Prior to joining MedMen, Mr. Parker was a private equity professional with Leonid Capital and a financial services consulting executive with Alvarez & Marsal. At Leonid, Mr. Parker raised investment capital from high net worth and institutional sources, overseeing deal structures from inception to execution. While at Alvarez & Marsal, he provided executive level financial, operational and strategic management to businesses in dynamic markets including commercial services, manufacturing and technology in public company, private equity and hedge fund environments.
Los Angeles-based cannabis management and investment firm MedMen has added two top executives to its ranks. Kate Denton is MedMen’s new chief marketing officer, and James Parker has joined the Firm’s capital arm as its chief operating officer.
Ms. Denton brings more than a decade of experience overseeing marketing and brands in the consumer goods and entertainment industries for giants like Pepsico, Kraft Foods and Capitol Music Group (CMG), a Universal Music Group company. Ms. Denton is responsible for guiding MedMen’s overall marketing strategy, leveraging its class leading position to expand the brand’s reach into existing and new demographics. She will use her vast experience managing major consumer and entertainment brands to position MedMen at the intersection of culture and commerce.
Mr. Parker is a seasoned financial executive with extensive, high-level experience in strategic overhaul, financial planning and forecasting. He has held senior level positions in the investment and banking sectors, and is a lecturer of Quantitative Finance at California State University, Northridge. Mr. Parker is responsible for planning and overseeing the growth strategy of MedMen’s overall enterprise and its assets.
MedMen currently manages 10 licensed cannabis facilities in the U.S., including seven retail dispensaries. The Firm also raises investment capital for the space. Its first private equity fund generated more than $90 million in projects in less than a year.
The two executives join a growing roster of top talent at the Firm, which has gone from 15 employees at the end of 2015 to more than 200 workers today. In recent months, MedMen also has hired Zeeshan Hyder as its vice president of investments and Stéphanie Van Hassel as its director of investor relations. Mr. Hyder brings nearly a decade of experience evaluating transactions for the likes of Citigroup, and The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. Mr. Hyder holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business and most recently was a vice president at private equity First Beverage Ventures. Ms. Van Hassel has a decade of experience in investor relations, most recently as co-head of investor services at New York-based Atlantic Investment Management.
“We are only as good as the people who work here,” said MedMen Co-Founder and Chief Executive Adam Bierman. “If we are going to mainstream marijuana we need more than just cannabis experts, we need top talent from every field. That has always been our recruiting philosophy.”
Prior to joining MedMen, Ms. Denton was senior vice president at CMG where sherevolutionized the way the music industry interacts with consumer brands. She led an initiative that secured brand alliances for artists like Katy Perry, Halsey and Lil Yachty, among others. As a senior executive at Pepsico, she reenergized household brands like Gatorade and Tropicana, and at Kraft Foods she oversaw a long line of brands including Cool Whip and Taco Bell.