Nick Scalera, CEO and Founder, NJ Cannabis Consulting.
For more than 20 years, Nick held management positions with high-tech New Jersey companies including AT&T, Perkin Elmer, Telcordia Technologies, and Ericsson. He also taught business, technical, and math courses at several NJ colleges and universities. From 2001 until 2018, his consultancy, NJS Marketing Services, helped businesses across a wide range of industries develop and implement strategies to achieve their growth objectives.
In 2018, Nick established NJ Cannabis Consulting to serve the business needs of entrepreneurs and companies interested in starting and successfully operating legal cannabis companies by:
- Developing cannabis business plans, pro formas and pitch decks.
- Performing the research and analysis required to develop and execute effective marketing campaigns.
- Advising on the organization, planning and operation of various types of cannabis businesses. More recently, Nick established The Cannabis Learning Center, a free online platform for sharing cannabis-related educational information across 67 different topic areas. Nick regularly lectures, blogs, and tweets on the business aspects of the cannabis industry and has been interviewed for articles and radio programs on the topic. Nick is also a SCORE business counselor and workshop instructor. He holds BS (St. Peter’s University), MS (Stevens Institute), and MBA (Fairleigh Dickinson) degrees.
*NOTE: Mr. Scalera is not an advocate (pro or con) for the legalization of cannabis in New Jersey
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.
Renato Paoli and Josh Petty, Cannabis Operations Consulting
Renato Paoli and Josh Petty are the newest members of the NJ Cannabis Consulting team, providing professional services to operators of cannabis cultivation, retail and manufacturing businesses. With almost two decades of combined cannabis experience, they have worked within multiple facets of the industry, developing an extensive background in the design and successful operation of cannabis businesses from seed-to-sale.
Renato possesses a B.S. degree in Biology (plant science concentration), a cannabis certificate from Stockton University and a Hydrocarbon certification from ETS. Josh has helped design and manage an irrigation room capable of monitoring and feeding 80,000 square feet of indoor garden. With experience working in both indoor and outdoor legacy grows, managing large MSO operations and directing smaller boutique cultivation facilities, their experience helps mitigate risk while maximizing yield for cultivation facilities. They can also help new cannabis companies set-up and operate successful processing and retail operations.