Our Story

Who is Vannadium

Born from the crucible of necessity, Vannadium’s story is not one of chasing trends, but of forging solutions. Our founders, Richard “Rick” Gilchrist and Walt Rampata, cut their teeth amidst the Wild West of the legal cannabis industry before entering into the world of Blockchain and Web3. Here, where cash reigned supreme and compliance was a hazy afterthought, the industry bled millions due to disparate software systems, cooked books and manipulated ledgers.

In 2015, within an industry that was to be highly regulated, Colorado’s cannabis cowboys rode roughshod over compliance and reporting, costing taxpayers $100 million. By 2022, that figure ballooned to a staggering $500 million with over $100 million refunded to taxpayers. money.cnn.com – a stark reminder of the industry’s desperate need for a transparent, auditable solution.

Hence, the inception of WeGro Data’s Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) platform, founded on the belief that blockchain could introduce tokenized transactions, alternative payment methods, secure data, and data sovereignty for participants in the legal cannabis industry, all while aiming to ensure compliance and transparency.

But the quest for a universal solution remained. Blockchain, for all its brilliance, still stumbled under the weight of enterprise-level demands. Speed and scalability remained elusive, requiring mountains of servers, inefficient energy consumption and crushing costs while sacrificing speed.

Enter Scott Lyons (CTO) and his crack team of Web3 engineers. Along with Rick, they conjured Diffusion, a DLT solution unlike any other to power their applications. More importantly, its potential application transcended, holding promise for diverse industries, including climate, energy, public sector, retail, healthcare and the blockchain industry itself. It delivers the “holy trinity” of speed, scalability, and data sovereignty in near real-time, all without the traditional bloat and limitations. Vannadium was born, named for the element itself: adaptable, versatile, and ever-evolving under the right conditions.

Vannadium is not just a platform; it’s a paradigm shift. We don’t chase hype; we break its chains. We don’t promise; we deliver. We are the solution your industry didn’t know it needed – the antidote to opacity and the catalyst for true transparency.

Join us in shaping a future where trust is forged in code, and innovation knows no bounds.

Mission & Vision

Our Mission

Our mission is to enable scalability, speed, trust and data sovereignty for everyone through pioneering technology while maintaining a sustainable and carbon-neutral footprint.

Vannadium envisions a future where “Deep Tech” solutions lead the way in tackling complex global challenges. As the preeminent authority on Deep Technology and Web 3.0+ solutions,  we strive to empower data sovereignty for all, utilizing our first mover advantage to bring positive change and impact humanity.

The Heartbeat of Vannadium and Commitment to Diversity

Guided by our values of Integrity, Transparency, Inclusivity, and Collaboration, we embrace a diverse talent pool to foster unique perspectives and innovative ideas. Our commitment extends to creating an environment where every employee feels valued and free to be their authentic selves, irrespective of their background, race, gender, or sexual orientation. We firmly believe that respect and inclusion fuel creativity and success. Vannadium is dedicated to driving positive change in our company and industry, where diversity is not just a part of our identity but a source of real value. Moreover, our focus on diversity extends to our suppliers and the entire value chain, ensuring that inclusivity and collaboration are integral components of our ecosystem and the solutions we provide to the world.

What We Do

Vannadium provides the “connective tissue” and interoperability for distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a method for securely replicating, sharing, and synchronizing data across a distributed computer network with speed and scale. 

Our novel approach does not rely on a central authority or a single point of failure. It uses cryptography and consensus algorithms to ensure the accuracy, security and integrity of the data. DLT can be either permissioned or public, depending on the access and use restrictions. Blockchain is the most common form of DLT, but there are other forms that allow for controlled revision or deletion of data to support privacy requirements.

Our solution focuses on addressing global challenges by providing a disruptive Layer 0 and Layer 2 DLT system and the applications that ensure:

We aim to serve mid-market and startup companies in industries such as:

Meet the Team Behind Vannadium

Vannadium is led by a seasoned team of world-class experts in FinTech, Blockchain, Digital Growth, Business, and Information Security.

