Lawrence S. Wexler, President & Chief Executive Officer

Larry Wexler became President and Chief Executive Officer in 2009. He joined the company in 2003, serving in several executive roles for the company’s operating subsidiaries including as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer of National Tobacco Company. Larry is also a board member of the Tobacco Merchants Association.

Prior to joining the company, Larry spent five years as a consultant to a number of emerging market, communication and financial companies, advising on marketing, financial and strategic matters. Additionally, Larry was employed for 21 years by Philip Morris, USA, where he held a number of key leadership roles in Finance, Marketing, and Sales. His last position was as Senior Vice President Finance, Planning and Information Services.

Larry holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Graham A. Purdy, Chief Operating Officer

Graham was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2019.  Since joining the company in 2004, Graham has held various leadership positions.  Most recently, he was President of the New Ventures Division. Prior to that, Graham was Senior Vice-President Sales where he implemented an industry leading performance management system.  Graham also launched the highly successful Nu-X new product development engine and led transaction teams for many of the Company’s most important strategic initiatives.  Before joining TPB, Graham spent 7 years at Philip Morris, USA, where he served in senior sales and sales management positions.

Graham holds an A.B. from California State University, Chico.

Robert Lavan, Chief Financial Officer

Bobby joined Turning Point Brands as Chief Financial Officer in 2018. Prior to joining the company, Bobby was the Chief Financial Officer of General Wireless Operations, where he was responsible for revamping the company’s financial reporting systems and building a robust distribution platform that linked multiple eCommerce sites and Amazon.

Before that, Bobby worked at Standard General LP, SAC Capital and J. Goldman & Co. LP in various analyst and portfolio manager roles covering a wide range of industries. He began his career at The Blackstone Group.

Bobby holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

Brittani N. Cushman, General Counsel and Secretary

Brittani is Senior Vice President of External Affairs, and Deputy General Counsel, responsible for lobbying efforts and management of regulatory issues at both the federal and state levels. She also serves as consultant to the Sales and Marketing teams regarding new product launches, sales programs, and marketing policies. Brittani joined the company in 2014.

Brittani currently serves on the National Association of Tobacco Outlets Board of Directors, Pipe Tobacco Council Board of Directors, and the Vapor Technology Association Board of Directors. She also participates in a number of other industry trade associations, including the Cigar Association of America, Coalition of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America, and the Small Business Cigar Coalition.

Prior to joining the company, Brittani spent five years at Xcaliber International, Ltd., L.L.C., where she was most recently the General Counsel, responsible for all legal affairs.

Brittani holds a B.S.B.A. in Business Management from the University of Tulsa and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.

Louie Reformina, Chief Business Development Officer

Louie was appointed as Chief Business Development Officer in 2020. He joined the company as Vice President of Business Development in 2019. Prior to joining the Company, Louie spent nearly two decades in the finance and investment industry working at Point72 Asset Management, Waterfront Capital Partners, Perella Weinberg Partners and Vestar Capital Partners in various roles deploying capital across different industries. He began his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs & Co.

Louie holds a B.S, Summa Cum Laude, in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and an M.B.A from Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Marc Waxman, President & COO Vape

Marc joined Turning Point Brands through the acquisition of International Vapor Group in 2018. Marc’s current responsibilities include strategizing and leading the Sales, Marketing, Supply Chain and Customer Service for the Vape Channel as well as overseeing the fulfilment operation for TPB.

Prior to joining TPB, Marc spent 5 years as the COO and Vice-President at International Vapor Group building and managing an industry leading vapor company specializing in B2C sales and distribution. Additionally, Marc has held multiple Director level positions in Operations, Supply Chain Management and Distribution in various industries. He started is professional career in financial accounting and but found his passion in Logistics.

Marc holds a B.S.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University

Christian Allen, Senior Vice President, Information Technology

Christian joined the company in 2005 as Senior Software Developer and progressed through the ranks holding positions in business analysis, ERP management and business analytics. Christian has responsibility for all Information Technology services throughout TPB. Under Christian’s leadership, IT resources across TPB and acquisition properties have merged to most efficiently address the information needs of the organization.

Christian has a B.S.B.A. in Computer Information Systems from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY.

Janet Fox, Senior Vice President, Sourcing

Janet is the Senior Vice President, Sourcing for Turning Point Brands. She is the former Senior Vice President of Sourcing for JCPenney, Under Armour and RadioShack and has 35 years of comprehensive knowledge of product from creation to in store. Janet has a proven track record and brand expertise in all facets of sourcing and merchandising. She has an emphasis in optimizing supplier partnerships, verticalization of sourcing and merchandising processes and organizational optimization.

