Women's History Month Archives - Green Market Report

StaffMarch 29, 2022
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6min920

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE

 

 

 

Ronit Pinto, Publisher & Founder of Honeysuckle Magazine.

  • What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry? 

There are many things we are proud of. The first is our survival as an independent media house. As the founder, I am usually so busy executing while also initiating business developments.  We are currently able to accomplish a lot through our several actualized revenue streams. Now it’s time to scale further. We are in the process of attracting the right partners to support us, and us them.

One of my proudest accomplishments has been working with Indigenous tribes to amplify their messaging, particularly through our large scale Times Square billboard campaigns. I work closely with Mary Jane Oatman of the Indigenous Cannabis Coalition / THC Magazine; and Chenae Bullock of Little Beach Harvest of the Shinnecock in the Hamptons. They are some of my biggest allies and partners. The work we do means a lot to me, and there are so many elements of the First Peoples’ struggles that resonate with me.

  • Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries? 

I think that women are very vocal in the cannabis industry, but many of them have the same struggles as in other industries. There are far fewer C-Suite and board appointees who are female in cannabis as in other industries. The ‘boys clubs’ obviously exist and therein lies a lot of financial resources.  I think men have a different way of making money too, and possibly different approaches to asking for it.  I feel comfortable for the most part, in boys’ clubs, but feel removed from the financial attitudes that drive them. I am learning though! It’s a necessity. 

Overall, I think that women in the industry are creating their own paradigms, and that will hopefully evolve this industry (and other industries)  in modern directions. The COVID era created opportunities for people to create their own businesses, organizations, and investments.  I see that across the board in my female circles, from branding, to advisory roles, to investments.  I think that‘s a very good thing.

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that? 

I don’t think I have to work twice as hard. The work I do would be equally challenging for a man or a woman, and I don’t think most people are cut out for it. My ability to think outside the box, multi-task, and pivot daily, are what have made my position viable. I’m not sure how gender-motivated those are. I think my attitudes towards financing are more characteristically female, in that there seems to be a certain way to ‘get it.’ So navigating that has been a challenge for me, but not one that we can’t overcome. 

  • What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it? 

As a creative and visionary, I don’t always approach situations from a purely dollars-and-cents, transactional point of view. There are many things that are important, and hold huge financial value for me – that aren’t as important in our mainstream financial culture. Continuing to create those values on a daily basis, and find ways to finance them is a challenge.  But one that is fully worth working for, and I feel we are attracting the right partners to benefit each other. The ultimate goal is to create something within the mainstream that still pushes society/culture forward, and so that is what we are doing.

  • What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women? 

Our interns and staff are 99% BIPOC and female. Their time at Honeysuckle helped them obtain jobs at  CBS, USA Today, PopSugar, Mattio, NPR, and more!  We explore gender and sexuality regularly online and in print. So I’d say we’ve played a pretty big role in creating opportunities for women in journalism, cannabis, and media overall. 

IG: @honeysucklemagazine

TW: @HoneysuckleMag


StaffMarch 27, 2022
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5min1300

Springbig

Nat Shaul, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder of springbig, a leading provider in cannabis loyalty marketing and communications technology. Nat has been an integral part of the springbig team since its founding over 8 years ago.

Her wealth of knowledge and insight into the tech space, cannabis industry, and effective marketing, has played a crucial role in turning springbig into the leading provider of cannabis CRM and marketing technology. The company currently has over 1,000 clients across 2,300 locations throughout North America, reaching over 65% of the estimated 38.4M cannabis users in the U.S. through its AI-powered SaaS platform.

  1. What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry? 

My proudest accomplishment is having over 15% of the US population using springbig.

  1. Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries? 

I think so. I think the cannabis industry as a whole is more open-minded and are proponents for equality than other industries.

  1. Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that? 

I think that generally, the cannabis industry is more progressive than most. With that being said, to get to the point where I am today I often had to hide the fact that I was a female so that my cold emails/calls would be answered quicker or taken more seriously.

  1. What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it? 

When springbig started out, we were the small guys. We had less money, less tech, and less staff than industry competitors. However, we had the most passion, drive, and determination for what we were doing. I think as we spoke to more people and showed them who springbig was at heart, they could really see that.

Getting in front of the right people was the biggest challenge. Going to conferences and meeting people face to face helped, but the biggest factor was actually changing my email name from ‘Natalie’ to ‘Nat’, a name that was unisex – which increased my open rates dramatically.

