Cannabis Banking Working Group Members
California Bankers Association
Alex Alanis is vice president of government relations for the California Bankers Association (CBA). Alanis’ field of responsibility for CBA includes issues relating to bank operations, payment systems, financial privacy, data security, consumer lending, public contracting, identity theft, student loans and online banking.
Prior to joining CBA, Alanis served as a policy consultant for the Senate Republican Office of Policy and as the legislative director for Senate Republican Leader James Brulte. Prior to that, he was a consultant in the Senate Republican Fiscal Office and the legislative coordinator for the Fair Political Practices Commission. Alanis also was the chief consultant to former California State Senator Robert Beverly.
Alanis graduated from San Jose State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration and received his master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University.
California Community Banking Network
David Haithcock serves as the Executive Director of the California Community Banking Network (CCBN), and is also a senior staff member of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). With nearly 25 years of industry experience, David has a unique combination of area expertise in advocacy, regulation, education and community banking.
Prior to CCBN and ICBA, David served as Director of Government Relations for GC Services/First Community Bancshares in Laguna Hills, Calif., where he provided guidance on public policy issues and spearheaded advocacy efforts. He has also served as Executive Director of the California Mortgage Bankers Association in Sacramento, Calif., where he was responsible for overall operations and administration. David began his career with ICBA in late 1993, where he served as Director of Bank Relations until 2001 and was responsible for working with bank executive officers and directors. David returned to CCBN & ICBA in April 2006.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with an emphasis in public policy from the University of California, Riverside. He presently lives in Huntington Beach with his wife Heather and three kids, Evan, Grant and Ava.
California and Nevada Credit Union League
Courtney Jensen is Vice President of State Government Affairs for the California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues, where she represents over 300 credit unions in California and Nevada and their more than ten million members. Courtney began at the Leagues in 2014 and her responsibilities include lobbying members of the California and Nevada Legislatures as well as regulators and departments in both states.
Prior to joining the Leagues, Courtney served as Legislative Director to California State Assembly member Ian Calderon focusing on Banking and Finance, Insurance, Business, Education, and Labor and Legislative Aide to California State Majority Leader Charles Calderon focusing on Banking and Finance, Insurance, and others. Courtney also served on the election campaigns of Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva and former State Senator Sam Blakeslee. Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.
Board of Equalization
Fiona Ma serves as Chairwoman of the California State Board of Equalization, and is one of the few CPAs that have served on the Board. She represents 23 counties and upwards of 10 million Californians of the Second District. Ms. Ma was previously elected to represent the 12th Assembly District from December 2006 to November 2012 and served as the first Asian-American woman Assembly Speaker pro Tempore in California history. Ms. Ma has been committed to public service ever since she was a small business owner and was elected to serve as President of the Asian Businesses Association in San Francisco, where she quickly emerged as a leading voice for San Francisco's small business community. She was an elected delegate to the White House Conference on Small Business under President Bill Clinton, which produced a report to Congress on the 60 top policy recommendations to help small businesses grow and prosper in the 21st century.
Ms. Ma has been on the forefront of urging government leaders to address the challenges facing the cannabis industry, holding stakeholder meetings to discuss transportation, track and trace, and the most critical element – banking. She led the charge on legislation enacted last year that removes the requirement for electronic payments that unfairly penalizes the cannabis industry when paying in cash and continues to search for regulatory and legislative changes that could help the billion dollar industry understand and comply with California’s tax laws. Ms. Ma received her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology (NY), her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University (SF), and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She has been licensed in California as a Certified Public Accountant since 1992.
Patrick W. Henning Jr.
Employment Development Department
Patrick Henning was appointed the Director of the California Employment Development Department in 2014. Patrick had served as chief deputy appointments secretary in the office of California Governor Jerry Brown from 2011 to 2014. He was the legislative advocate at the California Council of Laborers from 2004 to 2011, and prior to that was appointed by the California Governor as the assistant secretary for legislation and intergovernmental affairs at the Labor and Workforce Development Agency from 2003 to 2004, and deputy director at the California Department of Industrial Relations from 2000 to 2003. Henning held various positions in Washington D.C. from 1995 to 2000, including special advisor and congressional liaison to President Bill Clinton and legislative assistant to Congressman Vic Fazio. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Workforce Agencies.
Previously, Henning was an appointed member of the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (Prop. 63), the California Career Technical Education Standards and Framework Advisory Group and the California Assembly Speaker’s Commission on Labor Education. He has also served as the chairman of the Economic Development Advisory Commission of West Sacramento, CA.
