Interim Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Mr. Knuettel has decades of experience in working with and advising public and private companies on financial management and controls, M&A, capital markets transactions and operating and financial restructurings. Mr. Knuettel was formerly Director of Capital and Advisory at Viridian Capital Advisors. He joined Veridian from One Cannabis Group ("OCG"), a leading cannabis dispensary franchisor, with over thirty cannabis dispensaries sold across seven states. At OCG, Mr. Knuettel was the Chief Financial Officer where he was responsible for all finance and accounting management. Prior to OCG, Mr. Knuettel was CFO at MJardin, a Denver-based cannabis cultivation and dispensary management company, where he led the company's IPO on the Canadian Securities Exchange. Following the IPO, Mr. Knuettel managed the merger with GrowForce, a Toronto-based cannabis cultivator, after which he moved over to the Chief Strategy Role. In his role as CSO, he managed the acquisition of several private companies before recommending and executing the consolidation of management and other operations to Toronto and the closure of the executive office in Denver. Prior to MJardin, Mr. Knuettel held numerous CFO and CEO positions at early-stage companies where he had significant experience both building and restructuring businesses. Mr. Knuettel graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a B.A. degree in Economics and from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with an M.B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management.
Chief Strategy Officer and Director
Mr. Peterson has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board, since February 9, 2012. Mr. Peterson served as President until November 6, 2017. Mr. Peterson began his career in finance with Crowell, Weedon & Co. (now, D.A. Davidson & Co.), the then-largest independent broker-dealer on the West Coast. In his 6 years there, Mr. Peterson became a partner and Branch supervisor where he was responsible for sales of over $10 million. Mr. Peterson was offered an opportunity to build a southern Orange County presence for Wachovia Securities, where he became the first Vice President and Branch Manager for their Mission Viejo location. He was instrumental in growing that office from the ground up into the $15 million office it is today. After his term at Wachovia Securities (now, Wells Fargo Advisors), Mr. Peterson accepted an opportunity for a Senior Vice President position with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, where he and his team oversaw combined assets of close to $100 million. In addition, he has also been involved in several public and private equity financings, where he has personally funded several projects from angel to mezzanine levels. Mr. Peterson is a CFP Professional and holds his Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 9 and 10 (General Securities Sales Supervisor), Series 3 (National Commodity Futures), Series 65 (Investment Advisor Representative), and California Insurance License. Mr. Peterson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Pepperdine University. Mr. Peterson also owned a 12% interest in Black Oak until we acquired Black Oak on April 1, 2016. As a co-owner of Black Oak, Mr. Peterson worked with governmental agencies and tax authorities in Oakland, including working with the city to establish medical cannabis ordinances, competed for a permit to operate, and responded to a city request for proposal. Mr. Peterson’s experiences gained through these matters will assist us in launching and operating the medical marijuana and adult use cultivation, production and dispensary businesses of MediFarm, MediFarm I, and MediFarm II, as well as IVXX’s launch of its line of cannabis flowers, cigarettes, and pure concentrates. Mr. Peterson’s background in investment banking led to our conclusion that he should serve as a director in light of our business and structure.
Vice President of Operations and Director
Mike Nahass has been working with Derek Peterson since their time together at Morgan Stanley. He has been instrumental in the start-up operations of Terra Tech and he continues to manage the daily activities of Terra Tech. Since August 2011, Mike has also served as Managing Director of Arque Capital, Ltd.
Mike’s prior experience includes serving as Chief Portfolio Manager of the NMS Platinum Funds, LLC. and from September 2009 until August 2011, he was a Partner, and served as Managing Director/COO of, NMS Capital Asset Management, Inc.
Mike worked for Morgan Stanley from February 1995 until June 2009 in various positions, including his last position as Senior Vice President and Complex Manager, where he directly managed over 200 financial advisors with approximately $20 billion in assets under management in Las Vegas, NV. With over 20 years of financial services experience, he has been and is responsible for private client services, business development, regulatory compliance and strategic development.
Mike holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickenson University. In addition he also holds NASD Series 3 (National Commodity Futures), Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 8 (Supervisory), Series 31 (Managed Futures), Series 65 (Investment Advisor Representative), Series 79 (Investment Banking) licenses.
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Kovacevich is the CEO of KushCo Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of ancillary products and services to businesses in the legal cannabis industry.
Mr. Ross has over 30 years of senior management experience, ranging from high growth private companies to multi-billion dollar divisions of public enterprises. His experience also includes service on numerous public and private Boards. He is known as a problem solver who has demonstrated leadership and consistent results in challenging business situations across multiple industries. Mr. Ross has been CEO of Ecolane since June, 2013. Ecolane is a Helsinki, Finland-based software company providing disruptive, specialized software and support services for transportation scheduling, dispatching and tracking. US operations are headquartered in Wayne, PA, where the company supports statewide contracts in PA, NE, NC and OH and numerous state and local transportation agencies throughout the country. Ecolane was acquired by National Express PLC, a British publicly-traded leading international transportation company, in June, 2016, generating greater than 500% returns for Ecolane’s investors.
Prior to leading Ecolane, Mr. Ross was a Managing Director at MTN Capital Partners, a New York-based Private Equity firm, and Managing Partner of Belcourt Associates. Previously, Mr. Ross was CEO of National Investment Managers from 2006 until its sale to a Private Equity firm in 2011. Under Mr. Ross’ leadership, the company became the largest independent retirement services company in the country with over $11 billion in assets under administration and operations in 17 cities in the United States. Between 2001 and 2006, Mr. Ross served as Chairman and CEO of DynTek. During his tenure he successfully transitioned the company from a $5 million software development company to a leading provider of information technology services with annual revenues of over $100 million. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Ross was Vice President and General Manager of the Computer Systems Division of Toshiba America with overall responsibility for Toshiba’s $3 billion computer business in the US and South America. Prior to joining Toshiba, from 1996 to 1998, Mr. Ross served as President & General Manager – Computer Reseller Division and President of Corporate Marketing at Inacom, a $7 billion Fortune 500 provider of computer products and services. Prior to his employment at Inacom, Mr. Ross served as Senior Vice President, Sales & Business Development, for Intelligent Electronics. Mr. Ross has also held senior management positions at Dell Computer Corporation and PTXI/Bull HN Information Systems. Mr. Ross has served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Computing Technology Industry Association (COMPTIA) and on the board member of the US Internet Industry Association (USIIA). He also served on the Board of the National Cristina Foundation, and as a member of the Harvard Club or Orange County and the Harvard Business School Association of Orange County.
He is an active alumnus of Harvard University and a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Steve has appeared as an industry and corporate spokesperson in numerous business and trade publications and events and was named #14 in Smart Reseller’s annual listing of top 50 computer industry executives.
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Mr. Ritter co-founded Ritter Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Qualigen Therapeutics, Inc.) and served as Chief Strategic Officer and Executive Chairman from its 2004 inception through its sale in 2020.
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