FOUNDER AND CEO
Entrepreneur, investor, and business operator. Former General Manager for StrayLight Farms, one of the State’s largest cannabis cultivation operations. In 2016, advice from the former Mayor Los Angeles saw DiVito head north to California’s Central Valley with a plan to focus on cannabis economic development – locating cities and communities that needed education, jobs, and community development that could benefit from cannabis. Despite many communities having commercial cannabis bans in place and, in some cases, hostility towards the industry, DiVito travelled the State lobbying for education, change and growth through his ‘Cannabis Campus Model’ – a model that was later adopted into the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) in June, 2017. In September 2017, DiVito’s profile in the industry rose sharply as he convinced big-ag to invest in cannabis, securing a $51 Million commitment from one of the country’s largest organic farming families to invest in cannabis cultivation. This was a landmark deal and marked big-ag’s first serious investment into cannabis and will have a huge impact on the future development of the industry. In 2018, DiVito was promoted to the Board of International Hemp Solutions (IHS) and BIJA Seed, North America’s largest importer of certified seed from Europe. DiVito is helping IHS expand to new markets, new clients and new product lines as they expand into full service manufacturing. DiVito founded Element 7 in 2018 with a focus on early-stage cannabis licensing development through education and economic development policy.
CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER
Amber joined the Element 7 team to head its compliance and regulatory affairs division in 2018 and has quickly proven to be one of the key executives in the company. In her current role, Amber oversees regulatory compliance, licensing and project management. Having won over 25 licenses for clients in California and submitting applications in over 8 US States, she specializes in writing and implementing Standard Operating Procedures across all aspects of the industry. Amber was born and raised in Pasadena and is active in the local community and cannabis industry – she is a member of NORML, Minorities in Cannabis Business Association and WomenGrow, a female focused industry group expanding female representation in the cannabis industry. Amber previously worked with the Attorney General’s Office in Miami before joining the cannabis industry.
Lynne Lyman was one of the central figures responsible for cannabis legalization in California, named in the Top 100 most influential people in cannabis nationwide, as well as in the Top 5 in Los Angeles. Having spent over five years as the California State Director for the Drug Policy Alliance, Lynne’s vision, strategy and exceptional organizing skills helped propel the state to gain critical mass throughout 2016 resulting with 57% of Californians voting Yes on Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, permanently changing the landscape for cannabis in the sixth largest economy in the world, while reducing or eliminating most cannabis crimes, including retroactively. Lynne’s work at Drug Policy Alliance did not start or stop with cannabis. Among other major drug policy reforms secured in her 5 year tenure, Lynne led the successful 2014 effort to equalize the penalties for crack and powder cocaine under California law. Lynne continues her work to advance criminal justice reform and cannabis equity as a consultant in Los Angeles. Lynne has held positions with local, state and federal governments in California and Massachusetts, in addition to managing over a dozen political campaigns for candidates in California, Massachusetts, and Colorado. Ms. Lyman, who is fluent in Spanish, has worked on political campaigns in Central America and addressed the Mexican Congress on cannabis policy. Lynne received her M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2001, where her graduate work focused on the criminal justice system and leadership. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from UC Berkeley in 1996.
LICENSING & REGULATORY DIRECTOR
Elicia Terry is one of Element 7’s key Licensing Directors and oversees the team’s State Licensing needs, ensuring that Element 7 is exceeding State requirements where possible, and at the forefront of industry best-practices across product management, security, inventory, consumer safety, education, product handling, and environmental issues.
CHIEF RETAIL OFFICER
Mark Malatesta 30 years of traditional ‘big box’ retail understanding and experience to the Element 7 team, and 15 years of cannabis retail knowledge and operations as an owner and operator of ShowGrow (Santa Ana). At Kohl’s, Mark was responsible for the management and operations of 1,400 stores in North America. He’s worked for Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Macy’s, Guess Jeans, and Levi’s during his extensive retail career and is one of the industry’s most experienced and accomplished retail executives. Mark has been involved in the cannabis industry since 2009 operating legal medical compassion dispensaries, cultivation operations, and distribution networks. He is well respected across the industry and is extremely passionate about his staff and customers.
SCIENCE AND R&D ADVISOR
Tim Gordon became President at CBDRx and Functional Remedies in 2017 and is now serving as Chief Science Officer for the Company. Born and raised in Canada in a Cannabis farming community, Tim’s love for sustainable cannabis farming is only eclipsed by his love for the cannabis plant. Tim oversees hemp operations and the Functional Remedies product division. Tim has developed an aggressive cannabis breeding program, an industry leading agricultural operation, and state of the art laboratory and production facility. Tim serves as a technical adviser on the board of the National Hemp association and is also President of the Colorado Hemp Industries Association. Tim has written and researched the cannabis plant for nearly 20 years and has been highlighted in news programs and in magazines and periodicals. Functional Remedies is the world’s leader in cannabinoid hemp production and CBD enhanced nutraceuticals, while leading the way in eco-sustainable hemp farming.
Dr. Efthimia Vasiliadis
PHARMACEUTICAL PRACTICES ADVISOR
Efthimia holds a Doctorate Degree in Pharmacology (2002-2004), a Bachelors of Science in Pharmaceutical Studies (2000-2002), and a Bachelors of Science in Molecular Cell Biology, all from the prestigious University of Connecticut. She brings almost unmatched experience as a retail pharmacist and has worked for CVS Pharmacy Inc., for 17 years (2002 – 2019), and the Stop and Shop Pharmacy Group for a year (2019). Her unique skillsets filing and processing prescriptions, operating under highly regulated State and Federal Laws, counseling patients, collaborating with physicians and insurance companies, managing inventory, and addressing workflow issues, are invaluable to Element 7 as we focus on being the most compliant, controlled, and regulated cannabis retail operator in California.
CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER
Sheila received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law and has been a practicing attorney since 2012. Before studying law, she studied at the University of Michigan, graduating with an Honors degree in History and English. She served as an Associate Attorney for three years before setting up her legal practice and specializes in contract law, financing projects and M&A. At Element 7, Sheila oversees all legal contracts, commercial agreements, alliances, and partnerships. Sheila is also leading our efforts to continuously upgrade our data management, compliance and risk management efforts.
HEAD OF GLOBAL OPERATIONS
Josh is a former Marketing Director with PepsiCo, managing Tropicana, Aquafina and Gatorade brand launches in over a dozen markets globally. He is the former CEO for WPP’s (world’s largest media and marketing services holding company) content and entertainment business. He is a published author, was named in the media industries “40 Under 40” in 2016 and manages Element 7’s commercial, marketing, talent and training, and licensing functions. Black has written and won over 50 license applications in North America, is a co-founder of CT3 (worlds first CBD beverage for traumatic brain injury), and Daily Hemp Co which is sold on Amazon.
FIRE SAFETY ADVISOR
Larry Frogoso was born and raised in Tracy, CA. In 1974 he began his fire fighting career, working for the City for 23 years with the Tracy Rural Fire District. In 1999 he returned to the City of Tracy Fire Department as a Battalion Chief and retired as a Division Chief in May of 2005. He presently operates a small R.V. park in Oroville and joins the Element 7 team as a strategic advisor on all aspects of fire safety, processes, and site design with 29 years experience.