President and CEO
Mr. Lusardi has over 20 years of success in finance and private equity. Prior to joining PalliaTech as its CEO, Mr. Lusardi held executive positions at Affiliated Managers Group, Liberty Mutual Group, and Devonshire Investors (Fidelity Investment’s private equity arm), where he was responsible for complex merger and acquisition transactions and providing technical expertise to a multi-billion-dollar portfolio with holdings across multiple industries including agriculture, biotechnology, hospitality, energy, real estate, software and telecommunications.
Mr. Lusardi is a pioneer in the US cannabis industry and is credited with opening the first vertically-integrated cannabis operation on the east coast. He has more than five years experience developing and operating medical marijuana companies in highly regulated states. In 2010 and 2014, Mr. Lusardi developed Maine Organic Therapy and Alternative Therapies Group, Maine and Massachusetts first medical marijuana companies. From these, Mr. Lusardi gained extensive, bottoms-up industry expertise in medical marijuana management.
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Bodner is a Wall-Street trained businesswoman and an award winning entrepreneur. Prior to joining PalliaTech, Ms. Bodner held management and supervisory positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Credit Suisse, GE Capital and the New York State Empire Development Corporation. During this time, Ms. Bodner managed projects ranging in size from greenfield projects to $1 billion. She is also the former Chief Operating Officer of the New York City Opera where she was responsible for company operations, managed negotiations with seven unions and, with the New York City Ballet, was the point person for a $65 million renovation of the David Koch Theater. Ms. Bodner transitioned from the Opera back to the for-profit world, creating Fountainhead Advisory Services, Inc. As President of Fountainhead, Ms. Bodner delivered financial and strategic consulting services to companies and entities such as The New 42nd Street, Deloitte and Touche, the City of New York and Women’s World Banking.
Senior Vice President, Research and Product Development
Mr. Winnicki is a leading cannabis chemist with expertise in extraction, formulation and cannabis product manufacturing. With PalliaTech’s Medical Advisory Board, Mr. Winnicki leads PalliaTech’s product development team. Mr. Winnicki has led research in Canada and the U.S., particularly in the areas of synthetic biology of cannabinoid production; formulation of liquid and powder-based cannabinoid formulations; chemical synthesis of USP grade cannabinoids at the 500-gram scale; outdoor cultivation of hemp including the extraction and purification of CBD and plant tissue culture aimed at producing genetically modified cannabis. Prior to joining PalliaTech, Mr. Winnicki was a certified laboratory director in Colorado and former head of R&D in medical marijuana cloning and cannabinoid synthesis.
Senior Vice President, Operations
Mr. Nelson has over ten years in medical marijuana cultivation design, construction, cultivation and dispensary management. He has designed, built and opened cultivation and dispensary facilities in eight states, each with differing medical marijuana regulations. Mr. Nelson pioneered SOP development in the medical marijuana industry and his work has formed the foundation on which PalliaTech cultivation systems are continually refined. Prior to joining PalliaTech, Mr. Nelson was the owner/operator of one of the most respected medical cannabis companies in the western United States.
Benjamin Tabar, CPA
Senior Vice President, Finance
Mr. Tabar leads PalliaTech’s accounting and finance functions. He is the former Finance Director of Hogwarth Worldwide, a marketing company. His expertise is in design and development of financial and operational processes, financial modeling and metrics formulations.
Selected Medical Advisors and Board Members
Chairman of the Board
Boris Jordan is the founder, President and CEO of The Sputnik Group, a private equity and advisory group with over $1 billion under management. Sputnik’s investments currently span 10 industries across United States, Europe and the CIS. Mr. Jordan is also the President of Renaissance Insurance, a leading regional insurance and asset management business, with over $1 billion in revenue. Mr. Jordan was co-founder and CEO of Renaissance Capital Group, Russia's first international investment bank.
From 1992 to 1995, Mr. Jordan co-headed the Eastern European and Russian operations of Credit Suisse First Boston. During his tenure, CS First Boston became a leading investment bank in Russia, pioneering privatization, corporate finance and securities trading.
Mr. Jordan is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations (US) and a Member of the Board of Trustees of New York University. At New York University Mr. Jordan endowed the Jordan Center for Russian Studies. Boris Jordan was named among 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
Dr. Steven Patierno, PhD
Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board; Board Member
Dr. Patierno holds several titles in the scientific community including Deputy Director, Duke Cancer Institute, a Professor of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, a Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Professor of Community and Family Medicine, and the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board, PalliaTech, Inc.
As Deputy Director of the Duke Cancer Institute, Dr. Patierno helps lead a top-ranked NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center dedicated to providing leading-edge compassionate care from diagnosis to treatment to survivorship, advancing multi- and transdisciplinary cancer research and engaging in authentic prevention and community health programming. One of the original eight NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, DCI is one of only 41 such centers in the U.S., with more than 65,000 patient visits and 6,500 new cancer diagnoses annually and nearly 1,000 active clinical trials. The DCI includes more than 360 investigators with more than $225 million in annual cancer research funding. Prior to joining Duke, Dr. Patierno served as Executive Director of the George Washington University Cancer Center, the Vivian Gill Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, Genetics and Urology in the GWU School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Dr. David Casarett, MD
Member of the Medical Advisory Board
Nationally recognized for his work in palliative care and end-of-life medicine, Dr. David Casarett is the Chief of Palliative Care Services for Duke University Health System, and Chief of the section of Palliative Care within the Division of General Internal Medicine. Formerly, Dr. Casarett was a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of Hospice and Palliative Care at the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
He has authored several successful books, including one offering a compassionate medical practitioner’s perspective on the potential of the misunderstood cannabis plant, and his studies have resulted in more than 100 articles published in leading medical journals. Dr. Casarett is a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to researchers in the early stages of their careers.
Dr. Robert Schnoll, PhD
Member of the Medical Advisory Board
Dr. Robert Schnoll serves as Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and an internationally recognized expert in risk prevention and intervention, epidemiology, patient education and counseling, tobacco addiction, nicotine dependence and treatment, and national health policy and ethics.
He is Principle Investigator to a large number of federally funded research grants including clinical trials and has extensive experience in designing and implementing clinical trials, including data management and publication, and large multi-center clinical trials.