Western Acquisition Ventures Corp.

Western Acquisition Ventures Corp. is a blank check company, also known as a special purpose acquisition company or SPAC, formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, share exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, recapitalization, reorganization, or other similar initial business combination with one or more businesses or entities.

About Us

Our management team, board of directors, advisors and underwriters have deep knowledge across multiple business sectors and a proven track record in SPACs, M&A and operations. We seek to leverage and capitalize on our collective multi-faceted expertise and broad network of relationships to source and evaluate potential transactions and create value for our stakeholders. Underwritten by leading investment bank’s: Alliance Global Partners, The Benchmark Company and Brookline Capital Markets, Western Acquisition Ventures Corp further extends its access to proprietary deal flow, relationships, industry knowhow and experience to successfully complete a business combination with a high growth industry target.

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SEC Filings

All Filings for Western Acquisition Ventures Available via EDGAR

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Our Team

Stephen Christoffersen, Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Christoffersen, CFA, our Chief Executive Officer and a Director, is an operator and investor in financial markets and high-growth industries. In addition to his role as CEO, he is the managing member of Range Ventures LLC, an opportunistic investment company focusing on public equities and private credit. From 2018 to 2021, Mr. Christoffersen worked for KushCo Holdings Inc (OTCQX: KSHB) and during his time as CFO, he led a business turnaround which included right-sizing headcount and operational footprint while focusing sales on the leading multi-state operators. This resulted in company profitability for the first time in three years and led to a merger with Greenlane Holdings (NASDAQ: GNLN), which was announced March 2021. Additionally, Mr. Christoffersen spearheaded KushCo’s strategic investments, including its investment in XS Financial, Inc. (CSE: XSF), where Mr. Christoffersen currently serves on the Board as a member of the Investment and Audit committee.

Prior to joining KushCo, Mr. Christoffersen served as Vice President of Investment Strategy for Comerica Asset Management Inc. (NYSE: CMA), where he managed $500 million and oversaw asset allocation and investments.

Mr. Christoffersen has also been active in several volunteering and philanthropic initiatives, including serving as a Math and Science tutor with the Save a Child Foundation at the YMCA Boys and Girls Club. He was also an Executive Sponsor for Project Mission Green, an initiative of The Weldon Project that advocates on behalf of currently or formerly incarcerated cannabis offenders who were sentenced to prison for nonviolent cannabis offenses.

Mr. Christoffersen received his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Bill Lischak, Chief Financial Officer

William Lischak, CPA, MST, our Chief Financial Officer and Director, is a senior level financial executive with over 20 years of experience in the media industry. His credentials include being a CPA, having earned a master’s degree in Taxation and having long term executive roles as CFO, COO, President and CEO of various operating companies. Mr. Lischak has extensive M&A, corporate finance, strategic planning, accounting and tax experience. Bill has developed a strong network of relationships within the media and entertainment community, including commercial and investment banks, law firms, accounting firms, and consulting firms. He is known as a dynamic team player strongly committed to working with colleagues to achieve transactional and operational goals.

Mr. Lischak has been the Chief Executive Officer of RightsTrade, LLC since June 2020 and worked as a consultant to the company starting in April 2019. Concurrently, from February 2020 to September 2021, Mr. Lischak has acted as interim CFO for Johnson Management Group, a privately held television movie production company. From February 2017 to October 2018, Mr. Lischak served as interim CFO at PIXOMONDO STUDIOS, a multi-national visual effects company. Working in conjunction with Houlihan Lokey, Inc., Mr. Lischak managed the company through the sale of a majority stake sale to private equity.

From 2007 to 2015 Mr. Lischak worked with OddLot Entertainment LLC, a film and television production company founded by Gigi Pritzker, where he established the company’s position as a prominent independent production company through securing, structuring and managing corporate joint ventures and complex multi-party project financing for award winning and commercially successful films such as Hell or High Water (nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award), Ender’s Game (at the time, the largest independent film ever made, with a budget of $115 million), and Drive (for which Nicolas Winding Refn which won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival). Additionally, Mr. Lischak was instrumental in the company’s expansion into television production with National Geographic’s Genius: Einstein mini-series (based upon the Walter Isaacson biography), produced in conjunction with Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment. Corporately, Mr. Lischak created a multi-picture production and distribution arrangement with Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: LGF); spearheaded a multi-picture production and distribution arrangement with STX Financing LLC (NYSE: ESGC) in conjunction with an equity investment by Ms. Pritzker’s family office and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.; and created the joint venture international sales company, Sierra/Affinity (acquired by Entertainment One Ltd. and Hasbro, Inc.).

Prior to joining Oddlot Entertainment LLC, Mr. Lischak worked with First Look Media, a multi-faceted licensing, distribution and production operation. Joining the company in 1988 as CFO, Mr. Lischak later assumed the roles of COO and President and was instrumental in the development and growth of the company, including its’ merger into a SPAC. In addition to the SPAC transaction, Mr. Lischak spearheaded multiple rounds of additional capital (pre and post public company status), various corporate acquisitions and established a multitude of debt financing arrangements including both lines of credit and project financing with financial institutions including JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A (NYSE: JPM)., Comerica, Inc. (NYSE: CMA), Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and NatWest among others. During Bill’s tenure annual revenues increased from $6 million to $125 million.

Mr. Lischak graduated from NYU’s Stern School of Business, where he also studied film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Robin Smith, Board Member

Robin L. Smith, MD, MBA, a Director, is a business leader, entrepreneur, medical doctor, and philanthropist uniquely positioned to assist public companies and health care systems to advance and be successful in the rapidly evolving health care industry. She is a trailblazer in the fields of regenerative medicine and predictive analytics and has focused on turnarounds, M&A and disruptive innovations driving interest and growth.

