Q: What do you know about our organization? What makes our mission meaningful to you? Why are you interested in committing your time and energy to us?
A: I have had the honor to be an interim Board Member of The Cannabis Alliance last year. And during that time, I have been working with a great group of very talented individuals to help set up the foundational structure on which The Cannabis Alliance can execute its mission and to effectively and positively impact all stakeholders that are part of—or interact with—this industry. During the last few years I have seen firsthand how difficult it is to be part of this industry, how difficult it is to communicate with parties that are too eager to label anyone involved in this industry. The Cannabis Alliance can influence change and it already does. I am interested in committing my time and energy to this organization to work as a catalyst of change so this industry can be seen for what really is and not under the discriminatory lenses of preconceived ideologies and prejudices. That is why I am part of it now and why I am running for another term!
Q: What do you think are the characteristics of a great board member?
A: In my opinion, there are many key elements to be an effective Board Member. First, a Board Member needs to be up-to-date on policy, rules, regulation, market forces, trends at the local, regional and national levels. Second, a Board Member needs to actively participate in, and contribute to, the discussions and dialogs during the Board meetings in a way that helps build the organization. Third, a Board Member must be able to communicate effectively. Fourth, passion, a Board Member must be passionate about what he or she does. And finally, and more importantly, he or she needs to be able to listen and collaborate with the other Board Members, constituents, and stakeholders at the table to accomplish the organization’s goals and objectives.
Q: Do you have prior board leadership experience? If so, what and when?
A: I have over a decade of experience as Board Member for both types of organizations: profit and non-for-profit. The non-for-profit Boards I have had the privilege to be part of are: • Interim Board Member of The Cannabis Alliance • Board Member of the Board of Trustees at Antioch University Seattle from 2006 to 2016 • Board Member of WSHCC (Washington State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) from 2004 to 2007
Q: What specific skills, connections, resources, and expertise do you have to offer and are willing to use on the behalf of the organization?
A: I am a serial entrepreneur who has created, operated, and grown several multimillion-dollar companies in very different markets over the past 13 years. Prior to 2003, I spent 12 years in the High-Tech industry, many years of working closely with recognized industry leaders and top government officials domestically and internationally, and creating productive long-term relationships with VP and C-level executives of many of the top Global 2000 companies. Finally, I am experienced at presenting in hearings in Olympia in support of key industry-desired bills and legislation and also at speaking at domestic and international events.
Q: Fundraising is a significant obligation of board service. Are you comfortable asking for money to help fund the mission of the organization?
A: Yes. All entrepreneurs need to be comfortable creating, planning and executing fundraising activities.
Q: Do you have any worries or concerns about joining the board?
Q: Do you have personal aspirations that could be enhanced by board service?
A: Yes, in a personal way and in two dimensions: in one dimension as founder/investor in a Tier 3 producer/processor company—by helping the industry I also help increase the chances of success of my business. On a second dimension, my personal aspiration is to work together with other Board Members and industry leaders to be able to bring to this industry all the tools, processes, and expertise that any other industry can access. I am captivated by this industry and have a personal commitment to help it grow to its potential.
Q: What is your motivation of being involved in the cannabis industry?
My motivation comes from the newest and potential of this recently-legalized industry in WA and by the opportunity to actively participate in the creation of policy that directly impacts at the foundational level how this industry evolves and the direction it will take.
Q: What professional or personal constraints on your time or service might you anticipate? What kind of autonomy do you have over your calendar?
A: We all feel the pull from our different responsibilities in life and the restrictive effects of having limited time to accomplish all what we want to accomplish. Acknowledging that is important. However, I have demonstrated during this past year my commitment to The Cannabis Alliance and that I am able and willing to make the necessary time to fulfill my responsibilities with the organization and our constituents.
Q: Of what importance to you is social interaction with other board members?