Meet the Team

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Cliff Giesenow

Joint CEO

Cliff is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for incubating and launching ideas, with experience in the Cannabis, Real Estate and Technology industries. He is the founder and owner of Leafolo™️, the world's first African herbal smoking blends, and is also a co-founder of CannaTradeAfrica, which is the holding company of ‘The Greenside’, and CannaFoodsAfrica, where he is currently responsible for product sourcing and development, wholesale and online channels. His expertise includes sales, marketing and business development. Cliff has extensive networks and connections in the Cannabis industry.

CannaFoodsAfrica sources, produces and delivers a wide range of high-quality cannabis products to market under the brand 'Taste of Cannabis'. With a chain of retail stores in key shopping malls across South Africa, as well as an online presence, they offer a unique channel to market for both local and international offerings.

Cliff is a member of the industry non-profit, ‘Fields of Green for All’ and is also a co-founder of the Cannabis Trade Association Africa (CTAA), which is a voluntary association for industry companies and professionals. The CTAA is involved in industry and government liaison, education, networking as well as business and skills development.

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Pierre van der Hoven

Joint CEO

Pierre has over 30 years of business and entrepreneurship experience, which is largely focused in the media industry. His career started at the SABC, where he held various financial and strategic positions. Pierre is a founder and key player in setting up a number of media companies including eTV (first commercial free-to-air television station in RSA), YFM (regional radio station), Yarona FM (a regional radio station in Botswana), TBM Communications (digital signage company), SA Direct (TV channel on Sky in the UK covering travel, tourism and business in Southern Africa) and Tuluntulu (a mobile video and audio streaming app focusing on African content).

Since 2016 Pierre has been increasingly focused on the Cannabis and Hemp industries closely monitoring international and local developments in legalisation as well as recognition of the medicinal benefits of cannabis. In early 2018, Pierre was commissioned to write a research report on cannabis and Hemp's economic potential for South Africa. In 2017, Pierre founded a vertically integrated cannabis company called AfriCannaBiz, as well as a cannabis-focused consulting company called Baobab International.

In 2018, Pierre led a cannabis licence application in Zimbabwe and was involved in numerous licence and permit applications in South Africa. Pierre worked with the Cannabis Development Council (CDC) and the Traditional Healers Organisation (THO). He founded a cannabis industry advocacy organisation called African Cannabis Industry Association (ACIA).

Pierre has consulted with various local and international companies and has delivered papers at various conferences, including VEXPO, Cannabis Expo as well as hosting numerous local and international webinars. Pierre has been recognised by the South African government as an Innovation Ambassador and has sat on the Council of the Da Vinci Institute for many years. Pierre holds numerous directorships in private companies.

Pierre is a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA) SA and Chartered Marketer CM (SA). He holds an MBA from Henley Business School in the UK where his MBA thesis focused on Africa as a destination for international TV co-productions. Pierre holds a Masters from the Cannabis Training University in the USA and is a member of the African Natural Healing Association (ANHA) focused on A0frican traditional medicine. Pierre is passionate about Cannabis, Hemp, natural health, entrepreneurship, media, technology and making a positive contribution to a prosperous Africa.

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Jeffrey Miller

Non-Executive Director

Jeffrey is a Chartered Accountant and completed his articles at Grant Thornton. He has over 30 years of experience investing in unquoted companies across numerous industries. Jeffrey co-founded Brandcorp, which was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 1997.

He brings many years of operational and investment skills to the Company. He was a co-founder of KNR Flatrock, Balboa Finance, Born Free Properties, Eurosuit, Bride & Co., Seed Engine, Seed Academy and Grovest Corporate Advisory. Jeffrey is a pioneer of Section 12J Venture Capital Companies in South Africa and is an active member of various subcommittees of SAVCA and Simodisa, which focuses their efforts on the South African Venture Capital industry.

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Darryl Weisz

Non-Executive Director

Following his university studies, Darryl started his career at Nampak Ltd, initially in HR management as well as various sales and marketing roles across various industries. Through his career, he managed major brand portfolios in the Kellogg company of SA and Nampak Tissue (now Twinsaver Tissue). He was appointed as Managing Director of Nampak Tissue in 2003.

Thereafter he held Executive positions in the Liberty Group (2009) as Managing Director of the Strategic Ventures division and Managing Director/ Sales & Marketing Executive in the Hulamin group (2012). In a 30-year corporate career spanning numerous industries, Darryl has built a broad range of business experience in local and international markets by managing businesses and major FMCG and industrial brands across the world.

Darryl currently occupies numerous non-executive positions in small-to-medium companies. He consults in the areas of Strategic Planning and Business Growth on both a professional and pro-bono basis. His ongoing community work includes the Chairmanship of the ORT Trust, which is an international educational and skills enhancement non-profit organisation, where he remains a Trustee on the Board.

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Paul Bacher

Non-Executive Director

Paul co-founded a number of start-ups that became leaders in their industries. Examples include NetActive, Call Centre Nucleus (CCN) and NetFlorist. While at CCN, Paul put together the first South African National Call Centre Industry Body and was elected as its first CEO.

His passion for social entrepreneurship led to Paul founding the following: OrtJet in 2005 (a charity utilising 700 volunteer execs to rehabilitate struggling businesses via mentorship and training), co-founding the Rosebank Craft Market at the Rosebank Mall in November 2013, founding the National Mentorship Movement in 2016 (which is a national initiative to pair 100 000 mentors with 1 million entrepreneurs), and Community Connect in 2018. In March 2017, Paul was appointed CEO of Foundation 2000 (a Foundation providing grant capital to appropriate causes).

In 2013 Paul received the highly acclaimed ABSA Jewish Achievers Service Award for OrtJet, and in Dec 2016, he was a finalist in the Global Community Philanthropy Summit's Olga Alexeeva Memorial Prize for philanthropy.

In 2015 Paul co-founded Blue Haven Investments, which is a boutique venture capital business that is focused on disruptive technology and property development.