From 2006 until 2015, Dr. Smith was chairman and chief executive officer of the NeoStem, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBS), where she pioneered the company’s innovative business model combining proprietary cell therapy development with successful contract development and manufacturing organization that was sold to Hitachi, Ltd. (TYO: 6501) at 8x the price at which it had been acquired. During her 9 years of tenure, the company completed five acquisitions, one divestiture and won an array of industry awards and received business recognition including a first-place ranking in the tri-state area (two years in a row), and eleventh place nationally, on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, and Frost & Sullivan’s North American Cell Therapeutics Technology Innovation Leadership Award. In 2015, Dr. Smith was asked to become chair of the board of directors of Mynd Analytics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYND) and successfully turn the business around through acquisitions and divestitures and brought liquidity to investors. In 2017, she founded Spiritus Therapeutics, Inc., a company in the exosome therapeutic area.

Dr. Smith has extensive experience serving on the boards of directors and board committees, including, audit, nominating and governance, compensation and science and technology committees, of multiple public companies and private companies. She serves as a director of: Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SRNE); Celularity, Inc. (soon to de-SPAC with NASDAQ: GXGX); Vicinity, Inc.; and, Spiritus Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Smith has also served on the board of ServiceSource International, Inc. (NASDAQ: SREV), of Seelos Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL), Rockwell Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: RMTI), and BioXcel Corp.

Dr. Smith co-authored Cells Are the New Cure (2017) and The Healing Cell: How the Greatest Revolution in Medical History Is Changing Your Life (2013). She has also been widely recognized for her leadership in health care and as a female entrepreneur. Most recently, Dr. Smith received the Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF) 2019 Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Award for International Diplomacy in 2019 and the 2018 HEALinc Future Health Humanitarian Award, the Business Intelligence Group’s Woman of the Year Award in 2018 and the 2018 Gold Stevie® Award for Woman of the Year – Government or Non-Profit. In May 2016, Pope Francis awarded Dr. Smith Dame Commander with Star Pontifical Equestrian Order of Saint Sylvester Pope and Martyr. In May 2017, she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Healthcare and Science Award by The National Museum of Catholic Art and Library.

Dr. Smith is also active in many nonprofit organizations. She is the founder, president and chairperson of the board of the Cura Foundation, a charitable organization, and a member, serves on the board of overseers of the New York University Langone Medical Center and on the board of trustees of Sanford Health. She currently serves on the board of Alliance for Cell Therapy and served on the board of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) Foundation, Unite to Prevent Cancer (UTPC) Foundation now OPA and on the board of trustees of the New York University Langone Medical Center and was chairperson of our board of directors of the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases.

Dr. Smith received her B.A. degree from Yale University and her M.D. degree from the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Smith holds an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of Business and completed the Stanford University Directors Program. In 2019, Dr. Smith received an honorary doctor of science degree from Thomas Jefferson Medical College. We believe Dr. Smith is well qualified to serve as an independent member of our board of directors because of her experience in leadership and management roles and her experience as a board member in various public companies.

Ade Okunubi, Board Member

Ade Okunubi, MBA, CFA, a Director, is President of Industrial Battery Inc., an industrial battery and charger distributor and service firm. Mr. Okunubi is also a Private Equity investor in Industrial services businesses. Prior to acquiring Industrial Battery, Mr. Okunubi served as Chief Operating Officer of Techni-Tool, part of TestEquity LLC, a distributor of equipment for electronic production assembly, and Investment Associate for Arcis Equity Partners LLC, a leisure and hospitality focused private equity fund.

Prior to working in private equity and in operation roles, Mr. Okunubi worked in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) and advised private equity firms and corporations on approximately $2.5 billion in transactions in the telecom, healthcare, retail and renewable energy sectors. Prior to Credit Suisse Group AG, Mr. Okunubi was a Merger Arbitrage and High Yield Credit Trader at Taconic Capital Advisors LP, a New York-based event driven hedge fund.

Mr. Okunubi, a Queens, NY native, received an AB in Economics from Princeton University, and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. Mr. Okunubi is also a CFA Charter holder and member of the CFA Society of Dallas-Ft. Worth. We believe Mr. Okunubi is well qualified to serve as an independent member of our board of directors because of his management experience and his extensive financial experience as an investor.

Adam Stern, Board Member

Adam K. Stern, a Director, is the CEO of SternAegis Ventures and has been the Head of Private Equity Banking at Aegis Capital Corp. since 2012. Prior to SternAegis, from 1997 to 2012, he was Senior Managing Director at Spencer Trask Ventures, Inc., where he managed the structured finance group focusing primarily on technology and life science companies. From 1989 to 1997, Mr. Stern was at Josephthal & Co., Inc., Members of the New York Stock Exchange, where he served as Head of Private Equity and Managing Director. He has been a FINRA licensed securities broker since 1987 and a Registered General Securities Principal since 1991. Mr. Stern has been a founding investor in numerous private and public companies and currently serves as a Director of DarioHealth Corp. (Nasdaq: DRIO) since March 2020, Organovo Holdings Inc., (Nasdaq: ONVO) since July 2020, and privately held Aerami Therapeutics, Inc. since 2014. Adam previously served on the board of directors for Matinas BioPharma Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: MTNB) from 2012-2020, and HydroFarm Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: HYFM) from 2018-2020.

Mr. Stern graduated from the University of South Florida in 1987. We believe Mr. Stern is well qualified to serve as an independent member of our board of directors because of his experience as a board member of numerous public companies, as well as his deep financial experience as an investor.