About us

Kukuza Associates LLC is a Silicon Valley-based consulting firm dedicated to helping cannabis businesses go further, faster with great finance.

Kukuza Associates takes cannabis companies further, faster, with proven finance and accounting solutions. Accustomed to the hectic, high-risk pace of Silicon Valley, our consulting firm offers a broad range of strategic and tactical finance solutions to meet a cannabis company’s every need, at every stage of its lifecycle. We bring expert finance expertise to all types of cannabis companies, including cultivators, extractors, manufacturers, distributors, retail businesses as well as investors. Focused on the unique needs of cannabis businesses, Kukuza Associates calms the chaos, lays the critical foundations to scale rapidly, sets up the company for maximum growth potential, and readies the business for investors and dealmakers.

To grow (“kukuza” in Swahili), companies must have an accurate picture of their financial situation and be able to scale—especially in this fast-moving market. They need the right finance at the right time, for their situation. Our specialized finance solutions help navigate through the common pains points of cannabis companies. We provide savvy cannabis CFO and controller expertise, outsourced accounting (including day-to-day accounting, cost accounting and audit prep), financial reporting & analysis, internal controls and business transaction support.

Created as a separate company in 2019, Kukuza incorporates the award-winning culture and values of parent firm RoseRyan, which entered the cannabis space in 2014. Our clients have access to the over 100 talented finance pros at RoseRyan, which for 25 years has managed the finance operations of hundreds of fast-moving companies throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, particularly in tech and life sciences. We excel at guiding fast-moving companies toward their finance milestones.

Our Team

Dave Roberson, CEO

A Silicon Valley powerhouse, Dave leads the charge at Kukuza Associates to help cannabis companies of all sizes and across all segments (growers, extractors, manufacturers, distributors, retailers) reach their full potential by having expert finance capabilities behind them. His know-how on the industry was tapped for an Accounting Today cover story about the few “pioneering” firms that have dedicated solutions to the accounting and finance needs of cannabis companies. Dave previously spent six years as an advisor to tech companies, leading major projects in the areas of finance, strategy, due diligence, capital structure, corporate governance, sales and human resources. One of those projects involved heading up a dedicated RoseRyan team of over a dozen finance pros who provided transitional services for the Symantec-Digicert divestiture. Dave is also a vice president at RoseRyan, where he is on the leadership team and oversees the firm’s expanding presence in the private equity space.

Dave fine-tuned his talent for guiding fast-moving companies as a senior vice president for Hewlett-Packard Co. and as president and CEO at Hitachi Data Systems, where he also held the titles of COO, CFO, CIO and general counsel. He has served as a director of 12 companies, including Brocade, Quantum, IGT, Spansion and IDT. Dave received a BA from the University of California at Irvine and a JD from Golden Gate University School of Law. He studied financial management at Harvard Business School.

Maureen Ryan, Vice President

Maureen leads the business development functions at Kukuza Associates. She spearheaded Kukuza’s parent company’s entrance into the cannabis marketplace and developed our finance solution to address the common pain points across cannabis companies. She has 30 years’ experience in business—working in engineering, sales, business development, marketing, and operations.

RoseRyan, Kukuza’s parent company, effectively entered the cannabis field in 2014 by providing finance expertise to a biotech cannabinoid company undergoing a reverse merger and layering on small business services as well as external reporting requirements. Maureen then developed the strategy for how RoseRyan would approach the cannabis market, its solution and eventual creation of Kukuza Associates in 2019. Maureen’s insights on the cannabis space have been featured in Accounting Today, San Francisco Business Times, as well as on NCIA’s website (the cannabis industry association profiled Maureen in 2018, published her blog about the finance function in 2018 and a blog she wrote with Chris Vane in 2017) . Before joining RoseRyan in 2000, Maureen worked in a variety of roles with Nortel Networks, Quantum Corp. and General Dynamics. Maureen holds a BS in Aeronautics from San Jose State University and an MBA from San Diego State University.

Chris Vane, Director

Chris is Director of Business Development for Kukuza Associates, connecting fast-moving companies with the right finance solutions and building our ecosystem of strategic partnerships. Chris has been active in pioneering RoseRyan’s, our parent company, entry into the cannabis market since 2016. He’s known for providing strategic advice to companies looking to acquire assets, merge and grow. The go-to network of trusted advisors in the cannabis field developed by Chris enables Kukuza’s clients to plug into tax, legal, HR, valuation and marketing experts to build out their own ecosystem of business partners. In 2017, Chris hosted a lively discussion with cannabis industry leaders (listen to the replay) for RoseRyan, and in 2018, his insights on canna business strategies were featured on CannabisRadio.com. He has also shared his views in various blog posts, including one he wrote with Maureen Ryan for NCIA.

Before joining RoseRyan in 2008, Chris was a partner at Computer Sciences Corp., where he focused on providing strategy and technology consulting for Fortune 1000 clients. He also worked with startups at Lante and held business development and management positions with MCI (now Verizon). Chris has a BA in marketing from Creighton University.

Kakuza uses RoseRyan’s finance dream team on engagements

Our Values

At Kukuza Associates, we live by a set of shared values that are cornerstones for everything we do. We lean on each other, help each other out, and have each other’s back no matter where we are. We create a positive, supportive, and highly collaborative environment—and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Trustworthy

We’re up front and honest at every turn, even for tough topics. We always do what we say we’ll do. And we operate with courageousness and integrity. No matter what happens, you can count on us—always.

Team

The true meaning of teamwork rules the day. We love to help each other out and celebrate the milestones. Each team member holds their own and pulls their weight. Our very collegial working relationships help us get the job done while enjoying the journey.

Advocate

We are solid advocates for our company and for our clients, and focus on their best interests. We become a part of our client’s team and act the part. We stand up for their interests and what’s important to them. And we never look the other way—we find solutions.

Let’s Talk

Drop us a note in the form and one of our experts will set up a time to discuss the ways Kukuza can help your business go further, faster.

tel: (510) 509-1454
[email protected]

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