leadership team

CHRIS DRIESSEN - CEO

Chris Driessen was promoted to President and CEO of SLANG Worldwide in 2020, after having served as the Company’s U.S. President with responsibility for the overall performance of the organization in its primary markets. Mr. Driessen first joined SLANG predecessor company and cannabis industry pioneer Organa Brands in 2014. His leadership has been instrumental in creating business processes that streamline efficiency, drive dramatic revenue gains and foster lasting, mutually-profitable relationships with the largest names in the marijuana industry.

Mr. Driessen previously held sales and operational leadership roles in the information technology and hotel sectors, including several Fortune 500 companies. [Outside the office, he can be found spending time with his wife and three children, hoarding airline miles, and cooking what some might call the best BBQ in America.] Mr. Driessen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism (Public Relations focus) from Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas.

John Moynan - COO

John Moynan added Chief Operating Officer responsibilities to his existing role as SLANG’s General Counsel in 2020. As COO, he is responsible for the Company’s partnerships, production, products, distribution and procurement as well as day-to-day operations. As the General Counsel of SLANG, Mr.Moynan has developed a unique expertise in the legal landscape of the cannabis industry which he uses as the foundation for providing strategic value across every function of the business. Mr. Moynan has served with SLANG and its predecessor companies for the past six years, playing an instrumental role in the expansion of the company’s distribution footprint and the structuring of agreements with the Company’s strategic partners such as Trulieve Cannabis Corp, Cookies and Canopy Growth. Mr. Moynan earned a Doctor of Law from the University of Colorado School of Law and a B.A. in Communication from Arizona State University.

Mike Rutherford - CFO

Mikel Rutherford is the CFO of SLANG Worldwide after having served as SLANG’s Executive Vice President of Finance since 2018, where he played a key role in the Company’s financial reporting and management, as well as. several major financing transactions. He also served as Director of Finance for SLANG portfolio company, Agripharm Corp. With over 10 years of both public and private accounting experience, Mike has a track record of bringing a structured approach to scaling companies to facilitate fast-paced growth. Mike is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a graduate diploma in accounting from Wilfred Laurier University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph.

Brittany Hallett - VP Marketing

Brittany Hall is the VP of Marketing and has been with SLANG since August of 2014, when the company was only known as O.penVAPE. Over the last 6 years, she’s had the pleasure of building and growing the company’s portfolio of top performing brands. Brittany and her team have one of the most creative jobs in today’s modern Marketing landscape – figuring out how to drive brand awareness and affinity in one of the most regulated and fragmented industries. Starting as the Executive Assistant and now the VP of Marketing, Brittany is a great example of growth at the company.

Mike Yerigan - VP Sales

Mike Yergian serves as SLANG’s VP of Sales. As the company’s certified Happyologist, Mike Yerigan aka “Yergi” will make you smile and Slang you something, all in one breath.  He came to O.penVAPE back in 2014 with over 15 years of sales management experience from the hospitality industry. With a dedication to developing strong partnerships with specific strategies and outcomes – the Slang Bangin Sales Organization has found success in achieving top line revenue goals, market growth, profitability and an overall winning culture.

Cara Pollock - VP Product

Cara Pollock is SLANG’s VP or Product and joined SLANG in May of 2019 as a Product Project Manager. Cara’s experience in the industries of advertising, athletic apparel and CPG allowed her to immediately implement project management workflows and create calendars for product commercialization. This has given SLANG the ability to launch more products under current brands within the last year than ever before.  As VP of Product Cara is able to showcase her skills from project management and product management to create a clear and strong product strategy over the next few years, while driving innovation and disruption in the cannabis product space.

MATT MELNICK - VP Supply Chain & Manufacturing

Matt has worked with SLANG for a total of 7 years, including 2 years as a third-party service provider & 5 years in-house. Matt has worn many hats over this time, including warehousing & fulfillment, purchasing, systems, operations & consulting. Matt has witnessed the growth of SLANG first-hand while leading the company through multiple system implementations, opening new facilities & launching new partnerships.

Summer Watson - VP E-Commerce & Digital

Summer Watson is the Vice President of Digital and E-Commerce for SLANG Worldwide. Summer previously served as SLANG brand Firefly’s General Manager, where she launched a new product line throughout physical retailers and as a significant direct-to-consumer revenue driver. Summer is a consumer tech veteran, having led content, marketing and product at Disney (which acquired the gaming company Playdom, in which she also played a critical role pre-acquisition), TuneIn, Kiwi/Sequel, Episode/Pocket Gems, and Skybound. She started her career, and understanding of consumer desires and behavior, in luxury & fashion (as co-founder of industry leading creative agency CS Global) and music (ABB Records). She is an active angel investor in several consumer tech, data, AI and gaming companies.

Kirk Kimball - VP People

Kirk joined SLANG in June of 2019 as the first HR employee. He brings several years of HR leadership experience at CPG companies like Nestle, Danone, and Conagra Brands. He attended Michigan State University where he earned a BA in Human Resource Management and an MS in Human Resources and Labor Relations.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Peter Miller

SLANG Worldwide Co-Founder and CEO Peter Miller is an experienced entrepreneur with successful exits and 10 years of executive experience. He and Billy Levy co-founded Mettrum Health Corp, a leading Canadian licensed producer that was acquired by Canopy Growth. An entrepreneur with a track record in agriculture, operations, tech, and clean energy, Peter is also the Chairman of the Canadian licensed producer Agripharm. Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Peter worked in corporate development at Esri Canada. SLANG Worldwide is a leading global cannabis consumer packaged goods company with a robust portfolio of renowned brands distributed across more than 2,600 stores in 11 US states.

