Executive Team

MIKE REYNOLDS

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Mike Reynolds has spent the last 10 years building political and business alliances in the cities of Ceres and Modesto, California. His involvement in cannabis began after his son Kase was diagnosed with epilepsy at four months old. Mike then formed a partnership with Jason David and gave a new impetus to the Jayden's Juice product line up.

Mike directed the planning, design, construction, licensing, and staffing of Kase Manufacturing, one of the first cannabis manufacturing labs approved for operations in the state of California. His hands-on experience as a pioneering maker of medicinal cannabis products gives him the foresight that lets Starling adapt quickly to changes in the marketplace.

His relationship with the city of Ceres and experience as a parent of a child whose life was transformed by medicinal cannabis are invaluable to Starling's success.

JOHN DI GIROLAMO

Co-Founder, Executive Director, and President

John is an experienced investor and entrepreneur with over 20 years of global experience building businesses and creating shareholder value in both private and public companies.

His extensive experience includes operational management, investment banking, public offerings, strategic acquisitions and investments and international business development across many sectors.

John has been involved in many transactions in the legal cannabis sector, including financings of over $200 million, advising clients in the sector, and structuring mergers and acquisitions.

ERIC SHEVIN ESQ

Co-Founder, General Counsel, and Chief Compliance Officer

Eric has spent over 27 years exclusively focusing his legal practice in the area of cannabis law, defending clients in state and federal courts nationwide and handling licensing and regulatory compliance for cannabis manufacturers, cultivators, distributors, and retail operators.

Eric's client list boasts the top tier brands in California's cannabis industry. His peers have recognized him as a "Super Lawyer" in California since 2004 (a recognition bestowed to the top 5% of all attorneys), and Entrepreneur magazine has named him one of the top 10 cannabis attorneys in the country.

Eric provides counsel and guidance to cannabis manufacturers, cultivators, distributors, and retail operators on topics that include legal structure, formation, tax requirements, brand development and overall regulatory compliance in cannabis business operations.

MAURIZIO SILVESTRI, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Maurizio Silvestri is an established CPA with over 12 years of extensive knowledge and understanding of complex accounting principles. His experience encompasses both public accounting and industry knowledge with expertise in assessing risk and internal controls by implementing automated processes to streamline operations. 

He obtained his designation with KPMG, where he specialized in owner-managed companies across the manufacturing and distribution industry. He served as a Corporate Controller and Director at a large distributor throughout North America where he assisted in tripling the revenue of the company within 6 years. 

In addition, Maurizio started a promotional marketing distribution company in 2010 that has become a complete e-commerce solution, continuing to grow each year while servicing several industries. His drive for bottom-line results and internal processes and controls, combined with his passion for the medicinal benefits of cannabis, brought him to Starling Brands.

DREW FORD

Chief Science Officer

Drew Ford heads the research and product division at Kase Manufacturing with a particular focus on formulation, extraction, and quality control. He previously worked as a chemical engineer in the reverse osmosis desalination industry, working in research and development and chemical purification before making the switch to the cannabis space. 

His patent was one of the driving factors that caused LG Chemical to purchase the desalination company after being installed in one of the top 10 largest desalination plants in the world at Palmachim, Israel, producing up to 10,000,000 gallons of freshwater per day.

Drew's experience and passion for chemical purification and refinement brought him to the cannabis market and Starling Brands. He was the driving force behind the first vacuum distillation processes for cannabis oil and has redefined the standard of potency.

AUDRA STEAGALL, PHR, SHRM-CP

Human Resources Manager

Audra possesses over two decades of extensive experience leading areas of human resources and administrative operations.

She is responsible for the HR function at Kase Manufacturing, focusing on talent management and development, recruitment, HR service delivery, safety, diversity and inclusion, and HR policies and programs.

Audra is an active national member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) and holds both SHRM-CP and PHR designations.

ANABEL LEAL-GUTIERREZ

Accounting Manager

Anabel is an accounting professional, bringing with her a wealth of experience in accounting, cost accounting, finance, business systems, and external and internal audit procedures.

She was previously Senior Auditor in the Internal Audit Department with the world's largest family-owned winery. She also spent time with PricewaterhouseCoopers, focusing on external audit procedures related to U.S. G.A.A.P. and Sarbanes-Oxley.

Throughout her career, she has excelled working cross-functionally with operations and finance business partners, focusing on improving transparency and timelines of business discussions to drive efficiencies.