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Cannabis Fintech Abaca Announces New Hires

April 28, 2020, 07:10 AM

Cannabis financial technology firm Abaca has added Vince Laborde, Sean Russell and Mara Williams to its team.

Abaca, based in North Little Rock, AR, enables traditional banking services for the majority of the legal Arkansas cannabis industry, as well as in the states of Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois and North Dakota. Additionally, the company’s fintech banking platform offers lending and payment processing services to cannabis and hemp/CBD businesses nationwide.

“As a technology company, we have adapted quite rapidly to remote work. Our business is still fully operational,” said Abaca CEO Dan Roda. “Now more than ever, attracting top talent is a priority. Vince, Sean and Mara are integral to Abaca’s growth and future.”

Laborde joins as Vice President of Lending and will help Abaca’s cannabis business clients with equipment financing, real estate/mortgage loans, inventory credit lines, purchase order financing and receivables factoring. Abaca has lending offices in North Little Rock and Denver, CO. Laborde joins Abaca from Choice Hotels International, Inc. where he led development, equity investment and lending efforts supporting the launch of the Cambria Hotels brand. Laborde is a CFA charterholder and a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

“Abaca’s monumental growth in the past year is testament to the budding cannabis industry not only in Arkansas, but in the entire United States. Cannabis is often considered the industry of the one percent. I look forward to proving that wrong by connecting cannabis operators nationwide with traditional lending services,” Laborde said.

Abaca also welcomes Russell as an Information Technology Systems Specialist. His mastery of bank core systems and software will be instrumental in assuring that Abaca’s cannabis banking platform is able to deliver enterprise-class service and stability as the company grows and expands. He joins Abaca from Bank of England Mortgage where he served as Network Operations Manager.

Finally, Mara Williams joins Abaca as an Inside Sales Lead. Williams previously worked at Pinnacle Wealth Group as a client relationship manager. She will support the sales team’s efforts to sign legal cannabis businesses up for bank accounts and payment processing services.

Abaca provides state-legal cannabis businesses with compliant bank accounts, lending, electronic payments and other financial services through its financial technology-powered cannabis banking platform.

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