  1. What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

I am proud to say that nearly 50% of our company is female, which is higher than the average of 30% for most tech/software companies.

  1. What are your personal goals for 2022? 

My goals for 2022 are to spend more time with family and friends. I’d also love to try to travel more.


StaffMarch 16, 2022

10min1760

POSEIDON ASSET MANAGEMENT

 

 

EMILY PAXHIA – CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER, POSEIDON ASSET MANAGEMENT

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

By far and away my proudest accomplishment is building a company with my brother from the ground up and recognizing what this means for the industry. We believed enough in an amorphous sector in 2013 to put everything we had into starting our firm. I believe those of us who have invested our time, capital and reputation in growing this sector have contributed to what will be a lasting and remarkable industry. From 2013 to where we stand today, cannabis now has an economic impact of note, growing from $91B in 2021 to likely over $100B in 2022.  It is the work of companies like ours that has brought capital to the sector, attracted talent, changed laws, created social justice initiatives. I get to the office early in the morning, I open the blinds, turn on the heat and start the coffee machine. I use those moments to reflect on the tangible tokens of what we’ve built and to remind myself of why we keep pushing. I think about our incredible team of visionaries in Patrick, Mike, Andres and Colin and how they all share the energy and devotion to seeing the cannabis industry to its next phase of maturity and beyond and I am proud and inspired to be a part of something so momentous. I’m not sure I would find the same passion or drive in almost any other space. My favorite hashtag aptly sums it up #cannabisbroughtmehere and there is nowhere I would rather be.

 

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunity for female-identifying people than other industries?

Yes and no. From a positive perspective, I think there are more progressive and inclusive people in this industry than in many others and those qualities lead to a pursuit of higher endeavors, diversity in leadership and employment included. I have met tremendous male allies in this industry, who seek to include women in leadership and who champion our work. I also appreciate when they demonstrate awareness about their dominance in the business world. I have a few extremely experienced colleagues and if they ever speak over me in a meeting, I truly appreciate that they will acknowledge they did this and give me the space to share a perspective. We should cherish the opportunity to witness someone in a moment of change and growth to becoming more aware and inclusive. Additionally, there are several women in the space who I feel try to bring other women to the table. Drawing from my psychology background, implicit bias exists and if males are at the top and in control, there is the strong and innate potential for hiring / engaging with those who look, feel, sound, act the same. The only way we can interrupt that is to continue to raise awareness around diversity in hiring practices through action. Women have to keep showing up and adding value, we have to keep invoking the names of other stellar women when in mixed company to keep advocating for one another. Further, I think we have to reward good intentions around inclusion and honor that work. 

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?

Every new interaction is a moment when a person has to prove her or his value/contribution to the situation. As I have said, Implicit bias exists. To unpack this further, it is not a ‘bad’ thing, it is simply a condition where people tend to have biases based on how they were raised or prior life experiences. Unfortunately, I still think there is an implicit bias about the value a woman can bring to the table vs. a male counterpart, so yes, we have work to overcome to prove ourselves out in those initial moments. And by the way, I have to watch my own biases and to focus on being inclusive and engaging when I meet new people too, we all have a lot of influences that can create blindspots. My way of navigating all of this is to come to meetings and interactions extremely prepared and organized, that way, I can do my best to show that my contribution is not one to be missed. Hopefully, by showing up, we can widen the aperture and remove some of these biases.

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

This actually has nothing to do with being a woman per se. Every day in business brings a new challenge, so managing the range of issues one can encounter as an investor is the biggest and ongoing challenge. We have a diverse portfolio of companies across the industry and the world. Each company goes through phases and requires varying levels of attention. The only way I can continue to overcome these challenges is through teamwork and through prioritizing the challenges at hand. Of note, behind the scenes of navigating all of this is surrounding myself with other founders and leaders who I admire. We are the sum total of the quality of people we spend time with and I try to be around people who are net positive and who are as driven (or more so) than I am. This is especially true with my fellow female leaders in cannabis, there is a tight core of us and we work hard to be sounding boards and to lift each other up. We also work to bring others into the core. 

What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

We invest in women founders, we invest in teams that strive for diversity and inclusion and we continue to encourage this after the investment is placed. I am really proud of the work I see in our portfolio companies to seek out key female hires and to have female representation on their boards of directors. I am also inspired by the women who lead or participate in these companies, as each one of them is helping to create more space for more inclusion across the industry.

What are your personal goals for 2022?

