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Meet NYSVA's Board of Directors



Michael Fennier, President NYSVA &
General Manager, Unique
eCigs
Michael
Frennier
has been in the business world for more than 35 years in ownership, partnership and in management. He has always enjoyed the world of business and all its challenges.
   He has especially enjoyed creating jobs. He has developed business skills in building a company's processes and its procedures, as well as building its team, enabling the members to flourish. Now in addition to being General Manager of a 12 store e-cig company with almost 50 employees, Unique
eCigs, he is leading the New York State Vapor Association Inc., focusing his efforts on working with a great team and strategically working to save the vaping industry in New York. 


Andrew Osborne,Vice President, NYSVA
& Owner, Vapor Trails

Andrew Osborne
is the president and co-founder of Vapor Trail Electronics Inc, which was one of the first vapor retail stores in New York State.  He was named co-chairman of the NY chapter of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) in 2015 and was elected to the national board of SFATA in 2016. Currently, Andrew is the Vice-President of the New York State Vapor Association (NYSVA).

Prior to entering the vapor products industry, Andrew had extensive experience working with the FDA and other government agencies and he received a federal license in customs brokerage.


 
















Cheryl  Richter, Executive Director, NYSVA &

Co-owner Cherry Vape LLC
Cheryl Richter
has been an advocate of vaping rights since the FDA had US Customs seize her brand new vapor company’s shipment of e-cigs at the border in 2010. She was a member of the first vaping advocacy organization, National Vapers Club which started in 2010 in Long Island, NY. From 2013-2016 she was an NVC board member, helping fund much-needed research of e-cigarettes through the twice-yearly "Vapefest“ for the first-ever Indoor Air Quality Study (IVAQs), published in the peer reviewed journal, Inhalation Toxicology in 2012.

  Also in 2012, Cherry Vape®, well-known for innovative designs of drip tips and its e-liquid brand, Nicter®, was one of the first small businesses to join SFATA, (Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association), now the leading national trade association for the vapor industry. In 2014, Cheryl was one of four panelists to address Congress at SFATA’s Senate Educational Forum on E-Cigarettes, where she represented vaping manufacturers and retailers. That year she helped create NY In 2015, Cheryl testified on behalf of consumers and industry interests and against the FDA Deeming Rules at the White House Office of the OMB. For the last 5 years, she has participated in all of SFATA's Fly-ins to Washington to meet and educate legislators.

  Now as ED of NYSVA, Cheryl was part of the team that successfully advocated with more than 100 meetings with legislators, regulators and the Governor’s office this Spring in Albany.


Mary Bielaska, Esq., Legal Counsel , NYSVA &
Founder, 
Zanicorn Int’l

Mary Bielaska is a lawyer who has worked in various finance capitals of the world to hone her securities, private equity, merger and acquisition and regulatory compliance skills; she has over thirty years of experience in the corporate governance and federal compliance arenas alone.  After working for two large international law firms and then managing her division as the partner in charge of consulting for the western region at BDO, an international accounting and consulting firm, Mary was first introduced to electronic cigarettes during compliance work she was performing in 2006. She became increasingly active in the industry from that time forward after recognizing the benefits e-cigs could provide to the general population of smokers here in the United States and abroad.  

In 2009, Mary left her post as partner at BDO after making the decision to utilize her regulatory, compliance and venture capital skills to support the efforts of entrepreneurs who were seeking to blaze new trails in the vaping industry and several other industries.
  Through
Zanicorn International, Ltd. and Zanicorn Legal PLLC,  the organizations Mary established, her goal is to become the integrated professional services organization of choice for clients in targeted growth industry segments and particularly those clients that desire to grow either domestically or internationally, whether in terms of geography or market share.  Through these organizations, Mary and her team plan on accomplishing this goal by providing value to her firm’s clients through offering uncompromising professional expertise and establishing innovative service offerings to meet the changing needs of her firm’s clients and the industries they serve.  Over the last seven years Mary has also had an active role in advocacy for our industry, is a member of the board of directors and is currently serving as general counsel for the NYSVA.




.

Jeff Weiss, Board Member, NYSVA &
General Counsel and EVP of Government Affairs,
NJoy, Inc.

Jeff Weiss
serves as General Counsel and EVP of Government Affairs for NJOY,LLC. In 2017 NJOY, LLC acquired the assets of NJOY, Inc., a pioneer in the electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) market. NJOY’s products are distributed in brick and mortar stores in all 50 U.S. states. 
Jeff has oversight responsibility for NJOY’s legal and regulatory affairs, both in the U.S. and abroad. 

  From 2012 to 2017, Jeff served as General Counsel for NJOY, Inc. and from July 2016 to February 2017 as its Interim President. Jeff’s involvement with ENDS dates back to NJOY, Inc.'s history-making litigation with FDA (Sottera v. FDA), which established the legal foundation for the entire U.S. ENDS industry.

  In addition to his law degree, Jeff holds a Masters Degree in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins and a Master of Laws in International Law from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

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Spike Babaian, Technical Analysis Director, NYSVA & Owner, VapeNY
Spike Babaian
has a Masters in Psychology from Adelphi University.
A former
adjunct professor at Mercy College in NYC, she has been usinge-cigarettes since 2008 and founded National Vapers Club, the first consumer group for e-cigarette users, in 2009.

She co-authored the first peer reviewed paper in the US on vapor toxicity (McAuley et al., 2012).

In 2011, she opened VapeNY, an e-cigarette retail shop and has grown to four NYC locations and has day to day contact with tens of thousands of vapor product consumers. She has consulted with hundreds of politicians, researchers and media outlets regarding e-cigarettes for more than 8 years to educate academia, scientists and the public on vapor product use and safety.





 

David Barry, Board Member, NYSVA  &
Operations Manager, Unique
eCigs

David Barry was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. He's been involved with the vapor industry since 2010 and was the first employee of Unique eCigs, Inc. There, he assisted in their growth, starting from a small mall kiosk in Great Northern Mall (Clay, NY)  to now 11 retail locations in New York, and 1 in Calhoun, GA, where he manages nearly 50 employees. He's never been a smoker, and barely vapes, yet remains in this industry because of the people. The people that wake up every day sicker and sicker due to the harmful effects of combustible tobacco. He wants to save lives and vaping has offered him that opportunity.

Mike Kruger, Board Member, NYSVA &

Owner, Gottavape
Mike Kruger
has been in the
vape industry since 2012.  He got his start by getting his friends and family who were smokers to convert to e-cigerettes.  As time went on, friends of friends and other people started contacting him to help them quit smoking.  He eventually opened an e-commerce site and as referrals kept coming in he opened his first of three brick and mortar shops in the Capital District of NY in late 2013.  

  Mike started advocating for vapor products by meeting with his local representatives and getting to know them. The relationships he honed proved invaluable to our fight in Albany last Spring.

  As a life long smoker who has not used a tobacco product in several years due to the availability of e-cigs, Mike is dedicated to keeping vapor products available for the millions of people who rely on them now and the millions who will need them in the future.






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