The New Jersey CannaBusiness Association promotes jobs and growth in a sustainable and responsible cannabis industry in the Garden State. Starting with the pioneers in the medical cannabis market to the emerging players in the adult-use space, our focus is to make certain that decision makers and regulators understand and respect the needs of the cannabusiness community and that our community remains responsible corporate citizens.
MEET THE NJCBA LEADERSHIP TEAM
Edmund DeVeaux, President
Mr. DeVeaux, a graduate of Rutgers University and a commissioned officer in the United States Army, brings a wealth of state and national private, public, and not-for-profit sector experience to this team. Mr. DeVeaux’s professional career began in New Jersey state government, which was highlighted by his role as a capital budget analyst in the New Jersey Department of the Treasury - Office of Management and Budget. In that role, Mr. DeVeaux oversaw the capital budgets and related projects for the New Jersey departments of Corrections, Human Services, New Jersey State Police, and the Department of State. Mr. DeVeaux went on to serve as the Aide to the Mayor, City of New Brunswick, New Jersey; and as special assistant to US Senator Bill Bradley.
Marianne Bays, Ph.D., Vice President
Marianne is a Cannabis Industry Analyst at Kalyx Development Inc and a Managing Director of Mingleridge Business Resources, LLC. Through her business and consulting activities in the cannabis industry, as well as her volunteer efforts supporting cannabis related non-profit groups, Marianne is a known and recognized thought leader in the cannabis community.
Robert Cressen, Secretary
Rob is a former Iron Man competitor and triathlete who competed at the highest levels. He also developed and led multiple political campaigns at the state and local level. After an severe accident and a resulting debilitating disease, which requires him to maneuver through the use of a wheelchair, Rob is now an outspoken champion of the benefits of medicinal cannabis while also espousing the dangers of opioids. Rob's passionate testimony and public comments on cannabis has been viewed more than a million times on social media.
Felice Twaddle, Treasurer
Felice has extensive experience in health insurance regulations with a specific focus on Medicare and Medicaid. Felice, who holds leadership positions in multiple non-profit organizations, brings a disciplined yet enthusiastic approach to growing non-profits through the development of key programs and events for the benefit of members.
Bill Caruso, General Counsel
Caruso is currently a partner at Archer & Greiner and has been among the most vocal proponents of cannabis legalization in New Jersey. Soon after joining Archer, Caruso connected with leading racial and social justice voices in New Jersey to form New Jersey United for Marijuana Reform at a time when there were few substantive voices in the state advocating for comprehensive reform on the basis of racial and social justice and much needed economic development. Additionally, Caruso served nearly five years as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Assembly Majority Office in Trenton where he worked for then-Speaker Sheila Oliver, who has since become New Jersey’s Lt. Governor. Prior to taking the Assembly post, Caruso served for more than 11 years as Chief of Staff to former U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews.
Scott Rudder, Founder, President Emeritus, Board of Directors
Scott is a former state legislator, mayor, veteran and current government affairs executive. In addition to his government and political leadership roles, Scott led Business Development efforts for Lockheed Martin Corporation with a focus on energy systems and radar programs.
Tara Sargente, Board of Directors
Tara "Misu" Sargente is the owner of Blazin’ Bakery, the first legal, woman-owned edibles company in New Jersey. At Blazin' Bakery, Tara optimizes brownie mixes so anyone can make potent DIY edibles at home with no experience needed. Her products are sold in more than 1,000 shops nationally. With close to a decade of cannabis industry experience, Tara applies her deep knowledge base and professional experience to help advance New Jersey's cannabis industry.
Shergoh Alkilani, Board Member
Shergoh, a successful entrepreneur across multiple industries, founded several start up companies that focus on community growth and development. As the founder of Alkova, a development company, Shergoh gives back to the communities he operates in and negotiates deals with national and international corporations on a regular basis. He is now applying these skills and relationships in order to create a medicinal cannabis enterprise that is focused on research and patient care. This new company, Eleven Eleven, comprises some of the top research and medical professionals in the industry.
Faye Coleman, Board Member
Faye Coleman is the co-founder and CEO of Pure Genesis, LLC (PG), a woman and minority-based (certified MWBE) cannabis business. As a respected team builder. Faye has assembled a phenomenal leadership team, medical and community advisory board with more than 200 years of combined experience within the top Fortune 50 companies. These amazing teams effectively serve and assist Faye as she succeeds within the emerging cannabis industry. Faye's entrepreneurial spirit is also realized throughout the launch of her multi-state hemp operation and cannabis data analytics businesses, centralized around health improvement products and research in partnership with Rowan University. In addition, Faye has set in motion a consulting arm of the cannabis business, which supports closing the education gap regarding cannabis through the "Now You Know" workshop. Faye has partnered with the NAACP, Women Grow, and serves on the Governor's Council for legalization with a focus on social justice. Previously, Faye has served as a Board of Trustee for Lourdes Health System, Board Member for the African American Chamber of Commerce New Jersey, and as an Advisory Board Member for St. Joseph's University Executive Education program.
Hector Corchado, Board Member
Hector is a retired law enforcement professional from the City of Newark. Whether in his capacity as a Police Sergeant or as Deputy Police Director, Hector served his community with honor and distinction. In addition to his service in law enforcement, Hector also supported his community in his leadership positions as Deputy Mayor and Councilman in Newark.
