D Tax Credit, the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit (EPAct), and state level R&D credit programs, supplemented by accounting methods experience with FAS and Fin 48 principles. With nearly five (5) years of experience in the tax credit and incentives sector, Mr. Roberson has leveraged these skills and experience in engagements for companies of all sizes ranging from startups to small closely held companies, large closely held companies, Fortune 1000 to Fortune 50 companies.
Mr. Roberson has been responsible for the entire R&D Credit study process from initial research to employee interviews and the necessary calculations for the Form 6765 credit claim for multiple companies in a variety of industries, including architecture &engineering, Fintech, metal working & general manufacturing, tool & die, CNC milling & programming, 3D printing & programming, marine & maritime engineering, pharmaceutical development & production, clinical research organizations, satellite & military communications (hardware & programming), aerospace & aviation engineering, fashion development/production/logistices, biochemical engineering, plastic injection molding, paper processing & printshop engineering, software development & integration, food & beverage, craft beer, logistics & distribution, banking, algorithms & analytics, and agriculture.
Principal, Guske & Company, Inc.
Dean Guske has over 30 years of experience in the areas of taxation, accounting and business consulting. The value he brings to his clients lies in his ability to identify and understand complex issues and how they relate to businesses and their individual owners. He has a passion for entrepreneurship. This allows him to effectively serve others pursuing their small business dreams whatever they happen to be.
He has deep experience in all facets of real estate and businesses related to real estate. His clients have included everything from development and construction to brokerage and rental. Because he has also participated in these businesses as an owner, the impact of his hands on experience sets him apart from others who have only dealt with these issues in theory.
Dean has significant experience in the emerging cannabis business. Serving several hundred clients in the cannabis industry he is at the forefront of developing successful tax strategies for industry entrepreneurs.
Dr. Denise Bottiglieri PhD
Former Chairwoman and CEO, Healthcare Consultancy Group, a Division of Omnicom Inc.
Denise Bottiglieri, PhD, is a seasoned executive with over 30 years’ experience in healthcare marketing, education and communications. She has worked on launches for over 50 products in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Her understanding of what it takes to make a product successful in the competitive and highly regulated healthcare industry is what makes her so unique. She has an unparalleled understanding of science coupled with a strong business acumen.
Denise was most recently Global Chairwoman of the Healthcare Consultancy Group (HCG). Prior, she was Global CEO of HCG for over 15 years. HCG is part of The DAS Group of Companies, a Division of Omnicom Inc.
Denise received her PhD in pharmacology from the University of Florida and completed her postdoctoral training in clinical pharmacology at Vanderbilt University. She then worked at Pfizer, as Director of Drug Development, designing and executing multinational clinical trials.
Denise is passionate about providing opportunities for veterans, supports organizations dedicated to treating PTSD and TBI. She serves on the board of the SEAL Future Foundation and served on the board of the New York Arthritis Foundation. Denise started Accelerate, the first Special Operations Forces veterans’ transition program at DAS. She volunteered for over 5 years building schools in Ecuador and is a strong animal rights advocate. At one time she wanted to be a physicist, but Maxwell’s demon got the best of her. Denise lives in Connecticut with her 5 dogs and partner Ed.
Founding Partner, Canna Advisors
Diane Czarkowski is one of the industry’s original cannabis entrepreneurs and Founding Partner at Canna Advisors. She has been involved in the cannabis industry as an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate since its inception, helping develop it into one of fastest growing industries in the U.S. She is an authority on best-of-industry practices, an expert on mature and emerging markets, and an enterprising thought leader.
Diane is a strong believer in supporting the development of the industry. She is a Founding Member of and Ambassador to the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), a Founding benefactor of Women Grow, a Lifetime Member of the Arcview Investment Group (where she also serves on the Selection Committee), a sustaining member of SSDP, and a mentor for Canopy Boulder.
Diane has received multiple recognitions for her professional accomplishments and was a featured cannabis entrepreneur in the 2017 biographical collection, “Breaking the Grass Ceiling: Women, Weed, & Business.” One of her career highlights was being able to present this book to Senator Elizabeth Warren during one of her lobbying trips to Washington DC. In 2016, she received Arcview’s Outstanding Member award for her service to the industry. She was also named to Cannabis Business Executive’s “Top Women in Cannabis” in 2016 and 2017, and Herb Magazine’s “Top Cannabis Entrepreneurs of 2018”.
New York State Senator
New York State Senator Diane J. Savino (Democrat, Independent, Staten Island-Brooklyn) was born and raised in Astoria, Queens and was educated at Most Precious Blood Elementary School and Dominican Commercial High School. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from St. John’s University and has a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Diane Savino has dedicated her entire professional career towards improving the lives of working families. She began her career in public service as a caseworker for New York City’s Child Welfare Administration, providing direct assistance to abused and neglected children.
In 2004, she was elected to represent the 23rd Senatorial District, which encompasses the North and East Shores of Staten Island and portions of Southern Brooklyn, including Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach, Coney Island, Dyker Heights, Gravesend and Sunset Park.
Senator Savino’s hard work and influence was evidenced as she championed the Compassionate Care Act through the legislative process despite opposition and a campaign of misinformation. The ACT will allow New Yorkers with serious medical conditions limited access to medical marijuana under the supervision of health care professionals and under strict state regulations.
Senator Savino has authored numerous laws protecting hard-working New Yorkers. Among the laws she has had enacted is the first in the nation Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, expanding basic worker protection rights to domestic workers and the Prompt Pay Bill, which ensures prompt payment to construction contractors and their employees.
Senator Savino currently serves as Chair of newly formed Senate Standing Committee on Internet and Technology and has previously served as chair of the Banks Committee, Labor Committee, the Civil Service and Pensions Committee and the Children and Families Committee.
Dr. Ekaterina Sedia PhD
Associate Professor of Biology, Stockton University
Ekaterina Sedia earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution from Rutgers, and has been teaching Genetics, Plant Ecology and Botany at Stockton University since 2001. She is currently the coordinator for Stockton’s interdisciplinary Minor in Cannabis Studies, the first such program in the US.
Erica McBride Stark
Executive Director, National Hemp Association
Erica McBride is the Executive Director of the National Hemp Association and the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council. She has years of experience in legislative advocacy, industrial hemp education, and non-profit administration. Erica was instrumental in enacting legislation in Pennsylvania and is proud to be part of a team growing more than 120 acres this year.
Chief Executive Officer, truCrowd
A graduate of the John Marshall Law School, Florence has been a successful business consultant for over 12 years. She has an MBA with a focus on Entrepreneurship from DePaul University and received a BBA from Howard University. Florence is the Chief Executive Officer of Trucrowd Illinois, Inc. and Chief Operating Officer of truCrowd and Fundanna, both Federal Equity Crowdfunding platforms.
Geoff Pope MBA
Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions
Geoff is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with Aon clients in a number of industries, as well as overseeing the delivery of excellent service.
Geoff has more than 8 years of experience in managing large property and casualty risk, delivering insurance solutions, and industry- leading expertise in the financial and healthcare industries, including cannabis risk, complex mergers and acquisitions, and private equity transactions. Prior to joining Aon he was a Vice President at a national insurance brokerage where he consulted middle market clients on a number of issues. Geoff’s work has been published in several journals, most recently a white paper regarding the impact of interest rate hikes on large real estate risk, capital expenditures, and their subsequent impact on long-term valuations and insurance premiums.
