About Us

About Us

Inside every hemp plant is a world of untapped potential. We transform science into groundbreaking advances in cannabinoid production technologies. Our mission is to make purer and safer hemp products for everyone to enjoy.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

President and Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Hanny Kanafani is the President and COO of Trait Biosciences USA. Hanny has over 25 years of experience participating and creating corporate business strategies, and in leading Technical and Business teams towards delivery. Hanny has led US-based and global teams for packaged foods/beverages, food service, and flavors and ingredient-systems industries. His leadership in research & product commercialization, P/L management and development and people capability has delivered notable results in many US and global markets. Hanny holds a Ph.D. in Food Science / Microbiology from the University of Illinois.
Chief Financial Officer
Jay has over three decades of senior finance and operations management experience spanning Ag Tech, Fintech, digital marketplaces and display advertising. He has spearheaded two very successful investor buyouts. He received his bachelor degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Chief Legal Counsel
David has nearly 20 years of corporate and securities law experience, providing legal services for financing private and public companies. He serves as director of numerous capital pool companies listed for trading on the TSX-Venture Exchange in Canada. David advises CEOs on their financing and business strategies and provides corporate, commercial and securities legal counsel. He received a bachelor degree in environmental studies from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia.

SCIENCE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ADVISORY BOARD

Fellow, Trait Plant & Environmental Scientist
Francisco Omar Holguin obtained his Ph.D in Plant and Environmental Science at New Mexico State University where he is currently an Associate Professor. Omar has an extensive background in plant research where he supports the development of renewable energy and co-products from algae. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D, Omar was employed as a Laboratory Director/Research Chemist at NMSU. In this role he successfully managed an FDA-funded lab which provided crucial data for developing and implementing analytical methods for toxin screening in foods. In addition to his current fellowship role with Trait, Omar educates fellow researchers and students on utilizing current methods and developing novel methods for the quantitative analysis of metabolites and proteins in plants, animals, and microorganisms.
Advisor Intellectual Property
Dr. Kerr is an intellectual property lawyer partner with Berg Hill Greenleaf Ruscitti, LLP, and serves as special advisor overseeing Trait Bioscience’s US and International intellectual property portfolio. In addition to his work with Trait Biosciences, Dr. Kerr’s legal practice is engaged in advising private and institutional capital funds that focus on the Cannabis industry. Dr. Kerr has joint JD/MBA and graduate degrees in the molecular biosciences.
Advisor - Cosmetics, Chemistry Formulations
Alisa has 10+ years of experience designing, researching and developing products in the cosmetic chemistry industry. She's been a pioneer in the natural ingredient movement since 2010 encouraging consumers and producers in the market to expect and use healthier ingredients in today's products. She brought to market one of the first stem cell products in 2013 and was part of the birth of the stem cell revolution. She currently specializes in the Hemp and Cannabis CBD markets with a vast network in the industry. She has since created, and developed hundreds of products in the cosmetic space, working as a consultant for many household brands around the world. Alisa is an American-born biochemist with a bachelor's degree from California State University and is currently operating in the North American and Asia Pacific markets. She remains an active member of the Cosmetic Chemistry Society.

STRATEGIC BUSINESS ADVISORY BOARD

Keith currently serves as a management consultant following three decades of executive leadership in numerous multinational CPG organizations. Prior to this, he served as President of the Mars Wrigley’s Global Business Development division where he led the multibillion-dollar acquisition and integration of KIND Snacks and previously served as President of Royal Canin USA, a global manufacturer of premium dog and cat nutrition. Earlier he served as Anheuser-Busch Chief Marketing Officer with responsibility for the largest portfolio of beer brands in North America. Keith is an advisory board member to the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University in St. Louis, MO.
Pete currently serves as President of Bacardi North America, the world’s largest privately held spirits company. He is a proven leader in driving business performance for industry-leading companies within the spirits, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverage industries. Prior to joining Bacardi, Pete was Executive Vice President for Glazer’s Distributors, one of the country’s largest beverage alcohol distributors. Earlier in his career he held various senior management roles with Diageo, including President of U.S. Spirits, President of Guinness (DGUSA) and previous leadership roles within the energy drinks and wine industries.
Auroni serves as Vice President, Strategy and Business Development at International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF). His leadership is focused on creating top/bottom line value through the development and sale of integrated product solutions or combinatorial product derivatives based on IFF’s traditional ingredient portfolio. Prior to this role, Auroni led enterprise-wide R&D Strategy and Portfolio Management as well as technology and capability scouting for the organization. Preceding his tenure at IFF, Auroni spent 10 years at PepsiCo in various roles focused on front-end technology development and product commercialization; while in this role he commercialized over 40 new products for Starbuck’s $2+ billion RTD business in North America.
Former Scientific Affairs Director for GW Pharmaceuticals, a world leader in the development of cannabinoid therapeutics and creator of Epidiolex®, the first FDA-approved cannabidiol therapy drug. Currently COO of Alinova Biosciences Ltd, with 30 years’ experience in bioscience and pharmaceutical pre-clinical and clinical development as well as specific expertise in the development of cannabinoid-based medicines.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ronan is co-founder of Grassfed Ventures Inc., a private equity and advisory firm focused on the cannabis and biotechnology industries. He has served as Senior Vice President, Business and Corporate Affairs at Aurora Cannabis Inc., which he joined after Aurora acquired CanvasRx Inc. in 2016, a company Ronan co-founded. Ronan also serves on the Board of Directors of Province Brands.
Director
Mr. Rosenthal serves as the General Counsel and Principal at Gotham Green Partners. David is actively involved in investment, exit, and fund structuring as well as legal strategy and operations. Before joining Gotham Green, David spent six years as an associate in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis. David has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and JD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Director
Mr. Garbowski currently serves as Investment Director at Btomorrow Ventures (BTV) and has served in a number of leadership roles with British American Tobacco. His previous roles include serving as Senior Manager Mergers & Acquisitions and Head of Commercial Finance. Lukasz holds an LLM from the University of Warsaw and an MBA from Harvard Business School.