Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Corporate Secretary
Mr. Sandelman is a 30-year veteran of banking and finance, with a history of generating shareholder value. He served as president of Bank of America Securities after building its capital markets businesses through the early 2000s, building Bank of America beyond its roots as a consumer and corporate lender, and subsequently founded and served as CEO of the multi-billion dollar asset manager Sandelman Partners.
Chief Financial Officer
Brad Asher is an accomplished finance and accounting professional with unique cross-sector experience spanning financial institutions to tech start-ups. He previously served as the controller for Ayr, where he was instrumental in implementing the necessary software and financial controls to drive efficiencies across the company’s portfolio of businesses. Prior to Ayr, he was the vice president controller at a global ad-tech company. Asher began his career at KPMG, where he led teams across multiple sectors.
Co-Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Drake is a proven business leader in both large blue chip institutions and at lean start-ups. A former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs with extensive M&A experience, Ms. Drake institutionalized the businesses of several multi-billion dollar asset management firms, ensuring compliance within complex regulatory frameworks and creating a foundation for accelerated growth.
Co-Chief Operating Officer
Jason is a veteran banking and finance executive who has built and led multiple global businesses during his 25+ year career at Jefferies, Bank of America, Sanford Bernstein and JP Morgan. He excels at leading teams to deliver strong and consistent results while navigating the complex challenges facing fast growing, high touch businesses in highly regulated industries. Jason leads Ayr’s operating businesses across the US and is executing the company’s strategy to drive organic growth, integrate new acquisitions and expand new cultivation and production facilities and retail stores.
Chief Development Officer
Pitchford is a founding member of Washoe Wellness and The Canopy NV, two cannabis companies acquired by Ayr in May 2019. He has an extensive background in the industry, having operated multiple marijuana cultivation, dispensary, processing and distribution companies in Nevada and California. Pitchford has also consulted on regulatory and industry-related issues across the U.S., from operational and production matters to the medical and recreational marijuana application processes.
Previously, Pitchford was founder and CEO of Wise Owl Team, a management consulting company providing services related to executive and financial oversight, compliance, security, loss prevention and human resources for the cannabis industry.
Chief People Officer
Anya Varga is a renowned human resources professional with nearly 20 years of progressive HR leadership experience focused on connecting organizational strategy with talent priorities in high change, rapid growth environments. As Ayr’s Chief People Officer, Anya oversees the company’s Human Resources department and executes on strategic initiatives designed to attract, develop, and retain talent across the rapidly growing organization.
Before starting at Ayr in November 2021, Anya served as Senior Vice President of People at LVMH’s Starboard Cruise Services division, where she worked alongside the executive team to establish a high performing organizational culture and develop a new retail strategy for increased profitability. She additionally holds certifications for Parts 1 & 2 of the Coaches Training Institute (CTI)’s Program for Co-Active Coaching.
Head of Strategy and M&A
Mr. Mendola has nearly 20 years of experience as a public and private equity investor and has been an active investor in the cannabis industry. Prior to joining Ayr, he was the Founder and Portfolio Manager of Pacific Grove Capital, a hedge fund focused primarily on investments in consumer, cannabis, technology and payments. Pacific Grove was named the best new hedge fund by Hedge Funds Review in 2015 and Jamie received accolades from Institutional Investor as a Hedge Fund Rising Star.
Prior to founding Pacific Grove in 2014, Jamie was a Partner at Scout Capital, a Principal at Watershed Asset Management, an Analyst at JLL Partners and an Analyst at J.P. Morgan. He received his MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and B.S. in Management from Binghamton University.