Zachary L. Venegas, CEO
Before joining Helix TCS, Zachary L. Venegas led Spruce Investment Advisors’ Strategic Advisory Group, closing a portfolio with NAV of $500 million USD. He was the co-founder and managing partner of Scimitar, a Dubai-based private equity and venture firm focused on Europe, Africa and the Middle East. At Scimitar Zachary drove the firm’s activities in deal origination, negotiations, capital raising and macroeconomic and geopolitical analysis, leading investments across four continents and multiple industries. He represented Scimitar in numerous media appearances, including Bloomberg Television, CNBC and Barron’s.
In addition, Zachary was the founder and CEO of Omega Strategic Services, a dynamic corporate/competitive intelligence and security advisory firm with operations in the Middle East and Africa that supported investors and corporations in creating successful operating environments and helping them to succeed by providing them with distinct, actionable intelligence and real-time data analytics. Earlier in his career, he worked at JPMorgan in Geneva, Switzerland focused on the Middle East, and went on to lead the bank’s Bahrain office before leaving to found Scimitar.
Zachary received his MBA in Finance and International Business from NYU’s Stern School of Business and a BS in Classical Arabic and Portuguese Languages from the United States Military Academy, West Point. Prior to his business career, he served with distinction in the U.S. Army as an Infantry officer. Born in Brooklyn, NY he has lived in Switzerland, England, France, Brazil, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, DR Congo, South Africa, Singapore, and Thailand and has operated in over 70 countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa. Zachary speaks Arabic, French, Portuguese, Romanian and Spanish and has a conversational command of Afrikaans and Swahili.
Grant Whitus, Director of Operations
Sergeant Grant Whitus, Helix TCS’s Chief Operating Officer, is a 26-year veteran of a Colorado sheriff’s office. He served 17 years on SWAT, the last seven as the Team Leader.
Grant is a certified Explosive Breacher and a Colorado POST Certified Instructor for the Law Enforcement Training Academy. He teaches Officer Survival, Building Searches, Rapid and Immediate Deployment (RAID), Single Officer Response (Lone Wolf), SWAT, Responding to In-Progress Calls, Law Enforcement Driving, Precision Immobilization Technique, Building Searches, Close Combat Techniques, Traffic Stops and Civil Law for the Patrol Officer, as well as many other disciplines.
Grant has led SWAT teams in some of the most significant tactical operations in the nation’s history. He has received 16 Medals, including five Medals for Valor, and was the most decorated deputy sheriff in the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office. In 2002, Grant and his SWAT Team were honored as “Police Officer of the Year.”
Prior to joining Helix TCS, Grant served as the Director of Training for Blue Line Protection Group.
Grant attended Arapahoe and Red Rocks Community Colleges.
John DeLue, Head of Compliance and Quality Control
John DeLue helps to maintain Helix TCS’s role as the largest provider of Technology, Compliance and Security solutions for the cannabis industry by ensuring site, client and staff adherence to policy, laws and regulations. John previously led Helix’s sales efforts by developing strong, trusted relationships with the most prominent players in the lawful cannabis industry. Not only does he bring extensive sales experience, Mr. DeLue brings 27 years of law enforcement experience to the table as well.
As a deputy at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Mr. DeLue was instrumental in developing training procedures for new recruits, providing officer safety and operational guidance to ensure that new law enforcement officers were properly trained to provide the highest level of public service to the community.
John was also involved in tactical police activities, being on the front lines in riot response operations in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. Mr. DeLue also served as a school resource officer, ensuring student safety and developing trusted relationships between students, school administrative staff and law enforcement.
John’s customer relationship, sales and law enforcement experience have enabled him to provide unique insights into the lawful cannabis industry and help shape best practices for new and existing businesses facing the particular local, state and federal regulation challenges. His leadership and public speaking talents have served Helix TCS well in creating positive relationships with clients, at professional business forums and in front of government regulatory agencies.
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