Cresco Labs shakes up senior leadership team

Tom Manning

Chicago-based Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated cannabis operator, has made key appointments to its senior leadership team. The additions and promotions include Tom Manning, Todd West, Donny Trivisonno, Brenna Albert, Drew Duval, Cora Colvin and Geoff Mikelsons.

“To successfully transition from entrepreneurial growth, to an organization focused on consistent execution at scale, it is imperative to have access to the best talent available and to go deep in key areas,” said Cresco Labs’ CEO and co-founder, Charlie Bachtell. “You have to fortify the traits needed for early-stage success with sound fundamentals, a scalable structure and a dynamic leadership team that can pull your organization to the next level.”

Having served on the Cresco board since 2016, Tom Manning was elected chair of the board in 2019. Manning worked with Bachtell to develop the organizational redesign and broadening of the Cresco leadership team and moved into the role of executive chair in February 2020. Manning will continue to work closely with Bachtell, executive management and the board to coordinate corporate strategy, with a focus on building organizational strength, flexibility and resilience to address the rapid growth potential foreseen by the company, to further develop relationships with traditional institutional investors and to prepare the organization for an eventual listing on a U.S. exchange.

Manning is the former chairman and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet, chairman and CEO of EY Asia and brings over 40 years of business experience to this role. He has served as CEO of a variety of global companies, and his corporate governance experience is extensive, having served on eight public boards and an equal number of private company boards over his career while teaching corporate governance at both the University of Chicago law school and business school.

In his new role as executive vice president – operations, Todd West will be working collaboratively throughout all of the company’s cultivation, manufacturing and distribution facilities to increase operational efficiencies, improve quality assurance, build out the product development team and implement further automation capabilities to facilitate the efficient building of scale and market share. West has a proven background in the food manufacturing industry with companies such as Lifeway Foods and Starbucks. West is experienced in designing and implementing safety and quality controls that align with the highest food and pharma certifications in the market today.

Prior to this promotion, West served as senior vice president of product development and commercialization for the company’s food and beverage segment. He spearheaded the expansion of Mindy’s Edibles to California and Massachusetts and led the increase in edibles production to serve the new adult-use market in Illinois.

Donny Trivisonno joined Cresco in January 2020 as executive vice president – planning, insights and analytics and is responsible for scaling the sales and operations planning process to bring greater focus and synchronization across the organization, to support the company as it scales. Leveraging his experience at Apple managing the supply/demand planning for all products for 500+ retail stores and web for 30 countries, he has been tasked with enhancing the integration between sales, marketing, and supply chain. Trivisonno brings to Cresco 15 years of experience career spanning global retail operations, financial planning and analytics, and customer experience for top U.S.-based companies including Apple, Gap Inc, Kohl’s and Time Warner Cable.

Brenna Albert was promoted to the role of senior vice president and controller – accounting, treasury and tax in 2019. Prior to her promotion, she served as vice president and controller. Albert is responsible for all aspects of accounting, external financial reporting, treasury and tax functions at Cresco Labs. She was instrumental in the execution of the company’s public offering and subsequent financial reporting, as well as building Cresco’s controllership team and public company finance processes. Albert is the former director, SEC reporting, corporate accounting and technical accounting policy at Cushman & Wakefield.

Drew Duval was promoted to the role of senior vice president of cultivation in January 2020 through the successful closing of the Origin House acquisition and is now tasked with overseeing Cresco’s entire cultivation footprint. Duval led the implementation of propagation uniformity throughout all facilities and is installing best practices across Cresco’s network, including crop steering fertigation methods, to increase yield, quality, and uniformity. Duval was the CEO & founder of FloraCal, a premium craft cannabis cultivator in California. Origin House purchased FloraCal for the quality of product and THC content.

Cora Colvin was appointed executive vice president – compliance in December 2019. In that capacity, she has been working cross functionally to strengthen and mature the company’s compliance program. Centered around a risk-based approach, the compliance program strategy is being designed for maximum effectiveness in preventing and detecting unethical conduct and failures in regulatory workstreams. The enhanced office of ethics and compliance will support efficient decision making and reduce risk for individuals and the organization overall.

An experienced regulatory and healthcare compliance professional, Colvin was previously the chief compliance officer and chief privacy officer for Medline Industries, the largest privately held manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies and services in the U.S. Before joining Medline Industries, she was a lead player in securing licensing for new and acquired pharmacies for Walgreens.

As vice president – finance, Geoff Mikelsons has taken over the responsibilities for financial planning and analysis where he will oversee budgeting, financial planning, forecasting and analysis that supports major corporate decisions at Cresco Labs leading to increased accuracy, better decision making and a higher return on capital. Additionally, he will play a strategic role in leading, planning and providing due diligence support for potential M&A activities.

Mikelsons is an experienced entrepreneurial finance and investment professional with over 15 years of experience. He was previously a vice president at Victory Park Capital, a multi-billion-dollar private equity firm within the consumer products industry and was as associate at Equity Group Investments, Sam Zell’s opportunistic private investment firm. Mikelsons also served as CFO and on the board of directors of a leading privately held CPG cosmetics company prior to joining Cresco Labs.

“Starting last year, we began the transition to our next phase of growth as an organization. The very team we picked to lead this expansion, is the same team that has been invaluable during this time of uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bachtell said. “Our team hit the ground running during this crisis, engaging quickly and taking the steps required to support the company’s objective to be the most important cannabis company in the U.S. market. I would like to thank each of them for the outsized contributions they have already made, which have reinforced the strength of the company and positioned it for continued success.”