George Archos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Portrait

George Archos is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Verano. He entered the cannabis industry in 2014 when he was the first in Illinois to receive authorization to grow medical cannabis out of 21 recipients of the state's coveted medical licenses.

George's successful entrepreneurial ventures span a multitude of industries, and he is dedicated to talent development, operational quality and efficiency, entrepreneurship, and leading with integrity as one of the cannabis industry's most respected and influential leaders. A veteran of the logistics and operations sectors, he has extensive experience coordinating complex freight delivery operations and designing and operating successful restaurants.

Leveraging his devotion to quality and a unique results-oriented approach, he has overseen the development of some of the cannabis industry's most successful operations and trusted portfolio of powerhouse brands including Verano™, Bits™, Avexia™, Encore™, Savvy™ and MÜV™.

Laura Kalesnik, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel

Portrait

Ms. Kalesnik is Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for Verano, where she is responsible for overseeing all Verano's legal activity and policy within the Company.

Ms. Kalesnik brings over 30 years of legal experience advising public and private companies across varying sectors with robust practice leading organizations through transformational moments, such as mergers and acquisitions, strategic restructuring and reorganization, financings, divestitures, spin-offs, securities offerings, and corporate governance.

Ms. Kalesnik joined Verano as Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel in 2021 after leaving her position as Partner at a large law firm where she supported corporations with governance and fiduciary duties, public reporting and disclosure obligations. She spent much of her legal career as Partner at several prestigious law firms, where she gained invaluable knowledge on general corporate matters.

Ms. Kalesnik received her bachelor's degree from University of Oklahoma, her master's degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and her Juris Doctorate from Southern Methodist University. She was named a Texas Top Rated Lawyer by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell for 2013-2015 and a Texas Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters for 2010-2019.

Trip McDermott, Chief Operating Officer

Portrait

Mr. McDermott oversees the breadth of Verano's operations, which includes over 1 million square feet of cultivation and processing and over 100 retail locations under the Zen Leaf and MÜV brands. He and his team are responsible for the development of standard operating procedures and processes, logistics and day-to-day operations to deliver Verano's suite of high-quality products to patients and consumers across its operating footprint.

Mr. McDermott joined Verano as Executive Vice President of Operations in 2021, where he actively collaborated with the executive leadership team and leaders from across all functions of the organization to drive excellence in standard operating procedures.

Prior to joining Verano, he spent nearly seven years as Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy at BellRock Brands, a Denver-based cannabis company, where he played an integral role in expanding the company from one to eight markets, completed a merger with Mary's Medicinals, executed and managed multiple third-party licensing transactions and the company listing on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Mr. McDermott received his bachelor's degree in finance and entrepreneurship from Boston University.

Aaron Miles, Chief Investment Officer

Portrait

Mr. Miles leads the organization's investor relations, capital markets, corporate development and communications departments. He has distinguished himself as a cannabis industry leader in the financial and investor relations space, having notably assisted in taking both Cresco Labs and Verano Holdings public on the Canadian Securities Exchange in 2018 and 2021, respectively.

Over the course of his more than 20 years of financial and capital markets experience, Mr. Miles has served in leadership roles across a variety of Fortune 500 companies and industries. His background and expertise spans investor relations, in large and diversified corporations that include Abbott Laboratories, CME Group, Navigant, Tribune Publishing Company, the New York Stock Exchange, and Cresco Labs.

A native of Michigan, Mr. Miles graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in economics and obtained his master's in finance from Walsh College.

David Spreckman, Chief Marketing Officer

Portrait

Mr. Spreckman oversees all aspects of the organization's marketing, creative, and brand communications across all business units. He and his team are responsible for connecting Verano products, services, and experiences with consumers to build brand equity while driving demand and retention across all channels.

Mr. Spreckman leads ongoing efforts at Verano to develop and refine its CPG brand portfolio, in order to expand distribution and adoption of its product catalogue across its operating footprint, while scaling a sustainable marketing platform for its retail business aimed at educating and empowering consumers at every stage in their journey from discovery to purchase.

In his previous role with Verano, he served as vice president of marketing and corporate communications. In addition to leading the company's retail marketing arm, he was responsible for authoring Verano's external communications and leading media engagement during its go-public phase in 2021. Today, as the company continues to deliver on its growth strategy, he oversees brand integration and consolidation across the portfolio to optimize brand performance and commercial efficiency.

