Marijuana Business Magazine February 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | February 2019 104 A s a 27-year veteran of the hotel industry—including 10 years as chief operating officer of La Quinta Inns and Suites— Angelo Lombardi spent a lot of time on the road. He didn’t plan any major changes in 2016 after leaving La Quinta, one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, to become a business consultant. But one of his potential consulting clients, Cura Partners, a cannabis oil production company in Portland, Oregon, persuaded Lombardi to change hats. Cura CEO Cameron Forni’s family owns a hotel chain and, while franchise partners with La Quinta, worked closely with Lombardi while he was COO. After Lombardi left La Quinta, where he oversaw 402 hotels and 6,000 employees in more than 30 states, Cura sought out his consulting services—particularly his operations expertise. But the more they talked, the more Lombardi felt he didn’t want to occa- sionally consult for a cannabis company, he wanted to be in the industry full time. The feelings were mutual at Cura, where Forni recognized that having an experienced COO would help the firm realize its expansion dreams. “They were aware that I have a proclivity to be a little more speed to mar- ket, a little more hands-on,” Lombardi said. “And while I like structure and programs, and I can do it at a very high speed, I can deal with the turmoil of an industry that is doing in a year what most companies do in 10.” While acknowledging he has a lot to learn about marijuana, Lombardi noted that he has been picking the brains of people who work in every aspect of the industry. “I want to understand the entire industry from soup to nuts—not at a deep level, not at the level of folks who are doing those jobs every day, but enough that I can support them with a strategic vision that allows us to bring it forward,” he added. Lombardi said his short-term priorities include building company infra- structure and processes to support Cura’s growth, especially in terms of communications within the company and how fast Cura can bring its prod- ucts to market. “I want to bring conventional business practices as a value to Cura, without bringing Cura into the world of business,” he said. As a part of Cura’s growth plan, Amy McClintick moves from chief operating officer to chief expansion officer, while Jenny Diggles joins the team as vice president of international expansion. McClintick has been with Cura since its inception, starting in the sales operations department, while Diggles most recently worked as president of global expansion at MacArthur Capital. Hotel Honcho Finds a Home at Cura Angelo Lombardi, Amy McClintick, Jenny Diggles A look at some recent hiring moves in the marijuana industry Industry Players | New Hires & Promotions Tilray Stacks Board with International Heavyweights Amid growing scrutiny of cross-border deals in the marijuana industry, Nanaimo, British Columbia-based cultivator Tilray formed an international advisory board consisting of global government and business leaders to provide guidance to its executive team. The advisory board includes six- term Vermont Gov. Howard Dean , ex-Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele and former U.S. State Department official James O’Brien . The 10-person board also has former foreign ministers Lloyd Axworthy (Canada), Joschka Fischer (Germany), Jaime By Omar Sacirbey Angelo Lombardi Courtesy Photo Amy McClintick Courtesy Photo Jenny Diggles Courtesy Photo