OUR GOVERNANCE Meet our board of directors.

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Benjamin Kovler , CEO, Founder + Chairman

Ben Kovler brings his extensive experience managing complex operating companies and his deep commitment to philanthropy as Founder, CEO and Chairman of Green Thumb. Ben founded GTI in 2014 and has successfully grown it into a leading national cannabis consumer packaged goods company and retailer.

Ben is frequently featured as an industry thought leader in media outlets such as Bloomberg, Barron’s, Business Insider, CNBC and Forbes.

He is also co-founder and CEO of Invest For Kids (IFK), an annual forum bringing together portfolio managers, family offices and analysts to share investment ideas to benefit children in Illinois. All the proceeds from the conference go to nonprofit organizations serving Chicago area youth from disadvantaged communities. Since 2009, IFK has donated more than $20 million to over 70 high performing organizations.

Ben earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy, politics and economics from Pomona College and an MBA in accounting and finance from The University of Chicago.

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Anthony Georgiadis, President

As President, Anthony Georgiadis is responsible for overseeing Green Thumb’s operational and financial matters.

Anthony joined GTI in 2015 as it was planning to expand outside of its home state of Illinois. Since then, he has played an integral role in growing the company into one of the leading cannabis operators in the U.S.

Anthony is an investor and entrepreneur, having purchased a manufacturing business in 2005 that he helped rebrand and build into one of North America’s largest manufacturers of wall décor.

Prior to this, he worked as a principal investing associate for a $1.5 billion private equity firm and as an M&A analyst for an investment bank.

Anthony graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University with a degree in finance and a minor in mathematics.

Anthony is an active supporter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and the Special Operations Warriors Foundation.

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Dawn Wilson Barnes, Director

Dawn Wilson Barnes is the President and Founder of Aurora Bay Capital, an Atlanta-based financial services firm that provides institutional marketing and consulting services to firms seeking growth capital. She is currently a Registered Securities Representative and Associated Person of Pickwick Capital Partners, LLC. Ms. Barnes is also a Georgia-state Registered Investment Advisor through Aurora Bay Capital.

Dawn began her financial services career at the New York office of J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. in the Private Finance Group transacting private debt offerings including the firm’s first cross-border securitization. She later transitioned to the firm’s Equity Capital Markets Group, transacting IPOs and follow-on equity offerings for issuers across a variety of industries. Following her tenure at J.P. Morgan, she was a Vice President in the Investment Management Division of Goldman Sachs & Co., where she managed $2BN in multi-asset class investment portfolios in the firm’s Private Wealth Management Group.

Dawn graduated from The University of Michigan with a BBA in Accounting where she attended on a full-tuition Academic scholarship funded by Honeywell, Inc. She began her professional career in Honeywell, Inc.’s Corporate Financial Audit Department performing financial and operational audits of domestic and international Honeywell divisions. While in this role, she sat for and passed the Uniform CPA Examination in the State of Minnesota. Dawn later transitioned from Audit to a Program Accounting position with Honeywell’s F-15 INU Program at the firm’s Military Avionics Division in St. Petersburg, Florida. She was also a Political Appointee of the first Clinton Administration in the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Employment Standards Administration.

Dawn holds an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania. She holds the Series 7, 63, 66, 79 and 50 registrations.

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Wendy Berger, Director

Wendy Berger has served as a Director since February 2015. Since 2004, Wendy has served as a principal of WBS Equities, LLC, a real estate development company that specializes in ground-up construction, renovation, development, sale and leaseback transactions and acquisitions. From 2000 to 2004, Wendy held leadership positions in enterprise planning and program management at Orbitz, the travel website founded in 2000. From 1995 to 1999, Wendy co-founded and was Chief Operating Officer of Neoglyphics Media Corporation, one of the country’s first website development companies. For over 25 years, Wendy has been involved in the real estate business as a lender, property manager, broker and consultant, as well as an investor. She began her career at American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago (a subsidiary of First Chicago, now JP Morgan Chase) in Commercial Lending and spent several years as a principal with Berger Realty Group, an 80-year-old family-owned real estate business, where she focused on residential and industrial property management and development. Wendy brings decades of experience in strategic planning, execution and exits for rapid growth start-ups, in addition to a tenured career in real estate, development and transactions. Wendy earned her Master of Business Administration in Finance and Real Estate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. She received a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in Finance and Marketing from Syracuse University.

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Richard Drexler, Director

Richard Drexler joined the Green Thumb board as director in October 2022. Richard is a proven financial executive with vast management and board experience. He currently serves as Chairman of the Audit and Finance Committee at Bison Gear and Engineering, a global supplier of power transmission equipment. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board at Quality Products, a manufacturer and distributor of products for aircraft ground support equipment for the military and hydraulic machine tool markets. During his leadership, Richard orchestrated strategic changes that pulled the company out of debt and resulted in significant positive cash flow. Richard also served as Chairman, CEO and President of Allied Products Corporation. During his leadership of Allied Products, Richard was responsible for the overall strategy, planning, policy, direction, and focus of the company.

Richard has held board or senior advisory roles at several multi-million dollar manufacturing and product companies, including Traush, Kenrich Holdings, Inc., Pro-Gard LLC and Restoration Cleaners LLC. In addition, he has been involved in over 50 private equity transactions from real estate to water treatment. He brings expertise in the categories of EBITDA growth, operational excellence, profit optimization, margin expansion, restructuring and consolidation, strategic planning and corporate governance.

Richard graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.

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Jeff Goldman, Director

Jeff Goldman joined as a director in October 2022. Jeff brings expertise in sustainable business practices and brand-building, having operated and scaled multiple consumer packaged goods (CPG) businesses. Under his leadership of Carol’s Cookies, Inc., a family-owned business founded in 1979 by his mother, Jeff delivered double-digit growth annually by successfully partnering with Fortune 500 companies such as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts and Sysco Foodservice. He cultivated relationships with local suppliers to grow their company which produces over 8-million cookies annually.

In addition to his leadership role with Carol’s Cookies, Jeff served as Vice President of Reed-Union Corporation, former owner and marketers of the top selling automotive appearance product in their category. For over 20 years, Jeff led domestic as well as international sales helping to make their Nu Finish brand the top-selling brand in their category in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Jeff called on Fortune 100 companies such as Walgreens, Target, Walmart and AutoZone to enhance the partnerships in Reed-Union’s fourth-generation consumer packaged goods business. Jeff oversaw the company's advertising budget totaling over $30,000,000 over two decades. In addition, he assisted in purchasing/sourcing projects, new product development, brand management, sales and marketing as well as retail merchandising. In 2018, Jeff orchestrated the sale of the company’s brands to Energizer Holdings.

Jeff graduated from Tulane University summa cum laude with a B.A. in Psychology. He currently lives with his wife and two daughters in Deerfield, IL. Jeff is an active member of the board of directors of the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program which helps teach 1,000 people with disabilities annually how to sail on the open waters of Lake Michigan. The Goldman family is also heavily active with the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation, Scleroderma Foundation, Shirly Ryan Ability Lab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), and Tulane University's Goldman Office of Student Accessibility. When he’s not attending dance shows, tennis matches, or field hockey games, Jeff can be found playing soccer, paddle tennis, or 16” softball.