Tuscan Holdings Corp.
Stephen A. Vogel has served as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since our inception. Mr. Vogel has over 40 years of operating and private equity experience. He has served as General Partner of Vogel Partners, LLP, a private investment firm, since 1996. Since May 2018, he has served as President of Twelve Seas Investment Company, a blank check company seeking to consummate an initial business combination, and has served as a director since June 2018. From December 2016 until February 2018, Mr. Vogel was Executive Chairman of Forum Merger Corporation, a blank check company that completed its initial public offering in April 2017. Forum completed its initial business combination in February 2018 with C1 Investment Corp. and in connection with the consummation of the business combination changed its name to ConvergeOne Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CVON). Mr. Vogel began his career in 1971 as President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Synergy Gas Corp., a retail propane distribution company. After selling Synergy Gas Corp. to Northwestern Corp. in 1995, Mr. Vogel co-founded EntreCapital Partners, a private equity firm that focused on companies facing operational or management challenges, and served until 1999. Additionally, he was a venture partner at EnerTech Capital Partners, an energy focused venture capital firm, from 1999 to 2002, and an operating partner at Tri-Artisan Capital Partners, LLC, an investment bank, from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Vogel also served as Chief Executive Officer of Grameen America, a not-for-profit organization that provides microloans to low-income borrowers in the United States, from 2008 to 2013. He was on the board of Netspend (NASDAQ: NTSP), a leader for prepaid stored value platforms, from 2011 to 2013. Mr. Vogel was a member of the Board of Trustees at Montefiore Medical Center and Children’s Hospital for over 20 years and served on the Board of Trustees at Lighthouse International, a non-profit organization. Mr. Vogel is a past Trustee of the Horace Mann School and previously served on the Board of Directors of the National Propane Gas Association. Mr. Vogel received a BS degree from Syracuse University School of Management.
We believe Mr. Vogel is well-qualified to serve as a member of the board due to his business experience, including prior blank check company experience, investments made in the legal cannabis industry and his contacts.
Ruth Epstein has served as our President, Chief Financial Officer and a member of our board of directors since November 2018. Ms. Epstein has over 25 years’ experience providing financial and strategic advisory services to companies across a wide range of mature and emerging growth industries. She has also been an active investor in, and advisor to, companies operating in the legal cannabis industry. In 2017, she founded, and has since served as a Partner of, BGP Advisors LLC, a financial and strategic advisory firm providing consulting and management services to companies in the emerging legal cannabis industry. She has also been a registered representative at Pickwick Capital Partners since January 2019. In 2018, Ms. Epstein served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Treez, Inc., California’s leading provider of point of sale and retail management solutions to cannabis dispensaries. From 2014 through February 2017, Ms. Epstein served as Senior Vice President of Business Development for Holt Media Companies. From 2009 to 2013, Ms. Epstein served as Chief Operating Officer for Arjewel Partners, LLC/ Bigelow Capital, LP, a long-short hedge fund. Prior to 2009, Ms. Epstein raised an independent film fund and served as Executive Producer on several independent feature films. She began her career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the Investment Banking Division. During her ten-year tenure with Goldman, Ms. Epstein served as Vice President in Corporate Finance, working on numerous IPOs, debt and equity offerings and M&A transactions. Ms. Epstein received a BA in Economics with Highest Honors from Wesleyan University and a MBA from Harvard Business School with First Year Honors.
We believe Ms. Epstein is well-qualified to serve as a member of the board due to her business experience, including prior experience working with companies in the legal cannabis industry, as well as her substantial industry contacts.
Stefan M. Selig has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2018. Mr. Selig is the founder and Managing Partner of BridgePark Advisors LLC, a firm formed in January 2017 which provides personalized strategic advice on a broad range of critical business and financial issues and transaction execution. Mr. Selig served as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce from June 2014 to June 2016, and during this period headed the International Trade Administration, a global bureau of more than 2,200 trade and investment professionals. During this period, he also served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, sat on the board of directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, was a Commissioner for the Congressional Executive Commission on China and was the Executive Director of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. Prior to that, he held various senior level leadership positions at Bank of America Merrill Lynch beginning in 1999, including being the Executive Vice Chairman of Global Corporate & Investment Banking from 2009 to 2014, and prior to that, he was Vice Chairman of Global Investment Banking and Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions. Mr. Selig currently serves on the board of directors of Simon Property Group, Inc., Entercom Communications Corp. and Safehold Inc. Mr. Selig received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Wesleyan University.
We believe Mr. Selig is well-qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his business experience serving in prominent leadership roles in both the private and public sectors as well as his business contacts.
