Thomas Haig, President and Chief Executive Officer
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).
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.
David Lobo, Chief Merchandising Officer
David leads the OCS’s merchandising, brand, insights, content, and digital experience teams. David has been with the OCS since its founding and has a strong passion for partnering with the industry and helping the OCS focus on continuous improvement.
Prior to this role, David was OCS’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Vice President – Social Responsibility. David previously held policy and strategic engagement roles with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and the Ontario Ministry of Finance. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University.
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.
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.
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.
Tanya Watkins, Vice President of Corporate Affairs & Social Responsibility
Tanya leads the OCS’s Corporate Affairs & Policy and Communications & Social Responsibility Teams. As OCS is a Crown Corporation, Tanya ensures the OCS works closely with the Government of Ontario to ensure the organization delivers on its mandate. This includes close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of the Attorney General, and Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
Prior to joining the OCS, Tanya held senior leadership roles at the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Attorney General, where she provided oversight of government agencies, and supported the provinces planning and policy development in the areas of gaming, horse racing, and alcohol. Tanya holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Carleton University.
Janet Ihm, Senior Director of Wholesale & Store Partnerships
Janet leads the OCS’s wholesale and customer experience & care teams and is responsible for leading the organizations development of strong partnerships with privately operated authorized retail stores. Since joining the OCS prior to legalization, Janet has helped the OCS establish its e-commerce business and several key areas of commercial focus.
Janet brings over 20 years of experience in the design, development and delivery of digital and customer experience excellence in diverse industries, including retail, telecommunication and banking. She has spent several years sharpening her skills with The Home Depot and The Source (Bell) developing omni-channel strategy to improve customer experience and drive integrated solutions. Janet holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto.