Professional Leaders – Influencers – Experts
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Sara Gullickson – Chief Executive Officer
As Chief Executive Officer of Item 9 Labs Corp, Sara Gullickson is also the Founder and CEO of Dispensary Permits, a nationally recognized cannabis consulting firm. Established in 2010, Dispensary Permits has secured dozens of cannabis license wins across 13 competitive state markets. One of the nation’s leading consultants for the industry, Gullickson was named one of Herb Magazine’s Top Ten Cannabis Entrepreneurs and Phoenix Business Journal’s Top Forty Under 40 in 2018. She has operational and dispensary opening experience from the East to the West Coast. This year, she was approved for a provisional medical cannabis cultivation and processing license for Strive Wellness of Nevada, LLC, as part owner, Gullickson will serve as Chief Operating Officer of the company.
An industry spokesperson, Gullickson headlined the cannabis tracks at the 2017 Real Estate Wealth Expo in Los Angeles and 2018 Real Estate Wealth Expo in Toronto. Gullickson has also presented at MJBizCon, World Medical Cannabis Conference & Expo, Dispensary Next, Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo, MJAC Investorshub International Conference, Women Grow Leadership Summit, and other national business events. Gullickson also assists new states and countries with their government processes, and has advocated for improved medical cannabis policy at Lobby Days in Washington, D.C, and at the Phoenix Capitol. Gullickson has also worked with clients in South America, Europe, and Australasia to develop their hemp and cannabis programs.
Bryce Skalla – President
As President of Item 9 Labs Corp, Bryce Skalla manages the Company’s day-to-day business operations. Prior to the Airware merger, Mr. Skalla was the co-founder & CEO of Item 9 Labs. As one of the founders and architects of Item 9’s business model, Mr. Skalla was instrumental in establishing Item 9 Labs as one of Arizona’s leading cannabis consulting companies and producers of high quality medical marijuana flower and products over the course of three years. During that period, he designed, developed, and capitalized on strategic opportunities, taking Item 9 from a 1,000 square-foot Caregiver Cultivation warehouse into the highly regulated Arizona Medical Marijuana industry with fifty acres zoned for cultivation.
Previously, Mr. Skalla operated a professional consulting firm focused around business solutions, from advertising and marketing services, to business structure and development. Mr. Skalla’s decision to enter the industry followed a diagnosis with a serious medical condition where he received Interferon, the most accepted medical treatment at the time. During this long and arduous treatment, he experienced firsthand the benefits of medical marijuana, which enabled him to successfully complete his medical regimen. Since this life changing experience, Mr. Skalla has dedicated himself to furthering the education and use of medical cannabis.
Jeffrey I. Rassás – Chief Strategic Officer
As Chief Strategic Officer of Item 9 Labs Corp., Jeffrey Rassás is charged with guiding the Company’s strategic growth. Mr. Rassás is a twenty-year veteran of entrepreneurial ventures and business management. He has extensive experience in funding, leading, developing and performing corporate turnarounds for numerous private and public start-up ventures, across a variety of industries. Previously, Mr. Rassás served as CEO of Airware Holdings Inc., CEO at YCNG and YouChange, and CEO of Global Alerts, a holding company for Earth911.com and Pets911.com.
Prior to these executive-level posts, Mr. Rassás was Co-chairman and CEO of ImproveNet, Inc., which he acquired through a merger in 2002, and later sold to IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI). In addition, Mr. Rassás served as founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of EBIZ Enterprises, a publicly traded Linux solutions provider.
Bobby Mikkelson – Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer of Item 9 Labs Corp., Bobby E. Mikkelsen, 37, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Arizona, received his Bachelors degree in accounting in 2004 from the Eller College of Business, University of Arizona. After graduating from The Eller College of Business Mr. Mikkelsen went on to work as an auditor for Henry & Horne, LLP in Arizona. Moving up the ranks quickly to Audit Manager, Mr. Mikkelsen utilized his analytical thinking and problem-solving skills to implement effective and efficient changes to the audit process as well as add value to the clients he served. Mr. Mikkelsen has worked with a client base that is diverse in both size and industry, working with small non-profits, large government agencies, and medium sized business, including those in health care, mental health, and pharmaceutical industries. After 11 years, in January 2016, Mr. Mikkelsen started his own firm, Mikkelsen CPA, LLC which focuses on serving clients in various industries with accounting, tax, and CFO Solutions. Mr. Mikkelsen is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Sean Dugan – Chief Information Officer
Sean Dugan is a third-generation dairy farmer raised in Chandler, Arizona. Mr. Dugan founded his own farm, Sidewinder Dairy Inc., in Casa Grande, Arizona. Recently, Mr. Dugan petitioned and won an amendment on the zoning laws in Pinal County, Arizona to allow the cultivation of medical marijuana on agriculture properties. Mr. Dugan possesses skills in manufacturing and production, which are strictly regulated under the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO). He is also well-versed on dairy laws in the Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) and the Arizona Administrative Code (A.A.C.). Mr. Dugan became a partner at Item 9 labs where the cultivation facility is now located. He has been instrumental in working with governing agencies including environmental groups to ensure this Medical Marijuana Facility is respectful and compliant with local, state and federal regulations.
Maxime Kot – Medical Marijuana Consultant and Planner
Maxime Kot is a marijuana business consultant at a national cannabis consulting firm, Dispensary Permits, that offers seed to sale services with hands on support to marijuana entrepreneurs. Maxime has assisted clients through competitive business licensing processes to obtain Cultivation, Manufacturing and/or Dispensary permits in nine different states.
Ann Torrez – Medical Marijuana Industry Consultant
In 2014, Ann Torrez entered the cannabis industry as a Dispensary Manager in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2015, Ann joined a cannabis infusion to create an educational program alongside an effective marketing program to penetrate commerce within Arizona. In 2017, Ann joined Dispensary Permits to provide additional insight and hands-on knowledge to the team.
Faith Fidura, Marijuana Advocate and Passionate Marketer
Passionate about the health benefits of marijuana, Faith Fidura enjoys working at Dispensary Permits to assist people with the process of establishing a business which provides medical marijuana to those who need it.
Christopher Wolven – Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Item-9 Labs Corp., Mr. Wolven provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the company has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, people and systems in place to effectively grow the organization and ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. Mr. Wolven is a 24-year restaurant industry expert, his extensive experience as a Regional Brand Chef with Fox Restaurant Concepts earned him world-class skills in analysis, strategy, and management. His time with Fox Restaurant Concepts found him working in a multi-unit, operational role, planning and executing successful, scaled business models. In that time, Mr. Wolven efficiently navigated the heavily regulated restaurant industry by adhering to regulations regarding the Health Department, OSHA, and cash management procedures. He was responsible for operations and food development for seven of the 15 brands under Fox Restaurant Concepts, spanning ten locations with over 1,000 employees. He oversaw creative development, financial planning, operational wellbeing, as well as the building and implementation of systems. Mr. Wolven participated in over 60 restaurant openings across 13 states, and his region regularly brought in over $50 million in annual revenue. Through data analysis and strategic planning, he has time and time again lead ambitious teams to successfully write and implement some of the best business models in the restaurant industry.