Management

 

Charles Smith // Director, President and Chief Executive Officer

 

Charles “Chuck” Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer for USA Inc., the parent company of the Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, as well as Therabis, and Aceso Wellness, two of the leading hemp supplement brands. As one of two original founders of USA Inc., Chuck helped the company grow from a “garage operation” to a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility that was the first-of-its-kind for the marijuana industry.

 

Prior to building USA Inc. and the Dixie brand, Chuck was President of Bella Terra Realty Holdings where he oversaw all aspects of the Bella Terra Resort Development Company. He was also President of Sagebrush Realty Development and responsible for developing, selling and managing residential condominium projects valued at over $85 million in revenues.

 

Chuck has over twenty-five (25) years of experience in a variety of industries. He has a strong financial background, holding the position of Chief Financial Officer for a mid-sized retail apparel chain and has built and managed sales and marketing teams for private and publicly traded technology companies.

 

Chuck has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Smith is married and lives in Denver, Colorado. He actively participates in a wide variety of philanthropic organizations and is an avid golfer.

CJ Chapman // General Counsel, Secretary
C. J. Chapman joined Dixie as its General Counsel on June 18, 2018. C. J. received his A.B. in politics from Princeton University and his J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Prior to joining Dixie, he directed a single family office based in New York with respect to structure, operations and legal issues. C. J. spent his entire private practice at Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, LLP in the real estate and corporate departments. He practiced at Brownstein from 2006 through 2017 and was a partner from 2013 through 2017.

 

His practice focused on the acquisition, disposition, financing, leasing and development of various commercial real estate assets, including apartment and office buildings, sports complexes, hotels, shopping centers, and vacant land. In addition, C.J. advised various companies on corporate matters, including partnership agreements, formation of entities and general corporate governance. C.J. served as outside general counsel to one of the nation’s largest cattle feed manufacturers advising them on all corporate matters, including partnership agreements and corporate finance.

James Feehan // Interim CFO
James Feehan is Dixie Brands’ interim Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Feehan brings more than 30 years of experience in accounting, finance and taxation to the company. His experience includes financial reporting, budgeting, banking and investor relations, tax compliance review and staff supervision.

 

Mr. Feehan began his career within the audit group at Coopers & Lybrand, an International CPA firm, in 1981. During his eight-year tenure, Mr. Feehan worked with both publicly and privately held entities in the areas of taxation and attestation, rising to a supervisory position in the audit and tax departments. Subsequent to his tenure at Coopers & Lybrand, he has held the position of CFO and controller for a number of privately held entities and also provided financial consultation for numerous individuals and start-up entities. In 2002 he founded CFO Advisory Group, a consulting firm providing CFO/controller services to small and medium sized companies.

 

Mr. Feehan has a B.Sc. in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney, and a Master of Taxation from the University of Denver. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and is a board director of a local community bank and is currently its audit chairman.  

 

Board of Directors

 

Charles Smith // Director
Charles “Chuck” Smith is the President and Chief Executive Officer for USA Inc., the parent company of the Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, as well as Therabis, and Aceso Wellness, two of the leading hemp supplement brands. As one of two original founders of USA Inc., Chuck helped the company grow from a “garage operation” to a 27,000 square foot state-of-the-art, vertically integrated manufacturing facility that was the first-of-its-kind for the marijuana industry.

 

Prior to building USA Inc. and the Dixie brand, Chuck was President of Bella Terra Realty Holdings where he oversaw all aspects of the Bella Terra Resort Development Company. He was also President of Sagebrush Realty Development and responsible for developing, selling and managing residential condominium projects valued at over $85 million in revenues.

 

Chuck has over twenty-five (25) years of experience in a variety of industries. He has a strong financial background, holding the position of Chief Financial Officer for a mid-sized retail apparel chain and has built and managed sales and marketing teams for private and publicly traded technology companies.

 

Chuck has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the Owen Graduate School at Vanderbilt University. Mr. Smith is married and lives in Denver, Colorado. He actively participates in a wide variety of philanthropic organizations and is an avid golfer.

Hugo Alves // Director
Hugo Alves is the President of Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSX-V: XLY) and widely regarded as one of Canada’s leading advisors in the cannabis industry, having represented a variety of global industry participants, including licensed producers, licensed producer applicants, licensed dealers, industry associations, e-commerce platforms, seed-to-sale software developers, design and build firms, patient aggregators, equipment manufacturers and distributors, and cannabis branding companies. Prior to joining Auxly, Hugo was a senior corporate and commercial Partner at Bennett Jones LLP where he founded and built the firm’s Cannabis Group and acted as lead counsel in multiple foundational transactions since the creation of the corporate cannabis industry. Widely regarded as a Canadian cannabis industry pioneer, Hugo also sits on the board of directors of the not-for-profit Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana (CFAMM) and has previously acted as a director for various not-for-profits and privately held cannabis companies.

 

Hugo obtained his B.A. from Carleton University and his J.D. from the University of Toronto.

Devin Binford // Director
Mr. Binford is a Managing Member of Acreage Holdings. Mr. Binford is a seasoned finance executive with extensive financing and transaction experience. He has been involved with the legal cannabis industry since 2011, focusing primarily on sourcing, evaluating and investing in licensed dispensaries, cultivation centers, processing facilities, edibles manufacturers, alternative dosage forms companies and real estate.

