Troy is an elected board member for the Marijuana Policy Project and was formerly their top fundraiser and lead liaison to the legal cannabis industry. He is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Industry Association and co-founder of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, which is now on over 200 campuses. Troy also helped launch and served as the first sales director at Renewable Choice Energy, which was recently named the #1 green power provider by the EPA. He was recently named by Fortune Magazine as one of the top 7 most powerful people in the cannabis industry. In his spare time, Troy enjoys karaoke and the Burning Man festival.
Steve DeAngelo has spent his entire career at the intersection of cannabis activism and entrepreneurship. As CEO of Harborside Health Center, Steve co-founded and directed California’s most widely acclaimed medical cannabis dispensary–and set a new standard of excellence for the entire industry. Steve also launched the industry’s first lab testing service, Steep Hill Labs. Steve spent the decade of the 1990′s leading Ecolution, Inc., a pioneering producer of industrial hemp goods that sold to retail stores in all 50 states and 21 countries. Steve played an instrumental role in the passage of Proposition 59, Washington DC’s medical cannabis initiative; co-producing Hempilation I and II CDs with Capricorn Records; and organizing the world famous 4th of July demonstrations at the White House. He was the the star of the Discovery Channel’s reality show Weed Wars.
Francis J. Priznar is a Senior Vice President at The Arcview Group (Arcview) where he advises on business strategy and operational effectiveness. He is also the organization’s Chief Mentor who directs a team of staff and qualified external advisors to assist high potential entrepreneurs seeking capital and strategic advice at startup and mid-point milestones. As Chief Sustainability Officer, he ensures that Arcview and its partners achieve sustainable business results.
His formal education is in science, engineering, and management. Since 1987, he has resided in the same house with the same spouse near Washington, DC.
Francis’s relevant background includes three years as director of a national analytical testing laboratory organization, two years as a program manager for a state regulatory agency, and over 20 years as a trusted advisor to private and government sector clients. He founded or cofounded four firms and two non-profit organizations, and wrote or co-wrote dozens of books and published articles on contemporary business topics such as sustainability, management systems, auditing, regulatory compliance, and leadership.
Effective from the Board Room to the Boiler Room, Mr. Priznar provides Arcview, as well as its members and stakeholder’s, seasoned judgement and experience with many business types. He has served on Boards at academic institutions and nonprofit organizations – usually in leadership positions.
As a cannabis investor since 2013 and Arcview Member since 2014 he earned a top-notch reputation as an entrepreneur/founder coach and mentor. Based on this unique experience, he was invited to join the Arcview Group in 2016 where he is pleased to continue his tradition of success helping others.
Having successfully advised hundreds of private firms, from startup to exit, Mr. Priznar’s practical advice is in high demand. To help more businesses benefit from his wisdom, Mr. Priznar makes available some of his most frequently requested content in video form. As an example, his guidance to entrepreneur’s on building a great pitch deck can be found here.
Will Petruski is the Vice President of Sales at The Arcview Group where he oversees all aspects of the organization’s business development and growth strategy.
Will brings more than 25 years of relevant sales leadership experience having held key positions with organizations like the New York Institute of Finance, The Economist, and SkillSoft.
The father of two beautiful daughters, Will is an avid outdoor-type who spends much of his free time exploring the great state of Montana. He is a proud native New Yorker who currently resides in Austin, TX.
David Abernathy started his career doing project administration and management for a London-based engineering and consulting firm. From there he transitioned to an Australian investment bank where he worked with the Infrastructure Legal team financing multi-billion dollar wind farm projects. He spent several years doing investment due diligence, freelance business development, and business administration consulting.
From 2009-2012, he ran a financial services and consulting firm for the medical cannabis industry whose clients included cultivation collectives, dispensaries, equipment manufacturers, and cannabis R&D companies around the State of California. Mr. Abernathy worked as an adviser to UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy on a report for the City of Oakland about the economic impact of regulated, large-scale, indoor cannabis cultivations.
In addition to his work with The Arcview Group, David currently teaches the Economics of Cannabis at Oaksterdam University, co-owns an indoor miniature golf course and is President of America’s first cat cafe.
Jeff primarily works with accredited investors who are considering joining the Arcview Investor Network.
Prior to Arcview, Jeff worked in sales for the logistics industry where he produced more than $54M in sales during his 8 years with the company.
Jeff has been a strong proponent of legalizing cannabis for his entire adult life as a donor to the Marijuana Policy Project and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In 2004 Jeff managed a team of signature gathers in MPP’s effort to legalize marijuana in Nevada. He looks forward to the day when not a single adult is punished for consuming cannabis.
