Chris Violas, CEO, BLAZE
Chris Violas is the founder and CEO of BLAZE® responsible for ensuring the successful execution of development, strategy, and vision. His experience in the cannabis industry began over 10 years ago after he suffered an injury as a D1 soccer player at Cal Poly University. After seeking an alternative to traditional medicine, his experience with cannabis motivated him to start a cannabis delivery service on the central coast of California which he eventually sold in 2014 to pursue a career in technology. He quickly found himself as an account executive on the technology team at Rosetta, a digital ad agency, where he helped build and deploy digital technology experiences for Fortune 100 companies. In 2016, Chris became an account manager at Amazon Web Services and moved up quickly to the west coast lead for accelerators and incubators for the AWS Startup Team. While at AWS, Chris interfaced regularly with some of the most successful startups in the Bay area and worked closely with their respective CTO’s and technology teams. During this time, Chris began developing a cannabis ERP software that could help streamline operations for every sector of the seed-to-sale supply chain and BLAZE® was born. Since then, he’s led BLAZE® to successful seed and series A fundraising rounds, integrations with over 60 cannabis software partners, and processed over $1 billion in cannabis sales annually for 400+ dispensaries.