Jon is a seasoned veteran with public cannabis companies, now CFO of Australis Capital (CSE: AUSA OTCQB: AUSAF) an emerging multi-state and international firm with US headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada. In just two months since starting in 2021, Jon has played an important role in two accretive acquisitions closing in the first quarter, as well as restructuring the current operations, positioning the company for significant growth in sales and EBITDA planned for their upcoming year, with a tripling of the market cap so far.
As founder of Grow With Success, Jon Paul helped CEOs of cannabis companies navigate hypergrowth profitably while their companies are growing like a weed, such as a very innovative beverage company, relying on his recent industry expertise and extensive experience in his career with hypergrowth firms in a wide range of businesses. He also has a book coming out in 2021, sharing how to overcome the array of challenges unique to the cannabis industry.
In June 2018, Jon dove headfirst into the cannabis industry as a CFO. The family that owned Plus Products, a leading edibles brand in California, had to get the company public by October or lose half their equity to early investors. Jon was instrumental in getting the company listed in time on the CSE (Canadian Stock Exchange) – symbol PLUS. Jon continued with Plus for two years until June 2020, helping Plus raise $47 million in financings, grow the revenue run rate to $20 million and reduce the operating quarterly cash burn to breakeven. Although Jon had no prior experience in cannabis, he quickly developed an extensive network of connections and solved the challenges we face in this industry such as cash, banking, taxes, insurance, and other matters.
Prior to joining Plus, Jon has spent his career as CFO/consultant helping hypergrowth entrepreneurs reach their dreams in a variety of industries. Five clients became very profitable and later able to sell at handsome multiples to strategic or financial buyers.
As VP Finance & Operations he helped Kidco grow from $2 million to $30 million in 3 years, launching the #4 selling toy in the industry. He was CFO at PE backed Vitarine Pharmaceuticals for 8 years in the early days of generics. He helped lead their turnaround from near bankruptcy, growing from $8 million to $140 million and earning as much as 52% net income on sales. After the company was sold, new owners continued to build the firm and sold it for $5 billion. Later, Jon consulted for a wireless provider in the early days of cellular, helping them grow to over $250 million revenues in just 3 years and sell for $70 a share after falling to $1.50 after an IPO at $17.
After earning his BS- Accounting at the University of Illinois and becoming a CPA, he began his career at Arthur Andersen, then earned a Harvard MBA before venturing into the entrepreneurial world. He lives in the Chicago suburbs, has been married to Susan for 38 years, has a son Eric in the Bay Area, and loves being grandpa to Charlie aged 7. Jon is delighted to be part of the cannabis industry and happy to connect with anyone in the industry and looking to join the movement as an employee, investor, or consumer.