Executive Team en 1

David Lobo, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer

Reporting into the OCRC Board of Directors, David oversees all day-to-day operations of the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). David has been with the OCS since its inception in 2017 and prior to that he worked on the development of the legal recreational cannabis model while at the Ministry of Finance. David is committed to the success of the industry and fostering relationships with OCS’ retailer and licensed producer partners.

Prior to this role, David held the position of Chief Merchandising Officer with responsibility over merchandising, brand, insights, marketing and digital experience. He also previously held the role of the Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Vice President – Social Responsibility. David has experience in various policy and strategic engagement roles with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and the Ontario Government. He holds a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University.

Executive Team en 2

Beverly Altberg, Vice President of Merchandising

Bev provides leadership for the OCS’s merchandising, brand, insights, marketing, and digital experience teams. Bev is a transformative operator with 20 years of experience across corporate strategy, marketing, digital, merchandising and operations at various large corporations in both the US and Canada. She recently served as the EVP, Consumables and Cannabis for a family office where she took an active role in the success of the portfolio companies. Prior to that, Bev was a Vice President at Grainger Canada, Canada’s leading industrial supplies distributor, where she worked to transform the organization into a customer-centric, digital-first and diversified service business. She has also held various marketing leadership roles with Frito Lay, including running one of Canada’s largest food brands, Lay’s potato chips, and has years of merchant experience with both Target and Macy’s in the US.

Bev’s experience with value proposition development and driving corporate-wide scale and change initiatives will support the OCS as the industry grows. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science from Valparaiso University.

Executive Team en 3

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 4

Janet Ihm, Vice President of Wholesale and 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.

Executive Team en 5

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.

Executive Team en 6

Deborah Morshead, Chief Legal and Administrative Officer

Debbie is a seasoned corporate lawyer and experienced executive who has held senior roles at complex and fast paced customer-driven organizations in competitive industries, including Loblaw, George Weston, Dell and Kodak. Debbie has experience running her own legal and compliance practice where she provided advice to a range of companies, including several in the legal cannabis space.

Most recently, Debbie served as Chief Compliance Officer for George Weston Limited where she led the company through a tremendous period of transformation. Immediately prior to this, Debbie spent 9 years in senior leadership positions in Loblaw’s Legal Dept., including Associate General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer.

At OCS, Debbie provides leadership for the areas of Legal Services & Board Governance, Internal Audit & Risk, Corporate Security, Privacy & Freedom of Information and Human Resources. Leveraging her background, Debbie will also works closely with a range of teams across the organization to further create and promote a strong culture of corporate compliance as the OCS continues to grow and stabilize.

Debbie holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, an LL.B from the University of Windsor, and a CCEP (Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional) designation.

Executive Team en 7

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 8

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 9

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.