To continue to do the good and important work that we are doing by building this industry. I love the cannabis industry enormously. As Julia Child said, ‘it is the breath to my life’ and I have made more friends and have gained more mentors than I could have hoped for along the way. Someday I won’t have to talk about how hard and discouraging this all is, given the political theatrics around this issue. In the meantime, I will focus on finding great companies and teams, I will continue to support our portfolio companies and will be glad for the fact that more people have access to safe, fun, enjoyable cannabis through legal channels than ever before in the history of society and that is because of the work we are all doing together.

 


StaffMarch 15, 2022
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5min900

GREEN THUMB INDUSTRIES

 

DINA ROLLMAN – SVP GOVERNMENT & REGULATORY AFFAIRS, GREEN THUMB INDUSTRIES

 

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

I started working with Green Thumb Industries when Illinois’ cannabis industry was just taking off, so I’m proud to have played a part in building out and launching this market while at the same time normalizing cannabis law as a profession. Working at Green Thumb has allowed me to use my legal experience in new ways by creating and running our social equity License Education Assistance Program (LEAP) and securing several competitive licenses. 

 

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunity for female-identifying people than other industries?

When I co-founded Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) in 2014 with Green Thumb’s board member Wendy Berger, our motto was that this is “an industry too new to have a glass (or grass) ceiling.” We were optimistic that by raising awareness of the professional opportunities in a nascent industry, we would see women leading from the start rather than having to play catch up. Unfortunately, statistics today show that women are a minority in ownership of licenses and the C-suite, so there is still much work to be done.

 

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?

I do not think I have to work twice as hard as male colleagues. In general, I have had very professional and respectful conversations and relationships with the men in the industry. Additionally, we all understand the importance of making diversity, equity and inclusion a priority in cannabis. 

 

However, I hope that certain industry players will move past marketing campaigns centered around objectifying women.  While there is certainly an overlap between cannabis and sex that deserves more research and attention, it’s important to remember that women are fighting hard to be taken seriously in this industry as owners, operators, suppliers,  customers and more. We can do more than look sexy while consuming cannabis! 

 

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge has been the lack of predictability in this industry. It seems like every Monday morning I go into the week with a set agenda, and I have to recalibrate immediately because of another industry curveball. I now have a mindset of expecting the unexpected and I try to remember to stay loose and ride the wave as it comes.

 

What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

In 2014 I co-founded IWC with Green Thumb board member Wendy Berger. It is a nonprofit that provides networking and educational opportunities for women seeking to start or advance their role in the regulated cannabis industry.  We have grown our membership and have established IWC as the leading cannabis networking organization for cannabis in Illinois.

 

What are your personal goals for 2022?

Now that travel is opening up again, I’m itching to learn how to surf in Hawaii. In the meantime, I’ll be working on improving my joint rolling skills – I’ve been working in cannabis for almost eight years, after all!

 


StaffMarch 13, 2022
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5min1710

QUIM

CYO NYSTROM – FOUNDER AND CEO, QUIM

 

​​What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

  • Surviving! So many amazing brands in the cannabis industry have closed doors and it’s an honor to still be here. 
  • Also, we were recently sent some info from NewFrontier Data that showed Quim THC products as one of the top-selling topical brands in California which was so exciting! 
  • Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?
    • Not necessarily but honestly, I’ve been working in the cannabis industry since 2015 so am probably a bit out of touch. As a personal-care company, I’m excited to share that the majority of founders I encounter are female-identifying but that’s definitely not the case in the cannabis industry.
  • Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
    • Hmmm, this is a tough question and one I try not to dwell on much. I’ve never lived as a man so who knows what it’d be like? One of my favorite musical artists, Mikalya McVey just released a music video for her song “New Year” and there’s a lyric that perfectly sums this up— What would it be like to be a beautiful, young man?  Sometimes I wonder but not too often because who’s got time for that??
    • In my darker moments, I see male founders raise millions of dollars for businesses that are pre-revenue or for businesses that address male sexual health and feel a tinge of envy and resentment. But I try to release it as soon as I recognize it. My success or failure is my responsibility, which is both empowering and terrifying, but it’s mine. 
  • What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
    • As a sexual wellness company that uses cannabinoids in our products, we’re up against two long-standing stigmas. The biggest challenge for Quim has been finding investors who believe in our mission and vision. 
  • What has you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?
    • Our products are designed to address intimate health issues experienced by people with vaginas (yeast infections, endometriosis, PCOS, UTIs, difficulty climaxing, etc).  Through product creation, we’re supporting people with vaginas (not just female-identifying) in the quest to care for their own bodies in a way that makes sense for them. Our mission is to de-stigmatize and normalize subjects that have historically not been given enough attention. Through dispensary education, we’re giving women (and men) the opportunity to learn about vaginal health through a different lens, which has proven to be invaluable!
  • What are your personal goals for 2022?
    • Close our seed round. Launch 4 new products. Grow the team with essential new hires. 

