2018 CCIA Board of Director Nominees

As the most influential cannabis trade association in the state, CCIA is tasked with the enormous (and awesome) responsibility of advocating for the diverse interests of our members and the industry at large.

Being a CCIA Board Member is an important and influential position in California’s emerging cannabis industry. Board Members vote on the CCIA budget, provide strategic direction, serve as a representative of CCIA, and participate in Capitol advocacy and recruitment events.

At the conclusion of this election, the CCIA Board will be composed of 15 dynamic individuals who are committed to representing California’s fastest growing industry.

 

Cast your vote for California Cannabis Industry Association Board of Directors Election. Each member (company) may only submit 1 ballot. If two ballots are submitted the first ballot will be counted. Duplicate votes or votes from ineligible members will not be counted.

CCIA Business and Executive Members are eligible to vote. Not sure? justin@cacannabisindustry.org

2018 CCIA Board of Director Nominees

(I) = Incumbent

Mike Aberle - CannGen Insurance

James Anthony - Anthony Law Group

Stephanie Bozzuto - Cannabis Connect Insurance

Charlie Cangialosi - Blue Distro

Chris Coggan - Therapy Tonics

Juli Crockett (I) - MMLG

Zack Darling - The Hybrid Creative

Steven Domingo - WeDrop

Pamela Epstein - GreenWise Consulting

Robby Flannery - Dr. Robb Farms

David Hua - Meadow

Katie Kincaid - EAZE

Kristi Knoblich (I-President) - KIVA Confections

Gavin Kogan - Grupo Flor

Jessica Lilga - RVR

Yvette McDowell - McDowell & Associates

Kristin Nevedal (I) - Humboldts Finest

Jesse Parenti - Nine Point Strategies

Mike Ray (I) - Bloom Farms

Dean Rocco - Wilson Elser

Eric Sklar - Fume

 

CCIA Business and Executive Members are eligible to vote.

2018 CCIA Board of Director Nominees - Bio's

 

Mike Aberle | CannGen Insurance Services

Michael Aberle has over 15 year in the Insurance Industry with over 10 of them in the cannabis industry.  He currently serves as a Senior Vice President for CannGen Insurance Services, LLC in Rancho Cordova CA. Early in his career, Michael noticed there were no comprehensive coverage options for the emerging cannabis market. In 2007, he developed the first nationwide cannabis insurance program for insureds in that was approved in all legal states focusing on manufactures, retail operations and cultivators. The crop rating manuals were first developed by Michael and are still used over a decade later. The early policy forms developed have no exclusions to “Cannabis, Hemp, CBD and or the Derivates of”.  Michael’s newly developed policy language would ensure the cannabis industry would have real coverage. The underwriting and policy language Michael developed has become an industry standard for most cannabis insurance programs in the US and Canada. Over the years, Michael continued to improve the program by developing underwriting guidelines for: Stock Throughput. Product Recall, Product Withdrawal and Cargo, included money and securities. Michael has been developing coverages for outdoor cannabis crops. In 2018 his underwriting manual for outdoor crop was approved and will be available to the cannabis industry in 2019.

Michael currently serves as the Chair for the California Cannabis Industry Association, Insurance Committee for the past two terms growing the committee from just a few to over 30 registered and active committee members.

In 2018 Michael began developing industry-specific training courses that are state approved for CE, MCLE, and HRCI. With the launch of MindMeld Studios and myCEcourse.com, Michael has been able to work with the CCIA, Cannabis Operators, Law Firms and insurance professionals to develop modern training courses for the modern professional.

