Executive Team en 1

Thomas Haig, President and CEO

Reporting into the OCRC Board of Directors, Thomas oversees all day-to-day operations of the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). Prior to joining the OCS, Thomas had a distinguished career, leading many iconic Canadian retail businesses. Most recently, he held the position of President and Chief Operating Officer at Giant Tiger. His prior retail leadership experience includes President – Stores and Specialty Division at HBC, President and COO at Zellers, Interim COO at Danier Leather and President – Fashion & Footwear, at M.H. Alshaya Group (overseeing over 1000 retail stores in Kuwait for brands including American Eagle Outfitters, Pottery Barn and Muji).  

Executive Team en 2

David Lobo, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer

David leads the OCS’s corporate affairs, policy, communications and social responsibility efforts.

David joined OCS prior to legalization and his previous experience with both the AGCO and the Ontario Ministry of Finance developing Ontario’s cannabis retail framework serves OCS and its customers well, having seen legal cannabis retail in Ontario from its earliest stages to where it is today.

David has extensive experience in public policy, international relations and strategic engagement and holds a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University.

Executive Team en 3

Cheri Mara, Chief Commercial Officer

Cheri is an accomplished and dynamic executive with over 18 years of experience in category management, marketing and merchandising, with a proven record of leading growth in both retail and digital formats. With extensive experience in strategic planning, new product and brand development, product strategy, brand marketing and consumer communications, Cheri is known for her ability to drive results with customer-centric solutions and strategic thinking.

 After numerous years in executive-level roles with Canadian Tire and Walmart, Cheri joined Indigo, where she most recently held the position of Vice President, General Merchandise, Digital. Cheri has taken an active role on the boards of Rent Frock Repeat and YWCA Women of Distinction Fundraising. Cheri holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from the University of New Brunswick and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development.

Executive Team en 4

Tony Priolo, Vice President of Education, Strategic Engagement & Community Outreach

Tony leads the OCS’s efforts to engage with stakeholders and First Nations and the development of internal and external education. Tony is an accomplished educator and leader with 18+ years of progressive experience and has a proven record of successful contributions in education, project management, business analysis/evaluation, Universal Design for Learning, and mental health and addictions training and employment. He joined OCS from George Brown College, School of Work and College Preparation, where he held the position of Academic Chair.

Tony has a significant record of accomplishments for developing and implementing education and training programs, process improvements, as well as sustained recognition for community service. Tony holds a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University.

Executive Team en 5

Sylvie Roussel, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Sylvie is responsible for legal services, corporate secretary office, privacy and freedom of information, corporate security and risk management.

Sylvie is a seasoned lawyer and leader with 24 years of experience in public and private sectors with a focus on providing high quality legal services, creating strategic relationships with other leaders and effectively managing risks. Sylvie was previously with the Ministry of the Attorney General, Civil Law Division - Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Branch where she held the position of Deputy Director.  Prior to working at the Ministry of the Attorney General, Sylvie held senior positions at AgriCorp, Baxter Corporation, Direct Energy Marketing Limited and Air Canada. Sylvie holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science Honours in Biology from Université de Moncton. Sylvie is an active member of the Law Society of Ontario.

Executive Team en 6

Denny Palarchio, Chief Operating Officer

Denny leads OCS’s logistics and operations and is a senior operations management strategist with leadership experience in operations and supply chain in both national and global organizations. After numerous years in progressively more senior supply chain roles with Indigo, he joined Chefs Plate, Canada’s leading online meal-kit delivery business as the Chief Operating Officer. Denny’s experience with online businesses and the food sector will successfully support the OCS as the industry grows. Denny holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University and is a graduate from the Supply Chain Management Executive Program at Stanford University.

Executive Team en 7

Amanda Carr, Chief Information Officer

Amanda provides leadership for the continued development of OCS’ innovative, robust, and secure information technology strategies and initiatives. She has been a member of the OCS Information Technology leadership team since she joined in December 2017 leading the team to implement a scalable retail and wholesale ecosystem, while meeting the demands of a new marketplace. Amanda brings over 18 years management experience, leading several multimillion-dollar program portfolios including transitioning LCBO.com to eCommerce. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management from the University of Guelph.

Executive Team en 8

Zeela Merchant, Chief of Financial Operations

Zeela leads the OCS’s finance group and has over 20 years of progressive financial leadership roles within the public sector including Metrolinx, Ontario Financing Authority, Office of the Provincial Controller Division (Treasury Board) at the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario. Zeela holds both her Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Accountant (CA) designations as well as both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Accounting from the University of Waterloo.