Board of Directors

John Gorst

Chairman & CEO

Built, led, and sold four different technology companies with market values up to $600 million over a 29-year career in the technology sector. He has raised a total of $45 million for his past businesses, is the largest early investor in IONIC, and has been on the board of directors throughout IONIC's founding and expansion to into Washington's leading vape company. Mr. Gorst assumed the role of Chairman and CEO in September of 2017 to begin the institutionalization of the operations of the company to prepare the company to take in outside capital and to begin on the execution of an ambitious growth strategy designed by him and his C-Level team.

Christian Struzan

Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer

30 years experience in marketing and branding for the entertainment industry. Successfully built and exited 2 companies. Founded an award winning Los Angeles based ad agency which developed and executed marketing campaigns for hundreds of feature films including the Star Wars franchise, Fight Club, Sideways, American Idol and the Academy Awards. Deep expertise in digital, mobile, print media and finished consumer goods advertising.

Bryen Salas

President & GM

Mr. Salas first co-founded the company in 2012 with a vision into the future. He took the role of Vice President of Sales from 2012-2017 leading the company to become one of the top selling vaporizer brands sold in the State of Washington. Throughout these years, Mr. Salas was critical in supporting the functions of Ionics' supply chain, product development, marketing, human resources and technology.

Austin T Gorst

Co-Founder & GM of Oregon

Austin Taylor Gorst is one of the Co-Founders of IONIC who has been involved since the birth of the business and has been active in the rapid growth of the business since inception in 2012. Austin worked six years in IT while going through the infancies of the business and development of the products IONIC sells today. In September of 2015, Austin resigned from his Account Executive role in IT and joined IONIC as a full-time operator of the business once the recreational license came online in 2015. Austin was a part of the rapid growth in 2016, assisting in training and building up the IONIC team, increasing top-line revenue from $275,000 in 2015 to $2.7 million in 2016 and then again in 2017 increasing revenue to $4.7 million in the Washington market. In early 2017, he started the first expansion plan to replicate IONIC business plan in the State of Oregon, and today he operates as the GM of IONIC Oregon.

Christian D. Vara


Christian D. Vara is an entrepreneur who has built, purchased and sold businesses across a variety of verticals for nearly thirty years.  Well versed in real estate, Christian successfully identified, negotiated and secured a ground lease with an international company for several hundred million dollars. In media, Christian launched a national interactive, digital media company, serving restaurants, hotels, fitness clubs, medical offices and automobile dealerships. Additional media efforts include an equity stake in a boutique outdoor media company, where he drove regional business and development efforts. Operational experience stems from fifteen years in the vending industry, where he purchased a Massachusetts based tobacco wholesale and vending company and pioneered the growth to one of the largest and most recognized vending companies in the USA until the successful sale. As an Independent Director, Christian will assist with negotiating contracts, business development and other activities as directed by the Board of Directors, for Ionic Brands.