AC Braddock, Eden Labs
Q1: 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?
The Cannabis Alliance has many things to be proud of, not the least of which, is its overwhelming and transparent sense of community, which I believe is the basis of any truly successful organization or modern business. The Mission of the organization "Dedicated to the advancement of a vital, ethical, and sustainable cannabis Industry" speaks to how Washingtonians do business. We are a state of Micro industries that have led nationally and internationally to initiate modern business practices. The foundation of this Mission is a broader social movement around health and well being, social justice, ethical business standards and the strength in community. These ideals are pillars for the Cannabis Industry and The Cannabis Alliance keeps these ideals in sharp focus while delving into the legislative minutia necessary to protect and promote vibrant small businesses. Because of its focus and successes in the past three years, it has grown to be a powerful influence in Olympia and I would love to continue to assist in its further development to be a national example of who we are as an Industry and state.
Q2: What do you think are the characteristics of a great board member?
Being a good listener is underrated no matter what the situation. So far, my experience with boards has led me to not only appreciate, but strongly support strategic problem solvers who enjoy working as a team. Collaboration by getting everyones take on an issue (listening) leads to a higher level of critical thinking and creation of successful solutions. I also like to work with people who are ethical, transparent and understand the importance of being a good representation of the Industry. Accountability and dedication are also crucial to support other members of the board, committees and membership.
Q3: Do you have prior board leadership experience? If so, what and when?
Yes. I am currently Chair of NCIA, served as Vice Chair and have been a board member there for several years. I am currently VP of The Cannabis Alliance and have been on the board for 3 years. I have also served in other organizations as an advisor and instigator for growth.
Q4: What specific skills, connections, resources, and expertise do you have to offer and are willing to use on the behalf of the organization?
I enjoy creating meaningful connections between people, businesses and organizations. I also enjoy moderating differing points of view. From seven years of traveling and speaking at Industry trade shows and events, I have developed a wide network and perspective of the current industry and its future, as well as links into other industry to expand our Industries influence. Areas in which I excel as an industry leader are business development, marketing, networking, business infrastructure for growth, political and business strategy, and creating and maintaining a creative and ethical culture. My company, Eden Labs, has and will continue to be a financial resource.
Q5: Fundraising is a significant obligation of board service. Are you comfortable asking for money to help fund the mission of the organization?
Yes, as well as helping to develop tools for the organization to bring in businesses who benefit from the Industry, but do not currently contribute to its political influence. $. The Cannabis Alliance has become more influential by power in numbers and legislative strategy. Now we need to step up and fund this organization. If any of you reading this can step up to the next level of membership, now is the time. And if you know people who have benefited from your business like a real estate agent, insurance, car service, etc. Ask them to give back. See what I did there? Funding is crucial particularly at this point in the organization's maturity. The Alliance will be focusing on funding solutions while Session is out this summer. How can you help? Recruiting new members? Financially? or otherwise?
Q6: Do you have any worries or concerns about joining the board?
No, serving on this board has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. The challenges we face as a state are significant, but this board has always been willing to roll up their sleeves as a team to get the real business concerns of the membership addressed. They do this with a sense of community, ethics and without ego like no other group in which I have been involved.
Q7: Do you have personal aspirations that could be enhanced by board service?
At this point in my career, I am looking to narrow my focus to messaging the things that matter most to me as an individual and why I was motivated to become involved in the industry many years ago. I want to promote health and well being based in botanical applications for medical and nutritional use on a platform of modern business practices. Washington state leads many industries nationally in sustainability, craft industry, technology, environmental protection, alternative medical science, community service, CSR, etc. This board and organization has grown in influence in the past three years and all of these principles are what make up the the roots of the Cannabis industry. I want to continue to help politicians and other industry to follow this lead. If we can get over the stigma and educate on these principles and talents as an industry, we will have left a positive impact on all Industry and the human condition.
Q8: What is your motivation of being involved in the cannabis industry?
To influence and support; the use of plants for health and well being, diversity, social justice, small business (less than 100 employees) and further promote entities to be CSR businesses. This industry is a once in a lifetime opportunity to affect real change our culture desperately needs and desires. We evolved with everything on this planet and my primary motivation is to reestablish the connection between humans and nature. The Cannabis plant serves as beacon of hope and light to create a short cut back to respecting the relationship we have to the natural world and each other as human beings.
Q9: What professional or personal constraints on your time or service might you anticipate? What kind of autonomy do you have over your calendar?
Each of us who have spent any time growing the industry through building a responsible business, education and outreach now knows the value of our time and where and with whom it should be spent. In 2019, I began weeding out (pun intended) engagements on every level that do not strongly focus on the emerging science of the endocannabinoid system, how cannabis fits into this system and CSR. To me, this now translates to focusing on local industry to influence internationally. Washington State should be leading the way. Why? It is the most scientifically advanced and business is anchored, for the most part, in CSR. We are well intentioned and passionate nerds. Therefore, I am going to actively spend my time promoting the advanced science of the plant that exists in this state and our business ethics. In addition to learning how to better spend my time, any restraints as CEO of Eden Labs (celebrating 25 years this year) have been reduced this past year by an amazing team of professional people who support these efforts. Finally, my position as Chair of NCIA expires at the end of this year.