James Anthony | Anthony Law Group

James leads Anthony Law Group, and is a long-time cannabis activist, lawyer, andpolitical  strategist who specializes in California cannabis law, permitting, land use, business strategy, and local government. In The Cannabis Manifesto Steve DeAngelo calls James a “brilliant strategist and steadfast advocate, without whom Harborside might never have been licensed”. Since January 2006, James has worked exclusively in cannabis law, policy, and political consulting—focusing on California local government. Before that he was a zoning prosecutor for the City of Oakland, which lead him to serve on the Board of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. He has worked with many of the major dispensaries and cultivators in Northern California, and has written dozens of winning applications for cannabis business permits and licenses throughout the state. James is a founding director of Hood Incubator, a California nonprofit promoting social justice and equity in the industry.

James will bring a new emphasis to CCIA in supporting the formation of local trade associations. He has lead or supported such groups in Oakland, San Jose, Vallejo, Berkeley, and San Francisco. CCIA can promulgate his knowledge of best practices for how such groups can improve local regulations and lower tax rates, fostering competition between local governments to attract and retain cannabis businesses. James has practiced koan zen meditation since 1980, mostly with Pacific Zen Institute where he sometimes teaches meditation. His life was forever changed on August 20, 2000 at the birth of his daughter, Charlotte Emma Kamaleila’akea Anthony.

Stephanie Bozzuto | Cannabis Connect Insurance

Stephanie Bozzuto, the Co-Founder of Cannabis Connect Insurance, a division of Bozzuto & Associates, is an insurance professional with 14 years of experience in marketing strategy, business management and insurance portfolio development. Stephanie creates insurance and risk management portfolios for cultivators, processors, manufacturers, retailers, laboratories, property owners, and more. She is actively involved with the San Diego Rotary Club 33, sits on the Insurance Committee of the California Cannabis Industry Association and is the Secretary of the Board of the California Cannabis Industry Association, San Diego Chapter.

Stephanie stays on top of industry trends, legislative changes, and insurance coverages to keep her client’s interests first in mind. She has the expertise in setting goals, monitoring projects and evaluating results to ensure her client’s objectives are met. Stephanie Bozzuto is a proven leader who thrives on learning and takes great pride in her work.

Charlie Cangialosi | Blue Distro

Charlie has been building successful cannabis industry sales organizations in CA since 2015 and has been instrumental in developing and implementing the sales strategies of renown California Brands Kiva Confections and Loudpack.

Charlie is currently the President and Co-founder of Blue Brands, a cannabis sales company, representing some of the most respected & successful brands in California including Los Angeles Kush, Load.ed, and Skunk Feather Cannabis.

Since 2015, Charlie has been instrumental in working towards the roll out of legalization as a member of the CCIA Distribution sub-committee and also as a founding board member of The California Cannabis Manufacturers Association (CCMA).

As a multi-year veteran of the alcohol industry, Charlies breadth of regulatory experience includes having to manage the dynamics of the malt beverage regulations of the 13 western states. His ability to draw the parallels between these two adult use product regulations, makes him effective in conveying the need for practical and reasonable cannabis regulations.

“I would be honored to contribute my voice of the legal cannabis industry and leverage my experience to help CCIA represent our members and educate policy makers. I look forward to working collaboratively with the CCIA board and staff to ensure we continue to meet the goals of our members and ensure California Cannabis regulation roll out with minimal issues and maximum success. It is an exciting time in cannabis history and I would be thrilled to help CCIA work toward making this a historic success.”

Charlie is a graduate of California State University Long Beach and holds an MBA from Pepperdine University.

His professional experience includes working for market leaders: Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors and Ninkasi Brewing.

Chris Coggan | Therapy Tonics

Christopher Coggan received his Associates Degree in Anthropology from Mesa College in 1994 followed in 1997 by a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from UCSD. Working in organic chemistry, genetics, and microbiology he honed his empirical skills, eventually landing at Scripps Institute of Oceanography working as a Marine Biochemist.

As a side project in 1998, he co-founded NewSwell Studios, a branding, and web development agency. By 2000, he had put aside his scientific pursuits and focused on his agency. In 2005, he returned to UCSD to work towards his Masters in Fine Art as a traditional painter. During that time he founded several additional creative agencies, acting as the CEO, as well as honing his skills as a branding strategist, a creative director, a professional illustrator and a user experience consultant. In 2004, he opened a restaurant, Cream Coffee Bar in University Heights, cultivating relationships with fair trade and organic coffee suppliers. This experience lead to the co-founding of an early cannabis coffee company in 2008.