When Jeff isn’t helping accredited investors find their way in the cannabis industry he manages J&S Property Managers LLC, a company that owns and manages several condominiums in Chicago, IL. He also enjoys the craft beer industry and is an investor in Empirical Brewery, a fast-growing Chicago Brewery. Most recently, Jeff became a partner in Red Headed Honey, a creator of natural skin care products.
Elyse Bernstein discovered the power of business during her Graduate studies in Environmental Science & Management. A central theme of the Eco-Entrepreneurship program she completed showed how for-profit companies can ignite social change – a seemingly obvious, but impactful concept. At the time, Elyse was interested in formulating and promoting healthy body care products through her own venture, but as a new resident of California it wasn’t long before the cannabis industry came knocking on her door. Her position with The Arcview Group was unexpected, yet combined her passion for entrepreneurship and innovation, making the start-up a perfect fit.
A Tucson, Arizona native, Elyse is an avid snowboarder and all around adventurer. She still creates and shares her own healthy body care and cosmetics in an effort to steer people away from synthetic ingredient consumption. She is also teaching herself to play the drums, bass and keys.
Dora is Arcview’s Events and Office Manager. She organizes and executes most internal projects around our investor pitch forums; she is in charge of contracting vendors and event staffers, setting up logistics, shipping, and oversees production of our event materials.
When we aren’t on site at events, she manages day to day operations, development, and administration at Arcview’s Oakland Office. She spearheaded the revitalization process of Arcview’s organizational systems and implemented the productivity tools, leadership development, and facilitation necessary for creating rigorous and effective processes for getting work done. In the same vein, she is also in charge of Arcview’s annual retreats. She particularly enjoys devising digital, cultural and multifunctional systems and solutions for optimizing processes and human resources.
Dora currently lives in Berkeley California with her wife, two stepsons, and cat. She was born in Hungary, grew up in Sweden, and holds graduate degrees in American literature and culture, Substance use counseling, and Inclusive theology. She speaks three languages and ideally spends her spare time in the beautiful Bay Area Nature with with either a pen or book in hand.
Mr. Han is primarily responsible for managing the Arcview deal flow and screening process. He gained his investment experience from working with high net-worth foreign nationals in the federal EB-5 program. The cannabis industry became his passion after founding and operating a tax-paying delivery-based collective where he personally delivered to over 300 patients in the San Francisco Bay Area with ailments ranging from PTSD to fibromyalgia.
Mr. Han received his undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California, Davis in 2010 where he co-founded a community service organization that now raises tens of thousands of dollars for humanitarian efforts. Also a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, Mr. Han had the privilege of arguing a deportation case in front of the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and receiving multiple awards for pro bono service within the Silicon Valley community.
He is a Bay Area native, the oldest of two brothers, and enjoys biking, hiking, and reading in his spare time.
Abby Benjamin got her start in the cannabis industry with O.penVAPE, one of the largest national branded companies in the legal cannabis industry. She began as an Administrative Assistant in November of 2013 before being promoted to Events Coordinator in February 2014. As Events Coordinator she planned and executed many successful events including CannaSearch (first cannabis industry job fair in the U.S.), O.penVAPE’s High Times Cannabis Cup booth, and O.penVAPE’s sponsorship of The String Cheese Incident’s concert in Boulder, CO. By May of 2014 Abby was the Logistic’s Coordinator for O.penVAPE maintaining inventory flow from the manufacturer to all four US distributors (CO, CA, WA, OR). She began working with The Arcview Group in October of 2014. Abby has her Bachelor of Arts in Arts Management from the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. In her free time she enjoys hiking, yoga, snowboarding, and attending concerts, particularly at Red Rocks Amphitheater in CO.
RJ started his career as a 20 year old entrepreneur in the automotive industry by securing seed funding from angel investors to build aftermarket vehicle conversion components. Since then he has been consulting with several startups on Brand Management and Marketing.
RJs sales and marketing background includes positions with Porsche, Bentley Motors and Audi. Most recently RJ has been self employed as a marketing consultant specializing in helping small businesses in the action sports industry to grow their brand presence and increase sales.
As a member of Young Americans for Liberty and a volunteer for the Libertarian Party in the 2004 election, RJ learned how a responsible use policy and free markets can help keep our economy strong. RJ is looking forward to being more involved.
In his free time, RJ spends most of his time staying active in the outdoors. RJ is an avid skier and backpacker who prefers an adventure over a vacation.
With Arcview, RJ is working in member relations, helping accredited investors become part of one of the most exciting and fastest growing industries in the world.
Liana Gillooly comes to us from a diverse background that spans across anti-war and drug reform activism, event design and production, film production, artist representation, and art curation. As a passionate activist at Boston University, she was the president of the BU Anti-War Coalition, and spent a summer in the Middle East with the human rights watch group International Solidarity Movement.
