The CORE Owner/Operators
Core is majority owned and managed by a diverse, local, women-led team dedicated to a responsible and compliant business model utilizing best practices to serve local guests. We are focused on providing high-quality products and a curated experience for customers who choose Core Cannabis. The team is also committed to educating interested patrons about the history, science, safety and social justice issues inherent in the commercialization of cannabis.
April Arrasate – Chief Executive Officer
April is an attorney with a biochemistry background who has extensive executive experience in the commercial cultivation, processing and manufacture of cannabinoid medicine in a highly-regulated environment. As the former Chief Operating Officer of one of only four grower/processors licensed in Connecticut, April wrote the application and, post-licensing, oversaw and orchestrated the completion of a 40,000-square foot indoor production facility in under six months. April is well versed in all areas of the commercial production of cannabis-based medicine including: facility build out, security, compliance, cultivation, harvesting, processing, inventory tracking, testing, formulation, manufacturing, packaging, delivery, fulfillment, product development, physician education, patient education, dispensary relations, public relations and branding. Education: J.D. Cum Laude, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; B.A. in Biology/Chemistry from Suffolk University.
Peri Higgins – Chief Financial Officer
Peri has over 25 years of experience in the private equity, real estate and consulting industries. Peri is currently the President of Evolve Advisors, a management consulting firm that advises corporate clients in strategic planning, project management and business process optimization. As the CFO of Core, she will manage finances and work toward responsibly maximizing revenues and profitability. Prior to her work in consulting, Peri raised $10 million to establish two real estate funds. She has also managed the private equity portfolio of a privately held manufacturing company where she conducted financial and operational due diligence on targeted opportunities, monitored portfolio performance, developed growth/exit strategies, and managed divestiture processes. Education: BA – Harvard University; MBA in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Tomas Gonzalez – Chief Operating Officer
Tomas is a native Bostonian with 15 years of local government experience. Prior to joining Core Empowerment, Tomas served as the Deputy Director for the City of Boston’s Office of Neighborhood Services, as an Assistant Commissioner for the Inspectional Services Department, and as Chief of Staff for Elderly Commission. Tomas has dedicated much of his professional career to local government but also to organizing and advocating for social and economic justice. Tomas also served as the political director for the Massachusetts Communities Action Network, the state’s largest faith-based advocacy and action group. Tomas was a founding and executive board member of “Raise Up Massachusetts”, which is the state’s largest social justice coalition. Education: B.A. in History from Boston College, 1999. In 2017, Tomas completed a certificate program at the Harvard’s Kennedy School Executive Education program in Senior Executives in State and Local Government.
Derric Small – Counsel
Derric is a Boston attorney and principal in the law Office of Derric Small, P.C. Prior to forming his own law practice, Derric spent 20 years working for the City of Boston at several city departments. He has over 20 years of experience and knowledge in state and local government. Derric also served as the Assistant Director for the City of Boston’s Office of Neighborhood Services. Education: B.A. from Connecticut College; J.D. from Suffolk University Law School; M.U.A. in Urban Affairs & City Planning from Boston University; Governor’s Academy.