Vicki Christophersen

Executive Director/ Lobbyist

Vicki has worked as an advocate on a wide variety of efforts benefiting businesses, non-profits and industry organizations at the legislative, executive and agency levels. She has a distinguished record of success in the years she has been working in Olympia. She received a BA in Liberal Studies and a Graduate Teaching Certificate from the University of Washington. Some of her past and current work includes supporting the Association of Spirits and Wine Distributors, Merck,  Life Center Northwest Organ Donor Network, Pediatrix Medical Group, Northwest Kidney Centers, Washington Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association, Washington Refuse and Recycling Association, Stand for Children and WGU Washington. You can find more about Vicki by visiting her profile on LinkedIn.

Brooke Davies

Deputy Director/ Associate Lobbyist

Brooke Davies is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in Physics. She started her career as a teacher of advanced placement Physics. Before joining WACABrooke worked in the cannabis industry as the Operations Director of a retail cannabis establishment and then moved on as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization representing an emerging new market in Washington. Brooke has experience in working with both the legislature and state agencies to develop and interpret laws and rules that regulate various businesses. Brooke is excited to play a role in creating a strong foundation for Washington's cannabis industry through her position at the Washington CannBusiness Association. 


Jim Mullen

President - Retail

Jim is a co-owner of The Herbery’s two retail locations. After a 30-year management career in the shipping and logistics industry, Jim is honored to help represent you in the regulated cannabis industry. He is fully engaged in local and state matters, testifying multiple times on behalf of WACA in Olympia so that our elected leaders can hear directly from those investing in the regulated marketplace. Jim strongly believes that our new and fledgling industry needs good leadership and a strong voice to move us forward in a positive direction.

“I am honored to offer my business and management experience and my time to the WACA membership.  I am committed to making every one of us more productive and more efficient. I will do everything in my power to help our safe and regulated cannabis marketplace grow and prosper.”  


Jerry Derevyanny

Vice President – Tier 3 Producer/Processor

Jerry previously served as general counsel for Northwest Cannabis Solutions, which is one of the largest Tier 3 producer/processors in Washington. He currently is a Tier 3 Producer/Processor license-holder. He applies his expertise on legal and compliance issues impacting all the players in the regulated cannabis ecosystem - growers, processors and retailers.

“In order for the legal cannabis industry to be successful, we need to work with state regulators so that we have a safe marketplace that supports good business practices. Without thoughtful participation from stakeholders in our industry, ongoing challenges such as sublotting and BioTrack (to name a few) are issues that, without collaboration with the regulated industry and policymakers, could have unintended negative consequences. I support any policy that respects community values and that supports the integrity of our regulated marketplace. Washington residents deserve and expect us to get it right.”


Susan Gress

Secretary - Tier 1 Producer/Processor

Susan co-owns Merry Echo Productions (Vashon Velvet) with her sister and her daughter. Vashon Velvet is Tier 1 producer/processor growing indoor cannabis on Vashon Island. Susan studied Chemical Engineering at the UW and has been an entrepreneur for the past 30 years.

“I strongly support a safe and regulated marketplace for cannabis in Washington. It is vital that we unify our industry and send a single message to the legislature and the WSLCB that represents all of us. As a Tier 1 farmer, I encourage other small farmers to join WACA, adding more weight to our voice in Olympia and across the state.

In addition, I believe we can always work to improve communication between regulators on the Liquor and Cannabis Board and I-502 license holders so that we can help support the process based on our day-to-day experience in the industry.”


John Branch

Treasurer - Retail

John owns and operates Ponder, a licensed retail store on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Ponder is medically endorsed and offers cannabis products developed specifically for prescribed medical use.  John is also a partner in an intellectual property law firm where he specializes in trademarks, patents and copyrights for software, electronics, medical devices, and cannabis-related technologies. Since 2005, he has served as a Lecturer for the Center for Advanced Study and Research of Intellectual Property at the University of Washington Law School. Prior to and during law school, John worked as a software engineer in Washington and Oregon. John is an inventor and patent holder and has published several legal articles on Celebrity Personality Rights and the Video Game industry.

“The emphasis on the legal cannabis industry tends to focus on the nuts and bolts of the regulations and the revenue generated by sales. However, the technical expertise of entrepreneurs in the legal marketplace should not be overlooked. Innovation in the regulated marketplace is on par with the speed and precision of the high tech industry and the results are astounding. 

I’m honored to serve on WACA’s Board of Directors to continue to highlight the best and brightest of the licensed industry working together to establish a solid foundation today and for the future.”