Geoff has helped cannabis companies in the US and abroad successfully manage their risk management and insurance programs, including cultivators, retailers, vertically integrated groups, investors looking to protect their investments, and much more.
Before he began his career in insurance, Geoff played 4 seasons in the National Football League, which was highlighted by winning a Super Bowl Championship as a rookie with the New York Giants in 2007. Geoff currently sits on the Board of Directors for the National Epilepsy Foundation and Chairs their Athletes Vs. Epilepsy Initiative.
Chairman, National Hemp Association
Geoffrey W. Whaling is Co-Founder and President of Canopy Hemp Developments LLC, a division of Canopy Growth Corporation and Strategic Advisor, Hemp and CBD to Canopy Growth, the world’s largest Hemp and Cannabis Company, with operations in 12 countries, based in Smith Falls Ontario Canada. He has volunteered for five years to advance the hemp crop and serves as Chairman of the National Hemp Association, the nation’s largest Hemp advocacy group based in Washington D.C. Whaling has worked with more than 18 States, stakeholder groups such as NASDA, COGR, NFU, Farm Bureau and American Farm Association, US Senators, Members of Congress and their staff to pass federal legislation legalizing hemp as a commodity crop. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the National Farmers Union Pa Chapter, and Founding Board Member of the Coalition for Access Now and Athletes 4 Care, the two largest CBD advocacy groups in the United States.
Born in Canada, Geoff Whaling’s areas of expertise are wide ranging given the diversity of his government, business, entrepreneurial and philanthropic work. A profound sense of “wanting to serve” remains an integral part in his life.
Executive Vice President, Women Grow
Gia Morón is Executive Vice President for Women Grow. With 25 years of experience in public relations, she oversees the company’s internal and external communications. In addition, to her day-to-day duties, she also works closely with the CEO on business and relationship development opportunities. She began working with Women Grow headquarters in January 2017 as Director of Communications, after transitioning from the Women Grow New York City market in 2016. Gia is also the Founder and CEO of GVM Communications, Inc., a public relations, brand and business development consulting firm in which she launched in 2012. Her client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients. Prior to launching her firm and working with Women Grow, Gia was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution and production company. Outside of her professional accomplishments, she continuously works with a number of non-profit organizations in New York City and mentors up-and-coming young women entrepreneurs across the country to South Africa. Gia currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her daughter.
Greg Huffaker III
Director of Client Services, Canna Advisors
Greg oversees the licensing application process, the technical writing team, and overall project management. He is an expert in navigating the complex cannabis regulations and emerging state programs across the country.
From his early industry work of maintaining a comprehensive database of ever-changing cannabis laws, his J.D. from Cardozo School of Law, and being a Colorado-licensed attorney, Greg brings a keen sense and deep knowledge of the legislation that impacts clients at every phase of business. Greg maintains an active membership to the National Cannabis Bar Association which provides excellent, ethical, and advanced legal assistance to the growing cannabis industry. He is also a member of the NCIA’s State Regulations Committee (SRC) that works to establish best practices for states and municipalities on developing sound regulatory procedures for industry-specific statewide regulations.
Chief Operations Officer, Etain
Hillary’s high energy and impeccable attention to detail have helped Etain’s strategic planning efforts and secured essential contracts with premier experts in the field of medical marijuana.
Hillary is a graduate of Hamilton College and the Dartmouth Tuck-Bridge School of Business. Hillary’s passion for the medical cannabis industry comes from her own experience with chronic pain and muscular atrophy. After a failed hip surgery, Hillary spent two years unable to walk and suffers from permanent atrophy. Hillary has a strong interest in alternative therapies that provide palliative care for those enduring long-term suffering.
Founder, Mary & Main
In the fall of 2017, Hope’s ambition and hard work led her to become the youngest black woman dispensary owner in the United States when she officially started Mary and Main.
Hope was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland, graduating from the illustrious Spelman College where she received her Bachelor’s in Economics. Hope has always been passionate about serving her community and was known for her exceptional leadership skills in several campus organizations.
Of her many undergraduate accomplishments, Hope cites her time as co-founder of her alma mater’s Habitat for Humanity chapter as some of the most educational and inspiring opportunities she encountered on her road to entrepreneurship. After spending a year at SunTrust as an Equity Institutional Sales Analyst, Hope decided to continue striving for excellence by pursuing her dreams of entrepreneurship. With her financial and banking background, Hope founded Mary and Main (formerly Compassionate Herbal Alternative) on the foundation of her vision to create opportunity for minorities who have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.
Hope holds personally the core values of Mary & Main, making it her mission to provide quality products to her community while offering a comfortable experience to patients who suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses.
CEO and Co-Founder, Jade Insights
Jacobi Holland is the CEO and Co-founder of Jade Insights, as well as a Co-founder of REVEL. Working in the cannabis industry for the last four years, Jacobi realized there was a void in how licensed companies used their data to make business decisions. All of their data was disparate, complicated and ultimately, not being used effectively, if at all, to make critical business decisions. As a result, Jacobi started Jade Insights, a turn-key business intelligence and supply-chain analytics web-app for cannabis industry operators. Jade Insights helps businesses stay compliant and increase efficiency throughout the supply-chain. Given his vast, on-the-ground knowledge of different types of cannabis technology, Jacobi also helped co-found REVEL, a cannabis technology showcase in New York City that highlights the most innovative companies and entrepreneurs in the legal marijuana markets. Before starting REVEL and Jade Insights, Jacobi started a data, tech and software consulting company for the cannabis industry, Dutch Compass. As a consultant, Jacobi helped companies create value in technology and data throughout the emerging marijuana markets. He has worked with numerous licensed facilities, other cannabis technology companies, government and PR groups, national CBD brands and other cannabis organizations. Though, heavily involved with the tech side of cannabis, rooted in all that he does, Jacobi is committed to advocate for medical marijuana patient access and to ensure the legal cannabis industry is equitable to communities hurt the most from the War on Drugs.
Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Coldwater Consulting; Founder & CEO , Mountain Medicine
A celebrated chef turned cannabis entrepreneur and executive, Jaime Lewis boasts over a decade of experience launching and leading vertically integrated operations, business development ventures, and infused-product manufacturing in cannabis markets around the country.
Lewis is co-founder and managing partner of Coldwater Consulting, which provides experience-driven licensing, startup and operations consulting for cannabis businesses nationwide. Lewis is also founder and CEO of Mountain Medicine, an award-winning medical and recreational cannabis edibles producer in Colorado, where she oversees strategic planning, business expansion and product research and development to provide patients and consumers with artisanal, hand-crafted edibles of unparalleled quality, consistency, and flavor.
Jaime is a committed educator and advocate who has worked with consumers, communities, regulators, and industry groups to promote consumer education, practicable regulation, and sustainable business practices. She’s a founding member of the Cannabis Business Alliance, an influential trade group that functions as the Colorado industry’s chamber of commerce, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Cannabis Industry Association, where she functions as a national spokesperson for the regulated cannabis industry. She also served as a member of Massachusetts’ Cannabis Advisory Board, the organization tasked with developing marijuana regulations for the state.
