Green Market Report Women’s Leadership Awards: Mikaela McLaughlin

Best Tech & Data: Mikaela McLaughlin, SpringBig

As the cannabis industry pushes on, Mikaela McLaughlin is making a name for herself as a driving force behind SpringBig‘s (Nasdaq: SBIG) growth story.

Mikaela McLaughlin

McLaughlin, originally from South Florida, began her career at the company five years ago in sales, demonstrating her keen skills in business and strategic partnership management.

Others can vouch. Her tenacity and dedication to her work quickly garnered attention, leading to her rapid ascent through the ranks.

“Coming into this like, bootstrap tiny little startup, and seeing kind of the journey to where we are today has been super incredible,” she said in an interview with Green Market Report.

Now, the vice president of business development is focused on forging new relationships and maintaining existing partnerships to fuel the Miami-based company’s continued growth.

Under McLaughlin’s guidance, Springbig has seen some impressive expansion. The number of cannabis dispensaries and brands the company serves has risen, showcasing the effectiveness of McLaughlin’s approach to relationship-building and meaningful attainment.

Springbig made $26.6 million last year selling marketing and loyalty platform solutions to dispensaries and brands, a 14% rise versus the previous year.

Management said last month that it expects earnings to grow by 22% in 2023, reaching somewhere between $31 million and $34 million.

She credited CEO Jeff Harris, one of her mentors in the space, for placing faith in her ability to reach others.

“I’ll never forget in the early days him saying to me, it just always comes back to how you treat people,” she said.

When asked about her advice for young professionals entering the cannabis industry, McLaughlin emphasized the importance of taking risks, being courageous, and finding a reliable support system.

She encourages newcomers to stay informed about the latest industry news and network with like-minded professionals, while remaining open to new ideas and opportunities.

And when one rises up the corporate ladder, she noted, never forget where it started.

“If we treat our people well, they’re going to treat our clients well, and our clients are going to have great outcomes.”

Like Father, Like Daughter

Outside of her professional life, McLaughlin is an animal lover who has two rescue dogs and a cat. She enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring Florida with her pets.

Her dogs, an Australian Shepherd mix and a Border Collie mix, are active and energetic. The tiny kitten recently wandered into her garage before McLaughlin decided to adopt it.

Now, the family goes on camping trips with their camper, bringing their “zoo on the road” and creating humorous moments when they unpack at grounds.

Her compassionate nature extends to the workplace, where she works to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for her colleagues.

And as time hardens our perspectives, she stressed keeping a nose to the grindstone to stay ahead of the curve and foster innovation.

She credited her father, a football coach, for instilling in her the leadership qualities and strong work ethic that have been vital to her success throughout her life.

“I tell my dad so often now, ‘You were so right,'” she said. “Like, all of these lessons I was learning in sports as a kid, I’m relearning every day.”

“When I got promoted to my executive role, and I was starting to manage a team, he called me and was like, ‘Congratulations, but you know what this means?'” she said.

“The coach has to be the hardest working person on the team.”

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson writes about the cannabis industry for the Green Market Report. He previously covered the Missouri Statehouse for the Columbia Missourian and has written for the Missouri Independent. He most recently covered retail, restaurants and other consumer companies for Bloomberg Business News. You can find him on Twitter at @adam_sjackson and email him at

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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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