With a diverse mastery of brand-making and activation built from business intelligence, we’re bringing our expertise to the cannabis industry to elevate, evolve, and mature this emerging market.
15 Years' Experience
We draw from 15 years of creativity and strategic results proven across a variety of industries—from technology and startups to new consumer product innovation to B2B and professional services.
Strong brands begin with smart business models. Our business intelligence approach gives us deep insight into the functioning side of your business. We review your work style, including organizational structure and the principles that influence strategic decision-making. Getting a complete look at how your business functions allows us to understand your strengths and find opportunities for optimization.
Harnessing our wide-ranging experience in consumer marketing and business operations knowledge, Chronic is the preeminent East Coast brand agency to help cannabis companies rise above the noise and build a strong consumer following in both the medical and recreational space.
We leverage years of innovation driven by design thinking and knowledge of the highly competitive consumer product space to help brands find their white space and capture a large share of the market.
GREG RICCIARDI President & CEO
In 2002, Greg founded Chronic's parent company, 20nine. Having served clients for over a decade with his own creative brand agency, he decided to bring his expertise to the cannabis industry. Prior to opening 20nine, Greg finessed his cat-herding technique in creative and managerial roles at a number of Pennsylvania advertising and design agencies. He’s a graphic designer by trade, as well as a seasoned strategist. From day one he’s been driven by a passion for creating inspiring and unexpected work. His favorite part of the job? “Partnering with clients to create the most innovative and kick-ass work that exceeds their expectations for their brand.” Greg is on the board of the Art Directors Club of Philadelphia (VP) and the Philadelphia Ad Club. He also does philanthropic work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual “Ride for Life” event.
GARY KOPERVAS VP of Brand Strategy & Innovation
Gary is a self-proclaimed “creative misfit” in that he doesn’t fit neatly into any one compartment or department. He’s an insight spotter, brand strategist, writer, content creator, creative facilitator, product innovator and a nationally syndicated cartoonist. At 20nine, Gary works directly with our clients and creative and interactive design teams to give strategic shape to data and consumer insights in order to bring brands to life through the telling of evocative and visually compelling stories audiences can relate to and rally around. Gary had a hand in developing the agency’s proprietary toolset including the Master Motivating Idea methodology, 2×2 StoryCube and Insight-Out Archetyping techniques. Having facilitated hundreds of brainstorming sessions around the U.S and in Europe for clients such as P&G, Cadbury, Novartis and Absolut, Gary leads immersion sessions at the agency. Gary started his career with Ogilvy New York and was one of the founding members of Marco Polo Explorers, a global new product invention consultancy.
JASON WEIDNER Chief Operating Officer
As 20nine’s Chief Operating Officer, Jason gets to mix it up and get involved in different facets of the business every day—which is exactly how he likes it. He comes to 20nine after starting his own brand incubator, Nucleus Brands; serving as SVP of Agency Services at Pepperjam; and co-founding one of the first true, specialty SEM agencies, directMASS, LLC.
Throughout two decades of working with some of the largest and most successful US-based commerce brands, Jason says his proudest career moment still might be when his father finally said, “I now understand what the hell you actually do.”
KEVIN HAMMOND Creative Director
Kevin is a glutton for inspiration. He’s a photographer, a silk screen maker, an avid music fan, and a fiend for the outdoors. He lives with a chronic creative itch he can’t quite seem to scratch, which is just fine by him. After graduating from the University of The Arts, he focused his energies at Lippincott in NYC where he cut his teeth creating and developing identity systems, publications, interactive media and environmental design for an array of clients like Delta Air lines, LG, Sprint, Samsung, Comcast, Pizza Hut, Chevron, Hyatt and First Citizens Bank. But a longing for good friends, supportive family, and authentic soft pretzels brought him home to Philly, and now he heads the truly gifted and witty design crew at 20nine, who he coaxes to discover the big idea. Outside the bubble, Kevin is much the same. You can find him and his wife carving up the slopes, traveling or hitting the concert trail in search of inspiration—trying, as always, to scratch that itch.
Steve Wray is an established thought leader in the digital healthcare environment. Currently, Steve is the CEO of CloudMine, an emerging Philadelphia-based company that deploys a fully-compliant, cloud-based platform to support digital health, healthcare systems and biopharmaceutical organizations. His career in the Life Sciences spans four decades, with leadership positions in Fortune 100 organizations, global agency networks, and entrepreneurial companies, including Cadient Group, which was acquired by Cognizant in 2014. During his career, Steve has been recognized as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year and has been named one of the 100 most influential people in the Life Sciences industry. A past recipient of CEO of the Year honors from the Philadelphia Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Steve continues to support the region’s emerging companies through board membership, mentoring, and advisory.
Eric is a media sales professional & leader specializing in interactive, programmatic, mobile, and ad tech with 25 years of CPG & retail experience. Having worked in both start-up environments and some of the most recognizable media and digital companies in the world, Eric founded Good Harvest Co. to transition his expertise and help innovate the way cannabis brands reach their desired consumers, and the way non-endemic brands reach cannabis consumers. In early 2020, Good Harvest Co. was acquired by Surfside, a customer acquisition platform that specializes in activating and expanding 1st party data for marketing, insights and measurement to help businesses understand, retain and acquire new customers. Good Harvest Co.’s expertise in retailer and shopper marketing augments the overall capabilities to reach in-market consumers leveraging Surfside’s largest cannabis and CBD consumer dataset based on proprietary purchase, location and behavioral data.
Nichelle N. Pace
Nichelle Pace is a seasoned media and creative arts professional with 18+ years of film/video production, lifestyle marketing and an advertising agency background leading award-winning campaigns in large shops from New York to Chicago. Nichelle has been a steward for many global and domestic brands including extensive experience working with regulated brands in spirits, tobacco and healthcare/pharma. Brands include: Procter & Gamble, Estee Lauder, Hendrick’s Gin, Stoli Vodka, RJ Reynolds, and Sharp Electronics. Nichelle has led clients’ integrated, digital and social marketing efforts as well as successfully developed and increased client revenue for small to mid-size agencies in the mid-Atlantic region.
Also serving as an industry expert and speaker/panelist, Nichelle has been featured in publications, on television and at leading advertising, marketing and social media events such as Social Media Week New York, Blogher Conference, Blogalicious Conference, NYC 3-Day Startup, Mashable Social Media Day, Essence Magazine, The CBS Early Show, and the Today Show. Her entrepreneurial spirit, experience and leadership in the marketing community firmly laid the foundation for her to open her own boutique creative agency, Brand Enchanting Media in 2016. Nichelle’s mission for helping businesses and brands succeed, led her to launch the Small Biz Digital Bootcamp (™), a series of workshops and consultations to help local small business in Camden, NJ and the region with affordable resources in branding and digital marketing. Nichelle has also previously served as Associate Vice President of MarComm to the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Marketing Association.
With an unyielding love for her community and passion for issues of diversity and inclusion led her to become an advocate for small businesses in New Jersey as well as an organizer of cannabis educational events for local officials and small business owners. Nichelle currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Camden Business Association and has partnered with cannabis advocacy and professional groups including New Jersey Cannabis Commission, Minorities for Medical Marijuana, CannaGather, Drug Policy Alliance, Women Grow, New Jersey Cannabusiness Association other regional business organizations, state/local legislators and community stakeholders to build awareness of issues around inclusivity, business opportunity and social justice reform in the growing New Jersey cannabis industry.