Cannabis Movers & Shakers: Motley Fool's Top Cannabis Investor, MainStem, C3 Industries, Mikra Cellular Announce Appointments

Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council Member Lori Ferrara Honored By Motley Fool As Top Cannabis Investor

The Motley Fool, a financial services company, founded in 1993, recently released the winners of its 2022 Women in Investing Awards.

Lori Ferrara, a member of Benzinga's Cannabis Advisory Council, is among them as the number one cannabis investor.

Ferrara, who joined The Arcview Group when the cannabis investor network had some 80 members, and she was the only woman, is now part of an all-women management team running Treehouse Global Ventures, which invests in female-led cannabis companies. Ferrara also runs Alexava Holdings, a private equity boutique specializing in cannabis investments.

Prior to getting into cannabis, Ferrara worked on TV distribution, managing syndication operations for big-name shows like Inside Edition, Jeopardy, Geraldo and The Oprah Winfrey Show, ultimately setting up her own company, Picture Perfect Partners.

"This personal journey has given new meaning to my life," Ferrara told Benzinga at the launch of Treehouse Global Ventures. "Never would I have thought in my lifetime I would be able to contribute to the expansion of the health and wellness choices that men and women can share, both benefiting from the gifts of this medicine.

MainStem Taps Microsoft's Field Chief Data Officer Smith To Serve On Board

MainStem, a B2B supply chain and integrated procurement platform for the cannabis industry — appointed Microsoft's MSFT field chief data officer for the West, Matthew Smith, to its board.

Joining Thomas Harrison, senior operating partner at Merida Capital Holdings and MainStem chairman and CEO Alen Nguyen, Smith will serve through 2024 to provide strategic guidance on data analytics innovation, giving MainStem's vast ecosystem of cannabis companies and global suppliers an aggregated market read that offers real-time visibility into cannabis supply chain trends and personalized business opportunities.

"I am honored that MainStem has entrusted me with this role, and I believe it is a testament to our shared belief that businesses' desire for speed, transparency, trust and real time intelligent decision support are always top drivers of enterprise maturity," stated Matthew Smith.

C3 Industries Hires Valay Shah As CFO

Vertically integrated cannabis company C3 Industries Inc. has appointed Valay Shah as chief financial officer, Benzinga learned exclusively.

At his new role, Shah will oversee C3's corporate development, mergers and acquisitions and investor relations, while leading the company's finance, treasury and accounting departments.

Shah joins C3 with over 14 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, strategic finance and capital markets. Throughout his career, Shah has specialized in the sourcing, execution and management of investments across several highly regulated and consumer-oriented sectors.

Prior to C3, Shah was a partner at alternative investment management firm Apollo Global Management, where he executed an array of investments into businesses like AMC Theatres AMC, Cimpress CMPR, Norwegian Cruise Line NCLH and WR Grace.

Shah also played an instrumental role in the formation of Venerable Holdings, via its acquisition and carveout of Voya Financial's closed block variable annuity business.

"Valay has led multi-billion dollar investment funds and possesses the business acumen, drive and talent needed to bring C3 to its full potential," Vishal Rungta, co-founder and president of C3 Industries, said. "With his comprehensive leadership experience in private equity and a range of competitive industries, Valay will be an invaluable asset in ensuring C3's financial success. We are thrilled to welcome him to the C3 team."

Olympic Medalists Ashley Wagner And Cullen Jones Named Brand Ambassadors of Lifeist Portfolio Company Mikra

Mikra Cellular Sciences Inc., a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Lifeist Wellness Inc. NXTTF, has tapped Olympic medalists Ashley Wagner and Cullen Jones as brand ambassadors.

Ashley Wagner is a bronze medalist in figure skating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and a silver medalist at the 2016 World Championships.

Since Michelle Kwan in 1999, Wagner was the first U.S. senior ladies figure skater to win three national championships (2012, 2013 and 2015).

Cullen Jones is a gold medalist in swimming at the 2008 Olympic Games in the 4x100m freestyle and won two silvers (4x100m freestyle relay and 50m freestyle) and a gold in the 4x100m medley relay at the 2012 Olympic Games.

He also won two gold medals and one silver medal at the swimming world championships.

"Both Ashley and Cullen are inspirations and trailblazers, and we are privileged that they are part of the Mikra family," Faraaz Jamal, COO of Lifeist and CEO of Mikra, said. "Together, we plan to help humans around the world enjoy better cellular health."

Photo: Courtesy of Hunters Race on Unsplash

Posted In: CannabisNewsPenny StocksEntrepreneurshipMovers & ShakersSmall CapMarketsGeneralappointmentsAshley WagnerC3 IndustriesCullen Jonesexecutives


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