 


StaffMarch 11, 2022
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4min1190

LANTERN

 

MEREDITH MAHONEY – CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, LANTERN

 

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?  

  • Lantern runs social equity incubators in 4 markets: Boston, Denver, Detroit, and New Jersey, and it’s been incredible getting to know the next founders and leaders in the cannabis space. I’m a startup person at heart, so I derive a lot of energy from meeting founders and watching them launch their businesses.

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries? 

  • Cannabis definitely should have more opportunities for women, given that it’s a newer industry full of open-minded, innovative people, but we can’t sit back and assume that opportunities will naturally develop.  We as female-identifying leaders, along with our male colleagues, need to diligently create the structural framework to ensure that these opportunities are created, and stay vigilant to ensure opportunities for women expand.

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that? 

  • At some points in my career, I’ve had to work a lot harder than my male counterparts, and at other times I’ve had to work differently.  In all cases I’ve had to demonstrate a higher level of competence than the men around me, but that isn’t specific to the cannabis industry.  Society and business still demand more from women, which is a reality that professional women have to face constantly.  The good news is that as you become more senior, you care less.  But it’s always there.

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it? 

  • The biggest challenges for Lantern are the same ones that every cannabis business faces: ambiguity, uncertainty, the dual legality of the plant.  But these challenges also make the work interesting, fulfilling, and fun.  The work we’re doing today will forge the path for future cannabis leaders, for decades to come.

What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women? 

  • When we started Lantern, we decided that our team needed to look very different from the typical cannabis business: less white, less male.  To hit this goal, we created specific hiring processes to ensure that we would find and hire top talent that fits that objective.  So far, we’ve been successful in creating a very diverse team, but we’ll never be done.  Guaranteeing that we continue to build our team with incredible female-identifying and BIPOC leaders take consistent focus and effort.

What are your personal goals for 2022? 

  • Meeting more senior women in the industry, deepening my personal and professional female relationships, and spending more time outside.

StaffMarch 10, 2022
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10min1491

Vertosa

LAUREN TAMBURRO – VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, VERTOSA

 

  • What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

It’s hard to say. I have a few that are high on my list. First and foremost is cold calling the CEO of Vertosa and asking for a job. I had been working with them as a client and admired their science-driven and collaborative approach. Shortly thereafter, my company downsized which gave me the opportunity to assess where I wanted to work. I wanted to spend my time doing something I believed in.  

I was pro-cannabis 20 years ago in New York, but at that time there wasn’t a path forward for participating legally and professionally in cannabis. The act of making the decision to advocate for cannabis and immerse myself in this budding industry fills me with pride. It was a turning point for me as I suspect it has been for others. It made me verbalize my passion for the plant and all the benefits I thought it could offer. I had to talk to my family, friends,  and colleagues about making what some perceived as a risky career choice. I pivoted out of a well-established consumer packaged good space and into a challenging and rewarding industry where my career has, thankfully, flourished. 

Aside from joining Vertosa, I’ve been a part of a few panel discussions and presented at the National Cannabis Industry Association Midwest Cannabis Business conference, where I discussed how to develop a cannabis-infused product and the pitfalls to avoid. I was proud to share my knowledge but more so to be introduced as a leader from Vertosa. So much so that I still have the badge on my nightstand half a year later, as it inspires me and brings me joy each time I see it. 

  • Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?

From my experience, the industry has been welcoming to anyone who wants to be in the industry, irrespective of gender. The cannabis industry is growing rapidly and this opens the door for many new employment opportunities. I’ve had the good fortune to work alongside some brilliant female scientists and business leaders, and the gratification of hiring a few of them.

I’ve met some amazing trailblazers. Our friend Tiffany Yarde, the CEO and co-founder at SHOKi, has created an Afro-Caribbean line of cannabis mixers. One of their brand responsibilities is inclusive commerce and unapologetic activism. Demonstrating there are fabulous female leaders to be found in cannabis.

  • Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?

As I’ve only worked in the industry for the last two years, my experience is limited to Vertosa and I don’t feel that I have to work twice as hard as my male colleagues.  I’m thankful that we have an environment that includes coaching in the form of immediate and actionable feedback. 