Thomas Coughlin, Board Member
Thomas Coughlin has been in the banking industry for over 38 years. He formerly served as Vice President of Chatham Savings Bank and before that as Controller, and Corporate Secretary of First Savings Bank of New Jersey. Believing that Bayonne was underserved by community banks, Coughlin, along with the support of local investors founded Bayonne Community Bank, now BCB Bank, in 2000. He currently serves as the President of the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce, Executive Board Member of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, an active member of Friends of Special Children and a Lifetime Rotarian.
Kelley Detweiler, Board Member
Kelley is both an entrepreneur and an advocate for multiple causes. In 2016, Kelley helped launch Athletes for CARE (A4C), a not-for-profit organization that supports pro athletes following a career in sports, and advocates for medical cannabis as a healthier alternative to opioids within professional sports organizations. In addition to her role with A4C, Kelley is a Marketing Strategist who partners with CEOs, executives and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands, human-to-human. Kelley currently serves as A4C’s Director of Marketing and Marketing Committee Chair, and is the Founder of Kolibry, LLC, a tech-marketing firm.
Deborah Gardner-Brown, Strategic Advisor
Deborah Gardner-Brown, RHIT, CCS, C-CDI, CI-CDI, CDIP, CCDS, CCMSCP, CPMA, is a Subject Matter Expert, Speaker, DRG Dispute Resolution Examiner, and experienced Coding, Documentation and Compliance Auditor for both the inpatient, and outpatient care settings. She is also an AHIMA approved ICD-10-CM/PCS Trainer that has developed and presented educational material on several ICD-10-CM/PCS and CDI topics. Deborah has more than 30 years’ experience in both hospital and professional coding, clinical documentation improvement, denials management, development, presentation, educating for specialty coding, performance measure documentation, and data mining for medical revenue cycle integrity professionals. Deborah is the founder of Sepsis Integrity Review Services, and Principal Consultant, and President for Reimbursement Review Associates, Inc
Siddarth Gupta, Board Member
Sid is the founder of Pistil Point Cannabis, the largest indoor cannabis producer in Oregon, and has licensure for 148,000 square feet of flowering cannabis canopy between Oregon and California that by 2020 will yield over 160,000 lbs of cannabis annually. Sid has consulted for applications in Pennsylvania and Ohio and continues to advocate for responsible regulations and production making education and public awareness as the largest priority for Pistil Point and its members.
Maggie Moran, Strategic Advisor
From a national level, Maggie oversees all aspects of Kivvit's day-to-day operations, execution, finances and culture. She brings vast experience in corporate communications, federal and state government, political campaigns and labor relations. Prior to co-founding Kivvit, Maggie served as the New Jersey campaign manager for Vice President Al Gore in 2000 and as the director of rapid response for President Bill Clinton in 1996. In 2010, she served as a senior advisor to then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s governor’s race, for which she received recognition on the Campaigns & Elections “Influencers 500” list. Maggie also managed Governor Corzine’s re-election campaign in 2009, managed Corzine’s coordinated campaign in 2005, directed U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg’s campaign in 2002 and managed the McGreevey $25 million Coordinated Campaign in 2001.
Marshall Ogen, Strategic Advisor
Marshall is the Vice President of Business Development for CannabisBPO. With over 20 years of experience in the contact center and outsourced quality assurance sectors with mid-size and Fortune-500-size organizations, Marshall helped launch CannabisBPO as a full service provide to the cannabis industry.
George Schidlovsky, Board Member
George is President of Curaleaf, NJ located in Bellmawr, NJ. Curaleaf is New Jersey's largest medical cannabis operation in the state. George is known to be a pragmatic, resourceful, and strategic executive with experience spanning the hospitality, manufacturing, financial services, real estate, medical device, and private equity sectors. His hands on leadership has helped ensure Compassionate Sciences is an innovative and customer focused medical cannabis dispensary.
Michael Turner, Strategic Advisor
Mr. Turner is a respected communications strategist with over 20 years of experience in media relations, crisis communications and government affairs. Named “Best Lobbying Effort” in 2014 by Politifax for his grass-roots/grass-tops success in bringing Alimony Reform to New Jersey, he has managed public affairs and advocacy campaigns for some of the most demanding clients with the most high-profile public policy issues. The bulk of Burton Trent’s client base are business development clients seeking to do work in New Jersey and/or with the State. As a result, Mr. Turner knows better than most the challenges of successfully operating as a business in New Jersey as well as the challenges of doing business with government entities.
Julio Valentin, Board Member
Julio is the President and CEO of Greenleaf Compassion Center, New Jersey’s first Medical Cannabis Dispensary. Prior to his opening of New Jersey’s first ATC, Julio owned and operated a successful coffee shop called Café Eclectic, located in Montclair, New Jersey, from 1997-2011. Prior to that, Julio served with honor as a police officer in the City of Newark and is a veteran of the United States Army.
Nico Zitelli, Board Member
Nicholas J. Zitelli is currently the CEO of Applied Cannabis Sciences (ACS) of New Jersey, a group that carries over a dozen MMJ licenses across several states in the U.S. In addition, Mr. Zitelli is part owner, Director, and Chief Cannabis Officer of Trans High Corporation, the parent company for all High Times brands, including all media and event platforms. Writing under the pen name Nico Escondido since 2007, Mr. Zitelli has penned hundreds of articles relating to the cultivation, science, and technologies involved with the cannabis plant.