Sinsemilla in Spring: Reflecting on ELEVATE’s history as we celebrate Women’s History Month

As #TeamELEVATE prepares to get as close to back to normal as possible entering spring 2021, we’re excited to be working with a group of inspiring and simply badass ladies for our first Womxn In Cannabis event. With our eyes, hearts, and ambitions focused on the future, we also find ourselves reflecting on not just the past year of COVID-19 uncertainty and adjustment, but the several years leading up to 2020.

Those just getting to know ELEVATE Northeast may not know that our 501c3 nonprofit organization was borne from our founders’ successful leadership and advocacy work with female-focused organizations including Women Grow and LEAF. In fact, in April 2017, the city of Boston presented the Women Grow Boston team with a citation acknowledging April 6 as Women Grow Day in recognition of the influence that our team had in educating and empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Ladies only? Not quite.

With “Women” in the organization’s name, our events nevertheless drew people representing all gender identities and backgrounds. It was clear that while our little group of ladies had real power to bring people together, our events were drawing diversity and creating connections and opportunities for anyone who had felt marginalized in a past career or industry. Women indeed had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to influence the creation of an industry that benefits women, but we were compelled to use that influence and feminine powers to also create and do good for our LGBTQA+, BIPOC, veteran, disabled, or otherwise marginalized colleagues.

With the support of Burns & Levinson and guidance from board members attorney Scott Moskol, former Boston city councilor Tito Jackson, and entrepreneur Laura Beohner, ELEVATE Northeast launched in January 2018 to a sold-out crowd at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston.

Oh, what a night!

Teamwork makes the dream work

ELEVATE has since hosted nearly 50 events and educational panels, all with the goal of changing lives and communities through education about cannabis and the people who work with or use it. And we aren’t going anywhere.

We’ve also grown carefully and responsibly, and added new talent to our team, including:

  • Jennifer Gaskin, community outreach specialist
  • Phyllis Vena Villone, director of finance
  • Paula Collins, tax counsel
  • Dr. Marion McNabb, board member
  • Brendan Jones, social media manager
  • Randal MacCaffrie, special events coordinator
  • Julia Agron as cannabis education specialist

And we’re growing! Two new part-time, paid positions are now open for applications on our Job Board: Marketing Coordinator and Membership Coordinator. These key positions will be instrumental in supporting ELEVATE’s explosive growth with our educational program and scholarship offerings, and the addition of new individual and business members.

You are welcome!

If you are interested in supporting ELEVATE Northeast and taking advantage of the many professional, financial, and personal benefits that membership brings, and you share our values and passion for education, equity, and inclusion, know that you are welcome at ELEVATE Northeast.

Click here to explore membership options or contact us anytime at [email protected] to discuss ways your business can gain positive exposure as a member, sponsor or donor to the ELEVATE Northeast 2021 Educational Scholarship Fund.

Thanks for stopping by and supporting ELEVATE — “for the good of the cannabis industry.”

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