Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Village Farms, Hollister Biosciences, PharmaCielo, Forian, MJardin

Village Farms’ Colorado Subsidiary Taps Alejandro de Gortari As CFO

Village Farms International, Inc. VFF VFF announced Monday that its Colorado

subsidiary Balanced Health Botanicals has appointed consumer products and finance veteran, Alejandro "Alex" de Gortari as Chief Financial OfficerDe Gortari succeeds Brandon Townsley who has left Balanced Health to pursue other career interests.

Prior to joining Balanced Health Botanicals, de Gortari held various senior roles in consumer products and cannabis industries; he also spent more than 15 years working at Molson Coors Brewing Co. TAP.

"On the heels of the acquisition of Balanced Health by Village Farms, I am thrilled to welcome a finance and commercial professional of Alex's caliber to the Balanced Health team," Chase Terwilliger, president and CEO of Balanced Health Botanicals stated. "Alex brings nearly two decades of experience, in both large and small regulated consumer product sectors to Balanced Health, as we embark on this new chapter of our growth story as part of the Village Farms family."

Hollister Biosciences Appoints Former Aphria President Jakob Ripshtein And Original Shark Tank Participant Kevin Harrington To Its Board Of Directors 

Hollister Biosciences Inc. HOLL HSTRF HOB confirmed Tuesday the appointment of two new members to its board of directors - Kevin Harrington and  

Jakob Ripshtein.

Harrington became famous as one of the original "sharks" on the 4x Emmy-winning ABC series Shark Tank. His many landmark achievements include inventing the infomercial and co-founding the Electronic Retailers Association. Around 20 of his companies have surpassed $100 million in revenue. He is also known for launching popular products like The Food Saver, Ginsu Nives, and The Great Wok of China. Harrington was a member of Celsius Holdings Inc. CELH board of directors for nine years, helping the company reach the value of $72 per share, from 22 cents per share when he joined. 

At Hollister Biosciences Harrington will serve as chairman of the company's advisory board as well as a member of the company's board of directors.

Ripshtein, CPA, served as the president of Aphria Inc. which was acquired by Tilray, Inc. TLRY, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. Prior to Aphria, Ripshtein was CFO of Diageo North America Inc. and president of Diageo Canada, the multinational beverage giant behind such global brands as Johnnie Walker, Don Julio, Guinness, Baileys, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan. Now, Ripshtein will serve as non-executive chairman of the Hollister Biosciences board of directors and chairman of the company's audit committee.

PharmaCielo Hires Industry Veterans Bob DeGabrielle and Will Nicholas to the Company's Board

PharmaCielo Ltd. PCLO PCLOF announced Wednesday it has tapped Bob DeGabrielle and Will Nicholas as new members of its board of directors

DeGabrielle is an experienced entrepreneur and operator in the sector. Originally, he joined the space by helping the Cannabis Ballot Initiative in Florida to pass in 2012. After that, he moved to Colorado and built three dispensaries, a testing lab and a 25,000 square foot indoor cultivation facility. DeGabrielle is the managing partner and one of the founders of Los Suenos Farms LLC, one of the largest outdoor cannabis farms in the U.S., and also the owner of High Colorado Farms, Nielsen Farms and Colorado Cannabis Associates.

DeGabrielle serves on the board of Colorado Leads and MIG (Marijuana Industry Group), the two leading cannabis industry associations in Colorado. He was also a founding member of the Cannabis Trade Federation, a national industry association in the United States.

In May 2021, it was announced that these combined business interests were acquired by Curaleaf, Inc. CURLF for US$78 million. The transaction is expected to close in late 2021.

Nicholas has an extensive career in banking with Bankers Trust Company, Swiss Bank Corporation and UBS Investment Bank. He co-founded Oceanwood Capital Management, a London-based, European-focused event-driven hedge fund manager and served as COO and then CEO of the firm for over a decade. He then retired as CEO in 2017. Nicholas became a "day 1" investor in Alternative Medical Enterprises before its merger with Verano Holdings Corp. VRNOF

Forian Taps Michael Vesey As Its New Chief Financial Officer 

Forian Inc. FORA revealed Wednesday that it has appointed Michael Vesey as its new chief financial officer. Vesey will succeed Clifford Farren, who will remain with Forian in an advisory capacity through the end of the year to ensure an orderly transition. 

Prior to becoming Forian’s new CFO, Vesey was the chief financial officer of Wayside Technology Group, Inc. WSTG, a provider of cyber security, software and technology solutions. Before joining Wayside, Vesey spent nine years at Majesco Entertainment Company growing from the company's chief accounting officer to CFO. 

"Michael brings a successful history of driving results and positioning emerging companies for growth, and we are happy to welcome him to our team," Max Wygod, executive chairman of Forian stated. "As I mentioned on our last earnings call, I believe it is an exciting time at Forian with our new products expected to be released in market and meaningful growing backlog and pipeline giving us a solid opportunity for future substantial revenue growth." 

MJardin’s CEO Pat Witcher Resigns, The Board Appoints Anthony Dutton As Interim CEO

MJardin Group, Inc. MJAR MJARF announced Thursday that Pat Witcher has resigned as the company CEO, to pursue other career interests. He will however remain as a director of MJardin where he will continue to support the company during its previously announced restructuring process.

As new interim CEO, the board appointed Anthony Dutton, a current MJardin board member.

The board of directors and management of the Company thank Witcher for his years of service to MJardin during the company’s formative years, and for the many initiatives he led on behalf of the company. 

Photo: Courtesy of Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsAlejandro de GortariAnthony DuttonBob DeGabrielleBrandon TownsleyClifford FarrenForian Taps Michael Vesey As The New Chief Financial OfficerHollister Biosciences Appoints Former Aphria President Ripshtein And An Original “Shark” From “Shark Tank” HarringtonJakob RipshteinKevin HarringtonMax WygodMichael VeseyMJardin’s CEO Witcher ResignsPat WitcherPharmaCielo Hires Industry Veterans Bob DeGabrielle and Will Nicholas to the Company's BoardThe Board Appoints Dutton As The New Interim CEOVillage Farms’ Colorado Subsidiary Appoints Alejandro de Gortari As CFOWill Nicholas
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