Rob Hendrix

Board Member - Retail

Rob and his wife, Diane, are parents, grandparents and proud community members in Ellensburg, Washington. They opened Cannabis Central there in 2014 in a 210 square foot former gas station.

Rob’s primary interest is in representing small business interests and a mom-and-pop approach to the regulated cannabis industry. Cannabis Central is completely family-owned and self-sustaining.

“Like all WACA members, I am prepared and eager to take on the current and future challenges that will undoubtedly come before our industry.

I know that we have obstacles and hurdles before us. But I’m committed to ensuring that WACA continues to grow as the leading voice in advocating on behalf of businesses in the regulated cannabis marketplace.”


 

 

JasonZitzer, COO

Trace Analytics, Inc.

Jason is an entrepreneur with 18 years of experience in the molecular biology and medical device industries.  Recently, he co-founded Applied Genetics and has worked to build the company’s infrastructure to support a national sales force. His responsibilities included integration of a field sales model with three existing laboratory partners in the commercial molecular diagnostics marketplace, managing all financial aspects of the company, and contracting with agencies to drive sales.

Prior to his career at Applied Genetics, Jason contributed to scientific works that lead to publications which focused on the molecular pathogenicity of Helicobacter pylori.  After leaving the academic laboratory sector he worked in the commercial genomics field before becoming a distributor for multiple health care lines. 

Jason is the co-founder of Trace Analytics, Inc. and serves as CCO.  He works closely with the CEO to establish a foothold in the agricultural laboratory marketplace.  His responsibilities include working with industry leaders to establish a cutting-edge process for quality control analysis of agricultural products and managing the company’s bottom line. Currently Jason serves as Treasurer on the executive board of the Laboratory Guild of Washington and also has been newly elected to the Washington Cannabusiness Association (WACA) Board.

 


Russell E. Rosendal

Associate Member Representative - President/CEO of Salal Credit Union

Russell has been the President/CEO of Salal Credit Union since 2012, having previously served Salal as Chief Financial Officer beginning in 2008. A proven strategic, high integrity, energetic leader, he is a passionate advocate for credit unions and their members. Before coming to Salal, Russell was the Vice President of the Finance, Planning and Analysis Group/Home Loans for Washington Mutual. Prior to Washington Mutual, he was Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and corporate secretary at Foundation Bank in Bellevue and Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and corporate secretary at Cascade Bank in Everett.

Russell earned a Master of Business Administration from City University in Seattle and a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the University of Washington. He lives in Kirkland with his family.


Peter Saladino

Founder Emeritus - Tier 1 Producer/Processor

Peter Saladino is a passionate entrepreneur and leader.  After graduating from the University of Washington he began a career in construction with a small Seattle firm Charter Construction.  Peter took a job in Las Vegas learning “fast track” construction on many landmark casinos. He returned to Seattle as an equity owner in Charter, eventually turning the small company into a multi-state construction company with yearly revenue of $150,000,000.  Peter acquired 100% of Charter’s shares in 2009 and sold Charter to his employees in 2016.  Peter still serves as the Chairman of the Board.

In 2013 Peter used his skill as a real estate developer to construct turnkey cannabis facilities for the nascent legal cannabis industry in Washington State.  He was also one of the first licensed producer processors in Washington State.  The company he founded, BMF Washington, has consistently been one of the top producer processors in the state.

Peter cofounded The Washington Cannabusiness Association “WACA” to help cannabis businesses build relationships with elected officials and regulators and to provide critical lobbying for the Washington cannabis industry.  WACA is the first professional lobby to effectively represent the cannabis industry in Washington DC.

In 2016 Peter sold IP and the “Liberty Reach” and “Jackpot” brands to Golden Leaf Holdings for $15,000,000.  Peter currently serves on the Board of GLH.  Peter also was a seed investor in “JUJU” and eventually bought controlling interest in the company.  JUJU was sold to Canopy growth for $4,250,000.

Peter cofounded NEVWA one of the first cannabis producer processors in Nevada and was a seed investor and initial strategic advisor to NUUVERA.

Currently Peter is focusing on startups in the cannabis industry as an advisor and seed investor.  The companies Peter focuses on deal with developing ancillary products and technology for the cannabis industry, cannabinoid isolation and extraction at a commercial scale and mapping terpene and flavonoid profiles in cannabis.

Peter spends his spare time with his lovely wife, Lis and his six children.  He is an accomplished pilot and a youth football and baseball coach.  He is also on the Board of Directors for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of King County.