Richard Schaeffer has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has held a variety of positions with New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), including those of Treasurer, Director and Vice Chairman. As NYMEX Chairman from 2006 to 2008, his leadership proved instrumental with increasing the exchange valuation from $900mm to $13B and enjoying one of the most successful IPO’s in U.S. history.
In addition to serving as NYMEX Chairman, Mr. Schaeffer led commodity trading powerhouse ABN AMRO, Inc. as their Director of Global Energy Futures. He has served on the Board of Directors for the University of Maryland’s School of Business, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, The Museum of American Finance, NYMEX Charitable Trust, Magic Jack and The Montreal Stock Exchange. Mr. Schaeffer is currently the Chairman of the Endowment/Investment Committee for Sacred Heart University.
Gordon Rutledge has nearly four decades of experience in the financial markets. After graduating from Harvard University, he began his career at Merrill Lynch as a Commodity News Wire Editor. He quickly advanced to Technical Analyst and Managed Account Advisor.
Over the next 30 years, Mr. Rutledge became an accomplished broker/trader at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), where he ran and established successful energy related businesses. He was elected to the NYMEX Board of Directors in 2000. In 2005, Mr. Rutledge was selected to lead the launch as CEO of the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME). He then served as Senior Advisor to the NYMEX Chair and Management Teams until the DME launch in 2007. Upon the sale of NYMEX, Mr. Rutledge began a new career as a start-up business consultant, where he has been active in Oregon’s medical cannabis cultivation space since 2012.
Lorne Gertner is one of Canada’s most prominent leaders in the cannabis community, specializing in start-up companies, public offerings, architecture, fashion and finance, as well as cannabis investments. He serves as the CEO of Hill and Gertner Capital Corp., a Toronto-based merchant bank with holdings ranging from architecture to retail space. In addition, he is a member of the board of Hiku Brands Limited, a portfolio of internationally recognized cannabis brands including Tokyo Smoke, DOJA and Van der Pop.
Gertner founded Cannasat Pharmaceuticals, the first company to hold a Canadian license for growing medical marijuana as well as the first medical marijuana business to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He also co-founded and served as the Chairman of PharmaCan Capital (now Cronos), Canada’s first publicly traded merchant bank for participants in the medical marijuana sector. Gertner currently serves on the board of Green Acre Capital, Empower Clinics and the Design Exchange. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s Daniel School of Architecture with a Bachelor of Architecture.
Board of Advisors
James McNally has been a member of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange, New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and Commodities Exchange (COMEX).
In 1996, Mr. McNally began his career in Hong Kong, risk managing derivatives on the Hang Seng. He later returned to the states, where he became a member of the NYMEX and COMEX. Over the following 18 years, Mr. McNally went on to build an extremely successful energy derivatives operation.
Petrone has extensive experience in the futures and commodities industry. In 1996, he began working for the trading firm ABN Amro, where he advanced to become the Brokerage Supervisor for Natural Gas. There, he worked closely beside former NYMEX Chairman and current Amercanex Board Member Richard Schaeffer.
After leaving ABN Amro, Mr. Petrone owned and operating a brokerage business in the volatile natural gas futures pit, executing customer orders for several major banks, global hedge funds and energy companies. He currently trades future contracts in more than 20 markets across multiple exchanges for his own account.
Mr. Petrone is a member of NYMEX and the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). He is a former member of the Commodity Exchange (COMEX) and the New York Board of Trade (NYBOT). He graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science.
Donna Calcaterra is an experienced commodities broker and board member. She initially studied art at Hunter College, earning both a BFA and MFA in Painting and Printmaking. She taught art at Belnap College in New Hampshire until moving to New York City, where she began her trading career in potato futures at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).
Ms. Calcaterra started out trading at Jacobson Commodities, where she learned all aspects of the Maine potato industry. She later traded the more lucrative energy futures and options contracts, building a successful brokerage firm with her husband, who she met on the trading floor. Her knowledge of technical analysis led her to begin teaching “Technical Analysis of Commodity Markets” classes at The New School in New York. In 1988, she and her husband retired from open outcry trading.
In addition to her work, Ms. Calcaterra began a charitable organization named “The 613 Foundation” in honor of her late husband’s badge number. She began trading again, and continues to actively manage the foundation and trade the stock market to raise funds for it.
Ms. Calcaterra serves on the board of the American Friends of Museums in Israel and the American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA). She is a current member of NYMEX and former member of the Commodities Exchange (COMEX).
Chief Counsel to the Board
For more than 40 years, David Francescani has been successfully representing private and public companies in all areas of intellectual property protection, specializing in patent, trademark and copyright litigation.
At Fish & Richardson, he won a dismissal for the Chicago Board Options Exchange in a major $400 million patent litigation with the International Securities Exchange. He also advised the New York Mercantile Exchange and its chairman on various matters for a number of years. After retiring from the firm, he began working for Moriches Bay Partners, an investment company offering consulting services to technology-based start-up companies.
Mr. Francescani previously worked at Darby & Darby and Francescani & Hayes, both intellectual property law firms. He was also served as General Counsel of J.J. Kenny Co., Inc., a municipal bond firm and headed up its muni bond information business. He started his career on the legal staff of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.
After receiving an engineering degree and a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Francescani was in the Masters of Law programs at George Washington University Law School and New York University Law School. He is registered to practice law in New York State and admitted to the bar of the state and federal courts in New York.