In 2014, he founded Therapy Tonics & Provisions, specializing in healthy, infused coffees and teas. In 2016, in an extension of the Therapy ecosystem, he co-founded Therapy Pure Essentials, LLC, a health and wellness company focused on activated hemp infused products.

Currently, he is a board member of the San Diego Cannabis Industry Association (SDCIA) as well as the San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance (SDCCA). As a business member of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), he has been a proactive voice on the manufacturing committee. He is also a member of the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and the National Hemp Association (NHA).

Juli Crockett (I) | MMLG

Dr Juli Crockett (Director of Compliance, MMLG) was recruited into the cannabis industry in early 2015 to launch the W Vapes brand and served as their Chief Compliance Officer before joining MMLG in January 2018. Elected to the CCIA Board of Directors in 2017, Dr Crockett also served as Co-Chair of NCIA's Federal Policy Committee and is the current Chair of CCIA's Legislative Committee. She is a sought-after public speaker and has spoken at numerous industry events such as CCBC, CWCBExpo, State of Cannabis, Future Cannabis Project, Arcview, CCIA’s Policy Summit, Capitol Weekly’s California Cannabis Conference, and Green Flower Media’s Cannabis Career Summit.

Beyond the cannabis space, Alabama-born Crockett is a bona fide Renaissance woman: singer/songwriter, theater director, undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, ordained minister, with a summa cum laude PhD from The European Graduate School. Formerly the Director of Marketing for a pioneering online adult toy company, she is also a published playwright, professional singer, and leader of an alt.folk band. After composing the theme song to the mini-documentary “Caine’s Arcade” she assisted in the formation of the Imagination Foundation, a children’s non-profit encouraging creativity & entrepreneurship. Unique to her career, Crockett is an undefeated professional boxer and amateur champion, featured in Sports Illustrated and other news outlets due to her professional connection to Jerry Boyd (aka F.X. Toole) author of Million Dollar Baby.

Juli is thrilled at the opportunity to continue serving on the CCIA Board of Directors, and serving the cannabis industry at large. Her dynamic background brings a unique skill, including experience working with quickly scaling startups (and every position within), patent writing, defending intellectual property, as well as improvisation, writing, storytelling, public speaking, team building, and helping others discover and amplify their voice. Creative, passionate, with a good sense of balance and humor (a necessity in this wild and quickly changing landscape) Crockett is committed to finding common ground. And she’s an undefeated boxer, which is an interesting plus to have on any team.

Zack Darling | The Hybrid Creative

As the CEO of The Hybrid Creative, Zack is focused on business development and expansion of the award-winning agency into the premier international platform for launching successful cannabis brands. As a lifelong entrepreneur, Zack brings 20+ years of experience in brand development, design, marketing and event production. Having been raised by cannabis farmers in the Emerald Triangle, he is truly “second generation.” Zack started his first agency, Greenfield Graphics in 1997 where he branded some of the industry’s first hydroponics brands. Since those early days, he has played an active role in defining the emerging cannabis industry.

Zack’s vision to build the premier global agency for cannabis was further enabled in mid 2018 when The Hybrid Creative was acquired by KushCo Holdings. This event has empowered the growing agency to expand to all cities, states and countries where there is a strong or emerging cannabis industry.

Zack’s passion for building the industry’s most successful brands is evident in The Hybrid Creative’s client list and portfolio of work. His innovative method for creating purpose-driven, sustainable and radically differentiated brands is the subject of many of his keynote and panel presentations. By embracing a value-driven approach to every working relationship, he has been effective at bringing thought leaders together to collaborate and co-create. The success of this can be seen in his world-class team and vast professional network.

