Drew Green, Director

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Drew Green is an award winning chief executive officer, entrepreneur and expert in managing fast-paced, high-growth companies. A visionary leader, Drew has created one of the world's fastest growing apparel brands. Since 2015, he has established significant strategic capital, hired a world class management team and created global alliances that has led to over +500% growth, significantly increasing profitability KPI's. Over the past five years, INDOCHINO created, launched and then expanded to 50 showrooms, employing over 800 people, with another 1700 people working daily to produce the one of a kind garments each INDOCHINO customer creates.

Previously recognized as top 40 under 40, as well as CEO of the year, Drew has been recognized for his accomplishments throughout his career. In 2017, Drew was awarded the Innovation in Retail award by the University of Alberta. In 2018 he was awarded Breakout Retailer of the Year by Chain Store Age, and in 2018, Drew was selected as The Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young. In 2019, Canadian Business announced that between 2015-2019, INDOCHINO was the #1 fastest growing Canadian retailer, with sales globally, and third fastest growing retailer in Canada amongst retailers with revenues over $100M.

Prior to INDOCHINO, Drew founded and was chief executive officer of SHOP.CA, Canada's first multimerchant marketplace, which is now owned by Emerge. Throughout his career, Drew has played key roles at companies that have created billions in shareholder value through leadership roles at DoubleClick (acquired by Google), SHOP.COM (acquired by Market America) and Flonetwork (acquired by DoubleClick).

In addition to Emerge, Drew is currently chairman of five publicly listed or pre public listed companies, including AIRES TECH (CSE: WIFI), LUCK BOX (reserved ticker TSXV: LUCK), BRUUSH (reserved ticker TSXV: BRSH) and APOLLO INSURANCE (reserved ticker TSXV: APLO). As a dedicated mentor to Canadian entrepreneurs, Drew is the founder, chairman, or an investor in 25 Canadian companies that drive innovation and growth within retail, direct to consumer products, insurance, artificial intelligence, technology, and real estate. A sought after expert, Drew has presented to hundreds of thousands of people, and has been quoted in more than 3,000 news articles, globally.

John Kim , Director

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Mr. Kim currently sits on the board as an independent director of WELL Health Technologies Corp., a company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

John is a Toronto based businessman and award-winning Institutional investor for 20+ years with an extensive capital markets network. His investment focus has included companies from a variety of sectors, including technology, healthcare, and resources at various stages of development, ranging from early start-ups to Fortune 1000 Companies. John has both public and private company board experience.

Ghassan Halazon, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director

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Ghassan Halazon is a serial e-commerce entrepreneur with a decade of scaling some of the country’s most coveted digital brands. Halazon was recently recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40 honourees for 2020, presented by BNN Bloomberg and National Post.

Ghassan is the Founder and CEO of EMERGE Commerce Ltd., an acquirer and operator of niche ecommerce assets with 2 million members across North America. EMERGE was recognized as a winner on the Startup 50, and Canada’s Top Growing Companies by the Globe and Mail.

Ghassan’s entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 25. Over the past decade, companies founded or acquired by Ghassan and his partners have saved Canadians close to $1 billion, hired 350 employees, and raised capital from over 150 global investors.

Formerly, Ghassan was an investment banker with Citi (New York) during which his team advised on $5 billion of capital raising and M&A transactions. Ghassan holds an MBA from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University.

Ghassan sits on the Boards of the Canadian Arab Institute and the Be-Abled Society.

Ghassan is an avid technology and startup speaker, having delivered keynote speeches and fireside chats at Harvard, TEDx, TechTO, and TechStars.

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Kia Besharat, Director

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Mr. Besharat has over 15 years of extensive Founder, Private Equity, Investment Banking, and Directorship experience.

As Senior Managing Director & Head of Capital Markets Origination at Gravitas Securities Inc., Kia leads the advisory, restructuring, corporate finance, and mergers & acquisitions mandates across the firm’s global platform with a recent focus on the following industry groups: consumer/retail, natural resources, internet/new media, technology, and healthcare.

Since joining the firm in 2016, he has played a pivotal role in establishing Gravitas Securities as one of the top boutique investment banks on Bay and Howe Street. At Gravitas Securities, his transactions have totaled in excess of $750 million and in aggregate of more than $3 billion over the span of his career. Kia’s entrepreneurial ability and relationship management skills allow him to work closely with and support earlier stage companies. As such, he has personally invested in and helped grow hundreds of public and private companies.

Throughout his career, Kia has always demonstrated strong leadership and a commitment to supporting his community. At Gravitas Securities, Kia has supported numerous charitable organizations such as the Daily Bread.

Food Bank, Sick Kids Hospital Foundation, Royal Columbian Hospital and many more.

Kia holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics with minor in Management) from McGill University as well as a Master of Science (Finance & Investment) from the University of Edinburgh. He was also was one of Canada's top tennis players, having competed as a professional in tournaments around the world and at the NCAA division 1 level. Kia was also recognized by the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC) as a Top 40 Under 40 Award Nominee in 2018.