Mr. Miller pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University.

Chris Driessen

Chris Driessen was promoted to President and CEO of SLANG Worldwide in 2020, after having served as the Company’s U.S. President with responsibility for the overall performance of the organization in its primary markets. Mr. Driessen first joined SLANG predecessor company and cannabis industry pioneer Organa Brands in 2014. His leadership has been instrumental in creating business processes that streamline efficiency, drive dramatic revenue gains and foster lasting, mutually-profitable relationships with the largest names in the marijuana industry.

Mr. Driessen previously held sales and operational leadership roles in the information technology and hotel sectors, including several Fortune 500 companies. [Outside the office, he can be found spending time with his wife and three children, hoarding airline miles, and cooking what some might call the best BBQ in America.] Mr. Driessen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism (Public Relations focus) from Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas.

Chris Donnelly

Chris Donnelly is the founder of four start-up ventures across consumer products, digital marketing, and outdoor advertising. In 2002, Mr. Donnelly helped create the subsidiaries group within Nike. In 2006, Mr. Donnelly joined Oakley as SVP of Global Strategy and Product, where he rebuilt the organizational structure for all 3,000 employees to align the company around its top priorities. Over 9 years, through 450 new retail stores and 4 website launches, he shifted the direct to consumer business from 11% of revenues to 48%. Since 2016, Mr. Donnelly has spent his time advising and investing in consumer businesses. Currently, Mr. Donnelly owns and manages a USD$20M luxury real estate portfolio in Park City, Utah and supports the management team at RedBubble on their strategy and consumer journey.

Mr. Donnelly has a B.S. in Thermo-Engineering from Harvey Mudd University and an MBA from Stanford.

Kelly Ehler

Kelly Ehler is a Chartered Accountant and former auditor with PWC and banker with Bank of Montreal. He has sat on various public company corporate boards and board committees including additional roles as Audit Committee Chairman. He has led many companies, from start-ups to billion-dollar public companies, as CFO in a variety of industries and countries. His experience covers debt financing, due diligence, acquisitions and dispositions, audits, consolidations, multi-jurisdiction entities, and multijurisdictional public companies. Mr. Ehler’s public company experience covers many capacities and positions including CEO, COO, VP, and CFO.

Matt Fraser

Matt Fraser joined CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective (“CANarchy”) as CFO in July 2015 after spending eight years at Lazard Frères in its Middle Market advisory group. At Lazard Frères, Mr. Fraser advised Oskar Blues on its transaction with Fireman Capital Partners (current equity partner in CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective). Shortly after the transaction, Mr. Fraser left Lazard Frères where he was a Director and joined CANarchy as the CFO to assist in consolidating the craft beer space. As CFO, Mr. Fraser was responsible for all financial matters in collaboration with brewery executives including financial reporting and analysis, forecasting and overall budget management.

Mr. Fraser was elevated to COO of CANarchy in January 2018 and in May 2018 his role expanded to President and COO. As President and COO, Mr. Fraser leads all business operations across the portfolio of craft breweries, which now includes Cigar City Brewing, Oskar Blues Brewery, Perrin Brewing, Squatters Craft Beer and Wasatch Brewery, Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Three Weavers Brewing. Under Mr. Fraser’s leadership, CANarchy has grown to the 8th largest craft brewery in the United States and operates 8 manufacturing locations and 16 brewpubs and taprooms across the United States.

Keith Stein

Keith Stein joined Dentons Canada LLP as Counsel in 2014 after serving as Counsel at Heenan Blaikie LLP from 2008 until February 2014. From 1994 to 2008, he was a senior executive with Magna International Inc. reporting to the Chairman, Frank Stronach and continued to act as a consultant reporting to the Executive Vice-Chairman until November 2010. Prior to becoming a consultant, Mr. Stein held the position of Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs at Magna. Before joining Magna, Mr. Stein was Senior Corporate Counsel for Toyota Canada and Toyota Credit Canada. Mr. Stein has been a board member of various publicly listed companies.

Mr. Stein is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1989.

Robert Verdun

Robert (Bob) Verdun specializes in helping businesses with their go to market/growth strategies and effective ways to maximize shareholder value. He has recently been involved in dozens of M&A transactions, advising company owners on strategies for growth, acquisitions, mergers and capital raises. Under Mr. Verdun’s leadership as President and Chief Executive Officer, Computerized Facility Integration (“CFI”) won Inc. Magazine’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” award for five consecutive years. Mr. Verdun established partnerships with some of the leading companies in its industry and became IBM’s largest global partner for multiple product lines. CFI routinely won awards as an Employer of Choice, Companies to Watch, Best and Brightest, Great Place to Work, and more. Mr. Verdun has capabilities in all areas of business transactions including structure, finance, legal and integration.

Mr. Verdun is a Graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Entrepreneurial Master’s Program.