Full bio and more info can be found here: https://thehybridcreative.com/what-we-do/zack-darling-speaking-engagements/

Steven Domingo | WeDrop

Steven Domingo is an 18-year cannabis industry advocate and thought leader, very well rounded having owned cannabis businesses in all sectors over the years. Since 2013, Steven has been hyper focused on the delivery sector, owning and operating one of California’s largest deliveries spanning from San Francisco, San Jose, and Modesto, and expanding up to Sacramento and everything in between after just over a year.

Currently serving as President of the statewide delivery trade association, California Cannabis Couriers Association, he’s had a hands on approach to navigating the political realm helping implement non-storefront delivery- only licensing on a state level, and also delivery ordinances on a local level in Sacramento, Stockton and San Joaquin County. In 2017, Steven began working independently outside the association alongside lobbyists groups, later contributing to 17 different pieces of legislation which were mostly cannabis related, as well as relevant tech issues such as Net Neutrality and Consumer Privacy, all of which enabled him to become fairly versed in the intricacies associated with legislation. Most notably, in 2018 Steven sponsored Senate Bill 1302 authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, which later transpired as regulation 5416(d), to champion statewide delivery which would provide access for all while helping combat the informal market.

Steven has stepped away from the day-to-day operations of his current companies preferring to focus mainly on advocacy work and association duties to help stabilize and shape the fledgling cannabis industry for the betterment of consumers and businesses alike.

Pamela Epstein - GreenWise Consulting

Pamela is the Founder of Green Wise Companies – Green Wise Legal & Green Wise Consulting, California’s premiere full-service cannabis consulting company and law firm.  Green Wise provides a range of legal, consulting, business development and application permitting services to every facet of the cannabis industry. Pamela’s diverse background, inclusive of legal, land use, and environmental work, places her in a unique position to advise Green Wise clients and the cannabis community in general.

Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Pamela founded and became the Managing Attorney and Legal Program Director for the Sierra Club San Diego’s Environmental Law & Policy Clinic where she worked extensively with elected government officials and regulatory agencies.  Since, she has become known as a fearless advocate for local cannabis businesses along the supply chain guiding them through the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape. Recognized as an expert in her field, Pamela serves as a featured speaker, providing energetic and compelling commentary focused on topics such as land use and zoning, regulatory compliance and environmental issues.  Pamela’s current mission is to advance the importance of supply chain agreements.

Pamela is a trusted resource for local governments looking to effectively regulate cannabis within their jurisdictions and has served as the Special City Attorney for the City of Hollister regarding their Commercial Cannabis Ordinance.  Along with providing her clients with exceptional service she is proud to serve as an Advisory Board Member for the Foundation Of Cannabis Unified Standards (“FOCUS”), and Annabis, a cannabis fashion company.

Robert Flannery | Dr. Robb Farms

Dr. Robert Flannery is the Founder and CEO of Dr. Robb Farms. Dr. Flannery has a Ph.D. in Plant Biology with an emphasis in Environmental Horticulture and a specific expertise in hydroponic crop optimization for cut-flower production from UC Davis. Dr. Flannery has managed commercial horticultural cultivation since 1999.

While working on his doctorate, Dr. Flannery began advising Cannabis cultivators throughout Northern California on modern horticulture practices. As Production Director at SPARC in San Francisco, Dr. Flannery managed the largest department in the company and supervised every segment of Cannabis cultivation, packaging, & delivery of final product to retail.

Dr. Flannery is very active in both the research and legislative aspects of commercial Cannabis production in California.

David Hua | Meadow

David Hua is the CEO and Co-Founder of Meadow, a software company built from the ground up for California cannabis. Meadow’s powerful all-in-one point of sale software powers retail and delivery businesses across the state.
Hua has partnered with dispensaries and delivery services of all sizes throughout California, utilizing technology to maintain compliance with local and state regulations, scale with the Adult Use market, and create operational efficiencies that allow these businesses to thrive in a regulated industry. He has also collaborated with the cannabis community and California regulators to draft, implement, and provide stakeholder feedback on medical and Adult-Use regulations, from pre-MMRSA to today’s regulations. Hua has been an active CCIA member since 2015, hosting and speaking at CCIA conferences and events throughout the state.

