Andy Williams is among America’s most pioneering thought leaders and entrepreneurs in the legal cannabis space.
As co-founder and CEO of celebrated retail cannabis chain Medicine Man, Williams has already fulfilled his vision of becoming “the Costco of marijuana.” As co-founder and chairman of the board of industry-leading consultancy Medicine Man Technologies, Williams has expanded his influence exponentially—helping entrepreneurs in other states via his extensive cultivation expertise and unparalleled business acumen. And now as a founding partner in phytopharmaceutical company MedPharm, Williams is investing heavily into the future of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis research.
With years of experience in the world’s first regulated market, Williams is a leading expert on the cannabis industry featured in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, BBC and the MSNBC docu-series “Pot Barons,” which focused on Williams as one of the show’s central characters.
Williams continues to elevate his politically active leadership in the ever-expanding marijuana industry, working daily to protect and grow the cannabis industry as a board member with the New Federalism Fund, which works federally on tax reform and other industry-specific issues, and Colorado Leads, a pro-growth organization focusing its efforts locally.
He also serves as a board member for Flatiron Venture Partners, LLC and the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp and as a voting member on ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis, which is currently developing important standards for cannabis, its products and processes for the esteemed worldwide standards organization.
In addition to his regular financial support for Students for Sensible Drug Policy and other industry organizations, Williams is proud to serve as co-founder and director of the Medicine Man Family Foundation, a community-focused nonprofit investing in impact-driven projects rooted in the communities in which the Medicine Man brand operates.
Executive in Residence
University of California, San Diego
Dr. Gopal has over 35 years of experience in Global Supply Chain & Operations strategy, execution, and information technology in a career that has encompassed industry executive management and consulting for global companies across different industries.
He has held executive positions at several leading companies, including Dell, Unisys, SAIC and Overland Storage, and was a Partner and Director of Ernst & Young’s Global Supply Chain & Operations Consulting practice.
Chris currently consults with both small and large companies, has served as an advisor to a prominent think tank project in Washington, a White House sub-committee on Manufacturing Technologies and recently participated in the SC Digest 2018 “Supply Chain Gurus” panel.
Chris holds a PhD from the USC, and an MBA from Cranfield in the UK. He is the co-author of three books on Operations, including “Supercharging Supply Chains: Creating Shareholder Value through Operations Excellence”, John Wiley & Sons; called “one of the most influential supply chain books of all time.”. He has served as an invited panellist at several major industry forums, including the Milken Institute Global Forum, the IATA World Conferences and the Harvard Business Review’s Forum on Supply Management.
Assistant Vice President of Operations
Vice President of Operations
Eric Pope serves as vice president of operations at US Synthetic. Eric’s roles have included front line worker, production manager, R&D engineer, and product manager. Throughout his career, Eric has been a driving force behind US Synthetic’s move from a typical batch and queue manufacturing system to a world-class, lean manufacturing facility. As part the of senior leadership team since 2006, Eric has been instrumental in the creation of a problem solving culture at every level of the organization. Eric is a frequent guest speaker at a variety of continuous improvement conferences. His topics of expertise are the principles and process for the deliberate creation of culture. Above all Eric is social scientist who employs the scientific method in the creation of high performance people, lives and cultures.. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science degree (BS) in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) both from Brigham Young University
Global Vice-President, Materials, Logistics, and Freight Management
Executive Director - Supply Chain Management
Madan Chakravarthi is an Executive Director of Supply Chain at Maxim Integrated, San Jose CA. An Industrial Engineer and Software Engineer by training, he has rich international experience in the Semiconductor space in diverse roles. Prior to Maxim Integrated, he was with GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Silicon Labs.
Global Director, Supply Chain Management
As Global Director, Supply Chain Management, Marco is responsible for all the daily operations pertaining production and materials requirements planning, inventories management, customer care, and inbound/outbound logistics. He joined GST in 2003 and since then, has occupied several managerial positions within the company.
Marco received his B.S Degree in Industrial Engineering with minor in Systems from Monterrey Tech., in Mexico, and three masters degrees: an MBA from Thunderbird, School of Global Management, a dual degree on MSc in Information Management from Lancaster and Manchester Business School, and a Master on Tanning Processes from CIATEC, in Mexico.
Senior Vice President, Supply Chain
Mary E. Blair joined Accuride Corporation in October 2011 as Senior Vice President, Supply Chain Management. She is a member of the Company’s Executive Committee and reports directly to the President & CEO.
Blair is responsible for Accuride’s global activities in the areas of strategic sourcing, logistics, supplier quality and development, and inventory control and planning.
