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.
Chief Operating Officer & Director
Krishnamurthy has over 25 years of experience in innovation, technology, integration, restructuring and M&A at Fortune 500 companies. As Chief Information Officer of United Airlines, Krishnamurthy was part of the management team that undertook one the largest turnaround restructurings in corporate America. He used technology, business analytics and process improvements as major levers to drive cost reduction and revenue enhancement for the airline. After United Airlines, Krishnamurthy became Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President at Northern Trust Bank where he oversaw an IT Transformation effort that enabled better collaboration and implemented several large-scale enterprise wide initiatives. Krishnamurthy was also Chief Strategy Officer at The Great Atlantic & Pacific Company where he oversaw the operational restructuring and the subsequent M&A transaction. For the past several years, he has been a partner at Dye Capital and oversees its technology investment portfolio. Krishnamurthy holds an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from SUNY at Buffalo.
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.