Cannabis Career Watch | New Hires and Promotions October 23, 2020

California-based testing laboratory CannaSafe added four new executives to its management team: Vice President of Business Development Todd Geller, Chief Financial Officer Matthew McCormack, Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions Dr. Keith Wheatstone, and Vice President of Science Dr. Aaron Stancik.

“We are delighted to welcome such a talented group of professionals to the CannaSafe family,” said CannaSafe Chief Executive Officer Aaron Riley. “Keith, Todd, Matthew, and Aaron bring invaluable experience to the company that will help drive our growth and expansion across the U.S. and advance our scientific capabilities, further establishing CannaSafe as the leading cannabis testing facility in the nation.”

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WeedMD appointed human resources executive Deborah Sikkema to the role of chief people officer. She also will serve on the company’s compensation committee and its board of directors. WeedMD’s Chief Strategy Officer Stephen Ng was promotedto the role of chief commercial officer.

“This has been a transformative year for our employees and our industry,” said WeedMD Chief Executive Officer Angelo Tsebelis. “Our valued employees are our single greatest resource which defines who we are as a company and under Deborah’s leadership, teams have integrated seamlessly. We’re thrilled to welcome her as a permanent member of our team as we continue building the business for commercial success. Both Deborah and Stephen are inspirational leaders and strategic thinkers who bring valuable expertise at a critical juncture as we build teams to expand our product offerings and leverage our unique distribution platforms to drive organic growth.”


Cannabis lifestyle company From The Earth named Courtney Dorne to the role of president. She joins the company from Vertical Companies where she served as president of brands. Prior to Vertical, Dorne spent 20 years as president at Fresh and Ready Foods of Nevada.

“Courtney has been tremendously impressive in expanding high-growth companies and brings with her an instinct for leading teams and building valuable industry relationships,” said From The Earth Chief Executive Officer Dan Zaharoni. “We are thrilled to have a talented professional who clearly understands the cannabis market join our leadership team.”


Capfin Investment Firm director and President Jim Kelly joined MJ Holdings as interim chief financial officer. Kelly previously served as president at Sunstate Equity Trading and founder and managing member for Sunstate Futures.

“As we navigate the critically important aspects of engaging in a C-Suite ‘reset’, we are privileged to have a professional of Jim’s stature to help guide us through the processes with regard to our financial controls and reporting,” said MJ Holdings Interim Chief Executive Officer Roger Bloss. “Along with the other recent additions to our management team and board of directors, the addition of Mr. Kelly will allow Paris Balaouras, founder and chief cultivation officer, to continue to better focus the company’s resources on its core Las Vegas business.”


Wendy Kaufman resigned as chief financial officer at Khiron Life Sciences, a role she’d held since July 2019. Joel Friedman has been promoted from director of finance and treasury to fill the vacancy.

“On behalf of our management team and board of directors, I congratulate Joel on his promotion to the role of CFO. Having worked closely with Joel for almost a year, we have full confidence in Joel’s experience and financial leadership to assume this important role at Khiron,” said Deborah Rosati, chair of Khiron’s audit committee.

“I would like to thank Wendy for her contributions as CFO during Khiron’s critical phases of growth and commercialization, and for her excellent stewardship during the global challenges that the company has faced over the past six months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” added Khiron Chief Executive Officer Alvaro Torres. “We also want to recognize Wendy for her leadership and mentorship, ensuring a smooth transition and continuity in the role of CFO to her successor, Joel. We wish Wendy the very best.”


Directorial and advisory board changes and additions:

Atlanta-based cultivation lighting manufacturer Revolution Micro added Stuart A. Wilcox, Taylor Rooke, and Dr. Joseph Allegra to its board of directors. The company said the additions were “instrumental to [its] continued growth.”

Colorado-based Compass Natural Marketing launch its newly established advisory board with the appointment of three charter members: Ari Adams, Bill Capsalis, and Mike Schall.

The California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) added Cresco Labs Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Sabrina Noah to its board of directors.

WeedMD appointed veteran finance executive Lu Cacioppo to its board of directors and as chair of its audit committee. Cacioppo currently serves as vice chair and managing partner at private equity firm Beringer Capital.

Compliance solutions company Fyllo appointed former Playboy Chief Executive Officer Christie Hefner to its board of directors. The company also added three new strategic advisors: SHE Media CEO Samantha Skey, Wunderman Thompson North America CEO Shane Atchison, and Annalect/Omnicom Media Group Director of Global Strategic Partnerships Joe Raaen.

Indus Holdings nominated Three Oaks Strategies founder and President Bruce A. Gates to its board of directors after the departure of company co-founder Robert Weakley.


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