Janet previously served as Chair of the United States Association of Importers of Textiles and Apparel (USA-ITA) and has testified before The House Ways and Means Committee on trade issues as a leading advocate for ethical and free trade.

Janet is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Advertising where she was also a two-time captain of the Penn State women’s volleyball team.

Barry Hopkins, Senior Vice President, Sales And Marketing

Barry Hopkins was appointed Senior Vice-President Sales & Marketing in 2020. In 2011 Barry began consulting with TPB where he served in several different capacities including working with the Executive Team to build Performance Management infrastructure, Executive Coaching, and Strategic Planning. In addition, Barry assisted with management of post-acquisition transitions.

Prior to joining the company, Barry was employed at Philip Morris USA/Altria for 33 years where he held several Executive Leadership roles in Sales, Trade Marketing and the Senior Team Strategic Planning task force. His last position was Vice-president of National Accounts.

Barry holds an A.A. degree from Staten Island University and attended Bernard Baruch Business College.

Charles H. Melander, Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs

Chuck is the Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs. Since joining the company in 2006, Chuck has held various key leadership positions in Product Integrity and Operations, including Vice President of Product Integrity; General Manager, Louisville Operations and Senior Vice President, Operations & Quality Assurance.

Prior to joining the company, Chuck spent 22 years with Swedish Match North America and its subsidiary, the Pinkerton Group. Before leaving Swedish Match North America, Chuck was the Vice President of Research & Development and Corporate Quality Assurance, where he was responsible for all new product development and product improvement projects and initiating and monitoring corporate quality assurance programs including six sigma, cost of quality, and lean manufacturing programs. Chuck also served on the worldwide Scientific Advisory committee for Swedish Match.

Chuck holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Centre College and an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University Graduate School of Management.

James M. Murray, Senior Vice President, Business Planning

Jim is the Senior Vice President of Business Planning. Since joining the company in 2000, Jim has held key leadership positions, first as Vice President of Marketing and then as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Previously, Jim held various Marketing and Sales roles with Brach’s Confections and the American Tobacco Company. Prior to leaving the American Tobacco Company, Jim was Vice President of Premium Brands. Jim started his career with Nielsen Market Research.

He has been a guest lecturer in economics at both Fairfield University and Fordham University and also taught Excel for Business at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Jim holds a B.S. in Marketing from Fairfield University and an M.B.A. from Fordham University School of Business.

Lance Berg, Vice President, Business Intelligence

Lance was promoted to Vice President Business Intelligence in 2020. Since joining the company in 2002, he has held various leadership positions in Sales and Trade Marketing Departments. In 2019 he founded TPB’s Business Intelligence group, where his responsibilities include management of the TPB sales budget, unifying the BI functions for the Core Tobacco and New Gen business segments, and direction of the Trade Marketing group.

Prior to joining TPB, Lance spent 6 years with ExxonMobil in retail operation management.

Lance holds an undergraduate degree from Buffalo State College.

Steven Clark, Vice President, International Sales

Steve is currently the Vice President International Sales and has held this position since 2015. In his role, Steve leads strategic growth initiatives for TPB business in South America, Europe and Canada. Prior to taking on responsibility for International Sales, Steve led our national accounts team developing strategic business plans and growth opportunities for many of the Company’s largest domestic customers. Steve has over 35 years of industry experience and previously held various leadership positions in Sales and National Accounts at Swedish Match and RJ Reynolds.

Steve holds a B.S. degree in Marketing from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Lorenzo De Plano, Vice President, Nu-X

Lorenzo is an entrepreneur whose company, Solace Technologies, was acquired by Turning Point Brands in 2019.  Lorenzo manages Nu-X Ventures overseeing product development, product launches along with the marketing and promotional campaigns that support strategic product introductions for the broader organization.  Prior to joining the company, Lorenzo started and worked for a number of different startups across the technology and product sector. 

Lorenzo holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and was listed in Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 in 2017.

Kelly L. Goldman, Vice President, Human Resources

Kelly joined the company in June 2004 as a member of the Finance team and was promoted to Manager Accounts Receivable in June 2005. She joined the HR Team in March 2014, managing Payroll & Benefits, named Director Human Resources in February 2017, Promoted to Senior Director of Human Resources in August 2018, and Named VP Human Resources in January of 2020.
Prior to coming to TPB, Kelly spent her career in either Finance or HR in the Healthcare industry and did a short stint in teaching Business and Computer classes.

