Altitude Products exists today thanks to the trailblazing leadership of Krista Whitley. An award-winning fast growth entrepreneur, Krista Whitley has spent her career creating organizations poised for explosive growth in underserved industries. Of Krista, business legend Kevin O’Leary said, “She’s the real deal.”
Known as a real time connector, Krista founded Altitude Products on her couch and has grown it into an award-winning fast growth plant medicine empire with a 100% female Board of Directors. Named by Green Entrepreneur as one of the Top 100 Cannabis Leaders in the Medical category for their exacting standards with a commitment to improving the quality of life for people and pets, Altitude Products is on a mission to save lives by replacing dangerous pills with innovative plant wellness products. Named by the Cannabis Business Awards as the “Most Innovative Company” of 2018, Altitude Products continues to set a new standard for excellence in plant medicine innovation.
As an established community leader, Krista was a founding board member for the Conscious Capitalism Chapter of Las Vegas and served on several non profit boards. Honored as a Woman to Watch by Vegas, Inc, named one of Las Vegas’ Most Intriguing People by Vegas Seven, and one of the Top 100 Power Women of Las Vegas, Krista has a heart for serving others.
Known as the most versatile player behind the scenes of Altitude Products, Melissa Romero is the tenacious project manager with a PhD in execution. With the rare ability to perform real time execution in the most complex and challenging circumstances, Melissa uses her years of technology and customer service expertise that was hard earned at legendary customer service leader Zappos to perform daily miracles for all divisions of Altitude Products. The word ‘no’ doesn’t exist within her vocabulary – if you can think it, she can make it happen.
Her in-depth experience with software development and quality assurance enables Melissa to step into the mind of the consumer, allowing her to anticipate issues before they even arise. As a truly passionate customer advocate (and a medical cannabis patient herself), Melissa constantly has their wants and needs at the forefront of her mind – sometimes before they even know it themselves. Combined with her robust social media and marketing skills, Melissa has a finger directly on the pulse of the cannabis community.
Melissa’s critical-thinking and problem-solving skills are only highlighted by her consistent ability to adapt – an immeasurable asset in the ever-evolving adult-use market. With endless energy, passion, and drive, Melissa oversees an expansive team throughout the United States to stay on the cutting edge of the cannabis industry.
Krista Waddell was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada during the Megaresort era. The influence of a population boom, business, and innovation set the stage for her entrepreneurial mind. At seventeen, she secured her first position at the University of Phoenix as an accounting supervisor, while pursuing her B.S.B. with an emphasis on marketing at UNLV.
Krista used her marketing knowledge and accounting skills to start Reaction Advertising, Specialties, and Promotions, which worked primarily in the hotel/casino industry. Reaction’s services included market research, design, paper and non-paper printing, specialty drinkware design, overseas production, and importing. Clients included major Las Vegas resorts.
Event-driven marketing became a stress Krista’s family causing the sale of Reaction. Pairing her passion for macroeconomic and an active mind drove her to study the commodities markets focusing on precious metals and trade from home.
Krista developed “Gold Parties” in 2005. Along the lines of party plan, a “gold party” is like a Tupperware party, but instead of buying a product, guests brought their unwanted gold and left with cash. The company ballooned into a multinational company within two years. As the economy shifted from a buyer to seller’s market, Krista, shifted the business model in 2012 to distribute investment bullion in Central America. Trading in this highly regulated industry has provided Krista valuable international expertise.
Donna provides compliance, regulatory, corporate and transaction services to clients in Illinois and throughout the United States in highly regulated industries such as gaming, medical cannabis, liquor, sweepstakes and contests. Drawing upon her experience as general counsel to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) and her tenure as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, Donna advises clients on all licensing and regulatory issues in hearings before administrative agencies. She also represents clients in commercial and regulatory disputes involving competitors.
Donna regularly represents casinos, video gaming terminal operators, manufacturers and distributors, game developers and other companies involved in the gaming industry in Illinois and nationwide. As the first general counsel to the IGB, she was involved in the process of legalizing gaming in Illinois and helped write the regulations governing the state’s gaming industry that remain in place today. This first-hand knowledge enables Donna to provide extensive insight and counsel to companies in the gaming industry in Illinois regarding licensing, compliance, investigations and commercial disputes. Additionally, she advocates for clients before agency boards and commissions, litigates compliance issues in administrative and disciplinary hearings, and negotiates settlements.
Donna also helps clients comply with Illinois’ Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act. This includes working with clients to secure cultivation licenses from the Illinois Department of Agriculture and dispensary licenses from the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. In addition to helping them comply with regulations, Donna assists growers and dispensaries with general business matters, shareholder agreements and operational plans. For banking clients, she provides counsel regarding U.S. Department of Treasury issues related to medical cannabis.
