Chairman of the Board
Mr. Schultze is the founder and managing member of Schultze Asset Management, L.P. (“SAM”), where he chairs the firm’s investment and strategy committees. With over 25 years of experience in the investment industry, he is widely recognized as an expert on event-driven and special situations investing. Before founding SAM, Mr. Schultze held various roles at MD Sass, Fiduciary Partners fund of funds, the Mayer Brown & Platt law firm, and Merrill Lynch. He received his BA in Economics and Political Science from Rutgers College and is a joint graduate of Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School, JD/MBA. Since founding SAM in 1998, Mr. Schultze has served on over 35 boards of directors and various committees.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
Fajardo brings more than 20 years of management experience to the Company. He has served as a director of the board since December 2020 and as president since 2019, and in various other roles at the Company since its establishment in 2016. Such roles include CEO in 2019 and chairman in 2018 of Clever Leaves Colombia. Prior to Clever Leaves, from 2016 to 2018, Fajardo was a founding partner of Mojo Ventures, a venture capital incubator in Colombia. Fajardo also served as CEO of IQ Outsourcing, a leading Colombian business processing outsourcing firm from 2010 to 2015, and a principal member at Booz & Company from 2000 to 2010. He obtained a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Economics from Los Andes University in Colombia.
Elisabeth DeMarse has served as Independent Director of our board of directors since December 2020. Ms. DeMarse has been an independent director of Kubient Inc. (NASDAQ: KBNT) since January 2020. She served as Non-Executive Chairman of Nedsense (AMS: NEDSE) from 2015 to 2016 and as an independent director of AppNexus Inc. from 2014 to 2018. Ms. DeMarse has been a limited partner at Tritium Partners, a private equity fund, since 2013, and a limited partner of Kimbark LLC, a family limited partnership, since 2002. From 2012 to 2016, Ms. DeMarse served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of TheStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: TST). From 2010 to 2012, she served as Chief Executive Officer of Newser, an award winning news digest and aggregation website. Ms. DeMarse was the founder and CEO of CreditCards.com from 2006 to 2010 and the CEO of Bankrate from 2000 to 2004. Prior to that, she was an Executive Vice President of Hoover’s, Inc. a company information site and database, that completed its IPO in 1999. Ms. DeMarse spent a decade as Chief Marketing Officer for Bloomberg LP working directly for the founder, Michael Bloomberg, where she was instrumental in the formation of several media properties. A member of The Committee of 200, Ms. DeMarse has a MBA degree from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wellesley College, where she was a Wellesley Scholar.
Gary M. Julien
Gary Julien has served as Independent Director of our board of directors since December 2020. Gary is also Managing Director at Schultze Asset Management since November 2017 and previously led and supported M&A initiatives on behalf of entities controlled by Mario J. Gabelli, Chairman, and CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc.. From November 2009 through 2014, Gary was Senior Vice President at Bronson Point Management, an investment management firm, where he originated, oversaw and analyzed public market investments helping to the firm grow from approximately $70 million in AUM at launch in 2010 to $1.9 billion in 2014. From 2007 through 2009, Gary led and supported M&A and corporate finance initiatives for the investment firm Kanders & Company, Inc. and its affiliates including as Vice President, Corporate Development of Kanders & Company, Clarus Corp. and Highlands Acquisition Corp. From 2003 through 2006, Gary was Vice President, Corporate Development for Armor Holdings, an aerospace and defense company and portfolio company of Kanders & Company, where he oversaw mergers, acquisitions and divestitures for the company, executing 15 transactions during this period and investing approximately $1.2 billion. During this period of time, Armor Holdings’ revenue grew from $305 million to $2.4 billion prior to its sale to BAE Systems plc in July, 2007 for $4.5 billion. Gary previously worked at Global Crossing Ltd. where he led and supported several M&A, joint ventures and minority investments. Gary received an M.B.A. with honors from Columbia Business School and a B.S. from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.
Muecke is a co-founder and managing member of Artemis Growth Partners, an impact-focused ESG cannabis investment fund with $350+ million of assets under management, where he has led since 2017. Prior to founding Artemis Growth Partners, Muecke was a co-founder and managing partner of CoreCo Private Equity, which was named as a “Best for the World” impact investment fund by Global Impact Investment Rating System’s B Analytics in 2017. He previously held senior leadership positions at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he served as global co-head of the mobile data sector in the communications, media, and entertainment group, and as managing director and global co-head of the healthcare services sector in the healthcare investment banking group.
With nearly 30 years of experience in global finance, he brings extensive expertise in banking advisory, restructuring, debt and equity funding, and merger negotiations across a wide variety of U.S. and international industries, with specific expertise in global cannabis markets and investing. Muecke received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English with a minor in Honors Chemistry from Cornell University, and he is a graduate of the FALCon Program in Japanese at Cornell’s Graduate School.