Green Thumb Industries announced Dec. 13 that the cannabis company will appoint Dawn Wilson Barnes to its board of directors and make four executive leadership position promotions effective on Jan. 1, 2023.
Barnes, the founder and president of Atlanta-based financial services firm Aurora Bay Capital, will join GTI’s board as an independent director and member of the company’s Audit Committee. The announcement comes after three former board members—William Gruver, Glen Senk and Dorri McWhorter—resigned in October over a disagreement as to the company’s policies and practices related to personal misconduct.
When GTI announced those resignations, the Chicago-based multistate operator also announced Richard Drexler and Jeff Goldman would be joining the board at that time. Now, Barnes is lined up to fill the third vacancy left by those who resigned.
In addition, GTI executive leadership team promotions include board member Anthony Georgiadis to president, Matt Faulkner to chief financial officer (CFO), Bret Kravitz to general counsel and secretary, and Rachel Albert to chief administrative officer.
“These changes reflect the natural evolution of high-performing team members to positions of greater responsibility and demonstrate our conviction in the strength of our leadership,” Green Thumb founder, chairman and CEO Ben Kovler said in a press release.
“I am especially pleased to recognize the pivotal role that Anthony Georgiadis has played over the last seven years,” Kovler said. “He continues to be an outstanding partner in leading the business, an excellent problem-solver, and a material value creator for shareholders. His deep understanding of the operations and financials, along with his proven leadership ability to empower the team to drive results, make him exceptionally suited for his new role of president. I am confident these moves set us up for long-term success as we progress in this ever-changing landscape.”
Georgiadis joined GTI in 2015 and has served as CFO since 2017. As company president, he will oversee all operational and financial matters and continue to help steer overall corporate strategy and operations, allowing Kovler to focus greater attention on capital allocation, strategic partnerships, brand positioning, investors relations, and mergers and acquisitions, according to the release.
Georgiadis said he was humbled for his new role and exciting to pass the CFO reins to Faulkner, who joined GTI in 2018 and has served as chief accounting officer since 2020.
“Green Thumb’s ability to continue to identify and cultivate talent from within is critical to the execution of our strategy,” Georgiadis said. “And while our roles within the business evolve, our steadfast focus on creating authentic brands, high-quality flower and memorable experiences for the consumer remains.”
Meanwhile, Kravitz has served as chief corporate counsel since 2017 and now will be the primary legal adviser to management and the board while overseeing all legal matters as the company’s general counsel and secretary.
Albert, who joined GTI as a consultant in 2020 to lead the human resources department, will now be supporting executive initiatives and decision-making while helping to shape Green Thumb’s culture in her new role as chief administration officer.
And Barnes will round out a six-member board of directors, which also includes Wendy Berger, in addition to Kovler, Georgiadis, Drexler and Goldman.
“As a seasoned financial professional with expertise in capital markets and audit, she will be a strong addition to the team,” Kovler said of Barnes. “Dawn’s appointment to our board will further strengthen our corporate governance, which remains a top priority for Green Thumb.”
Prior to founding Aurora Bay Capital, Barnes held positions in private finance, equity capital markets and investment management at J.P. Morgan & Co. and Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York. Previously, she held auditing and accounting positions with Honeywell Inc. in corporate financial audit in Minneapolis and the firm’s Military Avionics Division in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Green Thumb has hired an external recruiting firm to assist with a search to actively recruit additional board members in preparation for its potential U.S. listing upon possible federal cannabis reform, according to the release.