Chairman of the Board
Mr. Young has served as our Chairman since December 2019. Mr. Young is a founding partner of Cottingham Capital, an investment company focused on real estate and technology investment, where he has served as Managing Partner since its inception in January 2017. Prior to January 2017, Mr. Young served as the Managing Director and Co-Head of Trading of GMP Securities, L.P., a Canadian investment bank. Mr. Young currently serves on the boards of Aerues Inc., an anti-microbial copper coating technology company, and XIB I Capital Corp., a capital pool company, and was previously on the boards of Nuuvera Corp. and ICC Labs. Mr. Young holds a diploma in Finance from George Brown College. We believe Mr. Young’s qualifications to serve as a director of our Company include his extensive senior level executive management and trading experience in the Canadian and U.S. capital markets and his experience on other public company boards of directors.
Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Director
Mr. Dalla-Longa is a Partner at Albaron Partners, a private equity fund focused on acquiring and operating medical practices and other healthcare businesses, where he has served since August 2017. Prior to August 2017, Mr. Dalla-Longa served as a Sector Head at Magnetar Capital, a privately owned hedge fund sponsor, and an Investment Analyst at King Street Capital Management, a global investment management company. Previously, Mr. Dalla-Longa served as our Chief Executive Officer and served as the Chief Executive Officer of Bona Vida, Inc. from October 2018 until its acquisition by the Company. Mr. Dalla-Longa holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. We believe Mr. Dalla-Longa’s qualifications to serve as a director of our Company include his experience investing in, and operating, commodity-related and consumer-facing business and his institutional knowledge of the animal health and wellness space within the hemp-derived CBD industry.
Mr. Close has served as a director of the Company since January 2020. Mr. Close is the Chief Executive Officer of CHOICE Administrators where he is responsible for two health insurance programs: A multi-carrier private health insurance exchange, CaliforniaChoice, and the nation’s first ancillary benefits exchange, ChoiceBuilder. Mr.Close previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for The Word & Brown Companies where he oversaw information technology, marketing, and strategic business development. He worked closely with the business units to ensure strategic alignment between corporate short-term and long-term strategic goals. Mr. Close was previously President of Quotit Corp and HealthCompare, two national health insurance distribution platforms, before their acquisition by National General Holdings Corp. in early 2017. He was also President of CONEXIS, a leading benefits administration company, before its acquisition by WageWorks in 2014. Mr. Close joined The Word & Brown Companies in 2003. His professional background makes him uniquely suited to lead CHOICE Administrators. He has an impressive career spanning more than 35 years in employee benefits and health care. Prior to joining The Word & Brown Companies, he held senior executive positions with Health Net of California and American Specialty Health. Mr. Close earned his Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Ohio State University. We believe Mr. Close’s qualifications to serve as a director of our Company include a strong background in strategic planning, operational effectiveness, sales, distribution and organizational development.
Mr. Davis has served as a director of the Company since March 2019. Mr. Davis founded Molio Inc., a venture-backed, creative and media analytics agency, where he has served as Chief Executive Officer since February 2015. Prior to founding Molio Inc., Mr. Davis served as director and Chief Executive Officer of Orabrush Inc., a recognized Google e-commerce startup business focused on YouTube advertising for oral care products. Mr. Davis has also served in a variety of leadership positions at Procter & Gamble in 5 different countries over 20 years, where he spent time in numerous product sectors including consumer-packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and beauty. Mr. Davis holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in German from the University of Utah. We believe Mr. Davis’s qualifications to serve as a director of our Company include skills and expertise in sales,marketing and general management, innovation and brand-building, strategic planning, digital DTC and e-commerce advertising, organizational effectiveness, global “big company” and entrepreneurial “startup” businesses, as well as a global network of business relationships.
Mr. Gee has served as a director of the Company since January 2020. Mr. Gee has been the Chief Financial Officer for all of The Word and Brown Companies (the Word & Brown General Agency, CHOICE Administrators, and California Rx Card Program) since June of 2006. In addition, Mr. Gee oversees Information Technology, Human Resources,Security & Compliance, Legal, Marketing, and Strategic Business Development. Mr.Gee also is a Certified Public Accountant and a Licensed Life and Health Agent in California. Before joining The Word and Brown Companies, he worked as Vice President of Finance and Vice President of Sales for Nationwide Insurance Companies; Vice President of Finance, Vice President of Operations, and Vice President and Controller at CalFarm Insurance Company; Vice President of Finance for Foundation Health Plans. In addition, he worked as an AuditManager for KPMG where he managed audits of various manufacturing, retail and distribution customers. Mr. Gee holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Computer Science from California State University, Chico. We believe Mr. Gee’s qualifications to serve as a director of our Company include his financial and operational acumen and his relationships with financial institutions.
Ms. Taylor founded TruPet, LLC, a direct to consumer dog food and supplement company, where she served as its Chief Executive Officer from August 2013 to April 2019. Ms. Taylor also founded RevMedia Marketing LLC, a full-service marketing consultation and product innovation firm, and has served as its Chief Executive Officer since April 2009. From February 1922 to March 2009, Ms. Taylor served as Senior Account Director at RR Donnelley, the largest direct marketer in the United States, during which time she managed direct marketing activity for Fortune 50 accounts, including Proctor and Gamble and was instrumental in the launch of national brands including Tide, Crest White Strips, Charmin, Puffs, and IAMS. Ms. Taylor’s accolades include being named a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer in 2012 and a Forbes Top 20 Female Social Media Influencer in2013. During her time at RR Donnelley, Ms. Taylor also won the Direct Marketing Association’s prestigious Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards. Ms. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Business Logistics from the University of Missouri. We believe Ms. Taylor’s qualifications to serve as a director of our Company include her marketing expertise, direct response acumen entrepreneurial experience. Ms. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Business Logistics from the University of Missouri.
John M. Word, III
John M. Word III is renowned for transforming the California insurance broker’s role in the small group health benefits marketplace through his pioneering technological and marketing advances since 1972. Mr. Word founded the Word & Brown General Agency in 1984 to market and distribute health plans through California’s huge brokerage community; by 1986, the company was recognized as the largest independent small group health distributor in the nation. That same year, the company launched the nation’s first COBRA administration operation, sensing that employers needed assistance and qualified support with federal COBRA laws. CaliforniaChoice®, a groundbreaking enterprise empowering small business employees to select from multiple health plans within one program, was launched in 1996.