Kelly holds a B.S. in Business Management from Sullivan University and M.A. in Teaching (Business Education) from Spalding University.

Trent Grantz, Vice President, International Operations

Trent was promoted to Vice President, International Operations in 2020 where he is responsible for the entire tobacco supply chain and responsibility for managing all international manufacturing sites. He has 40 years’ experience in the tobacco industry previously working for Philip Morris and Lorillard Tobacco where he held progressive manufacturing positions. Trent joined the organization in 2001 and has previously served as Director Manufacturing and Senior Director Manufacturing.

Gregg Hoffman, Vice President, Domestic Operations

Gregg is the Vice President, Domestic Operations. Joining National Tobacco in July 2020, Gregg was brought on board to assist the company with strategic vision and planning. With a background in engineering, manufacturing, quality and project management, Gregg brings a fresh vision to the future of the company.

Prior to joining the company, Gregg spent 20 years with two companies in the manufacturing sector. For the last 14 years of that time Gregg worked for Lohmann Corporation and its subsidiaries across the United States. During his time at Lohmann Gregg held different positions such as Technical Manager, Director of Operations and most recently Director of Engineering, Process Excellence and Strategic Sourcing. Before leaving Lohmann, Gregg was the Director of Engineering, where he was responsible for all new product development and product improvement projects. Gregg oversaw all capital investment projects for the company for all locations in the United States and also led several global initiatives for the company during his tenure. Over the last 5 years while at Lohmann, Gregg led initiatives to design, source and oversee construction of medical grade clean rooms for wearable medical device manufacturing as well as to serve the lateral flow industry which is today providing much needed tests to the market in the midst of a global pandemic. During Gregg’s time at Lohmann he had responsibility for operations, quality assurance, design and development, maintenance programs and initiated the Lean Manufacturing initiative for Lohmann, starting in 2008.

Gregg holds a B.S. in Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) and is also a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt with over 12 years of hands on Lean Manufacturing experience.

Matt Nahanee , Vice President, Customer Experience

Matt is Vice President, Customer Experience. Matt is responsible for leading our world-class Customer Service teams for our online retail and wholesale vape divisions. He oversees all customer-related activities, including our contact centers, sales teams, wholesale customer service, customer privacy and customer communications. Matt has over 30 years’ experience in developing and overseeing customer service and sales programs for Home Depot, Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T and Stamps.com. Matt keeps us looking at things from the customers’ perspective and that allows us to serve the only reason we exist, our customers.

Frank J. Vignone, Vice President, Sales

Frank was appointed Vice President of Sales for National Tobacco Company in August 2019. His responsibilities include the strategic development, direction and execution of our sales organization including Field Sales, National Accounts (Retail and Wholesale), Trade Marketing and Customer Service.

Frank joined the company in 2018 and recently was the Senior Director of National Accounts where he was responsible for developing and leading go to market strategies, training, development & advancement for our National Accounts Team.

Prior to joining the company Frank was a Partner and Vice President of Sales for Global Brewing Solutions in Orlando, Florida. Before that, Frank spent 30 years with Altria where he held various leadership positions in Sales, Marketing and Trade Relations.

Frank holds a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.

Brian Wigginton, Vice President, Finance And Chief Accounting Officer

Brian is responsible for adherence to generally accepted accounting standards, Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) compliance, and ensuring Company compliance with SEC reporting requirements. Brian is a CPA and started his career with Ernst & Young where he had various progressive positions. Most recently, Brian served as an assistant controller with GE Appliances.

Brian graduated from the University of Kentucky with degrees in accounting and business administration.

Don Becker, Assistant General Counsel

Don joined the company in 2016 as Assistant General Counsel.  He provides legal services on contracts, supply chain issues, certain diligence, marketing, new products development and leads the regulatory team responsible for FDA compliance.

Prior to joining the company, Don worked for 18 years at Yum! Brands, Inc. where he was responsible for insured litigation at KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell domestically along with managing a contracts team.  While at Yum, Don was also General Counsel for Long John Silvers and A&W Restaurants. He provided expertise in insurance coverage disputes, risk management, franchising, FCPA and food safety.  Don previously worked for Aegon and Prudential Insurance, and he served in the U.S. Air Force Special Operations.

Don holds undergraduate degrees from Troy University and the Air Force as well as a JD and MBA from the University of Louisville.

