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Team Bios

Experts across the full value chain

Board of Directors

Pete Gunning

Peter Gunning

Comm, CPA, GAICD

Chairman

As a senior business leader for over 20 years, Peter has spent the majority of his career in senior ‘C suite’ roles including as VP and regional CFO of major FMCG companies including Mars Petcare, Chocolate and Food, and Beam Suntory beverages. Peter was also Managing Director for the Oceania region with Beam Suntory, Group CFO and COO for leading healthcare player GenesisCare and Chief Operating Officer for Merivale Group. Peter is currently Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer at Bright Food Global Holdings.

Peter has outstanding commercial acumen and a strong Asia Pacific perspective having built his career in Australia and then lived abroad in Japan and Singapore for 7 years from 2007. Peter graduated from the Australian National University in 1990 and is a Certified Practicing Accounting (CPA) having been a member since 1995. Peter is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), the leading organisation in Australia providing leadership on director issues and promoting excellence in governance.​

Josh

Joshua Dennis

B.Eng (Civil)

Director & Chief Executive Officer

Joshua is the Founder and CEO of CannaPacific. Josh has a wealth of knowledge in the cannabis industry and has been instrumental in developing partnerships in Australia and abroad.

Joshua’s background is as a civil and structural engineer, where he has two decades of experience providing planning and project management to the construction of many thousands of buildings and developments throughout Australia and South East Asia.

In FY18 prior to CannaPacific, Joshua delivered over 700 projects alone with a construction value of over $800 million. This civil engineering background has been invaluable in purchasing and retrofitting CannaPacific’s north coast facility.

Tim Bowser

Tim Bowser

B.Sc (Chem) MRACI CChem

Executive Director & Chief Science Officer

Tim heads the manufacturing and research for CannaPacific drawing on his wealth of knowledge in controlled substance manufacturing, business development and R&D.

Tim Bowser retired in 2018 from his role as Head of Australian Operations for Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Australia’s Controlled Substances Division. Tim has over 35 years of professional experience working in diverse roles including Site Director for GlaxoSmithKline’s Controlled Substances manufacturing facility and Head of R&D and Business Development. Tim led major R&D projects and capital expansion programs including the development, design and implementation of an award winning $20million Pharmaceutical API manufacturing plant and a $25million Medicinal actives extraction facility. In 2013-15 Tim completed a stint as a GSK Industrial Placement Fellow at the University of York advancing R&D projects in molecular biology and genetics for improving the productivity of medicinal actives in plants, developing large scale selective extraction technology as well as applications of Pharmaceutical Industrial Biotechnology. Tim is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Mike Fay

Dr Michael Fay

MBChB, FRACP, FRANZCR, PhD

Executive Director & Chief Medical Officer

Dr Fay is a dual trained Medical and Radiation Oncologist who specialises in neuro-oncology, stereotactic radiosurgery, thoracic and gastrointestinal oncology. He is currently completing his PhD on integrating advanced imagery into brain tumour treatment.

Dr Fay has carried out extensive research with a particular focus on brain tumours and the development of new imaging and treatment techniques and is the principal investigator in a number of international cancer trials and collaborations with Canada, the UK and Germany. Dr Fay has published extensively on both lung and neuro-oncology and alongside his commitment to research, he is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland and a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle. He is also an active member of ASCO, ASTRO and COGNO and on the editorial board of The Journal of Translational Lung Cancer Research.

Aaron Pickett

Aaron Pickett

LLB (Hons) & B-Com, GAICD

Executive Director

As General Counsel & Company Secretary of leading healthcare services provider GenesisCare for nearly 9 years (until May 2019), Aaron played a key role in growing the business from a fragmented group of localised businesses in Australia with earnings of ~A$25m in FY10, to the largest private cancer provider in each of Australia, the UK and Spain with earnings of ~A$150m in FY18 (and estimated market capitalisation of A$3B+). Across that time, GenesisCare completed more than 20 acquisitions in 3 countries, were awarded more than a dozen major PPPs, had 3 different major investors (including KKR, China Resources Group and Macquarie Capital), and completed 6 major debt refinancings, all of which Aaron played a lead role in.

