Chairman of the Board
Mr. Young serves as our Chairman. Mr. Young is a founding partner of Cottingham Capital, an investment company focused on real estate, technology and Consumer brand investments. He has served at Cottingham 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 for a Canadian Investment bank. Mr. Young was previously on the boards of Nuuvera Corp. and ICC Labs. 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, as well as his experience serving on other public company boards of directors.
Interim Chief Executive Officer and Director
Lionel Conacher joins Better Choice with over thirty years of financial experience, spanning senior positions in public companies in both Canada and the US, investment banking, private equity and venture capital. Mr. Conacher currently serves as Chairman of DXL Group (NASDAQ: DXLG), where he has successfully guided the retail chain through the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2018, Mr. Conacher co-founded a San Francisco based venture capital fund, Next Ventures, after serving as a Senior Advisor and Operating Partner at Altamont Capital Partners, a Palo Alto based Private Equity Firm, for over seven years. Prior to his experience at Altamont Partners, he co-founded and served as the CEO of Westwind Partners Inc., a specialized Canadian institutional investment bank that was ultimately sold to Thomas Weisel Partners for $170 million in 2007 before being acquired by Steifel in 2010. Mr. Conacher holds an A.B. in Economics & Art History from Dartmouth College and is also actively involved in a variety of non-profits.
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.
Gil Fronzaglia has had a successful career serving as both a board and management team member for large consumer products companies, natural food and beverage startups and most notably as a founding member and VP of Operations for Blue Buffalo. In addition to joining the board of Better Choice, Gil has served as a Board Member of Quinn Snacks since 2016, where he was the Interim COO from December 2018 through July 2019. Mr. Fronzaglia has also served as a member of the board of Grillo’s Pickles, the premium pet care brand I And Love And You and Spindrift Beverage Co. Mr. Fronzaglia is based in Boulder, Colorado and holds a Bachelor of Science from Northeastern University, and a Masters of Business Administration from Barry University.
Ms. Dickinson has served as a director of the Company since 2021 and is a well-known entrepreneur and General Partner of District Ventures Capital, a venture capital fund focused on helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and their companies in the food and health space. Dickinson is widely recognized for her role as a Dragon / Venture Capitalist for over 12 seasons on the multi-award-winning CBC television series, Dragons’ Den. Prior to joining the cast of Dragons’ Den, she served as the President and CEO of Venture Communications, a Calgary based agency that became one of Canada’s largest independent marketing firms. She is a three-time best-selling author, podcaster and accomplished public speaker and sits on several public and private boards. Ms. Dickinson has won numerous awards, including Calgary Business Owner of the year, PROFIT Magazine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners and Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100.