Australis Capital announced that Mr. Jon Paul will no longer serve as the Company's CFO, effective immediately. Mr. Paul has agreed to act in an advisory capacity during a transitionary period. The Company has found a replacement in Mr. Derrek Higgins, who will be joining the Company as a special advisor, effective immediately. Mr. Higgins is expected to be appointed CFO upon Board approval, which is anticipated for early to mid-January.
Hanoz Kapadia, Chairman of the Company, commented, "We want to thank Jon for his efforts for the Company over the past couple of years and wish him well with his future endeavors. We are grateful he has agreed to serve as an advisor while we transition this leadership role. We are very pleased to have been able to secure the services of Derrek Higgins, who comes with an exceptional industry track record, which includes CFO positions with major cannabis companies, such as Glass House Brands and FLRish/Harborside. His background in leading the finance function, as well as his proven track record in fundraising, are key skills that we believe will greatly benefit AUDACIOUS going forward as we execute our growth strategy."
Derrek Higgins has more than 20 years of public and private company financial expertise in preparing venture-backed startups for public listings, representing shareholders, and implementing comprehensive profitability and working capital plans. Derrek has held various key roles throughout his career, including most recently as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Glass House Group, where he utilized his comprehensive financial, operational, public markets, and cannabis industry experience to take the Company public and to drive profitability and scale as a leader in the rapidly evolving global cannabis market.
Prior to Glass House Group, Derrek served as the CFO and Board member of FLRish Inc., the parent company of Harborside Inc., one of the oldest, largest, and most respected cannabis operators in the world. At FLRish/Harborside, Higgins led the completion of Harborside's reverse takeover of FLRish, Inc., recapitalized the business, and implemented public reporting frameworks, accounting policies, and operational transformation initiatives across Harborside, its subsidiaries, and controlled entities.
Prior to FLRish/Harborside, Higgins served as a consultant for The Brenner Group LLC, where he provided CFO advisory services to venture-backed startups and mid-size companies, developed and executed strategic plans, raised capital, and managed shareholder representation. Derrek also served as a strategic consultant at Alvarez & Marsal, a global professional services firm where he worked in turnaround management and performance improvement of large, high-profile businesses both in the U.S. and internationally, providing critical assistance to companies in crisis situations and helping to stabilize financial and operational performance by developing and implementing comprehensive profitability and working capital plans.
Higgins holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Arizona State University and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business, and a CPA (inactive) in California.
Mr. Higgins commented, "I look forward to joining AUDACIOUS, a company with amazing assets in New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere. I believe these assets provide a unique and differentiated foundation to accelerate growth from. The team is always a key consideration when assessing new opportunities, and the AUDACIOUS team has proven over the years that they are among the elite in the cannabis industry. The knowledge and capabilities represented by them and the Company's partners, as well as the asset base, made it easy to decide to join and help AUDACIOUS reach the next level in its development."
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