Partner, Chairman of Cannabis Law Practice Group, Tannenbaum Helpern LLP
James Rieger is a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP. He has a broad corporate and securities law practice, with a focus on the Cannabis industry, and represents public and private companies, hedge funds, merchant banks, private equity funds, exchange traded funds, venture capital funds, investment banks, underwriters, and private investors in many types of transactions, including public and private debt and equity offerings, credit facilities, mergers, acquisitions, fund formation, activist investments, restructurings and divestitures of assets and divisions. James is the current Chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Committee of the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.
Partner, Quarles & Brady
James L. Ugalde
Tel: (602) 230-5569
Fax: (602) 420-5038
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James L. Ugalde is a partner in the Phoenix office of Quarles & Brady. Mr. Ugalde provides a variety of legal services to banks, other lenders, lessors, secured creditors and investors with respect to the perfection and enforcement of their rights under security documents and the Uniform Commercial Code, including asset-based financing and leasing. He represents creditors involving collection and the foreclosure of security interests under state law and provides representation in Chapters 7, 11 and 13 bankruptcy cases.
Mr. Ugalde also routinely advises commercial landlords regarding their contractual and statutory rights, including enforcing such rights through eviction actions and lockouts.
Founder and CEO, Wick & Mortar
Since 2009 Jared Mirsky and his award-winning cannabis-focused branding agency, Wick & Mortar have been featured in over 15 magazines including Entrepreneur Media, Forbes, Huffington Post, CNN Money, Geekwire, The Dieline, High Times, Dope Magazine, NW Leaf Magazine, Leafly, Cashinbis, Top 40 under 40 in Marijuana Venture Magazine, and most recently the Dope Magazine Industry Award Winners for “Best Cannabis Design Firm,” two years in a row.
Jeannette Ward Horton
Vice President, Global Marketing & Communications, MJ Freeway
Jeannette Ward Horton is the VP of Global Marketing and Communications for MJ Freeway with 15 years of experience leading communications, marketing, and change management for large and small companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot and UPS. She is also a founding board member of NuLeaf Project, a City of Portland-funded initiative to increase the number of successful cannabis businesses of color within Portland through capital grants and business coaching. Jeannette’s work has been featured in BusinessWeek and among Corporate Executive Board’s world-class best communications practices. She has a BA from Spelman College and an MA from Georgia State University.
CEO, The Peak Beyond
Jeff LaPenna is CEO of the The Peak Beyond, a media and technology company that designs and creates interactive digital marketing displays for the retail sector. In this role, he has led the company from its infancy. His background lies in branding, media marketing, design, production and business leadership. As a branding and media professional Jeff has previously worked on projects for Google, YouTube, Pepsi, Playboy, Sony Pictures, Nas, and The Shins. In 2015, his work with BAMM.tv helped the company to become named one of the UK’s top 100 innovative companies by the UK Department of Trade and Investment. Jeff holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Southern California.
General Counsel, CCO, Partner, Navy Capital
Jeffrey Schultz joined Navy Capital in November 2018 as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, and was named Partner in 2019. Navy Capital is an institutional investment management firm that invests exclusively in the legal cannabis industry. Mr. Schultz brings more than 12 years of experience as an attorney in the hedge fund and private equity fund industry. Prior to joining Navy, Mr. Schultz served in leadership roles at an emerging private equity fund and a high yield debt hedge fund. Mr. Schultz oversaw all legal and compliance matters, and was instrumental in designing and building an institutional legal, compliance and operational infrastructure for both firms. Mr. Schultz began his career in private practice as an associate in the investment management practices of Bingham McCutchen LLP and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP. He received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Vice President of Retail Operations, Mission Medical Cannabis Dispensary
Led the team that opened our Allentown PA dispensary and managed it through opening. I then opened and was GM of our store in Glenmont MD before recently being promoted to help oversee all of our retail operations, with a primary focus in the northeast. Prior to joining the cannabis industry I was a regional manager with Sweetgreen, overseeing multiple operations, expanding nationally and developing an internal + external leadership development program.
Finance Reporter, Business Insider
Jeremy is a finance reporter at Business Insider where he focuses on the intersection of Wall Street and the emerging cannabis sector. Jeremy was born in Toronto and is based in Brooklyn.
Founding Partner, H2Talent
John is connected like no other C-level recruiter. John has been repeatedly recognized as one of the country’s leading recruiters and was named by LinkedIn as the 24th “Most Socially Engaged Staffing Agencies in North America” out of a pool of 60,000 other agencies. John brings to H2 Talent his extensive executive recruiting experience across emerging industries, including significant depth across technology, software, CPG, oil and gas, cannabis, media, Fortune 500 companies, and startups.
Partner, Altitude Investment Management, LLC
Jon Trauben is a partner in Altitude Investment Management. Altitude is a cannabis-focused investment fund that invests across the domestic and international cannabis industry.
Jon is a cannabis investor, association member, mentor and board member to several of his funds’ portfolio companies. He brings a wealth of experience and management expertise with a 25-year record as a seasoned commercial real estate, capital markets, and finance executive. Jon has held senior positions on Wall Street while at Barclays, Credit Suisse, Cantor Fitzgerald and Hunt Companies where he was a business leader, lender, trader and investor. While at Barclays and Credit Suisse he was a Managing Director and senior member of the real estate finance groups and was involved in more than $50 billion of transactions. Jon earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Rutgers University and he attended New York University’s Masters of Science Real Estate Program. Jon holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses.
Retired U.S. Navy SEAL & Chief Executive Officer, SEAL Future Fund
Jonathan Wilson is the co-founder of the SEAL Future Fund and is a former SEAL with over a decade of experience. He has been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, Joint Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal, and various other honors.
Jonathan is currently a National Accounts Manager at Capital Group, an investment company with over $1.4 trillion under management. In 2012, Mr. Wilson was selected as 1 of 15 of the initial 300 applicants to the inaugural Veterans Integration Program at Goldman Sachs & Co and was subsequently hired as a trading associate in New York. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development.
Director of Industry Analytics, New Frontier Data
Educated as an engineer with experience in institutional asset management, Morrissey brings a unique blend of technical analytical abilities, intuitive market awareness, and a high-level understanding of institutional risk management to the cannabis industry. Since joining New Frontier Data in 2015, she has developed econometric models to produce some of the most accurate and widely quoted industry market projections in the legal cannabis industry, as well as produced the first preliminary analysis of global cannabis demand. Prior to joining New Frontier, Morrissey was the Senior Investment Analyst at The Hershey Trust Company, where she was responsible for public and private equity investment due diligence and analysis for the Trust’s $12 billion investment portfolio. Morrissey received her B.S. from Columbia University, where she studied Industrial Engineering and Operations Research with concentrations in Applied Mathematics and Technological Entrepreneurship.
Sideman & Bancroft LLP
Kathryn McCall focuses on helping early stage and mature companies, as well as family-owned and life-style businesses, succeed. Her clients appreciate her pragmatic and strategic advice regarding their entity formation, business financing, and operational concerns. As outside general counsel for many of her clients, Ms. McCall advises businesses on a wide variety of corporate and other legal matters. In addition, she has extensive experience counseling businesses in all aspects of the business life cycle from the initial structuring and formation of the business to financing that business; hiring employees; corporate governance; day-to-day operations; negotiating licensing and other commercial agreements; equity incentive plans; and liquidity events.