As an entrepreneur, she owned a visionary art gallery in Venice Beach, CA called Sananda Gallery. She served as Director of Development for Solpurpose.com and as the Art Director for the cutting edge non-denominational cultural center Full Circle Venice. She has produced art shows for numerous special events and festivals, including several High Times Cannabis Cups, MAPS Conferences, Envision Festival, Serenity Festival, and Fractal Planet at Burning Man.
She enters the cannabis industry with a deep knowledge of the culture and understanding of the power of business to drive social change.
Sumit currently works on strategy and finance for Arcview in addition to running Mazakali, a cannabis consulting company based in the Bay Area. Sumit has been an angel investor in the cannabis space since 2013 with ventures across Colorado, California, and Oregon. Sumit is a mentor to Canopy companies and is involved in the craft beer industry in Illinois and Indiana. Sumit is also a supporter of the Marijuana Policy Project and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. As a member, shareholder and employee, Sumit brings a unique perspective to his role at Arcview.
Prior to joining Arcview, Sumit spent nearly two decades in financial capital markets across sales, business development, management, research, analysis, valuation, strategy, capital introduction, institutional-level relationship management, wealth advisory, investment planning and operational consulting in domestic and overseas markets.
Sumit’s past experience includes: Financial Advisor, J.P. Morgan Securities, Director of Business Development, DiMeo Schneider and Associates; Founder and Managing Partner, Emerald Ventures; Head of Midwest Sales and Trading, Susquehanna Financial Group, Director of Institutional Equity Sales, UBS Investment Bank; and Equity Research Analyst, Raymond James Financial.
Sumit earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from the University of Texas and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan. He currently resides in San Francisco and continues to grow his involvement in the cannabis industry.
Patrick Rea served as the Executive Editor for Arcview Market Research’s 3rd edition of The State of Legal Marijuana Markets. He is also the CEO and Managing Director of CanopyBoulder, Arcview’s partner seed-stage business accelerator.
In the last 15 years, Patrick has developed a reputation as a self-care industry expert and analyst who has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs build profitable and fast-growing businesses. Patrick successfully has led numerous investment banking, strategic consulting, venture capital, publishing, event management, digital media and ecommerce businesses.
He graduated with degrees from Brown University, and resides in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and two daughters.
Patrick’s background includes 8-years as Publisher & Editorial Director of Nutrition Business Journal, the “journal of record” for the nutrition industry. In this role, Patrick led a team of editors and researchers in their effort to provide an unbiased perspective on the nutrition industry for its CEO, investor, consultant and thought leader subscribers. NBJ published a monthly journal, market research reports, webinars and proprietary data on this privately held industry. While at NBJ, Patrick also was the Chairman the NBJ Summit, an executive retreat for 400 CEOs in the nutrition industry.
Steve Berg served as the editor of Arcview Market Research’s 2nd Edition of The State of Legal Marijuana Markets. He also played a key role in the creation of the Arcview Investor Network where he remains an engaged advisor and member. Steve Berg is currently Chief Financial Officer at O.penVAPE (Organa Labs), one of the largest national branded companies in the legal cannabis industry. He works on matters relating to finance, business development, investor relations, and corporate strategy.
Steve has over 22 years experience in investment banking, capital markets, and venture finance. Mr. Berg ran BRC LLC, an advisory firm focused on working with investors and companies in the legal marijuana markets.
Formerly a Managing Director at Wells Fargo Bank’s capital markets group, he also worked at UBS and Banque Paribas in New York. He was an innovator of structured funding and investment solutions for key commercial and private bank clients in credit, equity and commodity markets.
Steve has an MBA from New York University as well as a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from San Francisco State University. He is passionate about yoga and salsa music, and is active with the Feed the Artists culinary art program at Burning Man.
Kris Lotlikar was the lead researcher on the first three Arcview Market Research reports and continues to advise on market sizing. Kris is also the creator and host of the popular business and politics podcast, Marijuana Today. Kris has over a decade of experience following marijuana policy and reforms since co-founding and serving as the first executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy in 1998. Since then Kris has been a successful entrepreneur and consultant.
Kris is founder and President of Renewable Choice Energy, one of the leading renewable energy providers in the country with over 50 Fortune 500 clients. He brings years of experience operating in newly emerging and fast growing markets in the U.S. and is a prominent proponent of sustainable and mission-driven businesses.
Steven Lee has a wealth of experience in representing and consulting with companies in the legal cannabis industry. His clients include dispensaries, investors, equipment manufacturers, producers of edibles, consulting firms, and other start-up companies in the industry.