An accomplished Supply Chain executive, Blair brings to her role more than 25 years of leadership experience in strategic procurement and supply chain on a global basis. She has led transforming initiatives in the areas of procurement, logistics, and supplier quality, and has a strong track record of building winning teams. She is based at the company’s headquarters in Evansville, Indiana.
Blair joined Accuride from Evansville, Ind.-based UCI International, a leading producer of filtration, engine management, fuel pump, and water pump systems for the transportation market. There she served as Vice President since 2008 and led Supply Chain for the company’s four business units. In that role, she led strategic supply base development, inventory reduction, logistic optimization, and supplier quality and development processes tailored to delivering savings combined with improved quality and delivery performance to meet corporate objectives.
Prior to UCI, she had served as Director, Global Sourcing for International Truck and Engine the operating company of Navistar International, a leading producer of heavy- and medium-duty trucks, severe service vehicles and engines.
Earlier in her career, she held leadership roles of increasing responsibility with the global supply chain organizations of General Motors North America Operations and Delphi Interior and Lighting Systems.
In 2017, The Manufacturing Institute honored Blair as a recipient of its Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. Now in their fifth year, the STEP Ahead Awards recognize women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers, and represent all levels of manufacturing, from the factory floor to the C-Suite. She was among 100 Honorees from across North America.
Blair serves on the Board of Directors the University of Evansville’s Institute for Global Enterprise and is a former board member of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Ferris State University and a Master of Science – Business degree from Central Michigan University. She currently is a Capella University Global Leadership Doctoral candidate (ABD).
Senior Director Purchasing
Meyer Skalak is a Supply Chain professional with Chick-fil-A focusing on providing support for the growing needs of a $9 billion restaurant chain. Meyer held the Director of Finance role at Allstate for 13 years prior to joining Chick-fil-A. For the last 16 years, he has served Chick-fil-A in numerous Supply Chain and Operations positions with a primary focus on Procurement, Supplier Quality & Safety, Technology, Strategy, Innovation and new Product Commercialization. He also served for 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta based Empty Stocking Fund charity and currently on the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts Peach of an Athlete committee. Primary responsibilities in his current role include leading the strategic supply chain planning process, developing a data and analytics platform and aligning innovation engine to address unique challenges faced by Chick-fil-A. Meyer graduated cum laude in 1988 with a BS in Management from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has completed post graduate executive education programs from both Wharton Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Business. Meyer has been married to his wife Patricia since 1990 and has two daughters Hope and Jennifer. In his spare time, he is an avid sports fan who enjoys playing golf with friends and colleagues.
Director of Supply Chain Planning
Executive Director, USC Marshall Center for Global Supply Chain Management Academic Director, M.S. in Global Supply Chain Management
USC Marshall School of Business
A specialist in Operation Excellence, Application of Lean Six Sigma(LSS) and an expert in Global Supply Chain Management(GSCM), Nick Vyas has implemented process improvements for over 300 projects globally that have increased efficiency for clients in the fields of health care, service, military, retail, and end-to-end supply chain. As the Executive Director and Co-founder of USC Marshall’s Center for GSCM and as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Data Sciences & Operations, Vyas is educating the next generation of business leaders. Previously, Vyas had taught GSCM and LSS courses at CalPoly Pomona.
Working closely with students, Vyas consulted for over 25 global operations across various sectors. He integrated technology and directed teams that both optimized speed-to-market and managed cost/quality.
Director of Logistics
Niraj Jha is a Director of logistics at Niagara Bottling LLC, Ontario and oversees customer service, transportation, planning and logistics for 10 manufacturing facilities on the West coast, shipping over 7000 TL/week. Prior to this role Niraj worked as a plant director for Niagara bottling LLC’s southern California facility, overseeing all operational aspects of a 4 line, 1Billion bottles a year manufacturing facility. Niraj holds a MBA, General Management from UC Irvine and started his career at Niagara bottling as a part of the Leadership Development Program and worked through different roles within supply chain, manufacturing, Procurement and finance.
Prior to his MBA he studied Marine Engineering in India and went on to live and work on merchant vessels for the four years, travelling to over 20 countries and working with multiple nationalities.
He lives in Southern California with his family and is passionate about the evolution of data and technology and its impact on global business strategy, international trade policies and people.
VP Manufacturing Operations & Supply Chain
Dr Brandt Skincare
Osmar Rodriguez is an accomplished, results-driven professional with over 30 years of expertise at all levels of global operations and supply chain management. His qualifications include a Postgraduate Degree in International Trade (from Universidad de Santiago de Chile), a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing (both from Universidad Empresarial Siglo XXI, Argentina). His professional career has broadened from management of primarily export & import operations activities through transportation, warehousing, distribution, fiscal policies, product and business development, engineering, manufacturing, third-party contract manufacturing, purchasing and global procurement, strategic planning, finance, marketing, sales, and customer service.
