SAN FRANCISCO, March 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PRESS RELEASE -- NorCal Cannabis, one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis operators in California, has announced four new additions to lead the company's product development, marketing strategy and brand initiatives. The new hires, all who previously hailed from notable brands, include Jeffrey Graham, Chris Gomersall, Alex Lopoukhine and Nish Nadaraja.
Senior executives hail from brands such as Google, Instagram, Yelp, BlackRock and TripAdvisor.
"NorCal's mission of bridging the strong roots and rich heritage of the cannabis industry to its bright future is reinforced by the communal skills and success of our seasoned team of experts in the marketing, retail and branding spaces," said Douglas Cortina, NorCal's chief executive officer. "Under our chief marketing officer, Joel Lunenfeld's, leadership, the marketing team will play a critical role in ensuring NorCal continues to use cannabis as a force for good in the community."
Graham, an expert in understanding consumer behavior and marketing effectiveness, joins NorCal as Vice President Business Intelligence. Graham has built world-class research and analytics teams for various business sectors including those in media, technology and finance. Most notably, Jeffrey led the research team at The New York Times, where he helped developed the digital subscription model which changed the trajectory of the Times' business. He also served as the head of advertising research for the Americas at Google, where his team created methodologies to better understand digital behavior. Prior to his work at Google, he worked at Twitter, where he helped develop the company's go-to market strategy, and built a research and analytics team which supported the company's clients worldwide. Most recently, Jeffrey held an executive role at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, where he managed a global team of researchers and data scientists.
As Vice President Executive Creative Director for NorCal, Gomersall will lead internal and external creative teams across all of NorCal's verticals and products including branding, design, packaging, content and marketing, retail experiences, strategic partnerships, event activations and more. He brings a wealth of experience as he's led creative departments at various advertising agencies that have produced award winning work for the world's biggest brands. Previously, he served as a council board member for Microsoft Gaming Advertising Advisory Council and the American Association of Advertising Agencies Branded Content Committee. Most recently, Gomersall led creative strategy at both Facebook and Instagram. He is also the founder of Atomized, a marketing visualization platform. Currently, he sits on the board of directors at the Miami Ad School.
Lopoukhine joins the NorCal team as the Director of Brand and Product Marketing. Lopoukhine started his career in the cannabis industry after ten years in travel, most recently at TripAdvisor where he led global distribution and co-branding initiatives with brands like Google, Kayak, Groupon, Yelp and more. Prior to TripAdvisor, Lopoukhine helped launch and scale the travel brand of LivingSocial, Groupon's largest competitor. Lopoukhine has received industry recognition, including acknowledgment as a Phocuswright 'Young Global Leader,' advised a number of early stage companies and is a fervent advocate for refugee rights.
Nadaraja recently joined NorCal as Director of Retail Marketing. Prior to joining the cannabis industry, Nadaraja was the sixth employee at Yelp, where he created the Yelp Elite Squad and was Head of Brand and Community from 2005-2010. Additionally, he has consulted and advised both start-ups and big brands in the Bay Area and has invested in six restaurants. He will use his experience in brand loyalty, hospitality and customer service to lead NorCal's retail marketing efforts.