Nick Scalera, CEO and Founder. For more than 20 years, Nick held management positions with high-tech New Jersey companies such as AT&T, Perkin Elmer, Telcordia Technologies, and Ericsson. He has also taught business, technical, and math courses at several NJ colleges and universities. Since 2001, his consultancy, NJS Marketing Services, has helped businesses across a wide range of industries develop and implement strategies to achieve their growth objectives.
Nick is currently founder and CEO of NJ Cannabis Consulting, serving the business needs of entrepreneurs and companies interested in becoming involved in the legal recreational cannabis market in New Jersey by:
- Helping them understand the many challenges that lie ahead.
- Determining whether the opportunities are right for them.
- Developing and executing the plans and programs necessary to their success.
He also speaks, blogs, and tweets regularly on the business aspects of cannabis legalization in New Jersey.
Nick is also a certified SCORE business counselor and workshop instructor and holds BS, MS, and MBA degrees.
*NOTE: Mr. Scalera is not an advocate (pro or con) for the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey
Jeff Shapiro, Cannabis and Hemp Consultant is a New Jersey native with roots in Trenton. He is a cannabis business consultant focused on operations and serves as a subject-matter expert. Jeff has been serving the cannabis industry for the last eleven years. He started a Medical Cannabis Collective in Santa Cruz CA in 2007 and operated a fully integrated, compliant medical cannabis operation there until 2013 where he provided high-quality medical cannabis and derived products to registered patients in the State of California.
Jeff started consulting in the cannabis and hemp areas in 2014. Jeff has worked with established cannabis companies in order to help grow their operations, expand their businesses into new markets, and help them focus on protecting the health and safety of the public, by delivering safe, trustworthy, and high-quality products. Jeff is well versed across industry sectors and provides consulting and advisory services for government organizations, cannabis companies, and ancillary businesses alike.
Dave Pepe, Cannabis Business Consultant is an experienced executive with expertise in strategic global market and business development, leadership, and operations planning & execution. Dave has 20+ years of expertise in global business/market development and has held business and operational management positions at Ericsson, Avaya, T-Mobile, and Tata Communications.
Dave holds a B.S.E.E. in microprocessor and system design, and further graduate studies in Finance and Marketing.
Most recently, Dave was Sr. Director, Global Business Development Operations of Mobility Solution. As Head of Tata’s Global Mobile Operations, he was responsible for the global planning/execution, capital investments, business process improvement, and pricing/offer management governance. Routinely engaged with internal and F500 Board of Directors for funding/investment and operational execution.
Mara Gordon Samuels, Public Relations
Mara Samuels’ career spans more than 25 years of corporate and agency experience in B2B public relations, marketing and communications for global Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and SMBs across several industries.
An accomplished, results-oriented professional, Mara has a proven track record developing and executing successful public relations programs that yield strong results. She brings a depth of valuable experience advising on strategy, brand positioning, messaging, value proposition and key differentiators in target markets.
Working with diverse clients and complex technologies, Mara’s strength is to translate business objectives into public relations initiatives that are strategic, clearly define measurements of success, and communicate the company’s value.
Mara is expert in managing product launches, creating content targeted to key audiences, writing and pitching press releases to business, technology and vertical market publications, developing social media content, media and analyst relations, and securing contributed article placements and speaking opportunities.
Mara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey and has participated in advanced marketing and communications studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University and Seton Hall. She is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators, having served at the chapter, district and region level, including a term as Region President.
Outside the office, Mara can be found weight training, participating in aerial yoga and Pilates classes, cuddling with her two dogs, and enjoying beach time at the NJ shore with her husband and son.
Melissa Salsbury, Cannabis Business Consultant is a fourteen-year veteran of the Medical/Adult Use Cannabis Industry with multifaceted experience in the regulated market. She is one of the founders of a successful, high volume Cannabis Business in Denver, CO where she led dispensary, cultivation, extraction and wholesale operations.
Having founded Botanico in 2009, Melissa’s leadership responsibilities extended beyond operations into regulations, compliance, governmental and community relations. To date, she has won six licenses in the State of Colorado. Her business strategies and marketing prowess helped Botanico become one of the top-rated dispensaries in Colorado.
Melissa is also a founder and former Board Member of the Cannabis Business Alliance, a Colorado chamber of commerce industry trade group which focuses on self-regulation. In 2015, Melissa founded Industry Pioneer Consulting, a consulting company that assists new entrants into the regulated cannabis industry offering application preparation, compliance, business strategy and development, SOP writing, staffing and training, branding and marketing, facility planning and design, research and analytic services.