Katie Kincaid | EAZE

Katie Kincaid currently serves as the Director of Public Affairs for Eaze, a technology platform that connects adult consumers to local, licensed cannabis retailers for on-demand delivery. In her role, Katie is focused on building a sustainable, legal cannabis industry.  Katie is responsible for educating key decision-makers on the importance of delivery in the legal cannabis marketplace in states across the US and establishing partnerships with grass tops organizations to promote safe, legal access to cannabis.

Prior to joining Eaze, Katie was on the Government Relations team at Lyft for 4.5 years, most recently serving as the Director of Political Partnerships and Engagement. During her tenure at Lyft, Katie helped build a new industry by introducing and legalizing ridesharing in cities and states across the country. She then created Lyft's political program, to proactively build relationships with decision makers at every level of government; and built out a partnerships team to establish relationships with national third-party stakeholders.

Katie got her start in government and politics in New York, where she served as the Communications Director for NY State Senator Liz Krueger.

Katie’s long standing love for cannabis is rooted in her admiration for the plant’s ability to heal and bring people together. She hopes to serve CCIA, and the broader California cannabis community, with extensive experience educating and engaging policymakers on new, avant-garde industries. Katie brings a strong network of key decision makers and influencers to the table, relationships she is happy to engage to support the legal cannabis marketplace.

Kristi Knoblich (I-President) | KIVA

Kristi Knoblich is co-founder of Kiva Confections and serves as Chief Operating Officer. Founded in 2010, Kiva’s mission is to produce safe, consistent and delicious edibles. Kristi is the driving force behind Kiva’s customer service philosophy, employee development, and best practices in manufacturing and business. She and her team have successfully grown the company to over 80 employees, serving over 800 stores in California, Arizona, and Nevada with plans to expand into other states and new product lines. Kiva continues to redefine the edible cannabis category and lead the way in developing premium quality, great tasting products. Kristi holds a Board seat on the CCIA as the Northern California Vice President and also chairs the Manufacturing Committee.

Gavin Kogan | Grupo Flor

Gavin is a co-founder of Grupo Flor, a family of companies in Monterey County, California engaged in cannabis real estate leasing, finance and developed operations across the entire
California cannabis supply chain. Gavin designed Grupo Flor's decentralized corporate architecture for speed and adaptability in responding to the evolving regulatory landscape. Grupo Flor has become one of California’s most prominent fully vertical cannabis enterprises and is frequently recognized as one of the state’s most rapidly developing industry giants. Currently, Grupo Flor is expanding its scope to access international markets through its subsidiary, Grupo Global.

As one of California's earliest cannabis business attorneys, Gavin has been involved in cannabis politics and has represented many of California’s early cannabis entrepreneurs. Since leaving private practice in 2014, Gavin has been prolific, co-founding many cannabis enterprises such as Reaper, a powered scissor for industrial cannabis trimming and processing; Indus Holding Co., a leading edible manufacturer and fast expanding California distribution company; Grupo Flor, a family of cannabis enterprises spanning the entire supply chain and many of its subsidiaries, including 710 Combinator Co, a manufacturing concern, and Ag Pistil Fund, an cannabis equipment leasing and investment enterprise. Gavin currently serves as Grupo Flor’s Chief Branding Officer and head of legal affairs.

Gavin is a member of the California State Bar Association, the National & California Cannabis
Industry Associations ("NCIA & CCIA"), the National Cannabis Bar Association (“NCBA”) and is a co-founding member of the California Cannabis Manufacturer's Association ("CCMA"). He is a frequent speaker on cannabis laws, regulatory development and supply chain issues at cannabis industry and non-industry events throughout the state and nation. Gavin is a frequent guest contributor to cannabis industry magazines and blogs. He lives in Carmel Valley, California with his wife and two boys.