Coaching is incredibly important for women to succeed in the workplace. According to the Harvard Business Review, without specific and candid feedback about where to improve, women are less able to build the skills they need to get to the next level, which creates a subtle promotion disadvantage. This often stems from gender stereotypes. Society often expects women to behave passively, especially in the workplace. One study found that 76 percent of the time a performance review called someone out for being “too aggressive,” it was in reference to a woman. Women are particularly likely to receive this feedback when they act in ways that are counter to people’s expectations, which only reinforces gender stereotypes. 

The great thing about the cannabis industry is a lot of us were drawn here by the opportunity to create something;  new brands, new scientific studies and a new corporate culture of inclusion and honest conversations.

  • What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

Every day is a challenge, I can’t think of one day that stands out compared to the others. Pushing the science forward is critical to the success of the cannabis industry, particularly for consumer packaged goods. Other industries have had decades to centuries of trials, errors, and discoveries. The science of cannabis is relatively new and there’s so much we have yet to uncover. For me, the challenge is staying focused on the most valuable studies and building a network of researchers and clients to share our learnings. To do this, I worked with my team to build our top project list. We’ve tackled packaging scalping, oxidation of cannabinoids, and how to prevent it, and have begun partnering with top universities to study cannabis. “Do not try to do everything, do one thing well.”  Thanks, Steve Jobs! 

Another challenge with a burgeoning industry such as ours is the sharing of the knowledge that we gain. This is where network building is so critical. As they say, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” I think this is particularly important as this industry isn’t product A versus product B. There are enough external factors trying to keep cannabis out of a mainstream society that we as an industry succeed by uniting and sharing our discoveries. This is what has led us to be a service-first, science-backed, and collaborative company. 

  • What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

Although I’ve worked for other companies that tout the importance of community, Vertosa is the first employer that wholeheartedly leans into this as a core value. To us this means being agents of change and opening our doors and hearts to the community. This includes women and all LBGTQIA+ individuals. I and many of my colleagues actively participate in mentoring as both mentors and mentees, with a specific focus on mentoring other members of the cannabis community. Last year many colleagues–men, women and myself included–participated in two mentoring programs, Illinois Women in Cannabis and the pilot mentoring program for Our Academy, presented by Our Dream. These programs are designed to give guidance and support to women in cannabis. 

  • What are your personal goals for 2022?

Live by example. This year I’m focusing on my physical health and mental well-being. The last two years have been trying for, well, everyone. A few months ago I rededicated myself to running, yoga and meditation. These habits allow me to be a more grounded human in both my personal life, as a wife and mother of two young boys, and my professional life, as someone whose goal is to double or triple our business over the next year. 

Remember, you vote with your dollar. Spend it on something you believe in. 


StaffMarch 9, 2022
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5min1320

C3 Industries

KAT LAWRENCE – CHIEF CHEMIST, C3 INDUSTRIES

  • What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

Building this amazing team of people and putting together 4 labs across the country that produce world-class concentrates; Cloud Cover Concentrates is my proudest accomplishment.  

  • Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?

I believe in a fast-growing industry like this all it takes is ambition, motivation, and drive to succeed, regardless of your gender identification.  There are constantly new states opening to cannabis whether it be medical use only or adult/ recreational use as well.  There are so many marijuana jobs out there, if you don’t find the right fit today, there will be another job opening somewhere in cannabis tomorrow.

  • Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues, or do you think the industry has moved past that?

Well, to be honest, I always just work really hard. I found something I am passionate about, and I am dedicated. I put my heart into it. I am seeing more and more women making waves in the world of cannabis, but I believe it stems from their passion and their drive.  They may indeed be working harder than others, but that’s why they are the ones making the waves 😉

  • What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

My first year in the industry was spent setting up a lab and learning how to process cannabis while developing SOPs, documentation, and data tracking protocols. It was incredibly fast passed, and although I was given the resources I needed, it was intense. I overcame this the same way I handle all challenges in life; with a positive attitude focusing on the desired outcome and taking it one step at a time. I use daily meditation to keep myself focused and stress-free. 

  • What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

It starts with our awesome in-house recruitment team; they do a really good job of finding a diverse set of candidates that meet the educational and relevant experience requirements for any open position.   We are an equal opportunity employer.  

For our employees, C3 does a great job of letting people shine and grow in their roles with us. We have women in leadership roles throughout the company, many of them promoted from within.   

  • What are your personal goals for 2022?