Elizabeth Stavola joined MPX Bioceutical Corporation in 2017. Formerly the Canadian Bioceutical Corporation, the company focuses on operations in the medical and adult-use cannabis markets in several U.S. states. New Cannabis Ventures spoke to Stavola about her about how she went from starting a single, private dispensary to becoming COO of a public company with dispensaries and production facilities in four states.
Stavola worked in institutional sales at Jeffries New York on Wall Street, where she spent most of her career. As a mother of six, she retired from Wall Street and the Manhattan commute to focus on making investments for her family. A deal broker suggested investing $1 million into Arizona’s cannabis industry, and Stavola flew out to see for herself. A belief in the industry and what it could do for people quickly grew into a passion that led Stavola to open her first dispensary in Douglas, Arizona. She found two business partners, Sandy Clifford and Michelle Majors, moved into the Mesa, Arizona market, and created the Health for Life (H4L) brand.
During her early years in the cannabis industry, Stavola was running a private company, but she saw an opportunity to merge with a public company and took it. Now under the MPX Bioceutical umbrella, Stavola has found benefits like greater access to capital and enhanced brand awareness. For example, she was able to forge a relationship with the family office of Florida-based Hi-Med Industries, which has invested significantly into the company and provided it with two members of its Board of Directors.
With roots in Atlanta, Georgia, Chef Stacey Dougan has been featured internationally in media as an expert gourmet vegan and raw foods chef and nutritionist. Her passion for teaching stems from her own life-changing experience overcoming numerous health issues (eczema, candida, etc.) Since successfully curing herself, her goal has been to inspire others to embrace more plant-based foods in their diet without feeling deprived. Chef Stacey is the owner of Simply Pure in Las Vegas.
In 1985 as CEO, Harris and an investor partner acquired world-famous FAO Schwarz. While at the company he invented the concept of “entertainment retail”, a strategy that the customer should have an experience while in the store. Harris sold the company to Dutch retail group KKB in 1990 and remained as CEO.
Later, new owner-representative of the San Francisco 49ers, John York, hired Harris to replace Carmen Policy as President & Chief Executive Officer. Harris stayed for four years but did not renew his contract. During his time with the team, he oversaw the building of a new stadium.
In 2004 Harris was named the CEO of NASDAQ-listed boating lifestyle company West Marine in Watsonville, CA with more than 400 stores and 4,000 employees.
In recent years, Harris took on a full-time advisory and operating role as a Senior Managing Partner at crisis management firm Eaglepoint Advisors, before joining private equity firm TPG Growth as a Senior Advisor responsible for Human Capital. He became the Chairman at TPG portfolio company XOJet where he remains on the Board of Directors. In 2014 he became President of GreenTech Environmental in Johnson City Tennessee where he continues today.
David Chamberlain has over 15 years of CEO experience, having led three successful NYSE-listed companies — Stride Rite, Genesco and Shaklee. He substantially increased shareholder value at each firm.
He is recognized for his ability to rapidly change failed cultures, modify behavior and improve results. During his career, he bought and successfully integrated businesses, sold underperforming operations, as well as repositioned and rebuilt nationally recognized brands.
David held senior management positions at Nabisco Brands and Quaker Oats, where he ran numerous brands and divisions in the United States and Canada. He served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army.
David holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
Christine comes to Altitude with over 20 years of sales experience, ranging from consumer retail sales and management with major cosmetic line Borghese to directing her own team in mortgage lending at American Home Mortgage and Indymac Bank.
The diversity in her experience has allowed Christine to become a quickly adapting manager, as well as innovative leader with an appropriately aggressive sales approach. Christine is also a licensed esthetician which allows her a unique insight into the beauty and skincare sales world.
She has a six year old daughter and as a mom has a real passion for helping families find wellness outside of pharmaceuticals.
Heather came to us ready to dive into the cannabis industry and never looked back. She’s tackled sales, streamlined processes, gone on tour across the country promoting our Black Belt CBD line while building relationships with our athletes and gym owners, and uses her background in graphic technology to help fill in the gaps everywhere else.
She is no stranger to helping a company build its way up. After graduating from Arizona State University with a Graphic Information Technology degree, she started working for a startup managing specialized website content editors for B2B and B2C.
Heather’s natural ability to sort out logistics and her passion for event planning landed her as an integral staff member of an HOA in Arizona. As the Communications and Event Manager, Heather built their communication department from the ground up and hosted every event in the facility which included hosting political figures. Later, as the Assistant to the General Manager, Heather gained intimate knowledge of HOA law, worked as a policy writer, managed the Board of Directors, and helped build and facilitate the company’s financials. Heather continues as a consultant for the company.