Jessica Lilga | RVR

Yvette McDowell | McDowell & Associates

From City Prosecutor to Cannabis Law Consultant, Yvette McDowell.

As a former firefighter-paramedic and a retired Emmy Award Winning Assistant City Prosecutor and trial attorney, she brings to the table years of hands on experience. She has a deep respect and value for justice and believes that equity is where justice begins and ends. Described by colleagues as relentless, determined and a force to be reckoned with, she balances her tenacious spirit with compassion and empathy.

“Equal justice under cannabis law for all” has become Yvette’s motto! Her ultimate focus is to educate those in power and make sure that regulation is tolerant in its impact and is inclusive of the entire community. Working side by side with city and county governments to educate and foster economic growth will bridge the communication gap between local government and the community regarding the cannabis industry. Regulation should be followed, but not overly burdensome.

During and after Yvette’s retirement from city government she has been a part of numerous associations and boards: California District Attorneys Association, California Cannabis Industry Assn, National Cannabis Industry Assn, National Cannabis Bar Association, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, California Peace Officers Association, Minority Cannabis Business Association, Women Leaders in Law Enforcement.

As an Amazon bestselling and a #1 International bestselling author, Yvette wants to help create a paradigm shift in the cannabis industry where “Equal justice Under Cannabis Law” becomes a reality for all choosing to enter into this exciting field.

Kristin Nevedal (I) | Humboldt's Finest

Kristin Nevedal is the President of The International Cannabis Farmers Association, serves on the State of California Cannabis Advisory Committee, serves as Chief Compliance Officer for Humboldt’s Finest Farms and Co-Chairs CCIA’s AG Committee.

Kristin co-founded and served on the board of the Emerald Growers Association whose mission was to promote the medicinal, environmental, social, and economic benefits of lawfully cultivated sun-grown medical cannabis from California’s Emerald Triangle region by advocating for public policies that foster a healthy, sustainable medical cannabis industry. As chair of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Cannabis Committee’s Cultivation Working Group, Kristin assisted in the development of cannabis cultivation model regulations and best practices for agency consideration. Kristin is also an instructor at Oaksterdam University, teaching classes on environmental sustainability and Best Management Practices.

Kristin’s broad policy and advocacy experience includes serving as a board member for the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform (CCPR), Californians to Regulate Medical Marijuana (CRMM), Americans for Safe Access’ Patient Focused Certification Program, and the 420 Archives.

Jesse Parenti | Nine Point Strategies

Director of Programs and Partner – Stratton Agency
Program Director – Nine Point Strategies

As a proud partner of Stratton Agency, Jesse Parenti offers over 13 years of commercial lines risk management specializing in protecting the Food Delivery Industry, and three years for the Cannabis Industry. Stratton Agency is currently licensed in 50 states, managing over 2,000 restaurant locations and over 300 cannabis businesses with rapid growth in both.

Mr. Parenti’s key client base includes pizza with delivery, cannabis cultivation, manufacturing, delivery, and distribution. He tailors customized solutions as a risk advisor using safety, consulting, HR, and insurance placement.

Jesse is a proud member of multiple business organizations and advocacy groups to build and nurture key relationships and continue to grow his business:

  • California Cannabis Industry Association
  • Cannabis Distribution Association
  • California Cannabis Delivery Alliance
  • California Cannabis Couriers Association
  • Women Grow
  • The Cannabis Alliance
  • National Cannabis Industry Association

Jesse Parenti | jesse@strattonagency.com | Direct: 916-786-2000 ext. 230 | Mobile: 805-704-6607

Mike Ray (I) - Bloom Farms

Michael Ray is a cannabis advocate, lobbyist for social change, and entrepreneur with a passion for technology and design.