Steven has advised both investors and emerging companies on a broad range of legal issues pertaining to financing deals, including structuring of investments to address Section 280E issues. He has also worked on a variety of joint ventures in the legal cannabis industry. His transactions include: advising an angel investor on a multi-million dollar investment in several dispensaries located in Oregon; representing a group of successful dispensary owners in launching a legal cannabis consulting firm; and working on celebrity licensing deals in the cannabis industry.
Steven is a partner at the law firm of Donahue Fitzgerald LLP and is a co-chair of the Business and Corporate Transactions Group and a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group.
Cheryl Blain is happiest when she is creating and implementing systems wherein less input is required, productivity is streamlined and output is increased; thereby improving profitability, and decreasing waste. She aspires to create more sustainable enterprises.
Cheryl’s work experience spans from starts-ups to fortune 100 companies, in industries including hi-tech, venture capital, agricultural technologies, clean technologies, healthcare, government, energy, entertainment, software and commercial furniture.
Ms. Blain received an MBA with an emphasis in finance from Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California and studied Sustainable Enterprise as a visiting graduate student at Kenan Flagler in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
For fun, Cheryl enjoys a very active lifestyle, travelling the world and getting outdoors every chance she gets to road cycle with Team Chill, SCUBA dive, play softball, backpack, and day hike. In addition, she reads anything she can get her eyes on, knits up a storm, designs and builds stained glass windows adorning residences throughout northern California and Nevada, grows her own veggies and herbs, sings and is nearly always accompanied by her little dog, Pip.
As Office Administrator, Amanda Fish assists with operations, customer service, event and shipping logistics, and acts as liaison for The Arcview Group Oakland office. Amanda got her start in the cannabis industry in education and event and office management as Campus Manager of Oaksterdam University. Amanda also spent time working for a cannabis consulting firm that specializes in cultivation area design and license application assistance in emerging and established markets across the United States.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Amanda received her undergraduate degree in Molecular Environmental Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. While at Berkeley, Amanda taught science lessons in Oakland elementary schools and worked as an intern in a plant and microbial biology lab studying plant resistance/susceptibility to a fungal pathogen that causes powdery mildew disease.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys hiking with her dog and attending rock concerts.
Ilia works with Arcview on the Investor Member Relations team. He works with accredited investors looking to deploy capital in the cannabis industry and companies looking to raise capital.
Prior to Arcview, Ilia graduated as a Mechanical Engineer and built a renewable energy company focused on wind power. He raised private funds, built the company that grew to 45 employees and achieved a successful exit for the company, its investor, founders, and employees.
Aside from being a detailed oriented, serial entrepreneur with a focus on people, Ilia has found a passion for reforming our cannabis laws and helping businesses lead the way in creating a profitable and sustainable industry. He has raised money for non-profits like MPP, been a teacher and Chancellor at Oaksterdam University and helped shape the new laws through active participation in the political process.
Ms. Deborah Johnson represents The Arcview Group to investors and entrepreneurs who offer the best private equity investment opportunities in the world.
Since 2011 Ms. Johnson has been engaged in early stage angel investment and the startup entrepreneurial ecosystem. She previously led various angel groups including the Gulf Coast Venture Forum in Naples / Sarasota and Keiretsu Forum in Miami and well as special event coordination for the Tamiami Angel Funds and the Enterprise Development Corporation. For two years Deborah managed an entrepreneurial mentoring program at Fusion Pointe where she facilitated over 40 mentors and 16 companies.
Deborah welcomes opportunities to help (1) high potential entrepreneurs, especially women and minority representatives, successfully launch; and (2) accredited investors, seeking opportunities in the ballooning cannabis sector.
Living in the tropical paradise of Naples, FL, Deborah enjoys triathlons, half marathons, golf, snorkeling, cooking vegetarian meals and traveling.
John first became an Arcview member in January 2015 as Managing Director of the Marijuana International Company (MJIC) where he helped to develop the company business plan and investment materials, raised capital for MJIC’s operations and investments, and allocated investment into Willie’s Reserve, Harvest Shop, and the seed investment into Gateway Cannabis Accelerator, among others.
In May 2016 he co-founded a bay-area contract manufacturer of cannabis infused products, helping to develop and launch several infused product brands to market. He was voted a “Top 3” mentor of the first cohort of Gateway, sits on the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA) Legislative and Manufacturing sub-committees, and was a founding board member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA).
Prior to focusing on the cannabis industry, John launched an asset backed film fund, and was a Senior Vice President for boutique broker-dealer Euro Pacific Capital, where he advised on over $130m in primarily alternative and non-dollar denominated assets and securities. Before Euro Pacific, he founded and operated a multi-state wholesale mortgage lender.
John graduated from UC Davis with degrees in History and Political Science, where he was a student-athlete. He lives in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, where he enjoys hiking, golfing, sailing, and yoga.