Ms. McCall also assists businesses in the cannabis industry develop the necessary infrastructure and organization to succeed while remaining in compliance with the complex legal and regulatory framework burdening the industry. Working with other members of the firm’s well-rounded cannabis industry team enables her to create a strategic and coordinated approach to not only business structuring, organizational, and regulatory matters but also intellectual property, tax, estate planning, and business and criminal litigation issues.
Vice President, New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association
Kelley Crosson is a horticulturist, designer, and cannabis advocate. She owns KC, Inc., a horticulture and design consulting company based in Manhattan, and currently serves as Vice President of the Board of Trustees for the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association (NJCIA.) From October 2009 – May 2018 she was Major Gifts Director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP.)
MPP was responsible for most of the major state-level marijuana policy reforms enacted since 2000. MPP played the leading role in drafting, funding, and staffing the historic 2012 Amendment 64 initiative in Colorado – which made CO the first place in history to legalize marijuana for adults and regulate it like alcohol. MPP also led the coalitions that passed measures to legalize and regulate marijuana in Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada in 2014 and 2016. Through MPP, Kelley is knowledgeable about marijuana policy at both the state and federal level. Prior to starting her own company, she worked with several horticulture and design companies nationally and on freelance projects in design, production, and installation.
She received her BA in English from the Pennsylvania State University in 1991 and is a 2013 graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. The main emphasis of her horticulture studies and her current practice is low-impact, sustainable design and the use of native plants. While a student at the NYBG, Kelley interned with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in New Jersey to study Helonias bullata, a plant federally listed as a threatened species. She was an instrumental part of the installation team for the 3.5-acre, $15 million Native Plant Garden at the NYBG, which included Helonias bullata and other plants native to the region.
CoFounder + CEO, Alt Thirty Six
Ken is Cofounder and CEO of Alt Thirty Six, a digital payments and compliance platform connecting cannabis merchants with their, vendors, suppliers, and consumers by settling transactions in real-time on the Dash blockchain. A distinguished academic, Ken in the final stages of completing his Doctorate in Business Administration with his research focused on the effects of blockchain scalability on the consumer adoption of digital currency.
Founding Partner, Law Offices of Schwartz and Cera NY PLLC
Kenneth B. Cera, a founding partner of the Firm, has practiced law since 1985 and his practice includes all aspects of transactional law and taxation. He established the firm’s Manhattan office in 2003, and has worked extensively in venture capital, fashion, technology, crypto currency, and many other industries. His practice emphasizes venture capital and finance, mergers and acquisitions, company formation and structure, taxation, secured and unsecured lending, and intellectual property transactions.
Mr. Cera specializes in venture capital transactions, and works extensively as counsel to General Catalyst Partners and other venture investors. He typically works on and closes over 50 venture capital financings and exits per year. He recently represented the large crypto currency company Poloniex on its sale to Circle. He also has worked for many years in the fashion industry and has represented, among others, Kate Spade, Intermix, Alex Mill, and the Japanese designer Takashi Murakami, in a variety of business transactions. He also represents many companies in other industries, including Land Rover automobile dealerships and investors in the San Francisco Giants, in a large variety of business transactions.
Mr. Cera is an expert in corporate finance, and has worked on a large variety of complex financial transactions for over 30 years, including mergers and acquisitions, debt financings, reorganizations, private placements, and others. These transactions have ranged from the fairly small to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Prior to forming Schwartz & Cera in 1997, Mr. Cera practiced at the law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati in Silicon Valley, as well as the international law firm Coudert Brothers. Mr. Cera received his B.S. degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, cum laude, in 1985.
Board Member, Autism Speaks
Kevin J. Murray is the Managing Member of Pilgrim Foresight Fund, LLC and President of Pilgrim Financial Consultants. He is also the Managing Member of Ramble Inc. Mr. Murray was an early investor and senior strategic advisor to High Street Capital, LLC now Acreage Holdings, the largest cannabis platform in the US.
Mr. Murray was a formerly a Managing Director with BNY Mellon where he focused on strategic initiatives in alternative assets and non-traditional investments. The BNY Mellon Investment Management group manages more than $1.6 trillion in assets for institutional and high net worth clients globally. Mr. Murray was the managing director and head of business development for G2 Investment Group/Forbes Private Capital Group.
Mr. Murray was a partner and served as chief operating officer for Rock Ridge Advisors, a global multi-asset hedge fund. Prior to forming Rock Ridge, Mr. Murray was a partner and managing director for Muirfield Capital Management, an $800 million hedge fund that launched in 2001. During that same time, Mr. Murray also formed and operated Pilgrim Foresight. From 1997 to 2001, he was a co-founding partner in Convergence Asset Management, LLC, a global fixed income fund launched with a team from Salomon’s proprietary trading unit.
From 1988 to1997, Mr. Murray was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he was responsible for expanding the mortgage-backed trading operation to be one of the most profitable in the firm.
In 1997, Mr. Murray formed the Autism Coalition for Research and Education, which is now Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks was formed in June 2005 and is the largest autism organization in the world. Mr. Murray is a passionate board member of Autism Speaks and is active on various committees. Autism Speaks held its first research cannabis conference in December 2018.
Mr. Murray holds a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Siena College.
President/CEO, Medical Resource Association, Inc.
National Director of Veterans Outreach, Minorities for Medical Marijuana; and Co-Founder, Leaf Launch Holdings
Leo Bridgewater Sr. was born and raised in Trenton NJ. In 2001, Leo enlisted into the United States Army in response to the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC. There, he spent 5 years as a Telecommunications specialist with multiple deployments to Iraq. After separating from the Army in 2006, he spent another 2 ½ years working for the Dept. of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington DC. As a Department of Defense Contractor serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Leo has worked for companies like L-3 Communications, ITT systems, and Excellis. Having had 3 battle buddies attempt suicide and 2 being successful, the number of Veteran suicides per day (22) is an issue Leo finds to be totally unacceptable. Leo’s advocacy has seen him testify in NJ Senate Committee to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the NJ Medical Marijuana Program. As a result of his efforts, in September of 2016, NJ Gov. Chris Christie signed bill S-2345 adding PTSD to the NJMMP. Currently, Leo serves as NJ Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana and is Sub-Committee Chair of Minorities with the New Jersey Cannabusiness Association. He has partnered with organizations like Coalition Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Drug Policy Alliance, Americans Civil Liberties Union, I Deserve Canna, Cannabis Cultural Association, and Weed 4 Warriors -Trenton NJ Chapter. Signaling his evolution as an advocate and entrepreneur in the industry, he is the Co-Founder of the NJ Cannabis Commission, with a mission to be a vessel by which the industry works through in the state of New Jersey.
Senior Tax Manager, Crowe LLP
Marc Claybon, J.D., LL.M., is the Cannabis Industry Tax Services leader at Crowe LLP, one of the largest public accounting, consulting, and technology firms in the U.S.
Mr. Claybon advises on complex tax matters such as §280E and business structuring for a wide range of cannabis industry organizations, including medical and adult-use dispensaries, cannabis growers, seed-to-sale integrated operators, ancillary products manufacturers and service providers, cannabis industry private equity funds, and individual investors.