Jonson Sun, Director

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Jonson is the founder of GIC Merchant Bank Corp, which has diversified business interests across Canada, the United States, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. Before founding GIC Merchant Bank, Jonson Co-Founded GIC, a financial holding company that oversees over a billion dollars in client assets through subsidiaries and affiliates and has raised C$200M for private companies through its institutional network. Along with EMERGE Commerce Ltd, Jonson also serves on the board of Hire technologies and Pishon Innovation Lab, the parent company of Tapplock Inc. Jonson is also active in faith-based impact investments as well as non-profit organizations. He serves on the board of Kore Alliance, a non-profit global family network, and a strategic advisor to the Thompson Family Office.

Nima Besharat, Director

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Nima Besharat has extensive Private Equity, Merchant Banking and Directorship experience. Nima is also a founder and shareholder in global private equity funds, hedge funds and debt funds.

He currently serves as Vice President, Global Investment Banking at Gravitas Securities, a leading independent, internationally owned and operated wealth management and capital markets firm. Gravitas Securities is a full service investment dealer platform registered with IIROC and a member of CIPF.

Prior experience in Wealth Management at TD Bank and Scotiabank. Nima articled with Oxford Properties Group, the real estate investment arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension plans.

Nima holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) from the University of Sheffield (UK), a Master of Laws in International Business Law (Dr. Peter Dyne Scholar) from King's College London, University of London (UK) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Corporate Finance) from the University of Law (UK). He is called to the Ontario Bar and has completed various courses through the Canadian Securities Institute.

Advisors

Michele Romanow, Advisor

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Michele is Co-Founder and President at Clearbanc, an innovative lending platform that has raised over $400M to fund technology startups with non-dilutive equity. Michele is also a Dragon on CBC's popular reality TV show, Dragons' Den. She was the Co-Founder of Buytopia.ca (now an EMERGE portfolio company), and SnapSaves (acquired by Groupon). Michele currently serves as a Director of Whistler Blackcomb (Vail Resorts), Freshii, and SHAD Valley. She has been listed on WXN’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada and Forbes Millennial on a Mission list.

Albert Soberano, Advisor

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Mr. Soberano is an accomplished entrepreneur, investor and corporate executive with extensive experience in the areas of retail, manufacturing, real estate, corporate sales, and marketing. He is a past CEO of Y.M. Inc., a 650 location company that is one of North America’s leading apparel retailers carrying brands such as Urban Planet, Sirens, Bluenotes, Suzy, Stitches, West49, Amnesia, and Charlotte Russe.

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Kenny Finkelstein, CA, is the Chief Executive Officer of Knight’s Bridge which he co-founded in November 2006. Mr. Finkelstein has a long and successful history of investing in, providing ongoing management, guidance and mentoring of portfolio entities, and delivering effective exit strategies.

Prior to founding Knight’s Bridge, Mr. Finkelstein co-founded and managed Gen-X Sports Inc., a diversified sporting goods company that owned multiple brands, including LAMAR, LTD Snowboards, Tommy Armour and Ram Golf, Tear Drop and Zebra Putters, Ultrawheels in-line skates, Hespeler hockey, and Volant Ski Company.

Mr. Finkelstein was also a co-founder of Lifestyle Brands Ltd., a company whose strategy was to acquire, for the purposes of creating a royalty stream, brands that needed revitalization. The brand portfolio included: AIRWALK, VISON STREET WEAR, LAMAR, LTD, RAGE, DUKES and ULTRAWHEELS. The company was successful in creating a significant royalty stream and was sold to Payless Shoes.

In the KBC Fund, Mr. Finkelstein implemented a licensing strategy while acquiring brands. He helped position these new brands as a strong and stable source of royalties, and created a successful brand portfolio with companies such as MARILYN MONROE, ELVIS PRESLEY, MUHAMMAD ALI, SPYDER, PRINCE, JUDITH LEIBER, and POLAROID. He also operated a successful internet fund, investing and advising companies such as TUBEMOGUL, BUDDY MEDIA, and LIFELOCK among others.

As CEO of Knight’s Bridge, Mr. Finkelstein, applies his extensive expertise in working closely with management of its portfolio companies, helping them formulate and meet proper targets and goals. Mr. Finkelstein has helped build a solid reputation for Knight’s Bridge, making it an organization that is known for being highly successful and proficient in identifying attractive acquisitions and investment opportunities

W. Ian Palm, Advisor

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Ian Palm is a partner in the Toronto office of Gowling WLG. His practice focuses on corporate finance, M&A and private equity.

Ian has extensive experience working with Canadian and international clients in a variety of industries, with particular expertise in the energy, technology and infrastructure sectors. He represents private and public companies, major corporate clients, pension funds, and private equity and venture capital investors.

Acting for issuers, investors and underwriters, Ian has advised clients in a range of corporate finance and M&A transactions, including private placements, public offerings, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures and public and private M&A.

Lexpert magazine previously named Ian one of the "Top 40 Lawyers Under 40" in Canada. He has since been recognized as a leading practitioner in his field by the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada and the Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Private Equity Lawyers.

Ian frequently lectures at law schools, conferences and elsewhere on private equity, M&A and securities law.