Speaker Profile

Cris Rivera at MJ Unpacked

Cris Rivera

SVP, Retail Marketing and Store Development, Sunnyside

About Cris Rivera

Cris Rivera is the SVP of Retail Marketing and Customer Experience at Cresco Labs.  He oversees operations of the Company's 19+ Sunnyside dispensaries and 500+ retail employees across six states, and is responsible for store development, promotional and assortment strategy, customer experience, marketing and branding, and planning and forecasting.  

Under Mr. Rivera's leadership, he launched Cresco's retail brand, Sunnyside, evolving traditional dispensaries to modern store environments built on wellness, education and customer service.  In the first half of 2020, he led the opening of four Sunnyside stores in Illinois and rebranding of 14 existing dispensary locations in five states, unifying Cresco Labs' store fleet under one national retail brand.  He also spearheaded the launch of online ordering for adult-use customers and has consistently grown Sunnyside's customer relationships and return rate.

Prior to Cresco Labs, he spent nearly 10 years in various senior brand management roles at MillerCoors, where he led brand turnarounds and expansion of America’s favorite beer brands—Coors Light, Miller Lite and Blue Moon.  He spearheaded the repositioning of Miller Lite through a transformation of the brand’s point-of-sale materials from cheap and “sophomoric” to classic and understated, brought back the original white can, and oversaw a marketing campaign presenting Miller Lite as the original light beer and a high-quality choice.  These efforts resulted in the rebound of light beer category sales and one of the most significant brand turnaround stories in the past decade.  

Ad Age named Mr. Rivera one of top influencers in the media, marketing and technology space in its 2015 Class of Young Influentials, and he was featured in Hispanic Executive for his award-winning multicultural marketing work for Coors Light.  Before joining MillerCoors, Mr. Rivera began his career in consumer packaged goods at PepsiCo, working in innovation, retail marketing and communications for Tropicana Juices.

He is a board member for Crowded Learning, an organization that seeks to provide adults with free, crowd-sourced learning resources to help them build skills and position them for new jobs.  He is a former junior board member of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid.  In addition, he has spoken a numerous industry events, including Cannabis Business Times’ 2020 Cannabis Conference, 2020 MJ Unpacked--Midwest and 2020 Green Market Summit.

Mr. Rivera graduated from Duke University with a bachelor's degree in Economics and received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.