Mr. Claybon has over 20 years of tax experience equally split between public accounting and private industry. His industry experiences include leading a private equity company’s tax group, tax counsel at a Fortune 50 company, and director of tax planning, tax controversy and transfer pricing at a Fortune 200 global energy company.
Mr. Claybon’s experience includes responsibility for providing tax consulting and compliance services in many areas of taxation including federal tax planning, income tax compliance, complex transactional matters, accounting methods, periods and credits including inventory matters, federal and state tax controversy, accounting for income taxes, and US transfer pricing.
Chief Instigator, Needle Consultants, LLC
Marc Ross is an experienced attorney and thought leader in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility. He is the Founder and former Executive Director of Rock the Earth, a national environmental advocacy organization that works closely with the music industry.
Between 1998 and 2004, Marc was one of four in-house environmental attorneys at Alcoa Inc., serving as the company’s primary water counsel and counseling the company on a wide variety of national and international environmental compliance, permitting and remediation issues. Prior to that, Marc was Assistant Counsel in the Pennsylvania DEP Office of Chief Counsel’s Southcentral Region Litigation Office. While at DEP, Marc represented the Department in matters related to mining, water quality and hazardous waste.
Since departing Rock the Earth in early 2016, Marc has been consulting companies on matters surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility. To that end, he has been helping to build out “purposeful” brands in both the cannabis and non-cannabis space, with an emphasis on strategic, integrated, and authentic community and employee engagement, corporate philanthropy, and sustainability.
Marc received his B.A. in 1990 from the Pennsylvania State University and his J.D. in 1993 from the Dickinson School of Law. In 2016, Marc obtained an Executive Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the Leeds School of Business of the University of Colorado (Boulder).
Founding Partner, Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP
Marc J. Ross is a founding partner of Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP. Mr. Ross represents clients (public and private companies, brokerage firms, registered representatives, high net-worth individuals, and hedge funds) throughout the United States, North America, Asia, Europe and Israel. Mr. Ross advises clients on securities, corporate, regulatory and litigation/arbitration matters.
Mr. Ross specializes in advising marijuana and marijuana related companies, and often speaks on, the legal issues associated with marijuana and marijuana-related businesses, including the interplay between state laws which legalize recreational and medical marijuana uses, federal laws which bar such uses Mr. Ross teaches the first law school course on marijuana at Hofstra University School of Law, titled Business and Law of Marijuana. In his course, Mr. Ross introduces students to the rapidly-developing legal questions encountered in the operation of marijuana-related businesses. The course uses a fictional business, Cannabis Inc., to explore (1) the interplay between state laws legalizing recreational and/or medical marijuana uses and the Federal Controlled Substances Act; (2) enforcement and application of other regulatory regimes governing the operation of marijuana-related businesses, such as banking and securities laws; and (3) the ethical considerations for an attorney advising a client engaged in a marijuana-related business.
CEO, Vanguard Scientific Systems
Significant experience in regulated and controlled substance markets
Conducted PE/VC due diligence investigation, research and assessments
Completed multiple M&A transactions as both buyer and seller
Creative Marketer possessing experience with branding, industrial design & advertising
Rollins College, BA; International Business, Area Studies; Economics, Music
United States Congressman (NY 11) & Retired Captain, U.S. Army
An army veteran and former non-profit healthcare executive, Congressman Max Rose proudly serves New York’s 11th Congressional District, representing Staten Island and South Brooklyn.
Upon being sworn in, Max pledged to fight for Staten Island and South Brooklyn and focus on the transportation needs of his district, fighting the opioid epidemic, and rooting out corruption in Washington.
Max currently serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Serving in Afghanistan, and now as a veteran himself, Max has seen firsthand how our service members and veterans struggle when they return home.
Max served as an active duty officer in Afghanistan from 2012-2013 and earned a Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Combat Infantry Badge. He is Ranger-qualified and continues to serve in the National Guard and is the first post-9/11 combat veteran to represent New York City.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Max was the Chief of Staff for Brightpoint Health, a non-profit healthcare organization that has effectively provided care and responded to the needs of underserved New Yorkers for more than 25 years.
Max received a B.A. in history from Wesleyan University and M.S.C. in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.
Vice President and Bank Secrecy Act Officer, Safe Harbor Private Banking
Over the last 20 years Michael has acquired a 360-degree view of the banking industry having served multiple financial institutions and technology companies as an Executive, Senior BSA / Compliance Officer, Auditor, Consultant and Federal Regulator inclusive of designing, deploying and administering Marijuana Related Business banking programs. Currently, he oversees the Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program for the country’s largest Cannabis Banking Program where he is responsible for developing, implementing, administering, and maintaining all aspects of the anti-money laundering compliance program to ensure all related parties’ compliance efforts are maintained at the highest level on a daily basis. In this position he ensures all account activities, transactions and ongoing monitoring activities are conducted in strict accordance with applicable laws, regulations, directives, and internal policies/procedures which govern Safe Harbor Private Banking’s Cannabis Banking Program. Michael received his B.S.B.A. in Finance with a minor in Banking and Financial Services from the University of Wyoming and his M.B.A. from the University of Denver.
President & CEO, Curaleaf NY
Strategic Advisor & Retired U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major
Mike Hoover, CSM USA retired, is a veteran of nearly 28 years in the United States Army. He began his career as an Army Ranger, in the 3rd Ranger Battalion. Mike then assessed for and was selected to attend the United States Army Special Forces Qualification course. Upon successful completion, he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group, (Airborne), where he served on a Special Forces Combat Dive team. In 1991, Mike assessed for and was selected for assignment to an Army Special Mission Unit in Fort Bragg North Carolina, where he spent the rest of his Army career.
During his military career, Mike deployed numerous times into combat zones as well as on classified National Command Authority directed contingency operations. Mike has led direct combat operations in the joint and combined arena and also has served a cumulative 22 months as the Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Joint, Combined, Task Force assigned with the destruction of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He is a veteran of the first Gulf War, NATO Operations in the Balkans, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn as well as operations in Northern Africa.
Upon retirement from active duty, Mike joined McChrystal Group Leadership and Management consulting firm. He quickly rose from consultant to Partner and led the largest revenue producing contract in the organization.
In 2014, Mike began working for Scotts Miracle Gro as a consultant and was soon hired as the Vice President of Strategy. During his tenure at Scotts, Mike was responsible for the execution and oversight of nearly $1B of acquisitions in the Cannabis industry. During this time, Mike developed a widely held reputation as a subject matter expert.
Mike currently serves as a Strategic Advisor to GreenSpring Associates, a Venture Capital investment firm located in Owings Mills, Maryland, while also consulting in the Cannabis space.
Dr. Monica Vialpando
Founder, Vialpando, LLC
Dr. Monica Vialpando is a pharmaceutical development scientist and founded Vialpando, LLC, a provider of innovation consulting for the cannabis industry. She is an adjunct professor at Loyalist College, Canada and recipient of the ElSohly Award for Excellence in Cannabis Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. She earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Leuven, Belgium. There, she published several papers on formulation of poorly water soluble drugs, including a granted patent. Beyond this, she brings seven years of pharmaceutical formulation experience with US and European-based companies and four years of vaping (nicotine). Her development portfolio includes immediate and modified release tablets, orodispersible tablets, dry powders and nebulized solution for inhalation, nicotine and cannabis vape products, topicals and beverages.
