Dynamic Group of Accomplished Women Round Out Leadership Team
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Akanda Corp. (“Akanda” or the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Gila Jones, Gugu Dingaan and Bridget Baker to its Board of Directors as independent directors. Following the appointment of Ms. Jones, Ms. Dingaan and Ms. Baker, the Board will be comprised of seven directors total with four being independent directors.
“Akanda is deeply committed to the highest standards of ethics, sustainability and socially-conscious leadership, which includes the very top of our organization,” commented Louisa Mojela, Executive Chairman of Akanda. “Gila, Gugu and Bridget bring significant governance and oversight experience to our Board, strengthening the ESG-oriented approach that guides all our strategic decisions. Their addition to our Board also further exemplifies Akanda’s commitment to a diverse board, as we now have four females and five minorities among our leadership. I extend the warmest welcome to these three dynamic women and look forward to their points of view as we work together to achieve our goals for Akanda.”
Gila Jones is currently the Chief Operating Officer and corporate Secretary at Westbrook, an entertainment and media company founded by actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith to develop, sell, produce and market premium content for global streamers, platforms and studios. She is responsible for profitability and strategic and operational decision-making across four subsidiaries, as well as legal, human resources, IT and production operations. Jones currently serves on the Board of RootsRex, a real estate start-up that creates ownership and wealth building opportunities for renters of its portfolio properties, and as an advisor to Beignet Box, a privately held quick service restaurant chain. Jones was previously COO of beauty retailer Violet Grey, where she overhauled finance, retail, supply chain, and HR functions. She spent six years as General Counsel of fashion brand James Perse in a multifaceted role leading business operation (including the company’s international and domestic retail portfolio), legal and HR. Her experience includes expertise in nominating and governance, compensation and audit.
Gugu Dingaan brings significant financial and accounting expertise, including over 17 years of experience serving as a non-executive director for various companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as well as unlisted companies. She also has experience in serving on multinational companies headquartered outside of South Africa. In particular, Dingaan currently serves as an executive at Wipcapital (Proprietary) Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of Women Investment Portfolio Holdings (“WIPHOLD”) since 2004. In this role as an investment executive, Dingaan is responsible for managing and growing the investment portfolio. Before joining WIPHOLD, she spent three years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as Assistant Audit Manager – Financial Services, auditing financial sector companies with major clients including Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank, Rand Merchant Bank Properties, Real Africa Holdings and Swiss Re. She has served on the board of many listed companies including Distell Group Holdings Ltd.
Bridget Baker is a valued strategic advisor, corporate board director, and executive strategist to media, entertainment, and technology companies. She has proven success and deep expertise in deal negotiation, subscriber growth, strategic partnerships, and diversity advocacy. Baker had a distinguished 23-year career at NBCUniversal where she was a co-founder of CNBC and the company’s first president of TV Networks Distribution from 2006 – 2013. She was at the forefront of a wide range of strategic initiatives, from expanding coverage of the Olympic Games to creating Hulu. In 2019, Baker was the first woman named to the board of LiveOne Inc. (NASDAQ: LVO). From 2013 – 2018, she was the first and only woman to serve on the board of directors of General Communication Inc., Alaska’s largest telecommunications company (NASDAQ: LBRDA). In 2016 she was nominated to the board of directors of Yahoo! which garnered her national and international recognition.
About Akanda Corp.
Akanda is an international medical cannabis company seeking to help patients around the world lead better lives by democratizing access to cannabis-based medicine and wellness products. Akanda’s initial portfolio includes Bophelo Bioscience & Wellness, a GACP qualified cultivation and processing campus in the Kingdom of Lesotho in Southern Africa focused on cultivating ethically sourced cannabis of the highest quality at a low-cost compared to many of its competitors, and CanMart, a UK-based fully approved pharmaceutical importer and distributor which supplies pharmacies and clinics within the UK.
A cornerstone of Akanda’s value system is its fundamental commitment to using its operations as a force for sustainability and social good. Akanda will seek to deliver on this promise by driving positive change in wellness, empowering individuals in Lesotho, and by uplifting the quality of the lives of employees and the local communities where it operates – while limiting its carbon footprint. Adhering to best practice ESG operating and disclosure standards is among Akanda’s highest priorities.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
This press release contains certain “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking information and forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only Akanda’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of Akanda’s control. Generally, such forward-looking information or forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking information may relate to anticipated events or results including, but not limited to business strategy, product development and sales and growth plans. The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and Akanda does not undertake to update any forward-looking information and/or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
Matt Chesler, CFA
Allison + Partners