As the Executive Director at Bloom Farms, Michael oversees the day-to-day operations. Bloom Farms’ first priority is to make consistently high-quality cannabis products that are available for medical cannabis patients throughout California. Michael also oversees Bloom Farms’ 1-for-1 program: with every product purchased, Bloom Farms donates one meal to a food-insecure family in California. Bloom Farms has donated over 250,000 meals to food banks throughout California in 2016

Michael has a passion for community, and since becoming a cannabis entrepreneur, he has worked with industry leaders, regulators and community leaders to legalize, regulate and legitimize California’s medical cannabis industry.

Dean Rocco | Wilson Elser

Dean Rocco is an active CCIA member. He Chairs the CCIA HR Committee and sits on the Financial/Insurance Committee.

Dean is a founding member of Wilson Elser’s Cannabis Law Practice Group – the first national, full-service law firm advancing such a practice group. He currently serves as a Chair of the firm’s International Cannabis Law Practice Group. In this capacity, Dean guides cannabis businesses through start-up, fundraising and public offerings. He supports cannabis businesses on commercial and real estate transactions. He assists cannabis businesses with intellectual property and employment law issues. And, where disputes arise, he represents cannabis businesses in litigation. Outside the industry, Dean helps non-cannabis businesses, insurance carriers and professional service firms work with the cannabis industry.

Dean is committed to bringing professional legal services to the cannabis industry while introducing and demystifying the industry to the surrounding business and insurance communities. As a Board member, Dean would be committed to advancing the needs of the cannabis business community while leveraging the expertise and network of his firm and clientele to build and enhance the profile of the CCIA.

Dean A. Rocco │ Partner at Wilson Elser |213.330.8922 │ dean.rocco@wilsonelser.com │ www.wilsonelser.com/cannabis

Eric Sklar | Fume

Eric Sklar is an entrepreneur, Napa Valley vineyard owner and public official. He and his family have been growing grapes in Napa Valley for 40 years and he has recently planted his first licensed cannabis garden.

Eric is CEO of Napa Valley Fume, LLC, a cannabis management/branding company based in St. Helena, CA. He is also the co-founder of the Napa Valley Cannabis Association. He is currently a member of the Policy Committee of the California Growers Association and Board Member of The Bay Ecotarium (Bay.Org).

Eric was appointed to the California Fish and Game Commission in June of 2015 by Governor Jerry Brown and confirmed by the Senate in 2016. He was elected President in 2016 and was re- appointed by Governor Brown to a full six-year term in January 2017.

In 2005, Eric founded Alpha Omega Winery in Rutherford, California and was Managing Partner from 2005-2013. From 2003-2010 Eric served on the St. Helena City Council – the last two years as Vice-Mayor. In 2010 He was elected to the Board of the Napa Valley Vintners where he served as Treasurer and Vice-Chair, and from 2009-2011 he served as chair of the Napa Valley Vintners’ Community and Industry Issues Committee.

Eric was Chairman and CEO of Burrito Brothers, Inc, a restaurant chain he founded in 1989 based in Washington, DC and sold in 1999. He was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Business where he taught courses in entrepreneurship, business strategy and marketing.

Starting his professional career in 1984 as the Assistant Press Secretary to Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, Eric held several political positions. Those include Press Advance for Dukakis/Bentsen in 1988; Director and Founder of the American Small Business Alliance; and Director and Secretary of The Coalition to Defend Working Families.

Eric received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley in 1984, a Diploma in Business Studies at the London School of Economics in 1986, and a Master of Business Administration at Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 1997.

He is a retired volunteer for the St. Helena Fire Department. He has also served on the boards of various organizations including the Napa Valley Transportation Agency, Business for Social Responsibility, the Metropolitan DC Restaurant Association, Center for Policy Alternatives, Arca Foundation and many others. Eric is a sailor, scuba diver and loves backpacking the trails of California. He and his wife Erica live in St. Helena, CA and have two adult daughters.

CCIA Business and Executive Members are eligible to vote.