Graduate Student, Brown University; Founder/CEO, SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency)
After his freshman year at Brown, Nadir was forced to retire from his Division 1 football career after suffering his sixth concussion. Now, in his senior year at Brown, Nadir has successfully made the pivot from a full-time student athlete to full-time student entrepreneur. He’s now been featured in Forbes, Huff Post, and Entrepreneur.
Nadir has spent most of his career in digital strategy, branding & marketing working with a range of cannabis companies from cultural staples like High Times to new burgeoning start-ups like Ardent Cannabis. Nadir is also Founder/CEO of SMART (Student Marijuana Alliance for Research & Transparency) a college cannabis organization dedicated to bridging the gap for students into the booming legal industry while helping to legitimize brands through academia.
Neil Kaufman Esq.
Managing Member, Kaufman & Associates, LLC
Mr. Kaufman is the managing member of Kaufman & Associates, LLC, Corporate & Securities Counsel to the Legal Cannabis Industry™. He combines 35 years of practicing corporate and securities law at the highest levels with extensive cannabis industry experience. Mr. Kaufman represents a wide variety of cannabis companies and investors in their corporate, securities, financing, borrowing, merger & acquisition, contract, and other legal matters, and has participated in over $300 million of cannabis-industry financing transactions.
Mr. Kaufman serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Long Island Capital Alliance, a non-profit organization that has assisted dozens of local companies in raising over $200 million in growth capital; Chairman of the Long Island Chapter of Financial Executives International, a nationwide organization of CFOs and controllers; a Trustee and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Two Roads Shared Trust, a series of mutual funds with over $2 billion under management, and Altegris KKR Commitments Master Fund, a private equity mutual fund. Mr. Kaufman formerly served as Chairman of the board of directors of Vizacom Inc., a NASDAQ-listed software and technology solutions company and Chairman of the Corporation, Banking & Securities Law Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association.
Attorney, Dill Dill Carr Stonbraker & Hutchings, PC
Nick J. Richards is a practicing tax attorney, adjunct professor of law and legal specialist to the United States cannabis industry. He is a partner at Dill Dill Carr Stonbraker & Hutchings and is tax counsel to Vicente Sederberg, two prominent and well connected law firms leading the way in U.S. state legalized cannabis. Nick represents and advises cannabis businesses and owners throughout the U.S. regarding taxes, business practices, acquisitions, and I.R.C. Section 280E. With his involvement in ongoing IRS and State audits, Nick has current up to date information that he uses to help cannabis clients correctly report and navigate Section 280E and state cannabis taxes. Nick began his legal career in the IRS where he was a Trial Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney and Staff Attorney to the IRS Chief Counsel. After 11 years with the IRS, Nick began representing individuals and businesses and was one of the first attorneys to represent a cannabis company in an IRS 280E audit. Nick graduated from law school at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and he is licensed to practice law in California and Colorado.
Founder & CEO, Aeon Wellness
Nicole is a seasoned cannabis activist and an original pioneer in the LA medical cannabis scene since 2003, co-founding two of the first dispensaries that she successfully operated for five years, while also leading operations at her company’s cultivation operation, supervising an 85+ person team. She is the co-founder and has been head of Business Development for Firebird Craft Cannabis for the past 7 years. She currently serves on the board for the Southern California Coalition, LA’s largest and most inclusive cannabis trade association and continues to actively shape local legislative policy. Nicole has 25 years of experience as an expert wellness entrepreneur, is a UCLA-trained Registered Dietitian, and has completed extensive post-graduate training in functional and integrative medicine. She is the only healthcare professional in Los Angeles to have founded a retail cannabis operation.
Norman Chevlin CFP®
Plant Your Financial Seed, LLC
Norman has been helping families and business owners reach their financial goals for over 24 years. He focuses on establishing lasting relationships with his clients by providing the highest level of client service in the areas of business and personal insurance products and services. These areas include devising strategies to help minimize the impact of taxes and inflation on current and future financial goals, saving for college tuition and retirement, evaluating pension options, asset allocation and IRA/401k rollover options, long-term care insurance and developing estate planning and business planning for business owners. He is a frequent speaker at educational workshops on these topics as well. Norman is also proficient in the LGBT community and the Special Needs Planning community.
Norman holds a BS in computer science from Rider University and an MS in Management System Analysis from Kean University. Norman is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant from the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards. He is a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable and a member of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners.
Editor, Cannabis Law Digest
Believing in the importance of education and access to information, Patricia H. Heer co-founded the Cannabis Law Digest, an electronic platform of legal resources for the cannabis industry. The Digest contains cannabis statutes and regulations, industry specific articles, agency guidelines, and state and federal cannabis court decisions digested by industry attorneys into easy to read summaries. Any cannabis industry participant can empower oneself by reading and analyzing what courts and regulators are saying about the issues affecting one’s business.
Historically, Patricia has practiced in the area of commercial litigation and business reorganization at an AmLaw100 firm. Patricia’s litigation and transactional experience enables her to now advise clients in the rapidly shifting cannabis industry.
Patricia Heer is a member of the State Regulations Committee of the National Cannabis Industry Association, a member of the Emerging Issues Committee of the National Cannabis Bar Association, and a member of the New York City Affairs Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She has also published several articles on issues affecting the cannabis industry and is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences.
Graduate Student, University of Connecticut
Pete is currently a graduate student in the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources studying horticultural sciences where he is continuing to pursue the applied plant sciences.
He’s been fortunate to have a number of rewarding learning experiences throughout his college career at UConn. For example, Pete has worked in Floriculture, one of the university’s greenhouses, as an assistant. He built on this experience this past summer, interning at a commercial greenhouse, called Grower Direct Inc. Working as a grower-in-training, he learned the ropes of the industry, participating in everything from how water crops effectively to controlling pests. Simultaneously, Pete and his research partner received an IDEA Grant to work with their professor, Dr. Mark Brand, in his crop breeding program. Together they worked on the one of the largest collections of Aronia varieties, analyzing the sugar content of each of the plants’ berries. In regards to a different independent study, conducted last fall, Pete hopes that his plant tissue culture project will be accepted and published by a peer-reviewed journal in the coming months. In addition, he has been working on his honor’s thesis related to weed science by using cover crops with special properties to help lower weed pressures in a cropping system. This fall Pete has a new position working with UConn’s Spring Valley Student Farm. Here he will be the research coordinator for the new aquaponics facility.
In his free time, he rows on UConn Men’s Crew team. He is also an avid forager of wild edibles.
CEA Technical Sales, Griffin Greenhouse Supplies
Peter Armando’s technical expertise is built on a strong foundation of over 30 years as a wholesale grower. His acumen covers an impressive array of competencies, including Controlled Environment Agriculture, construction, irrigation, equipment, media, fertilizers, hydroponic production, pesticides, and biological pest control. Peter’s history with Griffin extends more than 10 years, during which time he has demonstrated excellence in matching customer needs with effective solutions.