 

Prior to his role at Acreage Holdings, Mr. Binford worked as a Director in the Investment Banking Division at Tandem Global Partners where he was responsible for analyzing principal and debt investments as well as portfolio management. Before attending Columbia, Mr. Binford was a Manager in the Corporate Finance Group at The Blackstone Group.

 

Presently, Mr. Binford serves on the Board of Directors of USA Inc.

 

Mr. Binford graduated from Columbia University with an MSc in Real Estate Development and concentration in Real Estate Finance; he earned a B.B.A. in Finance and Computer Information Systems from James Madison University.

Brian Graham // Director
Brian Graham served as Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of NIOXIN Research Laboratories, Inc., a global leader in the manufacturing of hair care products. During his tenure from 2003 to 2010, Graham transitioned the company from a privately held regional consumer products business to a dominant global company recently acquired by Procter & Gamble. Under Brian’s leadership, the company’s revenues doubled and its EBITDA increased from US$1M to US$17M. Brian led the company through a rapid profitable growth phase expanding both the company’s product portfolio as well as its geographical reach.

 

After NIOXIN’s acquisition by Procter and Gamble, Brian became a member of the P&G Salon Professional Lead Team. He continued to lead the business and the integration efforts as NIOXIN’s CEO, exceeding acquisition economics by over $20 million and led several key initiatives for the business. As result, Graham received the Platinum Power of You Award from the Division President.

 

In 2010, Graham began investing in a variety of business across many industries. These include, big data, technology, real estate, business services, a multi-family office (Pathstone) and Fleetwood’s on Front Street (Maui) with Mick Fleetwood. In addition, Graham founded Blue Ridge Spirits and served as President of Asheville Distilling Company.

 

In 2014, Graham founded Rise Investments International, a company focused on providing growth equity, debt financing and management resources for closely held businesses ranging from start-ups to mid-cap enterprises. Recent transactions include Hawaii Sea Spirits, PlaySight, USA Inc., Tennis Media Company, and Gozio Inc.

 

In 1992, Graham received his Bachelor of Science degree from Georgia Southern University. He has also attended Executive Programs at the University of Michigan and in 2002 completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard University.

Vincent 'Tripp' Keber, III // Director
As one of two original founders of the Dixie Elixirs and Edibles company, Colorado’s premiere licensed marijuana infused Products manufacturer (MIPS), Tripp Keber is widely hailed as one of the cannabis industry’s indispensable leaders. He presently serves as a consultant to USA Inc. He is also a founding member and current board director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Additionally since 2013, he has served as a Board Member of the Marijuana Policy Project as well as an Advisory Board member of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group in Colorado.

 

Prior to building USA Inc. into a leader in the cannabis industry, Tripp served as Chief Operating Officer for Bella Terra Resort Development Company, and EVP of Business Development for Sagebrush Realty Development.

 

He has a B.S. in Political Science from Villanova University and currently resides in both Aspen and Denver with his family. While he is involved in several charitable organizations located within his community, his greatest philanthropic passion is assisting in the research and development of cannabis support for veterans suffering from PTSD.

Mike Lickver // Director
Mike Lickver is the Executive Vice President of Strategy of Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSX-V: XLY), a vertically integrated Canadian cannabis company. Prior to joining Auxly, Mike was a corporate and commercial lawyer at a large international Bay Street law firm where he co-founded the cannabis practice in 2013 and helped grow it into a global leader. As one of Canada’s leading advisors in the cannabis industry, he has represented a variety of global industry participants and has played a key role in a wide variety of domestic and international corporate and commercial transactions since the inception of the cannabis industry in Canada.

 

Mike speaks frequently at conferences across the globe on topics related to the cannabis industry and, a frequent author to the industry, is also the Canadian Editor of the International Cannabis Law Journal. Mike is also an adjunct professor at Western Law where he teaches “Cannabis Law and Practice”, a course he designed and developed, the first of its kind in Canada. Mike also sits on the board of directors of the Arts and Culture Committee for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and has previously acted as a director for various not-for-profits and privately held cannabis companies.

 

Mike earned Law (J.D.) and MBA degrees from the University of Western Ontario and the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Melvin Yellin // Director
Mr. Yellin is a Founder of Acreage Holdings, a vertically integrated cannabis company licensed in 12 states. He is also currently a director of USA Inc., having previously been a partner at Tandem Global Partners, which was a globally focused money manager that offered investment services to sophisticated institutions and individuals, focusing primarily on alternative investment strategies.

 

Prior to joining Tandem. Mr. Yellin spent the bulk of his career at Bankers Trust Company and was a Partner, Executive Vice President and General Counsel when it merged with Deutsche Bank. He had global responsibility for over 350 professionals and served on the Bank’s Risk Committee, New Business Committee and its Investment Banking Management Committee, which included the significant Venture Capital business.

 

Mr. Yellin was a member of the Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE) Board of Directors (Audit, Compensation and Governance Committees) as well as a director of numerous privately held companies and not-for-profits. Symbol was the world’s premier developer of bar code and RFID software and hardware. Symbol was later successfully sold to Motorola.

 

During his career, Mr. Yellin has acted as chairman, speaker and author for numerous business organization programs including those run by the Conference Board, the NACD, Columbia Business School (ODX) and the Wisconsin School of Business. Mr. Yellin served as the President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and a member of the New York Clearing House GC Committee. He was selected for “Who’s Who in American Law,” The International “Who’s Who of Contemporary Achievement” and the “International Directory of Distinguished Leadership”.