December 9, 2021 – JM Search, a senior-level talent provider serving private equity investors, portfolio companies and Fortune 1000s, recently assisted in the recruitment of Denyelle Bruno as chief executive officer of Perfect Union, California’s largest wholly owned cannabis company. Former CEO David Spradlin will continue to serve as president. The search was led by recruiters Abbee Phillips and MaryJeanne Scott. “Denyelle is exactly the type of leader this business and industry needs,” said Ms. Phillips. “She will bring her understanding of building great brands and best in class teams to Perfect Union.”
“The cannabis industry has been a front-runner in making it a priority to have underrepresented individuals a part of their leadership teams,” said Ms. Scott. “With diversity, equity and inclusion as one of our core values, we are thrilled to not only provide our client with the best possible talent but to have female executives rise to the top of the cannabis industry. Denyelle’s expertise will aid in building a world-class team and will not only take Perfect Union but the cannabis industry to new heights.”
“Our goal has always been to earn the trust of our medical and adult-use customers by bringing them quality products and investing in the communities we serve,” said Mr. Spradlin. “This focus has led to tremendous growth and the need to bring in a truly experienced business builder. I am thrilled that Denyelle will join as CEO and my partner in building a world-class team and taking this company to new heights.”
Ms. Bruno was awarded 2020 CEO of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal, among other prestigious leadership awards, while serving as CEO of Tender Greens, where she restructured the farm-to-fork restaurant chain to ready it for broad national scale. She was part of the seven-member team that created Apple’s retail experience and personally opened the first Apple store (Glendale, CA, in 2001). She has held leadership positions at some of the nation’s most renowned brands, including Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Drybar, where she helped build one of the hottest brands in the beauty industry as president of retail.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to lead one of the few cannabis companies in the nation that has already been able to scale $100 million in revenue run rate with 100 percent year-over-year growth and positive EBITDA,” said Ms. Bruno. “I look forward to taking this well-run business to the next level.”
Perfect Union has over a decade of experience managing profitable cannabis businesses, navigating state and local laws and regulations, and adding value to the communities where they operate. The company has a track record of building engagement, social welfare and outreach programs that focus on local partnerships, monetary investments, and in-store donation campaigns.
Related: JM Search Recruits CMO for TrueLearn
“As the cannabis industry scales, so does the demand for experienced executive leadership,” said Ms. Phillips. “We are seeing that demand is met with interest, as more and more executives are looking to shift into the cannabis industry. This industry is at a pivotal inflection point. We are dedicated to our mission of recruiting well-vetted senior executives from outside the industry who can quickly adapt and apply their expertise to help scale cannabis-related companies and accelerate growth.”
JM Search is an advisor to CEOs, investors, and boards of directors in recruiting, assessing, and delivering high performance leaders and transformational leadership teams. Its clients include private equity firms and portfolio companies, venture capital-backed businesses and publicly held companies across North America. Founded in 1980, the JM Search recruiting team brings together former operating and financial executives, investors and experienced search professionals with deep industry specialization, functional expertise and proven access to talent spanning multiple industry sectors.
JM Search named MaryJeanne Scott and Phil Menzel as co-leaders of its consumer practice. Additional practice members include Abbee Phillips and Mike Neff, partners; Liza Stokes, vice president; and, Pete Haessig, search consultant. The search executives are supported by a team of research and business development associates.
Ms. Phillips leads the retail and consumer practice for JM Search, where she recruits C-level executives for retail, consumer, and e-commerce businesses. She is also an integral part of the firm’s entry into the legal cannabis industry. Ms. Phillips is a founding member of JM Search’s cannabis practice, which was established back in 2016. For more than two decades, Ms. Phillips has worked with highly marketed clients to execute senior-level executive searches in merchandising, marketing, operations, and finance. She has placed executives with leading brands and retailers that include Ralph Lauren, Coach, Alberto Culver, Home Depot and AutoZone.
Ms. Scott leads JM Search’s consumer practice. She brings over 22 years of executive search experience, working broadly across omni-channel retail, digital, consumer products, luxury home and apparel, fast fashion, home decor, leisure, health and wellness, and consumer goods manufacturing.
She has led senior-level engagements including C-suite, executive and director level/general management positions. Ms. Scott has partnered with private equity firms and their portfolio companies and has extensive experience recruited within the functional disciplines of marketing, merchandising, finance, I/T, human resources, supply chain/logistics, operations, and sales. She has worked with brands such as Holly Hunt, Kohler, Barney’s New York, Lifetime Fitness, Northern Tool & Equipment, Cabela’s, Target, Manhattan Toy and Room & Board.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media