Prior to GenesisCare, Aaron completed more than 5 years of post-qualification corporate law experience at some of the world’s leading law firms Allen & Overy (London) and Herbert Smith Freehills (Sydney). Like Peter, Aaron is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).​

Dean

Dean Kavanagh

B. CompSci, MBA, GAICD

Non-Executive Director

Dean is Portfolio Manager at the Melbourne based JLIB Investments Pty Ltd, a private investment firm controlled by the Liberman family. In this role, Dean is responsible for overseeing investments in venture capital, private equity and alternative assets. Prior to joining JLIB, Dean was a principal investor in portfolios of online originated consumer credit assets in the US and for 5 years headed up trading at a San Francisco based hedge fund acquiring distressed debt assets from US based financial institutions. Dean started his career as a software engineer developing analytical systems for the financial and healthcare sectors. Dean is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, he holds an MBA from Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Computer Science from Monash University as well as having completed the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst course.

Dean is currently a Non-Executive Director of Lumi Financial Holdings Limited.

Alex Pitt

Alex Pitt

B.Sc. (Comp Sci and Info Systems), MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Alex is our Chief Financial Officer and is also responsible for the Planning and IT functions.   Alex has a passion for making a difference by focusing on what creates value, aligning the team against these value drivers, and creating a consistent rhythm of performance.

Prior to joining CannaPacific Alex was Head of Business Planning at leading healthcare player GenesisCare, which was recognised as the Best Investment in the last 25 Years at the AVCAL Annual Awards in 2018.  Over the last 30 years Alex has worked for blue chip global businesses and high growth businesses, with extensive business experience throughout Asia Pacific.  Alex has worked for over 20 years in Senior Finance, Strategy and Program Management roles in the Healthcare, Consumer Packaged Goods, and Resources sectors.  

Dr Erica Cameron-Taylor

BA, B.Med, FRACGP, FaCHPM

Head Clinical Development

Erica is a Palliative Medicine Specialist with particular interest in supportive oncology practice, aged care and medical education. Her key focus is multidisciplinary health and community-based education to optimise the delivery of patient-focussed, holistic care. Erica has trained in General Medicine, Emergency Medicine, General Practice and Advanced Palliative Medicine.

Erica has been a Staff Specialist in Palliative Medicine Erica is a conjoint lecturer and the lead educator for the Palliative Care curriculum at The University of Newcastle. Erica has been actively involved in key cannabis research, including as lead site investigator, for both the PaCCSC and ImPaCCT clinical studies collaboratives.

Dr Cameron-Taylor contributed to the Facing End of Life manual for the Cancer Council and her book The Palliative Approach: A Resource Book for Healthcare Workers is utilised as a key resource for several allied health, nursing and undergraduate medical courses in Australia, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. She has been actively involved in key cannabis research, including as lead site investigator, for both the PaCCSC and ImPaCCT clinical studies collaboratives.

Simon Ball

Simon Ball

Chief Business Officer

Simon serves as the Chief Business Officer and has more than 17 years of business and management experience within the lifescience industry. In addition to his part time position with CannaPacific Simon is the Managing Director of SMB Capital Ltd, a specialty healthcare advisory practice. Prior to his appointment Simon was the Global Head of Business Development of the Leadiant Biosciences Group (formerly Sigma Tau Group), a position he held since May 2014 – April 2018. He also served as Country General Manager in United Kingdom, Ireland and Nordics in Leadiant Biosciences Ltd.. Between October 2011 and April 2014, he held a number of senior positions within GlaxoSmithKline, initially as Head of Business Development Australia and later as the Head of Business Development for Asia Pacific, North Asia and other developing markets. After collaborating with SR One (GlaxoSmithKline’s corporate venture capital company) whilst serving GlaxoSmithKline, Mr. Ball subsequently spent time providing consulting services to SR One whilst leading a strategic business unit divestment. Prior to this and between July 2004 and October 2011, Simon held several senior positions in the areas of Business Development, Corporate Development and Emerging Markets with Cephalon Inc. (formerly known as Zeneus Pharma Ltd), EUSA Pharma Ltd. (now Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc.) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. Simon obtained his degree in physiology from the University of Leeds. At present Simon holds two board positions, the first with Exelead Inc. a privately held US domiciled CDMO, the second with Lees Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong domiciled, HKEX listed specialty pharmaceutical business.