Eric Anwar, Senior Director, Marketing

Eric joined Turning Point Brands in July 2019 through the acquisition of Solace Technologies. Eric was a co-founder of Solace and served as a managing partner and chief marketing officer. Eric manages the strategic marketing and advertising initiatives for existing brands, as well as new brands developed under the Nu-X Ventures division. He is responsible for the management and growth of the Nu-X Ventures and Zig-Zag e-commerce platforms. Prior to joining the company, Eric founded and worked for multiple startups in the CPG and advertising sector and has worked with brands like Pepsi, Kagome and Sparkling Ice.

Eric holds a B.S. degree in business and marketing from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California and was listed in Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2018.

Casey Cooper, Senior Director, National Wholesale Accounts

Casey started with the company in 1989 as a Territory Sales Manager. He has had progressive sales leadership positions including Assistant Regional Manager, Regional Manger, Director National Accounts, Senior Director Metro Account Managers, and Senior Director National Accounts.

Prior to joining the company, Casey worked in the food brokerage business and attended both Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati.

Justin Gallagher, Senior Director, Logistics

Justin serves as the Senior Director Logistics responsible for Company-wide logistics of traditional products, vapor products, and fulfillment operations.

Justin has over 10 years of operations, supply chain, inventory and quality control experience. Throughout Justin’s career he has focused on building internal control procedures to maintain asset integrity, establish operational best practices, optimizing supply chain systems, driving process improvement initiatives and bolster employee growth and development.

Justin has a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from Suffulk University in Boston, MA.

Brendan S. McDermott, Senior Director, Internal Operations Nu-X

Brendan joined Turning Point Brands through the acquisition of his co-founded company, Solace Technologies, in July 2019. McDermott joined the Nu-X Ventures team in order to continue the pursuit of his forte, product development of functional and active ingredients. He has a proven track record of anticipating the next avenue of public interest in a forever transforming and adaptive industry.

Brendan’s responsibilities include operational oversight of Solace branded products, new product development for both NU-X Ventures and Core specialty products, as well as development of sustained growth opportunities through white label, OEM and ODM services.

Prior to co-founding Solace Technologies, Brendan had co-developed two other successful start-ups. In these three previous ventures, McDermott held executive leadership roles. His executive specialty is engaging and encouraging colleagues through specifically challenging transitional periods, such as company mergers and adjustments from start-up mentality to full operational business.

McDermott holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Robert Riesel, Senior Director, Corporate Quality Assurance

Rob is the Senior Director, Corporate Quality Assurance for Turning Point Brands. He is responsible for the design, implementation, and oversight of best in class Quality Management System programs for all Company products. Rob previously held various Quality positions within the Food and Beverage and Medical Device industries. Most recently, he worked in the spirits industry at Barton 1792 Distillery.

Rob has a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Engineering and Management from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY.

Curtis Berry, Director, Marketing

Curtis started with the Company in 2004 and has focused much of that time growing Zig-Zag as the Brand Director. Curtis has 20+ years’ brand building experience in the smoking category. Prior to joining TPB, spent 5 years at Natural American Spirit growing brand awareness and market share. Curtis has worked with trade channel programs, consumer events and product/packaging development.

Curtis holds an undergraduate degree from University of Connecticut in Business and Marketing.

Karen Brotzge, Director, Marketing

Karen joined the company in 2006 and currently serves as Director, Marketing. Prior to joining the company, Karen was employed by Brown & Williamson Tobacco, parent company British American Tobacco for 32 years. She began her career in Research and Development then transitioned to Marketing where she held progressive positions. Her last position with Brown & Williamson was Director Direct Marketing (one-to-one communications) for all brands.

Karen holds a B.S. degree and an M.B.A from the University of Louisville.

DR. Sarah Evans, Director, Scientific And Regulatory Affairs

Dr. Sarah joined the company in 2018 to apply her expertise in regulatory compliance and the field of nicotine and tobacco research to strengthen the cross-functional team working on TPB’s FDA filings. In addition, Dr. Evans supports various parts of the business, ensuring TPB continues to advance as a leading producer of OTP and vapor products. She is a member of CORESTA.

Dr. Evans has over 30 years of experience working in the field of nicotine and tobacco. She spent seven years working for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products as a Behavioral Pharmacologist. While at FDA, Dr. Evans won numerous FDA team awards on guidance topics such as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTA), Substantial Equivalence (SE), and Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents (HPHC). Dr. Evans’ experience includes work at the National Cancer Institutes’ Tobacco Control Research Branch, experimental research at Virginia Commonwealth University on potential reduced exposure products (PREPS), and tenure as the former Executive Director of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT).

