Chief Executive Officer and Chairman
Justin Dye has more than 25 years of experience in high-level strategic management, mergers and acquisitions, operations, private equity and corporate finance. Mr. Dye played an integral role in the private equity consortium that acquired national grocery chain Albertsons, Inc., where he led company expansion with more than $40 billion in acquisitions, divestitures and real estate transactions. In his tenure at Albertsons, sales grew from approximately $10 billion to more than $60 billion. Previously, he held senior management and corporate development roles at Cerberus Capital Management, General Electric and Arthur Andersen LLP. He earned his bachelor’s in political science from DePauw University, graduating with academic honors.
Jeff Cozad is the co-founder of CRW Cann Holdings, LLC – a special purpose vehicle created to support Schwazze’s vision of becoming the dominant, vertically integrated player in the Colorado cannabis market. He is also the Managing Partner of his family office, Cozad Investments, LP, which has completed more than 20 investments across a disparate set of industries over the past 13 years. Mr. Cozad holds an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and received a BA in Economics and Management from DePauw University, where he serves on the Board of Trustees and is Chairman of the University Endowment Fund Investment Committee.
Jeff Garwood is the founder and is currently the managing member of Liberation Capital, LLC, a private equity fund that is focused on providing modular, repeatable waste to value project finance where he has been active with its investments for 10 years. He is also the co-owner of Zysense, an entity providing high precision measurement instruments for research. Prior to Liberation Capital, Mr. Garwood held a variety of senior leadership positions with General Electric including President and CEO of GE Water and Process Technologies, President and CEO of GE Fanuc, and President of Garrett Aviation and worked for numerous years at the strategic consulting firm, McKinsey and Company. He received a BS of Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Pratap Mukharji is a retired consultant working over 30 years in management consulting, the majority with Bain & Company leading its Supply Chain and Service Operations practices. With a concentration in Industrials and Retail, Mr. Mukharji has led strategy; M&A; transformation and turnaround; operations improvement; due diligence, omnichannel; and e-commerce efforts across multiple industries. Prior to Bain, he was at Kearney and Booz-Allen & Hamilton. Mr. Mukharji received a BA in Economics from Haverford College at which he was Phi Beta Kappa, and a MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University at which he was a Fuqua Scholar.
Since 2010, Brian Ruden has owned and operated cannabis businesses under the Starbuds brand. He has grown this brand into multi-state operations including Colorado, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Washington D.C., and international markets. Under Mr. Ruden’s leadership, Starbuds has become one of the most recognized and successful retail cannabis operations in North America. Mr. Ruden received his law degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and before entering the cannabis industry, he was a tax attorney in Colorado.
Salim Wahdan has close to two decades of entrepreneurial experience owning and operating retail businesses. Most recently, he was a partner and operator of Star Buds in Adams, Louisville, and Westminster, several of the Star Buds’ branded dispensaries the Company purchased between December 2020 and March 2021. Mr. Wahdan was instrumental in the early growth of the Star Buds franchise. Previous to his time in the cannabis industry, he owned and operated various retail concepts in Colorado.