Prof. Chris Grof

Prof. Chris Grof

PhD (Plant Metabolism)

Head of Plant Science R&D

Professor Christopher Grof completed his PhD in Plant Metabolism at James Cook University. Amongst his many achievements as an eminent Plant Scientist, Christopher spent 5 years in the United Kingdom as a Postdoctoral Fellow, firstly at the Research Institute for Photosynthesis with Professor David Walker and then at the University of Oxford with Professor C.J. Leaver. At the request of the CSIRO, Christopher established a sugarcane molecular physiology program and spent three months at the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) as a visiting Research Fellow. Christopher pioneered the CSIRO entrée into molecular approaches to break through the sucrose accumulation ceiling confronting conventional plant breeding of sugarcane attracting international recognition for the CSIRO.

In 2008, Christopher was appointed Professor of Plant Science at the University of Newcastle. He is the Director of the Centre for Plant Science. Christopher served on the Australian Research Council (ARC) panel of experts and assessed the first tranche of submissions for the Industrial Research and Training Hubs and also the ARC Excellence in Research for Australia committee, 2015.

Tim Ritchie

Tim Ritchie

BSpSc (Hons)

Head of Operations

A general manager with over 18 years’ experience developing and managing start‐up businesses in Australia, Tim has a proven ability to oversee all aspects of business development and administration. His roles include:
Managing Director Graffiti Clean Pty Limited, Sydney NSW 2003 – 2015
General Manager Metro Commercial Pty Limited, Sydney NSW 1998 – 2003
Commercial Property Manager – Sydney
Commercial Asset Manager Rentive Taisai Fudosan, Osaka Japan 1997 – 1998

Thomas Pinn

Thomas Pinn

Head of Digital

20+ years of global healthcare experience in digital technology, technical sales and marketing roles. Previous roles include Group CIO at GenesisCare and CIO at Fresenius Asia Pacific.
Dr Adrian Russell

Dr Adrian Russell

Head of Product Development

17 years professional experience in the pharmaceutical industry across preclinical development, product development and manufacturing specialising in formulation and drug delivery science. As Research Operations Manager with iCeutica in Perth, led a small team that developed three nanoparticle formulations now registered in the US market. Developed an inhaled oxytocin formulation that was awarded overall winner in The Australian newspaper Innovation Challenge 2013.
Scott Blakey

Scott Blakey

B.Sc (Bio)

Cultivation Advisor

Scott Blakey was born in Melbourne, Australia and for the past 30 years has been conducting research, and investigating cloning methods; extraction; plant breeding; educating trading and exhibiting medical cannabis for a multitude of applications.

Scott has studied the cannabis culture in many countries providing meaningful insights into 2000 years of cannabis as a medicine, its various uses and tremendous benefits all over the world.
Scott is residing in Italy and continuing his research.

In 2009 Scott founded CBD Crew, the first scientific breeding company that enriched cannabinoids in cannabis and simultaneously reduced the THC concentration for medicinal purposes. Since then Scott has won a multitude of awards around the world as well as achieved GMP and Novel Food Certification for a variety of his genetics. Over 21 years in Cultivation, production and manufacture of award winning genetics through innovation, genetic stabilisation and proprietary selections.
Featuring GMP certified facilities and products, with operations across Europe and the USA.

Andrew Exner

Andrew Exner

Cultivation Advisor

With extensive experience in cannabis/hemp cultivation, systems design, training and compliance, Andrew shows strong initiative and exceptional organisational skills, Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, Andrew has contributed to the growth of one of the first legal cannabis markets.

In-depth knowledge of cannabis, cannabinoids and related products for multiple cannabis facilities; indoor, greenhouse and outdoor. Familiar with all forms of grow systems and related technologies as well as Compliance and POS systems, state regulated tracking and agricultural licensing, Andrew has been an international speaker at all major cannabis/Ag conventions. Andrew displays an In-depth knowledge of Hemp, cultivation, product development and Integrated financial models and assessment.​

Partners

We are proud to work with our partners to deliver one of the most advanced cannabis genomic breeding programs in the world 

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