Rick Gilchrist

Founder, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman

Rick Gilchrist is a visionary CEO and co-founder with a remarkable track record of 13 successful entrepreneurial ventures, including 5 highly successful exits. With his strategic prowess, Gilchrist has transformed innovative concepts into substantial revenue within a short span of time. He achieved his fastest exit from a $2.5M investment to an impressive $58M valuation in just 10 months. As the former co-founder and COO of New Frontier Data and Addemar, he has demonstrated his aptitude for strategic leadership and operational excellence. Gilchrist’s visionary force has played a pivotal role in the success of G&H Scholastic Solutions and RDX Group, achieving impressive valuations and acquisitions. With his wealth of experience and expertise, Gilchrist is poised to drive growth, innovation, and success for Vannadium’s core mission.


Walt Rampata

Co-Founder & Chief Sales Officer

Walt Rampata is a dynamic leader with over 30 years of experience in business management and marketing. As the former Co-Founder and President of MindBuzz National Hemp & Cannabis Marketing Firm, he has been at the forefront of the booming Cannabis and Hemp industries for over a decade. His remarkable tenure includes serving as a Board Member of Infinity Patient Bio Partners, reflecting his commitment to advancing the field of healthcare. With a driving vision of helping humanity, Rampata’s compounded expertise is poised to drive Vannadium’s growth, innovation, and market presence to new horizons. 

Karis Townsend

Special Advisor

Karis Townsend is an accomplished COO and Chief of Staff with over 15 years of experience in Operations, Sales Engineering, and Management. With a track record of success in Strategic Business Development, Enterprise Sales, and Entrepreneurial Leadership, Townsend has made significant contributions across diverse sectors including Software, Hardware, and Professional Services. Having worked at industry giants like Xerox, Forest Labs, Ricoh, and IKON, Townsend brings invaluable expertise to the table. Her transformative ventures at CannaRegs, Fyllo, Auction.com, and Ten-X demonstrate her ability to drive operational excellence, strategic growth, and innovation. With a multifaceted background and profound insights, Townsend is poised to make a lasting impact on our organization’s success.

Lindsey Ellison

Chief Marketing Officer

Lindsey Ellison has nearly 30 years experience in brand development, marketing strategy, stakeholder relations, sales, and business development. She has held various senior roles at top brand and marketing agencies such as Bozell Advertising, Carton Donofrio Partners, and most recently as Vice President of Grafik Communications. Lindsey is the former CEO of her venture start-up, Start Over Coaching, Inc., an esteem-based transformation coaching practice, author of two best-selling books, TEDx speaker, and an award-winning podcaster.

Scott Lyons

Chief Information Security Officer / CIO

Scott Lyons is a cybersecurity expert with over 30 years of experience in the technology and hacker industry, spanning both public and private sectors. Throughout their career, they have held various security roles and authored vulnerability and incident response programs for government agencies and commercial entities, preventing significant financial losses. Scott is a former host of Security Weekly’s “Security and Compliance Weekly” podcast and a prominent figure in the information security community, frequently speaking at conferences and serving as a staff member at Defcon and other industry events, contributing their expertise in security engineering and sponsorships, making them a valuable resource for handling complex incidents.

Randy Krebs

Chief Financial Officer

Randy Krebs is CFO and CPA of Vannadium. With an exceptional track record of raising and supporting projects exceeding $1 billion over four decades, Krebs’ financial expertise and strategic foresight make him an invaluable asset to Vannadium. As a seasoned Tech and Cannabis CFO, and the founder of multiple successful tech start-ups, Krebs’ entrepreneurial spirit aligns perfectly with our vision. His unique blend of financial acumen, strategic vision, and entrepreneurial tenacity amplifies his role as a key catalyst in steering Vannadium’s financial growth, innovation, and sustainable success into the future.

Abbey W. Sklar

Sr. Director, Marketing & Events

Wim Kumpen

Senior Full Stack Developer, Co-Founder Letsclap.IO

Chelsea Friday

Executive Coordinator

Steve Heck

Blockchain Consultant & Analyst

Rick Bell