Osmar Rodriguez started his professional career in 1986 when he joined Arcor Group, an Argentinian, vertically-integrated holding company known as the largest hard candy manufacturer in the world as well as the main exporter of confectionery products of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru. Together with Danone, Arcor’s joint venture is also one of the major cookies & crackers companies in South America. During his tenure with Arcor, Osmar Rodriguez held various positions of increasing responsibility until he was appointed VP of Logistics & Operations for the whole Americas Region, moving to Miami in 2002 to occupy said position. In 2006 he left Arcor Group to join Cosmetic Dermatology Inc. d/b/a Dr. Brandt Skincare and has executed his VP of Manufacturing Operations & Supply Chain role since then.
Dr. Paul van der Aar
Director Quality & Innovation
Paul brings 28 years of Heineken production and Quality experience to HEINEKEN USA, as one of the 40 Master Brewers of Heineken globally. After finishing his Ph.D. in Yeast Genetics & Physiology in Amsterdam, he started his career in Heineken R&D. He was for years the ‘Yeast doctor’ within Heineken Global Supply Chain. He gained practical production experience in breweries as Quality Manager and Head Brewer in Shanghai, Panama and Den Bosch breweries. And he was also for several years technological consultant for Heineken for our breweries in South America, the Caribbean and Europe. Before moving to HUSA in the summer of 2013, Paul was Quality Manager of Heineken Nederland Supply, the Dutch breweries which produce all the Heineken beer for the USA, for home country the Netherlands and many other export countries in the world.
Dr. Rong Murphy
Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety
Maple Leaf Farms
Dr. Rong Murphy is the Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety at Maple Leaf Farms, Inc., an America’s leading producer of premium quality duck products. Previously, Dr. Murphy served as the Vice President of Food Safety for McDonald’s (China). Dr. Murphy also served in various capacities to PepsiCo, Cargill, and Campbell Soup Company. Dr. Murphy started her food professional career as a faculty at the University of Arkansas. She is a registered and licensed Professional Engineer. Dr. Murphy received a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering and three M.S. degrees in chemical engineering, food science, and microbiology, respectively.
Ms. Coates is the Executive Director of the Reshoring Institute and the President of Blue Silk Consulting. She is a seasoned executive with an MBA, 25 years’ experience in Supply Chain Management, Operations Management, Project Management and Systems Consulting. Prior to BSC, she was a Senior Director at SAP, the Supply Chain Practice Leader at KPMG Peat Marwick and at Answerthink, and a Regional Manager at Hewlett-Packard. Ms. Coates has consulted with global and domestic clients, VCs and PE firms on operations systems and processes. She has considerable international experience and has worked for extended periods in Asia and Europe. Her experience spans a broad range of industries including High Technology, Software, Chemicals, Health Care, Consumer Products, Industrial Products, Food Distribution, Transportation, Publishing, Retail, Oil and Gas. She has extensive knowledge and experience in manufacturing and outsourcing in Asia, Europe and the US. She has authored an Amazon.com Best Seller book: 42 Rules for Sourcing and Manufacturing in China, 42 Rules for Superior Field Service and is particularly excited about Reshoring Guidebook.
Ms. Coates in a member of the Board of Directors at the University of San Diego Supply Chain Management Institute. She earned a BS in Business at Arizona State University and an MBA at the University of San Diego. She resides in Silicon Valley
Senior Director Strategy & Program Management, Foundry & OSAT Management
Global Chief Operating Officer
Vince Canino is Chief Operating Officer of Smardt Chiller Group, Inc. Mr. Canino has enjoyed more than 18 years working within the energy industry. He held various engineering, marketing, business development and sales leadership roles during 13 years with the General Electric Company. While there he held key leadership roles in the Gas Turbine business, O&M, Long Term Services Agreements and Energy Rentals.
Prior to his current employment, Mr. Canino was a principle at DG Energy Solutions where he focused on development and construction of “inside the fence” co-generation projects and district cooling companies. Most of these roles included developing sales strategies, leading sales teams, securing project financing, and negotiating construction contracts, equipment contracts and long term service agreements. In his immediate past role at Trane as Director, Service and Solutions – West Territory he was responsible for a sales force focused on providing Services and Contracting solutions for Trane’s customers. His successful performance in that position resulted in his recent promotion to Vice President.
Mr. Canino graduated Magna Cum Laude from State University of NY at Binghamton with a Bachelors of Mechanical Technology degree in 1986. In 1989, he received his Masters of Science in Engineering Mechanics from Penn State University, Cum Laude. He currently resides in Southern California.