Before joining Verano in June 2019, Mr. Spreckman held several roles in the advertising business as a leader of brand and creative strategy on the agency side. His responsibilities included driving market differentiation, consumer engagement, revenue growth and market-share capture for a diverse roster of B2B and B2C clientele that included legacy brands Philips Norelco, Solo Cup, STARZ Entertainment, Nissan, and TransUnion, as well as early-stage start-ups, offshoots, and niche products.

Mr. Spreckman graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in journalism, public relations and Spanish.

Brett Summerer, Chief Financial Officer

Portrait

Mr. Summerer is Chief Financial Officer for Verano, where he manages the finance and information technology functions and is largely responsible for delivering industry leading margins while ensuring continued investment in the business's internal and external production and service platforms to enable the company to maintain its rate of growth.

His key responsibilities include building and maintaining a fortress balance sheet, providing financial outlooks and guidance, maintaining capital availability for growth, providing secure high-speed process and system automation and data driven decision capability to support investment, and delivering efficient, transparent, and credible forecasts, results and reporting.

Prior to joining Verano, Mr. Summerer held leadership positions of increasing responsibility across multiple information technology, manufacturing, and CPG companies. Most recently, Mr. Summerer served as Vice President, Head of Supply Chain Finance and CFO of The Kraft Heinz Company's U.S. Operations, where he led all aspects of the CPG company's financial activities across its extensive national manufacturing footprint in its largest market. He began his career in the IT and Supply Chain service sector at Modern Engineering, and ultimately rose to VP of IT Position, where he managed the firm's budget, vendor contracts, and operational integration for four acquisitions. He then spent 10 years at General Motors in Financial Planning and Analysis, Controllership and business unit CFO positions in the U.S., European, and Asian markets. After leaving GM, he served as the head of Financial Planning and Analysis and Supply Chain Finance for Corning Incorporated, and subsequently gained pharmaceutical industry experience as the Head of Finance for their pharmaceutical business.

Rich Tarapchak, EVP Finance, Corporate Controller

Portrait
Mr. Tarapchak has served as Executive Vice President, Finance & Corporate Controller of the Company since July 2022. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Tarapchak served in various senior accounting and finance roles, including as Vice President Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of II-VI Incorporated from January 2021 to July 2022, Corporate Controller of Reynolds Group Holdings Limited from 2015 to 2021, Chief Financial Officer of National Material L.P. from 2014 to 2015, and a number of positions at Navistar International Corporation, including, most recently, Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller from 2010 to 2014. Mr. Tarapchak earned a business administration degree from Wittenberg University in 1987 and an MBA in finance and accounting from The Ohio State University in 1992. As a certified public accountant, Mr. Tarapchak also serves as a board member of the Illinois CPA Society.

John Tipton, President of the Southern Region

Portrait
Mr. Tipton served as President of the Company from February 2021 until June 2023, when he was named President of the Southern Region. Beginning in 1997, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Plants of Ruskin, LLC, which became a subsidiary of the Company upon its acquisition in February 2021 and the Company’s sizable entrance into the attractive Florida market. Mr. Tipton’s acumen in accounting, finance, agriculture and ‎construction developed through his experience as founder and Chief Executive Officer ‎of Plants of Ruskin, LLC, have been directly applied in his officer positions with the Company.

Darren Weiss, President

Portrait

Mr. Weiss is deeply involved in the organization at every level and applies his well-honed management and analytical skills across the business to help streamline processes, standardize operations, and bolster performance. From conceptualization to design and implementation, he leverages his many years of regulatory and corporate experience to bring professionalism and efficiency across the company. A cannabis industry veteran and seasoned operations leader and corporate attorney, he is also a frequent author and speaker on legal and operational issues affecting the commercial cannabis industry and is widely viewed as a cannabis industry thought leader.

Mr. Weiss joined Verano as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer in 2017 and rose to Chief Operating Officer after leaving his position as Principal at a large law firm, where he headed up the firm's cannabis practice. Instrumental in the formation and organization of cannabis companies across the U.S., he has worked with privately- and publicly-held cannabis companies on corporate financing, drafting, and negotiating investment documents, licensing agreements, and vendor contracts and providing business advice and counsel on competitive licensing applications and cannabis business design and strategy. Mr. Weiss has been counsel to both investors and cannabis businesses and has helped close multi-million-dollar transactions and provided counsel in the creation of multi-state brands and products. Prior to law school, he worked as a business consultant providing performance management and business operational consulting services for public and private-sector clients.

Mr. Weiss currently sits on the Executive Committee and Board of the Maryland Wholesale Medical Cannabis Trade Association, was named to the Baltimore Business Journal's 40 Under 40 List, was awarded the 2016 Innovator of the Year prize, and is identified as a 2017 People to Know in the Law. He received his bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law.