- RWB appointed Chris Ecken as the new CFO effective October 2021
- Ecken will lend over 25 years of experience from the alcohol beverage industry, helping RWB to shape sustainable long-term growth
- RWB also announced Colby De Zen’s appointment to its board of directors
- He will be integral to RWB’s move to close critical assets in Michigan and expedite expansions in Florida, California, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oklahoma
- RWB also completed Platinum Vape LLC. (“PV”) management transition, with the addition of Shea Alderete, Joaquin Rodriguez and Craig Rosevear to its management
- RWB plans to bank on growing demand in Michigan and California to scale up production of PV vape carts
Red White & Bloom Brands (CSE: RWB) (OTCQX: RWBYF) has announced the appointment of two new members to its team: Christopher Ecken and Colby De Zen. Experienced financial executive Chris Ecken becomes the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), while strategic investor and entrepreneur Mr. Colby De Zen becomes the company’s newest board member. The move is being made to strengthen the executive team and its board.
Mr. Ecken brings over 25 years of experience in executive finance at Brown-Forman, an NYSE-listed player in the alcohol beverage industry and a producer of some of the world’s most recognizable alcohol brands, including Jack Daniels(R), Herradura(R) and Woodford Reserve(R) (https://ibn.fm/wP3QF).
“We welcome Chris Ecken as a key addition to the breadth and depth of our management team. His extensive experience as a financial executive will be a tremendous asset,” noted Brad Rogers, the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of RWB.
“His rise through the ranks and track record of accomplishments at each level is testament to his financial acumen, visionary leadership and strategic mindset. We anticipate his specialized skills will help shape sustainable long-term growth, the shift to cannabis industry safe banking, and an upward trajectory toward a listed exchange for Red White & Bloom,” he added.
Throughout his career, Ecken has championed the global revenue management initiative focused on creating sustainable growth. He is also known for his push for the full implementation of international and regional restructuring and leading a cultural mindset shift away from standard budgeting and reporting, instead focusing on continuous planning, actionable business insights, and data-driven analytics.
While confirming his appointment, Ecken noted, “I’m looking forward to leveraging my extensive experience within the spirits industry as I lead Red White & Bloom’s finance organization during this exciting time of growth for the company and the cannabis industry overall.”
Mr. Colby De Zen’s addition to RWB’s board of directors will be effective upon completion of any regulatory or other requirements as applicable (https://ibn.fm/VReeV). As one of the managing directors of De Zen Family Office, a corporation responsible for deploying significant capital in the public and private sectors, RWB is confident that De Zen will lend his vast operational and executive management expertise to the company. This will help with the company’s growth and the achievement of both short-term and long-term goals.
De Zen currently serves as Vice President of Trunkeast Investment, an enterprise with more than 2,000 employees and over $1 billion in annualized revenue. He is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, with a focus on operational efficiency, mergers and acquisitions (“M&A”) activities, as well as cost management.
“I believe that RWB is at an inflection point where substantial shareholder value can be created through continued operational efficiency and execution of RWB’s plans for growth. I am looking forward to working with Brad, and the team, as RWB turns the corner on a number of strategic initiatives,” noted De Zen.
Brad Rogers expressed his enthusiasm for De Zen’s appointment and the strong relationship that RWB has with the De Zen group. He reckoned that the appointment comes at the right time given that the company is preparing to close on critical assets in Michigan while also expediting expansions in Florida, California, Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts and Oklahoma.
“Their (De Zen Group) strategic involvement and support have been instrumental to Red White & Bloom Brands’ growth. We are excited to have Colby join the team and look forward to working together,” Rogers added.
RWB also announced the completion of an agreement for the transition of the management at its Platinum Vape, LLC (“PV”). RWB also announced having settled all additional PV acquisition purchase price consideration and redeemed a total of $5 million in convertible debentures that were previously convertible at $0.57 per share (https://ibn.fm/Yn2Pm).
This management transition saw the addition of three new faces, including Shea Alderete and Joaquin Rodriguez, both of whom would serve as Co-General Managers of RWB California’s day-to-day operations. In addition, Craig Rosevear would be the new RWB West US Regional Controller.
While making the announcement, Brad Rogers noted, “We know how valuable each and every member of our company is to our continuing success. In this time when so many companies are struggling to attract and retain their staff, we are proud to welcome our new team members, congratulate the existing RWB management team members who have taken on expanded roles, and thank all members of our team for their dedication and hard work as we continue to drive growth of both PV and overall results in each state.”
RWB estimates that in November, production of PV vape carts will increase to over 450,000, a projection that has made expansion of the PV brand a top priority. Michigan and California are proving to be the two vital promising markets pushing for this growth, prompting focus on PV and streamlining its operations.
The agreement between the former PV owners and RWB entailed the former’s resignation as directors and officers from all RWB entities and waiving any further considerations regarding potential earn-out that formed part of the original purchase consideration. This was initially recorded as a $7.5 million liability on the company’s financial statement, $5 million of which was redeemed in convertible debentures at $0.57 per share, coupled with the private purchase of $10 million of convertible debentures.
“Platinum Vape experienced unprecedented growth over the last couple of years, and our acquisition of PV last year was a watershed event for RWB. In addition to the current changes, we expect the further transition for management of the PV segment into a state-specific focus will allow for the expansion of the brand to each state in which RWB operates, while facilitating compliance for the regulatory and marketing nuances that are unique to each jurisdiction,” noted Brad Rogers.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.RedWhiteBloom.com.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to RWBYF are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/RWBYF
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