Founder and CEO, 1906
Peter Barsoom left a 19-year career in the financial industry in 2015 to found 1906, a “premium edible company”. Barsoom is the founder of 1906, and principal of Nuka Enterprises. He has held a variety of senior management positions at leading institutions including American Express, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and Intercontinental Exchange. ICE operates the leading network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Pranav Sood is the CEO of Trellis, an inventory track & trace software platform for regulated cannabis growers, manufacturers, distributors and dispensaries. Pranav’s previous experience includes management consulting and retail IT management for a leading global retailer. Pranav graduated from business school and is a serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in startups and growing B2B companies. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Pranav now resides in California.
Rafael de la Cruz
General Partner, Universal Brand Ventures
Serial entrepreneur, angel investor and strategic advisor with over two decades of experience in marketing innovation, Rafael has led teams in successfully launching and branding a variety of products, creating new categories and effectively connecting with the most elusive audiences. He serves as a member of the investor selection committee for the Arcview Group and is an executive advisor to the Southern California Cannabis Business & Investment Group.
After a period of consulting several tech startups, Rafael joined the team that re-booted Pepsi’s Mountain Dew utilizing action sports, urban music and influencer culture (Do the Dew!), taking it from obscurity to the Number 4 position in the carbonated soft drink category. He was brought on to manage and execute several national client programs including the development of Marlboro’s on-premise strategy for Philip-Morris International, Spanish language field marketing for Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol and nightlife influencer projects for various Diageo and Bacardi brands.
Mr. De La Cruz was recruited to be part of the core marketing team at glacéau – makers of vitaminwater & smartwater. Rafael created and executed a series of both sales & marketing initiatives that supported the company’s doubling of revenue year after year, resulting in the largest acquisition of its kind in the beverage category ($4.2 billion) by The Coca-Cola Company (KO – NYSE). Rafael has since then held several executive positions overseeing marketing and operations with early-stage companies. He manages capital, strategy and advisory services thru Universal Brand Ventures for early-stage companies in the cannabis industry.
Attorney, Compliance Reliance, Inc.
Robert Carp is a Harvard trained government scientist, and works exclusively in the cannabis space. He is a former High Tech Entrepreneur of the Year and as a cannabis lawyer, consultant and prolific writer with a concentration on helping medical and recreational cannabis growers and retailers, he has sold over 50,000 of his cannabis books, of which two lead their category on Amazon.
Director, Cannabis, North 6th Agency (N6A)
Robert Vanisko oversees the N6A Cannabis Group, which represents a wide variety of companies within the legal cannabis industry. In addition to overseeing group operations, he provides messaging, branding, and strategy support across his base of clients. Robert is a graduate of the University of Miami and resides in Brooklyn, New York.
Owner, Honeysuckle Magazine
CEO, BDS Analytics
Roy Bingham is a Harvard MBA and former McKinsey consultant, a serial entrepreneur and founder of BDS Analytics. He grew up in the UK, was a banker/financier in London, then moved to the USA in 1993.
Bingham started BDS Analytics after recognizing that the emerging cannabis industry lacked the kind of sophisticated, sales-based data that is both commonplace and essential in other, more established industries. In those industries, market research – and consumer behavior – drive everything from new product development to inventory and branding decisions.
Among his prior businesses, Bingham had been both an early investor in SPINS – a very successful data analytics company for the Natural Products Industry and later an expert user of their data as a senior marketing executive in natural products.
Founder/CEO, Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana
As the Founder/CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. She is responsible for the day- to-day operation and is the chief strategist involved in developing public policy, advocacy, education, and marketing campaigns to promote awareness, information, and education about the efficacy of medical marijuana. It is a varied role that includes planning, marketing, advertising, public relations, event organization, fund development, sponsorship, and research. The work is often challenging and fast-paced. With over 22 years of experience Roz is a constant creator of marketing and branding campaigns and business development strategies. A direct & target marketing consultant who assists with marketing plans, writes copy, and designs top-pulling mailings, ads, catalogs, and web pages for business, nonprofits, consumer, and professionals.
Roz also hosts a weekly call in Cannabis 101 talk platform entitled “CannaTalk with Roz.” When asked should marijuana be legalized for medical use…….Without hesitation Roz boldly says yes! “In 1983 my father lost his vision due to glaucoma and in 2005 my mother passed away after a courageous battle against breast cancer. I’m sure if medical marijuana were available the plant could have made a difference and improved their quality of life.”
Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (M4MM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advocacy, education, and outreach as it relates to the social, medical, business, and public policy aspects of the cannabis industry. M4MM is a membership based organization working hard to make sure people of color have a true quantifiable opportunity to participate in this marketplace and are afforded adequate access to care despite their economic situation. M4MM currently has presence in 20 states throughout the US as well as a chapter location in Jamaica.
CEO, Dash Core Group
Ryan Taylor is currently the CEO of Dash Core Group, Inc. Dash is an innovative digital currency that offers a number of payments-oriented improvements over Bitcoin. Ryan is an expert in the payments industry, with over 15 years of experience in financial services and technology.
Prior to Dash, Ryan was a hedge fund analyst covering a global stable of payments industry investments for the private equity and public market funds of a $20 billion investment firm based in New York. He possesses a comprehensive understanding of the payments landscape and the drivers for success within the payments industry. Previously he was an Associate Partner in McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology Office in New York, where he served senior executive clients of some of the world’s largest financial institutions, covering a variety of strategy and technology topics.
CPA, The CannaCPAs
Sandy Suchoff CPA is the founder and CEO of Lefstein-Suchoff CPA & Associates LLC D/B/A The Canna CPAS which was formed in 1997. Sandy has been featured on: MSNBC and FOX News as a tax advisor, Oklahoma PBS TV, Cannabis Radio, Purple Haze Radio, and Cannabis Tech & Today. She has written an article for The National Marijuana News, is currently writing an article for Marijuana Venture, was interviewed for Snoop Dog’s Merry Jane website, and co-authored a book with a chapter devoted to cannabis tax strategies. As a renowned national speaker on 280E tax and accounting, Sandy has spoken at: the CWCBE in Boston, MJBIZCON in Las Vegas, USCC in Miami, RAD Expo in Portland, NJBIZ in NJ, Indo Expo in Denver, CannaCon in Seattle and the upcoming show in Oklahoma City. She has also hosted her own full day of Cannabis learning featuring herself and other speakers in Oklahoma City.
Managing Director, Vertical Company Financial Services
I have been providing access to capital for marijuana business owners since 2009 and been called “The Marijuana Money Man “by Fox San Francisco, &the Denver Post I created the first company to provide access to debt capital in 2014 and arranged over $30 million in funding before accepting the position with Vertical in 2018 as managing director of the newly created Financial Services division
Steven Segal PhD
Dr. Stuart Titus
CEO, Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Dr. Stuart Titus is a veteran of the financial services and medical healthcare industries with over thirty years of combined experience in each discipline. In the investment banking industry, Dr. Titus worked with well-regarded firms including A.G. Becker, Prudential-Bache Securities, and Credit Suisse-First Boston. After leaving Wall Street, Dr. Titus opened and operated his private physiotherapy practice specializing in microcurrent and stem cell therapeutic treatments.
