BNN Bloomberg; After a number of decades in the alcohol beverage industry, Steven Poirier came out of retirement to join the board of up-and-coming marijuana company Biome Grow.
He talks about the parallels between the two industries and which beverage and snack companies he expects will get into the cannabis space.
Steven Poirier – Biome Grow
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About the BIOME GROW Team
Khurram Malik is the interim CEO and a Director of Biome Grow Inc. Mr. Malik also holds the position of Partner and Head of Research at Jacob Capital Management Inc., an advisory firm that provides strategic and financial advisory services to companies in the power, infrastructure, technology, energy and mining sectors.
Mr. Malik has worked in capital markets for over 15 years with companies ranging in size from Berkshire Hathaway and American International Group to early stage cannabis and cleantech companies. His career spans from working in New York with UBS PaineWebber and Morgan Stanley to leading boutique investment banks in Canada. The bulk of Mr. Malik’s career has been in the equity research realm with coverage of the property-casualty insurance, industrials, airlines, hardware technology, cleantech, cannabis, and water sectors.
With respect to cannabis, Mr. Malik was the first research analyst in North America to publish a report on the sector and is regularly quoted in the media with respect to his views and forecasts on the global cannabis market. Moreover, Mr. Malik has provided financial and strategic advice over the last five years to over 20 cannabis companies around the world including applicants and licensed producers in Canada. With respect to Biome, Mr. Malik was tasked with designing a platform that would not only create compelling value for shareholders, but also grow to be a leading global platform 5-10 years out in what is currently a young industry that is constantly changing. It is expected that Mr. Malik will devote 60% of his time to the business of Biome even after a new CEO is put in place.
Chief Financial Officer
Abbey Abdiye is the Chief Financial Officer of Biome Grow Inc.. Mr. Abdiye has extensive experience in the financial sector in both public and private companies. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and currently the Chief Financial Officer of Orca, Ceylon Graphite Corp., Tower One Wireless Corp. and Crop Infrastructure Corp., where he is responsible for all financial, fiscal management, regulatory compliance matters and reporting aspects of company operations. Mr. Abdiye also provides strategic guidance and direction in capital structuring and engages in innovative financing programs to leverage sales and development. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Abdiye will provide leadership and coordination in the administrative, business planning, reporting, and budgeting efforts of Biome Grow Inc. He will oversee Biome’s financial reporting, internal controls, corporate governance management systems, annual audit and regulatory compliance matters. Mr. Abdiye obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Simon Fraser University and a Co-op Education certificate.
Board of Directors
Brett James has been a partner and principal of Sussex Strategy Group since 2000. Brett provides clients with strategic counsel on major business issues, informed and intelligent guidance on their government interaction and communications advice to leverage public opinion on issues affected by government decisions.
Brett is primarily responsible for the firm’s federal government relations practice, its strategic communications business and coordinates its provincial GR outside of Ontario. However, he remains politically active in Ontario provincial politics with the Progressive Conservative party of Ontario.
The federal GR team is known for its hard-working and results-oriented approach that has led to major legislative, policy and procurement success for both domestic and international clients. The Federal team has successfully assisted many applicants to Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) program and advised others on their market positioning, branding and business plans. Brett’s strategic communications team delivers sophisticated, analysis-driven communications campaigns to move public opinion on issues, hands-on management of difficult media and public issues, and proven crisis communications expertise. Brett is well-known in business and media circles for his thoughtful guidance and positioning of complicated issues leading to better business, policy and political outcomes.
Brett has been a political and communications commentator on several major Canadian media outlets and a guest speaker at many major business, communications and advocacy conferences in Canada and the United States. He is a New Brunswick “Ambassador” and continues to be a senior advisor and fundraiser for Conservative candidates and campaigns across the country.
Mr. Smitherman currently provides investing and consulting services to Smitherman Sustainable Solutions Inc. and 7089150 Ltd. Mr. Smitherman is currently a director of THC BioMed Intl Ltd. and Global UAV Technologies Ltd.
Mr. Smitherman was the Principal and Chairman of G&G Global Solutions from April, 2011 until April, 2014. Mr. Smitherman was formerly the CEO and a director of Alta Vista Ventures Ltd. (now Global UAV Technologies Ltd.). During a 12-year career in politics, Mr. Smitherman has held several key positions in the Ontario Government, including Minister of Health and Deputy Premier. Mr. Smitherman is an advocate for renewable energy and a noted expert on energy and infrastructure policy. Mr. Smitherman’s tenure as Ontario Minister of Energy & Infrastructure was distinguished by the seminal Green Energy Act. He serves as a Member of Advisory Board at Inerjys Ventures Inc. He was also a candidate for the mayoralty of Toronto.
J. Mark Lievonen, C.M., LLD
Mr. Lievonen is President of Sanofi Pasteur Limited, the Canadian vaccine division of Sanofi, which he joined in 1983. Under his leadership, Sanofi Pasteur has become a billion-dollar enterprise in Canada, manufacturing over 50 million doses of vaccines for both domestic and international markets.
A veteran of the industry for over 30 years, Mark began his career in Finance and rose through Sanofi Pasteur’s ranks, guiding the company through a number of significant milestones and initiatives. Beyond his work in the biopharmaceutical industry, Mr. Lievonen has always been a passionate advocate for public health access, education, and giving back to the community. He is a former Chair of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, and served as an ex-officio member on the Markham Stouffville Hospital Board. Mr. Lievonen received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medallions, Lifetime Achievement Awards from Life Sciences Ontario and the Pharmaceutical Sciences Group, an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University and in 2015 Mr. Lievonen was appointment to the Order of Canada. He was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Mérite by the government of France in 2007, and was inducted into Canadian Healthcare Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013.
Steven Poirier is a proposed director of the Resulting Issuer. Steven Poirier currently manages SMP Management Consultants, specializing in strategy consulting to the beverage alcohol industry.
Prior to this, Mr. Poirier spent over 25 years in the Canadian beverage alcohol industry holding senior positions in the Wine, Beer and Spirits industry. He has had a broad spectrum of experience, having performed at the general management level as President of Moosehead Breweries, as well as Treasury Wine Estates, in sales as the Senior Vice President of Sales for Arterra Wine Canada (formerly Constellation Brands), and in marketing and new product Development as Vice President of Marketing for FBM Distillery (Bacardi Rum). In addition to his Canadian experience, Mr. Poirier was a member of the Executive team for Treasury Wine Estates US Division.
His national experience provides him with a thorough understanding of consumers attitudes and the regulatory environment of the alcohol beverage market. He has developed strong relationships with the provincial government Liquor Boards and private retailers in all regions, which is particularly evident within Atlantic Canada where Mr. Poirier lived for 11 years when he was President of Moosehead Breweries. Before entering the beverage alcohol industry Mr. Poirier worked in the CPG industry at companies, such as McCain Foods and Boyle Midway. Having worked in medium to large firms, as well as public and private firms he has a sound understanding of the complexities of various business models.
Mr. Poirier holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Quantitative Methods from Concordia University and an MBA majoring in Finance and Marketing from York University.
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