Ericka Pittman Becomes the First Black Woman CMO of a Multi-state Cannabis Company - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise magazine Fall 2019 issue

In 2011, NBA Veteran Al Harrington launched the cannabis company Viola. Viola is dedicated to producing ultra-premium products rooted in purpose and social equity. And in 2019, his team successfully raised $16 million to support the growth of the company.

In efforts to continue to grow and scale the business, Viola recently announced that Ericka Pittman, a 25-year marketing and branding maven, has been named the chief marketing officer.

Prior to joining Viola, Pittman severed as the chief marketing officer at AQUAhydrate Inc. where she was responsible for spearheading and directing the company’s marketing, sales functions and departmental goals, objectives, and operating procedures. Before, AQUAhydrate, she spent nine years at Combs Enterprises where she had many roles including vice president of the Chairman’s Office.

As the CMO, Pittman is now the first black woman to become a CMO of a multi-state cannabis company. In her new role, she will build Viola’s brand awareness amongst consumers and promote the company’s core values as Viola gives back to communities most affected by the war on drugs.

In a statement released by the company, Pittman shared her excitement as the newest member of the executive team. “As black female C-suite representation continues to grow within the cannabis space, I am excited to join efforts with such a dynamic company rooted in purpose.”

She went on to say, “Together with Al and the rest of the Viola team, our goal is to create ground-breaking category growth through superior product cultivation, innovation, authentic consumer impact, and inclusion. I’ve been carefully monitoring the exponential growth and opportunity within the cannabis sector and Viola truly brings to market not only a premium product, but an impactful brand mission led by a special group of minority industry leaders.”

In the same release, Harrington also expressed similar sentiments. “Having Ericka on board at Viola is a special moment for us as we look to place an emphasis on company growth and further place our stake in the ground as leaders within the cannabis industry. Ericka is a highly accomplished marketing executive and knows not only how to get the job done but more importantly how to take Viola to the next level. We couldn’t have brought on a more perfect fit to join Viola at this exciting time.”

As the cannabis industry continues to rapidly grow, the number of black business owners entering and making their mark on the industry is also growing.

To learn more about Viola, click here.