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NUG Expands Executive Team with New Hires and In-House Promotions


Vertically integrated cannabis company enlists talent with broad experience
to support product development and brand growth

OAKLAND, CA (February 24, 2020) – NUG, one of the premier diversified cannabis companies in California, is expanding its leadership team with both new hires and in-house promotions of veteran professionals with deep experience in the cannabis, craft beer, wine & spirits, cosmetics and wellness spaces: Alissa Berihu, Steve Lilak and Ted Whitney. This staffing announcement comes at a pivotal time, as NUG continues to deepen its footprint in California’s adult-use and medical markets and make forays into new product categories.

“NUG pushed the envelope this past year and progressed our mission to normalize cannabis and bring it to the mainstream, but we are just scratching the surface,” said NUG CEO and Founder Dr. John Oram. “Our new hires bring an expertise and dedication to product and brand innovation that will take our seed to sale company to new heights in 2020 and beyond.”

Alissa Berihu – Director of Product Development: Alissa Berihu brings to NUG two decades of experience in the health and wellness consumer packaged goods marketplace. She is the founding partner and co-formulator of Andalou Naturals, where she launched more than 200 products and guided her start-up through an acquisition by the publicly traded BWX Brands. Among her key accomplishments: engineering the creation of Cannabis Sativa, the first to market hemp stem cell, resulting in the pioneering CannaCell Skincare line. Prior to this, Berihu served as the new product manager for the Shacklee Corporation; and Brand Manager for Zia Natural Skincare. In her new role at NUG, Berihu will oversee the company’s first ever forays into the nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals spaces, including both under the NUG label and through the debut of new brands under the NUG, Inc. umbrella.

Steve Lilak – Director of Sales: Steve Lilak has two decades worth of sales experience, growing both established and start-up cannabis, wine & spirits and retail companies. Lilak has held key executive positions at Southern Wine & Spirits, one of the largest alcohol distributors in the United States, the grocery chain Safeway, and the wine and spirits e-commerce platforms Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Spirits and Vinfolio. Lilak’s expertise in developing teams, securing collaborative industry partnerships and data-driven planning made him a natural fit for the green market, and in 2018 he was named VP of Sales for Jetty Extracts. Lilak then became the Director of Sales for CBD luxury lifestyle brand Toast. Now, as the Director of Sales for NUG, Lilak will spearhead the company’s $30 million in annual sales to over 200 retail and delivery locations across California. 

Ted Whitney – Vice President of Operations: Ted Whitney came on board as NUG’s Sales Director in 2019 and one year since joining the company has been promoted to Vice President of Operations. In his new role, Whitney will foster a symbiotic relationship between the company’s sales and operations teams to spur more product and brand innovation than ever before, as well as further develop NUG’s positive company culture. Before becoming an integral part of NUG, Whitney built his reputation as a seasoned sales professional with deep experience in the craft beer industry. He built out  Avery Brewing Company’s sales program in Boulder, CO. worked as National Sales Director for 21st Amendment in San Francisco, and served as National Sales Director and Partner at Melvin Brewing in Wyoming. During his tenure at each craft brewery, he helped build a national footprint and achieved rapid growth.


About NUG, Inc.

Founded in 2014, NUG, Inc. is a premier, California-licensed, and vertically-integrated cannabis company with significant projected revenue growth based upon its state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, extensive distribution network and award-winning brand. NUG operates the highest volume cannabis extraction facility in California, producing the majority of concentrates, vapes and other infused cannabis products sold in California under the NUG label and other leading brands. Through its own distribution company, NUG products are sold in over 80 percent of the licensed retail dispensaries in California, including NUG stores, offering consumers an unparalleled cannabis retail store experience. Follow NUG on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


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