Richard O. Rieger has been a member of our board of directors since February 2019. Mr. Rieger has over 33 years of investment experience. Since January 2016, he has served as the President of Inkblot Capital, LLC, which is a family office. Prior to this, Mr. Rieger was a Principal, Member of the Executive Committee and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Kingdon Capital Management LLC (“Kingdon”) from 1992 to September 2014 and then served as a consultant to Kingdon until December 2015. He joined Kingdon in December 1992 as a Portfolio Manager and was named Co-Director of Domestic Equity Research in March 1995 and the Chief Investment Officer in May 2002. From January 1992 to December 1992, Mr. Rieger worked as a securities Analyst and a Portfolio Manager for Glickenhaus & Co., an investment manager. Prior to this, Mr. Rieger served as an Analyst for several investment firms, including Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., Allen & Company and Sloate, Weisman, Murray & Co. Mr. Rieger is on the Photography Committee at the Museum of Modern Art and the Investment Committee of Ethical Cultural Fieldston School. He previously served on the board of the University Settlement House in New York City and was a trustee at the Ethical Cultural Fieldston School and the Rippowam Cisqua School in Bedford NY. Mr. Rieger received a BA from the University of Michigan.
We believe Mr. Rieger is well-qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his business experience as well as business contacts and relationships.
Amy Butte has been a member of our board of directors since February 2019. Ms. Butte has significant experience in leading and advising companies through the IPO process. She spearheaded two public offerings as Chief Financial Officer, including the public offering of the New York Stock Exchange in 2006. She has served as a Board Member and Audit Chair for Digital Ocean Inc., a high-growth technology company, since 2018 and an Independent Director, Audit Chair and Risk Committee member for BNP Paribas USA, Inc., an entity created to ensure compliance with Dodd-Frank regulations, since 2016. She has also served as an advisor to the Long Term Stock Exchange, Inc., a Silicon Valley led start up creating a vision and market place for long-term investors, issuers, and leaders, and Carbon38, Inc., an online athleisure destination, each since 2015, and previously served as an advisor to other start-up companies. Previously, she was an Independent Director for the Fidelity Investments Strategic Advisors Funds (2011 to 2017), a Board Member for Accion International, a global microfinance organization (2008 to 2016) and the founder of a fintech startup, TILE Financial (2008 to 2012). From 2002 to 2008, Ms. Butte was CFO and Strategist for the Financial Services Division of Credit Suisse First Boston, Inc., CFO and Executive Vice President at the NYSE, and CFO of Man Financial, Inc. Between 1996 and 2002, Ms. Butte was an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. and Bear Stearns & Co., where she took part in multiple capital markets transactions. Ms. Butte received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Yale University.
We believe Ms. Butte is well-qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors due to her business experience, business contacts and relationships.
Holly Zimmerman has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2019. She brings over twenty years of experience in finance with significant expertise in consumer-facing industries across various stages of growth. Since November 2017, Ms. Zimmerman has served as a Managing Director at XRC Labs, a venture capital firm that sources and accelerates companies in the consumer and retail industries. From 2013 to November 2017, Ms. Zimmerman served as a Managing Director and Sector Head of the Consumer Group at Golden Seeds, an investment firm that has invested over $110 million in over 150 women-led enterprises. From 2004 to 2012, Ms. Zimmerman managed her family office where she was an active investor in, and advisor to, several private companies. From 1994 to 2003, Ms. Zimmerman was an Equity Analyst at Citigroup, Lehman Brothers and Jennison Associates. Ms. Zimmerman was consistently recognized by Institutional Investors’ All American Research Team in both consumer products and technology sectors. She was ranked No. 1 in four categories throughout her analyst career, including Cosmetics and Personal care (96-98), Household Products (96-98), Internet (01-02) and E-Commerce (2000-2002). From 1992 to 1994, Ms. Zimmerman was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Ms. Zimmerman received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. Prior to graduating from Harvard, she held positions in Brand Management at Procter & Gamble and in Mergers & Acquisitions at First Boston.
We believe Ms. Zimmerman is well-qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors due to her business experience, business contacts and relationships.
Michael B. Auerbach has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 2019. Since July 2012, Mr. Auerbach has served as Senior Vice President of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm. Since 2012, he also serves as a General Partner of Subversive Capital, a venture capital firm. From September 2009 to July 2012, he was Vice President, Social Risk Consulting at Control Risks, a global risk consulting firm. From September 2010 to January 2011, he was also an Adjunct Professor at The New School for Social Research. From 2007 to 2009, he was Chief Executive Officer of Social Risks, LLC, a consulting firm. From 2005 to 2007, he was Associate Director for The Century Foundation, a progressive, non-partisan think tank. He began his career in technology in 1993 when he founded Panopticon, a venture capital incubator concentrating on internet and mobile technology, and served as its Chief Executive Officer until January 2004. Mr. Auerbach sits on the boards of Privateer Holdings, Inc., Tilray, Inc, Duco Advisors, Inc., JackPocket, Inc. and MainBase, SA. Mr. Auerbach is a former term member at the Council on Foreign Relations, a national security fellow at the Truman National Security Project and sits on the board of the Theodore C. Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice. Mr. Auerbach received a B.A. from The New School for Social Research and a M.A. from Columbia University.
We believe Mr. Auerbach is well-qualified to serve as a member of our board of directors due to his business experience, contacts and relationships.