Schwazze has announced changes to its executive leadership team in preparation for its growth initiatives in Colorado and New Mexico.
Todd Williams, who has been acting as a Senior Advisor & Consultant for Mergers & Acquisitions and Real Estate, will become EVP, M&A and Real Estate. Williams has been a key member of the Schwazze Executive Leadership Team in an advisory capacity for the past three years and joins the Schwazze team as a full-time employee to continue his focus on M&A and real estate. Williams joins Schwazze in a period of significant organic and new acquisition growth for the Company. He is a seasoned veteran with more than 25 years of experience in business development, mergers and acquisitions, and asset valuation. Previously, Williams was Vice President of Corporate Development at Albertsons, Inc., where he managed the acquisition of more than 1,600 operating grocery stores with more than $40 billion in sales and $10 billion in transaction value, as well as divesting 168 stores with over $3 billion in sales.
Steve Pear is moving from head of the New Mexico division to become President of the Wholesale Division, responsible for leading the Company's wholesale sales and marketing efforts. As a newly created role within the Company's Executive Leadership Team, Pear's focus will shift to optimizing our commercial footprint on a national scale while driving our core brands to the next level. He has been instrumental in leading the New Mexico team since the R.Greenleaf acquisition was completed in February of 2022. While Pear is stepping away from his role in New Mexico, he has positioned the team for continued success as Schwazze expands further in the New Mexico market. Reporting directly to Pear in his new role will be Jeremy Bullock (VP, Commercial Sales) and Julie Suntrup (VP, Corporate Marketing & Brands).
Replacing Pear in New Mexico is Ken Diehl as President of the New Mexico Division. Diehl is a highly accomplished retail industry operations, merchandising, and marketing professional with 30 years of experience overseeing billions in annual revenue, leading retail teams, improving spending, and increasing profitability. He has an impressive history of growing Fortune 500 companies' sales as well as profits. Diehl brings to Schwazze grocery retail experience with Kroger, Albertsons, Jewel Osco, A&P, and Strack & Van Til, holding the roles as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Merchant, Chief Operator and Chief Marketer. Most recently, Diehl was Chief Merchant for Leslie's Pool Supplies while also helping to project lead an IPO in specialty retail. Diehl studied at Arizona State University as well as Cornell University before leaving to join the military, where he earned Top Secret clearance as an honored veteran of the United States Navy.
"We are excited to add key, seasoned individuals to our Executive Leadership team as the Company positions itself for growth in 2023 and beyond. Ken Diehl's retail leadership will be key as we grow our New Mexico retail footprint to meet the needs of our customers, and Steve Pear's transition to Schwazze's wholesale division demonstrates our intent to grow our in-house brands' sales across both states. In addition, I'm happy Todd Williams has chosen to come on board in a full-time capacity to fuel our M&A and organic growth efforts." said Nirup Krishnamurthy, President of Schwazze.
Since April 2020, Schwazze has acquired, opened, or announced the planned acquisition of 41 cannabis retail dispensaries (Star Buds, Emerald Fields, and R.Greenleaf), as well as seven cultivation facilities and two manufacturing plants in Colorado and New Mexico. In May 2021, Schwazze announced its Biosciences division, and in August 2021, it commenced home delivery services in Colorado.
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