By Morris Beegle
Welcome to my Let’s Talk Hemp weekly industry profile – Shine on You – where I get to feature folks involved in the industry and who are doing important and interesting work from various corners and crevices of the hemp space. This week I have Mandi Kerr, Founder and CEO of the Global Hemp Association. Mandi is a relative newcomer to the hemp space, but someone that has brought fresh perspective and energy that is much needed. She has created an organization that connects long time hemp leadership with new members coming in from verticals the hemp industry needs to focus on servicing. She has done an excellent job at bridging the gap and connecting people who all play a role in moving the hemp industry forward.
Let’s get to know Mandi a bit better and why she loves hemp!
Mandi Kerr is the CEO and Founder of the Global Hemp Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the Industrial Hemp industry by elevating standards and highlighting leaders through Broadcast Media. She’s interviewed over 200 industry professionals—an up-to-date library of what’s going on in the industry as it happens. A knowledge base that’s extensive and diverse. The key is relationships. Mandi brings farmers, manufacturers, and other industry experts together to strengthen the hemp supply chain and educate each other. With 10 years of sales, event promotion, marketing, and networking experience, she can identify and develop opportunities in an ever-evolving industry
When and why did you get into the hemp/cannabis industry?
I started in the industry 3 years ago after attending an industry trade show and realized the opportunity ahead. There are so many reasons why I dove in head first. 1. I had an aha moment when I realized the timing of the plastics boom and the Marihuana Tax Act. 2. I saw a need for the collaboration and connectivity within the industry. Too many people were making the same mistake, wasting valuable resources and weren’t sure where to find information to help move their projects forward. 3. The level of passion and innovation in this industry is incredible. I get to work with fellow leaders who are addressing and solving, with strides, some of the world’s biggest problems. This is by far the most impactful ‘role’ I’ve ever played in my career.
You are involved in non-profit work, can you tell us about the organization/organizations that you work with and what you do with them?
Global Hemp Association is a non profit organization that curates content and provides resources about the Industrial Hemp industry around the globe. My role as the CEO and Founder is focused on connecting members and the supply chain to help advance the industry. I host multiple interviews and virtual meetings/events each week and publish the content on various channels to promote collaboration and conversation. We are gathering data and overseeing projects to achieve collective goals that further promote the industry.
What are your favorite products and/or attributes of the hemp/cannabis plant?
I’ve learned so much about Hemp over the last couple years. I’ve become passionate about the diversity of Hemp, it’s hard to pick just one, or even a few attributes to mention. We continue to learn of new applications everyday. I believe Hemp will play a pivotal role in our future. Just look at its potential in Rural Economic Development, Carbon Sequestration, Agriculture & Farmers, Affordable Housing, American Made & Sourced, reshoring manufacturing, the list goes on and on…. Not what I expected when I got into the “Hemp” Industry, like most, I thought I was going to learn about “Marijuana” and CBD.
Do you have any current or upcoming projects you’re working on and would like to let folks know about?
Global Hemp Association has expanded on collaboration with other associations and universities to provide solid support to our industry and drive consumer demand. We are sponsoring the awards banquet at this year’s NoCo Event in March where we are excited to highlight the leaders in innovation and excellence. One really exciting development that we saw this last year was the completion and roll out of our community platform Hemp Hallway. We are excited about the continued engagement and robust connectivity that Hemp Hallway offers. We have come a long way as an association and are excited for the future and the development of our research division.
What legacy would you like to leave for the next generation from your work?
Wow what a question! I would say most importantly is Opportunity. Our next generation is already so forward thinking when it comes to some of the major missions we intend to achieve as an association. Imagine if the greatest minds during the industrial revolution had the speed and ways to communicate their ideas like we do today how much further we as a world would be. My goal is to be the connector of these minds that exist in our youth today. To be a conduit and forum where ideas can be shared and connections made and we can work together to truly change the world. To make this happen we need each other. We need collaboration, education, open discussion, and people to provoke thoughts. Most success is achieved with the diversity of thought and exchange of knowledge shared connections with a common goal. I hope my legacy will be that of someone who made these connections by providing the platform and launching pad for world changing ideas.
What is your favorite hobby and who are your top 3 favorite bands/musical artists of all time?
I LOVE BEING AROUND PEOPLE! I love to travel and explore, take random adventures and eat delicious food. As far as top 3 favorites it really would depend on when you ask me. I’m notorious for hearing a song that I like and playing it on repeat until it’s no longer a “cool” song. At the end of the day I’m a country girl at heart and love any live music.
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About Morris Beegle
Cannabis/hemp advocate and entrepreneur Morris Beegle is Co-founder and President of the WAFBA (We Are For Better Alternatives) family of brands. He is also the producer of NoCo Hemp Expo and Southern Hemp Expo as well as publisher of Let’s Talk Hemp. For additional information on what Morris is up to, visit his website at www.morrisbeegle.com and if you would like to get in touch, drop a message to email@example.com