Now, Dr. Titus, a 10-year pioneer of the cannabis industry, is the Chief Executive Officer of the first-ever publicly traded cannabis company in the United States, Medical Marijuana, Inc. Dr. Titus has been involved in all aspects of the medical marijuana and industrial hemp industries as he also oversees a robust portfolio of subsidiary and investment companies. Through his leadership, Medical Marijuana, Inc. became the first company to deliver cannabis brands across U.S. state lines and international borders, making hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) available across 50 states and in dozens of countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and many European nations.
Dr. Titus is a graduate of Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla., where he majored in Economics and minored in Business Administration. He earned his Ph.D. degree from the Open International University, which is a World Health Organization (WHO)-chartered affiliate. He holds a Fellowship with the American Academy of Pain Management and clinical association with the American Association of Integrative Medicine.
In addition to his role as founder and CEO of Mazakali, Sumit is the Finance and Strategy Consultant to The Arcview Group and Managing Partner at Emerald Ventures. Sumit has directed cannabis investments since 2014 and currently serves on the Canopy Investment Committee. A frequent speaker at investment seminars, Sumit also acts as a mentor to Arcview and Canopy companies. Sumit supports NCIA, the Marijuana Policy Project and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.
Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Sumit spent nearly two decades in the financial capital markets. Sumit’s past experience includes: Head of Midwest Sales and Trading, Susquehanna Financial Group, Director of Institutional Equity Sales, UBS Investment Bank; Financial Advisor, J.P. Morgan Securities, Director of Business Development, DiMeo Schneider and Associates; Equity Research Analyst, Raymond James Financial; Associate Analyst, Merrill Lynch.
Sumit has earned an MBA from the University of Michigan, a BA in Economics with Honors from the University of Texas and currently holds Series 7, 63, 65 and 79 licenses. He resides in San Francisco where he enjoys riding his motorcycle, yoga and craft beer.
NYC Market Leader, Women Grow
Tanya Osborne, Founder of CannaDiva, LLC and NYC Market Leader for Women Grow, is a true Renaissance woman! From the Music Industry to Financial Services, Business Coaching and now. . . Cannabis. The common theme here is the connection . . . from being a champion for Women in Music, sharing the importance of women investing in and for their future, coaching women entrepreneurs and now contributing to changing the stigma of the plant and bringing awareness to the role of women in the Cannabis industry.
She is the CEO of CannaDiva, LLC, a brand committed to supporting women in the space from hosting Canna-events and shining a spotlight on women entrepreneurs and the products and services that are women-focused, and the NYC Market Leader for Women Grow which is a national organization encouraging and supporting women to build and “grow” in the Cannabis industry.
Exuding a passion for entrepreneurs, diversity, and women has led Tanya to the Cannabis industry which is positioned for exponential growth. Her goal is to educate, connect and support women leaders in this industry.
Project Manager, MPX New Jersey
Tenisha Victor has spent the past 5 years with MPX Bioceutical Corporation starting her career as an executive assistant role to those in high-level management positions within MPX moving to a Project Manager role, overseeing the company’s growth to new states, managing real estate, and leading the new license acquisition team. Her current primary focus outside of license acquisitions is at the cultivation/production facility Greenmart of Nevada where she implements budgets, productivity calendars, provides projections to senior executives and oversees overall fiscal performance. The past three years Tenisha has served as an Account Manager and Founding partner of CBD For Life, bringing in and managing large wholesale accounts, distributors and retailers for the company. Tenisha has received commendations and accolades for her life’s work in community development. Actively participating in existing charities, organizations and outreach programs as well as implementing programs that have tutored at-risk youth, mentored LGBTQ youth, developed food pantries and charitable concerts. She continues this work with outreach programs in the surrounding areas of the Medical Marijuana Facilities of Health for Life and GreenMart of Nevada. She is responsible for organizing the collaboration of local nonprofit organizations that serve the community, hosting events in support of local business and causes, advocating for patients, and hosting free educational seminars for patients.
Marketing Manager, Desert Aire
Managing Partner, Sapphire Risk Advisory Group
Tony Gallo specializes in security and loss prevention for high-risk businesses. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the Security, Audit, Safety, and Emergency Management fields. Tony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University.
Tony is a licensed security consultant and a published author on retail, financial loan services, and cannabis security. Tony has spoken at numerous business conferences across the United States and is considered one of the leading authorities in various industries, including cannabis and financial loan service security, armed robbery, and burglary loss prevention.
CEO & Founder, Sunstrand Sustainable Materials
William “Trey” Riddle III, PhD is an expert in bio-materials for composite, technical nonwoven and plastic applications, regularly speaking and publishing on the subjects. Dr. Riddle is now the founder and CEO of Sunstrand, the sustainable materials company that grows and processes hemp for everyday applications.
Senior Account Manager, Canna Advisors
Victoria oversees client communications, provides support, and contributes excellent attention to detail. She is a trusted point of contact for clients and works closely with them to achieve their goals by educating them on the essentials of opening and operating a cannabis business. Victoria has been in the industry since 2014 and has worked with clients in over 20 states, 2 countries, and a U.S. territory. She helps develop and manage client ventures such as financial modeling, capital acquisition, investor pitching, cannabis education, and applications for license pursuit.
Victoria also works closely with trusted partners and vendors as well as the other departments at Canna Advisors to make sure clients have the best possible experience while successfully pursuing their project.
Managing Director, Consumer - Beverage, Cannabis & Tobacco, Cowen Inc.
Vivien Azer is a managing director and senior research analyst specializing in beverages, tobacco, and cannabis sectors. Vivien is the first senior Wall Street analyst to cover the emerging cannabis sector, resulting in notable global press coverage across media outlets such as CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Barron’s and Forbes.
Vivien’s coverage of the tobacco and cannabis sectors has earned her numerous industry accolades including a spot on Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team on several occasions. She was also named to MJBiz Daily’s list of “20 Women to Watch in 2019,” selected by Business Insider as a “Rising Star of Marijuana Investing,” and named to High Times Magazine 2019 annual list of the “100 Most Influential Figures in the Cannabis Space.” Vivien has consistently been ranked by Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards (StarMine), and in 2017, she was ranked #1 and #2 for stock picking in beverages and tobacco, respectively, and #2 for earnings estimation in tobacco. Prior to joining Cowen and Company in 2014, she spent over nine years at Citi covering consumer staples. Vivien holds a BA from the College of William and Mary and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
William Caruso Esq.
Partner, Archer & Greiner
Prior to joining Archer, Mr. Caruso served nearly five years as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office in Trenton. He was responsible for developing and implementing the Assembly’s policy agenda, and, as top aide to the Speaker, served as lead staff negotiator on all policy matters and as liaison to the Governor’s office, Senate and state departments.
Prior to taking the Assembly post, Mr. Caruso served for more than 11 years as Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Andrews, a Camden County Democrat. In that position, Mr. Caruso had responsibility for overseeing all aspects of the Congressman’s policy and public relations agenda, with specialization in economic development, education and defense policy.
Mr. Caruso served as Democratic legal and public relations advisor to the 2011 New Jersey Apportionment Commission, which was tasked with redrawing the lines of the state’s 40 legislative districts following the 2010 census. He has twice been named by PolitickerNJ.com to the political news site’s Power List of New Jersey’s most influential political and policy players.
Mr. Caruso earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Government from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., and his Juris Doctorate from Rutgers University School of Law–Camden.