I am excited about 2022. We are just now bringing our Massachusetts lab online, and in Michigan, we are finishing construction on our new 10-hoop Greenhouse and a major processing lab expansion. We are scaling up quickly, which is incredibly challenging, my personal goal is to keep these lab projects on track, and to ensure that as we scale our production, we maintain our high standards for safety and quality.  

Beyond work, my goal is to be the best mom I can be and to spend as much time as I possibly can with my loved ones.

 


StaffMarch 8, 2022
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4min800

WURK

 

KAREN DAVIS – CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER, WURK

 

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

My proudest accomplishment in cannabis is being part of an organization that is helping provide parity for an industry that has not been on an even playing field since its inception.

 

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?

I think cannabis has more opportunities for female-identifying people than some more traditional industries such as technology, finance, insurance, etc. Emerging markets will naturally be more progressive than those previously run exclusively by men.

 

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?

I don’t feel like I have to work twice as hard as male colleagues, but I don’t know if that is because the industry has moved past this. I think there are pockets of lots of industries that allow equal opportunities for women in leadership and women in general to forge their own path.

 

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge in business has been convincing an entire organization that EVERYONE owns client retention and that it is not just a function of the Customer Success organization. No matter how small or how large, every interaction with a client is a direct reflection of the company. That means that sales, implementation, customer success, customer support, finance and accounting (invoicing), money movement, legal, etc., all have a piece of client retention and have opportunities to show the organization in the best light. Non-tangible relationship roles have not historically been held in the same regard as metrics-driven positions. I still work every day to convey how vital each client’s communication is and how it can improve or detract from the overall relationship. It’s a process, and one day I hope to be able to say I’ve overcome it.

 

What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?

Our Executive Team has women on it and each level of leadership/management. The most important thing we can do is have representation at all levels so that each woman in the organization feels like they can see themselves playing a more significant role in leadership and that it is possible.

 

What are your personal goals for 2022?

In 2022 I hope to continue to manage the things in my purview with excellence and continue to spend time pulling other women up.


StaffMarch 4, 2022
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5min970

PLUS Products

SHIAO WILLIAMS-SHENG – DIRECTOR OF INNOVATION, PLUS PRODUCTS (now owned by Glass House Brands (OTC: GLASF)

 

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?

 

I’ve had the pleasure of launching several new product lines throughout my time in cannabis. But my proudest accomplishment was bringing sleep-focused products to market in the fall of 2020. They’re cloudberry and lychee, which are two of my favorite candy flavors, and really demonstrate how much the industry has evolved. All of the work – ideation through launch – was done during COVID, and much of it remotely. I am immensely proud of how our team came together to navigate the  uncertainty and significant challenges COVID presented to our physical and emotional health and business. Throughout the pandemic, I’ve both experienced and observed in my community an uptick in stress-induced sleepless nights. Developing a line of products that aid in deep and restorative sleep has been very gratifying. 

 

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?  

 

One of the reasons I love working in the cannabis industry is that social justice is woven into its fabric. I hope that industry leaders continue to push boundaries to advocate for federal decriminalization with gender and racial equity as key pillars. While the industry is more progressive than most given its history and continued federal prohibition, my experience has shown that gender inequality is as present as other less nascent industries. Society has centuries of inherent bias baked into how it treats women, people of color, and an array of marginalized communities. Acknowledging and breaking down these biases has to be a collective effort; I am always learning ways to be a more effective agent of change. 

 

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?

 

Finding my voice has been my biggest challenge. I’m an introvert, and communicating to a larger audience was not something that I felt comfortable with early on in my career. I’ve had to learn to project my voice and opinions to large, cross-functional teams with very different ways of working. My newfound confidence in public speaking, parried with my more introverted traits of adaptability, attentive listening, and learning how to read a room, helped me to develop and evolve my communication. 

 

What are your personal goals for 2022?

Balance and growth.

 

Bio:

Shiao is always hungry. She’s hungry for food that tingles her brain with joy, for dishes she has yet to try, and a hunger to connect with the individuals behind those creations. She’s the sum of a family made up of liberal misfits. She was homeschooled with the directive to find her passion/s, but more importantly to be kind and compassionate. She’s carved out an unorthodox existence in the world. A semi-autodidact, she started in fine dining at the age of 13 and has never looked back. She’s worked her way through kitchens, R&D labs, cannabis start-ups and hearts. She now happily resides as the resident Director of Innovation of PLUS with a strong desire to bring euphoria into people’s daily existence.

 


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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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