Entrepreneurial Spirit is one of our company’s core values and Heather lives this in her partnership with global health and wellness company, Isagenix, where she coaches other people to live a healthy lifestyle and regain their energy naturally. Plant medicine is an easy fit for her and aligns with her mission. She attends quarterly retreats across the country to stay current in the industry.
Creative Guru, Craig Meland is the Creative Director for Altitude Products.
Art has always been a hobby of Craig’s from a very young age, leading to his graduating with an honors degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1999. Since then, he has been working professionally as a graphic designer, starting his career at the well-known Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas where he worked creating everything from print marketing collateral, to signage and billboards. He was recruited from the Riviera to work for a privately owned design firm as their Creative Director, where he was employed for 15 years. He successfully and efficiently lead a team of creative graphic artists and website developers.
In 2008, Craig started freelancing, opening CM2 Design, where he has designed an array of print collateral and websites for a wide-range of clients. In his many years as a designer, he lent his creative hand to clients such as Capital One Financial, Paris Las Vegas, MGM Resorts International, Caesars Palace, Lake Las Vegas Resort, The Las Vegas Philharmonic, LV Photo, La Salsa Cantina, Snoop Dogg, Aid for Aids Nevada, and more.
Craig joined Altitude Products bringing 17 years of his award-winning concepts, outstanding visual design skills, technical savvy and creative management experience to the Altitude Products team. Craig excels at managing an impressive work flow with tight turnarounds. His comprehensive approach to projects and his strong understanding of current design, brand and marketing trends make him a natural creative leader.
As the master of production, Dwayne Castellarin is not only the Director of Shipping/Receiving & Inventory Control, but is also married to our beautiful CEO, Krista Whitely. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Dwayne followed his father’s footsteps and became a boilermaker in the oil industry. Fifteen years in, everything was going boring until I met this sassy girl from Las Vegas and fell head over heels in love. In the first two years of meeting, they were married, had two babies back to back, and created a fast growth business. After the implosion of that first venture due to a terrible corporate culture, he learned innumerable life lessons, taught himself how to edit video, how to do social media management, and mastered the art of playing Barbie dolls with his two little girls.
He happily jumped on the Altitude Product rocket ship because he wanted to build the company strong to what is it today, while helping his wife succeed. He is passionate about our customer service and takes pride in his work and production team. He strives for success, getting orders completed and feeling the job is accomplished.
Sales ninja, Kris Olivo is the Director of Sales for Altitude Products. Known for his ability to optimize processes, lead objective-driven teams, and close deals, he is a master of execution. Using his laser-like focus, honed through previous military service, Kris Olivo knows how to weed through the B.S. and get the job done. With years of sales, digital & social media marketing wizardry under his belt, Kris Olivo knows how to get the right ideas, in front of the right people, at the right time.
In 2015, he used his sales and marketing knowledge to drive over 70K+ new users to a mobile application he co-created. Taking his skill set further, he began consulting an array of different clients, in organizing, optimizing, and creating effective sales processes and marketing strategies. Having been called a walking ROI, he is also a social media expert who understands influence and virality and brings his entire skillset to the table to generate revenue.
An expert in people, Kris understands establishing and growing relationships with distributors, retailers, and consumers. With a strategy in mind, his vast experience as a leader not only in the military but in the civilian world as well, allow him to oversee and grow an expansive national sales team and process.
Nobie lived most of my life in California before moving to Las Vegas with only a backpack and moved in with a friend. He started working with Burger King on his second day in town and later worked for a restaurant on the Vegas Strip as a host. When the restaurant was sold he was hired by Bed and Bath to work in their warehouse which complimented his more than seven years experience in working with inventory control.
Later, he started working for Altitude Products in production. After a few days he was promoted to Inventory Control Supervisor and is now our Director of Productions. Nobie’s knowledge in this area is a valuable asset to our team. His commitment to our core values and his never-ending work ethic drives our company forward every day.
Ted was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. In 2006, he relocated to Las Vegas and landed a job at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino as a Security Officer. During his tenure there, he was promoted quickly through the ranks and finally held the position of Security Investigator. In his role, he learned how to speak in front of large groups of executives, how to deescalate situations, process interviews, conduct interrogations, and was certified as a CPR instructor.
Later, Ted started working for Sunset Station Hotel & Casino as a Security Officer and was soon promoted to Security Supervisor with Wildfire Gaming (subsidiary of Station Casinos). He cross trained with other departments and positions and learned various aspects of bartending, inventory control, cooking, human resources, and accounting.
Ted learned about Altitude Products and was hired as a Production Team Member. As time went on, he was promoted from Production Team Member to Assistant Production Manager and is now the Assistant Director of Production. He believes that being part of Altitude Products has been a life changing decision and is one he will never regret. He was always told “If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life.” He loves what he does and he is not looking back.