Franchise Tax Board
Annette Kunze is a Bureau Director in the Audit Division at the Franchise Tax Board (FTB). She began her career with FTB in 1996. Her roles include overseeing implementation of policies and procedures for major compliance and enforcement programs, training and development, and implementation of tax legislation impacting the Department. Annette has led several initiatives, including FTB’s implementation of two key credit programs added by the Governor’s Economic Development Initiative: New Employment Credit and California Competes Tax Credit, various knowledge transfer efforts, Voluntary Compliance Initiative 2, and is the Department’s contact for cannabis-related activities. Annette has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a minor in Economics from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She also graduated from CSUS’s Leadership for the Government Executive program and was recently invited to sponsor Leadership for the Government Supervisor. Annette is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Jan Lynn Owen
Department of Business Oversight
Jan Lynn Owen was appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Business Oversight in 2013. Among other tasks, the Department of Business Oversight supervises the operations of state-licensed financial institutions, including banks, credit unions and money transmitters. Additionally, the Department licenses and regulates a variety of financial service providers, including securities brokers and dealers, investment advisers, payday lenders and other consumer finance lenders. Ms. Owen has a varied background, including serving as a strategic initiatives manager at Apple, vice president of government affairs at JP Morgan Chase, and executive director of the California Mortgage Bankers Association. Ms. Owen has also served in a number of other governmental capacities, including acting commissioner with the Department of Financial Institutions, executive director of the Department of Insurance’s California Organized Investment Network, and as a consultant to the State Senate Banking Committee.
Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation
Lori Ajax is the Chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation. Prior to her appointment to that position in February 2016, Ms. Ajax was the Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, where she worked in various positions dating back to 1998. Those positions including serving as the District Administrator for the ABC Grant Assistance Program and the TRACE Unit and, from 2007 to 2011, she oversaw the licensing and enforcement operations of 20 counties in Northern California.
Business Consumer Services and Housing Agency
Peter Williams is the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency’s Deputy Secretary and General Counsel. Prior to his appointment in January 2016, he was a supervisor in the Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Unit at the California Department of Justice and co-founded the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force. Mr. Williams earned his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.
Attorney General’s Office
Jennifer A. Lee is a Deputy Attorney General at the California Attorney General's Office, where she advises and represents state elected officials and agencies on a wide range of issues that include government ethics and operations, constitutional and statutory law, elections, and ballot measures.
California Growers Association
A lifelong resident of Humboldt and cannabis grower, Hezekiah Allen is the Executive Director of the California Growers Association. His work there is targeted at keeping policymakers focused on ensuring that the thousands of farms and businesses that drive the California cannabis industry have a place in the regulated future.
California Cannabis Industry Association
Nate Bradley is the Executive Director of the California Cannabis Industry Association and is responsible for public policy advocacy and political strategy. Prior to joining the Association, Mr. Bradley was the President of BCI Solutions, a medical cannabis strategic consulting firm. He also served as a spokesman for the Yes on Prop 19 Campaign and as an advisor to CSPARC in Sacramento County. In 2010, Mr. Bradley founded Lawmen Protecting Patients, an advocacy organization consisting of retired and disabled members of the law enforcement community who advocate on behalf of the medical cannabis community. Mr. Bradley also has worked as a police officer, deputy sheriff, and criminal investigator.
Nicole Neubert is a founding partner in the law firm of Clark Neubert, a firm that serves as counsel to the cannabis industry on matters of corporate and business counseling, entity formation and operation, business litigation, and regulatory matters. Prior to forming Clark Neubert, Ms. Neubert worked as a criminal and civil litigator, including stings with Clarence Dyer & Cohen and Farella Braun & Martel. Ms. Neubert serves on the board of California NORML and the policy committee for the California Growers Association.
California State Association of Counties
In November 2012, Matt Cate began his service as Executive Director of the California State Association of Counties, after serving for more than four years as Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. His prior experience also includes stints with the California Inspector General, the California Rehabilitation Oversight Board, and as a Deputy Attorney General from 1996 – 2004, and as a Deputy District Attorney in Sacramento County from 1994 – 1996. Mr. Cate also is a Law and Policy Fellow with the Stanford University School of Law.
League of California Cities
Carolyn Coleman was recently named as Executive Director of the League of California Cities, after serving as a senior executive and director of federal advocacy for the National League of Cities (NLC) since 2006. During her time with the NLC, Ms. Coleman worked with the Congress, the Executive Branch under Presidents Bush and Obama, and the Supreme Court to help advance federal matters of priority for cities throughout the United States. Ms. Coleman has more than 25 years of experience as a leader and an advocate in the public and private sectors, including as deputy mayor for the City of Indianapolis, Indiana.