Dr. Evans holds an undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, and a M.S. and Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ross Gebhardt , Director, Business Development

Ross brings 13 years of industry experience to his current role as Director, Business Development. His responsibilities include overseeing transition plans with new acquisitions as well as managing key growth initiatives within the organization. Previously, Ross held various field sales and management roles with ITG Brands and TPB. Most recently, he was National Sales Manager focused on the alternative channel, where he was responsible for developing sales, marketing, and e-Commerce strategies.

Ross holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University.

James Goll , Director, Marketing Support

James joined the organization in early 2019 as the Director, Marketing Support. He guides a team of experts in a wide variety of fields that ideate, create and produce forward facing communications for the company’s brands, including: multimedia, graphics & design, photography, written content, email marketing, e-commerce marketing, and product packaging design & development. James is a seasoned marketing executive who specializes in leading productive teams, building brands, gaining market share, and maximizing profitability. James previously served as Director of Consumer Development at Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy in the Wine & Spirit Packaged Goods division.

James has a B.S. in Marketing and Public Relations from the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL.

Jorge A. Gonzalez , Director, Development

Jorge joined the organization in 2017 as a Senior Developer and in 2019 was promoted to Director, Development. His current role utilizes Jorge’s 20 years of industry knowledge ranging from development, design, marketing and management to elevate TPB’s web development team. Prior to joining the company, Jorge’s previous employment ranges from ecommerce, financial, digital agency and custom web development.

Tommy Helms, Director, Marketing Services

Tommy began his career at Turning Point Brands in 1997 as a Territory Sales Manager in Eastern Tennessee. Since then he has served various management roles in Sales, Marketing and Manufacturing. In his current role of Director, Marketing Services he his team serves as a bridge between Marketing and Sales, ensuring maximum efficiencies across our brand portfolio and consumer communication platforms, digital and material.

Tommy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Management and Technology from Syracuse University.

Steve Paschall, Director, Operations

Steve became Director, Operations at the Dresden, TN manufacturing facility in 2019. He started his career with the Stoker’s brand in 1998 as a regional sales representative. Since the acquisition of the Stoker’s brand in 2003, Steve has held various management positions in Trade Marketing, Marketing, Sales and Manufacturing.

Prior to joining TPB, Steve spent ten years holding key positions in the tobacco wholesale and retail business. He has over 30 years’ of tobacco industry experience ranging from wholesale distribution to manufacturing.

John Real , Director, Production

John joined National Tobacco Company in 2002, working in the MYO division. He later assumed responsibility for Looseleaf Tobacco manufacturing and Moist Snuff Manufacturing. John currently oversees domestic manufacturing sites in Louisville, KY and Dresden TN.

John has a BS in Business and an MBA from Indiana University.

John Schaller, Director, National Accounts

John became Director of National Accounts in October of 2019. He joined the company in 2007 and has served roles on both the Trade Marketing and National Accounts teams. Prior to joining the company, John had progressive roles at Philip Morris USA and Frito Lay.

John holds an undergraduate degree from California State University at Chico specializing in Organizational Communication with a minor in Human Resource Management.

Patrick Stoess , Director, Human Resources

Patrick has held various management roles in both human resources and occupational safety & health since joining the company in 2014. Patrick was promoted to Director, Human Resources in 2020 where he serves as a business partner to department directors, leads organization-wide recruiting, directs performance management, and manages training and development initiatives. Patrick has been closely involved with integrating all corporate acquisitions since TPB’s IPO in 2016. Prior to joining TPB, Patrick spent a decade in the civil construction and ready-mix concrete industries. Patrick is an OSHA Outreach Instructor for both Construction and General Industry. He holds a PHR from the HR Certification Institute and his SHRM-CP from the Society for Human Resource Management.

Patrick holds a B.A. from Eastern Kentucky University and an M.B.A. from Sullivan University.

Mike Thorner , Director, National Accounts

Mike has held various sales leadership positions with TPB since joining the company in 2005. Most recently, as Director, National Accounts, he is responsible for leading, training, and developing national account managers and creating effective selling strategies. Mike has 30 years of experience in the tobacco industry having held various positions within marketing and sales with American Tobacco, Brown & Williamson Tobacco and RJR Tobacco.

Mike holds a B.S. for San Francisco State University.