PHOENIX, April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- 4Front Holdings, LLC ("4Front"), a diversified operator of strategically aligned cannabis-related businesses, including cultivation, production and retail operations, is pleased to announce the expansion and elevation of its training team and program.
The training program is built upon battle-tested capabilities and standardized operating procedures developed over many years by 4Front and includes a heavy emphasis on retail operations. With the planned business combination with Cannex Capital ("Cannex"), 4Front is increasing its investment in training resources with a stated intention to be a magnet for and developer of talent for the industry. 4Front's previously announced business combination with Cannex is anticipated to close this month.
- 4Front's training program will have tracks across the supply chain of the cannabis industry, the curricula of which are based on industry best practices and the operational experience of 4Front (in the retail arena) and Cannex (in production).
- Sean Gallagher, 4Front's long-time director of training, has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Human Capital and will lead the ongoing development of training.
- Other members of the training team bring training and team-building experience from Hillstone Restaurant Group, Disney, and Sweetgreen.
- 4Front's leadership team believes a strong internal training program is a necessity to effectively scale its operations.
The training program's Retail track represents an extension and formalization of a core competency 4Front has honed since it launched as a consultancy in 2011. 4Front was one of the first companies in the cannabis industry to develop written standard operating procedures for the professional operation of cannabis dispensaries—originally developed in partnership with Harborside Health Center. These became the foundation for a management training program the company has conducted for dozens of clients over the past eight years.
4Front continued to augment its training team and curriculum, including digitizing the training platform, as it began supporting the opening of its own controlled and licensed dispensaries under the Mission brand. In the past 12 months, 4Front has used its training platform internally to successfully onboard more than 150 retail employees.
"We anticipate the need to onboard an additional 800 staff members across our combined company by the end of this year," said Leise Rosman, 4Front's current Chief Operating Officer and named Chief Growth Officer of the planned combined company. "Successfully scaling an organization like ours this quickly requires an intentional approach to talent development. We are building on a solid foundation of our well-respected efforts to professionalize the cannabis industry over the better part of the last decade."
4Front's Production track is planned as part of the previously announced business combination with Cannex, which owns cultivation and processing facilities in Washington State. Cannex licenses its brands and packaging and distribution capabilities to its strategic operating tenant, Northwest Cannabis Solutions ("NWCS"). Cannex's production expertise has allowed NWCS to realize consistently high yields at scale in its facilities in Elma and Tumwater, WA, and market share of approximately 8% when including the finished products coming out of the co-located processing and distribution facility in Tumwater. NWCS produces several of the top-10-selling flower, edibles, capsules, and vapor pen brands in the state, according to Cowen Equity Research.
4Front has tapped Sean Gallagher to lead the expanded training initiative. Gallagher, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, has been promoted from director of training to Executive Vice President of Human Capital.
"Our goal is to build a program that is recognized within the industry for identifying and cultivating top talent," Gallagher said. "We are already known for consistently providing our customers with high-quality products and well-informed guidance throughout their cannabis journeys. Our expanded emphasis on lifelong learning at all levels of our organization ensures we can continue to deliver on that promise as we grow."
Other members of the training team's leadership include:
- Don Schaefer, 4Front's Executive Vice President of Retail, has supported training and development for dozens of 4Front's advisory clients; was formerly Director of Operations for Sweetgreen, where he helped scale the restaurant from 2 to more than 20 locations; and previously was Training General Manager for Houston's within the Hillstone Restaurant Group, where he leveraged his management experience at successful locations in New York and Los Angeles to train new general managers on the brand's high standards and culture of excellence as part of Hillstone's industry-leading management development program.
- Jenny Einsig, 4Front's Vice President of Retail Operations, most recently served as General Manager of Mission Glenmont (MD), prior to which she led Sweetgreen's rapid national expansion over the course of seven years as Learning Implementation Partner and as an Area Leader.
- Rick Armstrong, General Manager of Mission South Shore (Chicago), brings decades of training experience, including at Le Pain Quotidien, where he built training programs and managed high-grossing locations in and around Los Angeles. He started his career at The Walt Disney Co. where he was a trainer at the well-regarded Disney University.
- Darri Stephens, 4Front's Digital Learning Coordinator, has led the development of educational initiatives and digital training curricula for a number of companies; she also holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University in Education, Learning, Design & Technology.
"We believe talent acquisition and development is vital to achieving our long-term goals for growth and operational excellence. We're excited to continue to invest heavily in developing and improving our training programs," said Josh Rosen, 4Front's CEO. "Sean led our training efforts for several years and understands how important training is to the long-term health of a company such as ours. And I expect he'll do a great job building a management training program that will be the envy of the industry."
About 4Front Holdings
4Front is building a next-generation company in the cannabis industry, based upon strategic and aligned leadership, battle-tested operating capabilities, transparent and principled governance, and a commitment to developing and supporting people and communities. Led by a group of professionals with experience in finance, real estate, manufacturing, distribution & logistics, multi-location retail & hospitality operations and talent development & retention, 4Front has invested heavily to assemble a comprehensive collection of management skills and hands-on operating expertise that can support the rapid operational growth opportunity being afforded by the increased legalization of cannabis across the globe. For more information, visit 4Front's website.
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