Women Grow was created to connect, educate, inspire and empower the next generation of cannabis industry leaders by creating programs, community and events for aspiring and current business executives. Founded in 2014 in Denver, Women Grow is a for-profit entity that serves as a catalyst for women to influence and succeed in the cannabis industry as the end of marijuana prohibition occurs on a national scale.
Personal connections are the key to professional success. Through the wide variety of events offered to members of Women Grow, trustworthy business relationships sprout from the face-to-face interactions of our members. We produce professional networking events, local social events, regional education symposiums and national speaking circuits where aspiring professionals can connect with current cannabis business leaders.
Our Speakers Bureau Events offer the opportunity to engage and connect with the visionary leaders whose combined effort and ingenuity prove the argument that prohibition failed. The daily business challenges faced by our Speakers Bureau members as they navigate our burgeoning industry adds to the depth of knowledge and business acumen their presentations offer.
Continuing education is crucial to success in the cannabis industry. With government regulations and market forces constantly shifting, timely and accurate information is critical to build profitable and socially responsible business models. Through local Educational Symposiums and national Women Grow Speakers Bureau Events, we provide our members with relevant content from experienced leaders on current topics in the cannabis industry.
Together we have more power. As the cannabis industry grows on a national and global scale, women have the opportunity to build a new American industry from inception and redefine the workplace to create environments in which we can flourish and define our own destiny, and cultivate the next generation of industry leaders.
The Women Grow Team
Chief Executive Officer
Kristina Neoushoff is the Chief Executive Officer at Women Grow. With more than 15 years of experience studying and designing systems that enable individuals to reach their full potential, Kristina is dedicated to exploring what makes people tick and how we can use that to our advantage.
Raised in New Jersey, Kristina is a graduate of Cook College at Rutgers University. In 2002, she began her career with Apple. There, she learned branding, efficiency, and innovation from some of the best leaders in business, an experience that fueled her desire to create simple solutions to everyday problems.
Kristina credits Women Grow Co-Founder Jazmin Hupp with teaching her about the powerful potential of social advocacy. Kristina moved to New York City in 2009, after Jazmin hired her at the independent Apple retailer Tekserve and encouraged her to relocate. In New York, she worked with Tekserve and an entertainment industry startup before joining Esteé Lauder Companies to focus on technology implementations within the Global Retail Channel.
Kristina joined Women Grow in 2015 as Director of Operations. In this role, she works closely with several departments including HR & Training, Technology, and Customer Support to identify processes, select tools, and implement strategies to support the company’s rapid growth. She takes pride in helping the intelligent and self-motivated Women Grow team do their best work.
Kristina’s life goal is to make a positive impact on the world in whatever form that takes. She runs a pet-sitting and animal behavior consulting business, and is particularly interested in therapeutic applications for cannabis in the veterinary community. An avid traveler, she enjoys coffee in Parisian cafés, Sunday roasts at London pubs, and crossword puzzles in bed on Sunday mornings at home.
Executive Vice President
Gia Morón is Executive Vice President for Women Grow. With 25 years of experience in public relations, she oversees the company’s internal and external communications. In addition, to her day-to-day duties, she also works closely with the CEO on business and relationship development opportunities. She began working with Women Grow headquarters in January 2017 as Director of Communications, after transitioning from the Women Grow New York City market in 2016. Gia is also the Founder and CEO of GVM Communications, Inc., a public relations, brand and business development consulting firm in which she launched in 2012. Her client base ranges from small to mid-sized businesses, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, authors and celebrity clients. Prior to launching her firm and working with Women Grow, Gia was a Media Relations Officer in the Corporate Communications department for fifteen years at the Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
While at Goldman Sachs, Gia oversaw various business areas from Private Equity, Urban Investment, Investment Research and Technology to the firm’s organizational focus on Corporate Engagement, Diversity, Recruiting, Human Resources and Corporate Services. Before joining Goldman Sachs, Gia was Director of Promotions and Publicity for six years at The Fremantle Corporation, an international television distribution and production company. Outside of her professional accomplishments, she continuously works with a number of non-profit organizations in New York City and mentors up-and-coming young women entrepreneurs across the country to South Africa. Gia currently resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY, with her daughter.
Aliza Bert is Executive Assistant to Kristina Garcia, CEO of Women Grow. As Executive Assistant, Aliza provides administrative support, handles client relations and is working hard to implement new standards and practices.
Aliza was raised in Erie, Pennsylvania where she spent time playing the guitar and working at World of Music. She studies Travel Tourism and Hospitality Management at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. In conjunction with her studies, Aliza has served on the board of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality Organization. She has also developed a strong resume while holding positions involving finance, marketing, management and customer relations at the Sagamore Resort, The Crowne Plaza and The Promenade Apartment Complex. Graduating in the spring of 2018, Aliza plans to develop a career within the cannabis industry and believes that hospitality and human resources are key to establishing a successful business.
Aliza is proud to be a part of the inspirational and empowering team and looks forward to representing the mission and values of Women Grow.
Born and raised in San Francisco and brought up in the arts, Arielle has dedicated most of her life to practicing many different art forms and design. Arielle graduated as a fashion design major from Parsons School of Design and developed her skills in the fashion industry of New York City.
Following her time at Parsons, she gained experience working in women’s wear and later children’s wear. After years of working as a jewelry designer in the diamond industry, Arielle went back to school and received a master’s degree in marketing.
Arielle has worked in Guatemala where she spent time supporting artisans with new branding strategies for their small businesses. This rewarding experience revealed to her how marketing can be used to drive change and positively impact and empower women and minorities.
She now focuses on public relations and social media in Washington D.C.
Arielle is honored to be a new member of Women Grow and is excited about her role as communications and social media assistant because she strongly believes in the mission of connection, education, inspiration, and empowerment.
In her free time, Arielle enjoys swimming, photography, and traveling. She is also obsessed with her dog Sammy, an energetic and nutty Golden Retriever.
Lauren Rudick is a Member of the boutique business law firm, Hiller, PC, in Manhattan, New York. A “recovering litigator,” Lauren practiced litigation exclusively for ten years, during which time she successfully represented clients in a wide variety of business, intellectual property, and Internet/media disputes, while contributing to the Firm’s land use and zoning practice. With a trained and sensitive eye for keeping clients out of litigation and a penchant for deal-making, Lauren has refocused her career on start-up law, regulatory compliance, and commercial and secured transactions. Lauren has also developed a niche in salvaging deals that have turned south, mitigating against legal exposure, and identifying and remedying abuse or misuse of corporate power and form. In 2015, Lauren was named a Rising Star among Top New York Metro Attorneys, as featured by Superlawyers®. Lauren is also the co-founder of Hiller, PC’s cannabis law practice. What started as a passion project in patient rights during a brief residency in California, Lauren has become one of the nation’s preeminent attorneys providing legal services to cannabis industry players in the “Green Rush.” Lauren has extensive knowledge and familiarity with cannabis law, including trends and upturns in the industry. With her diverse background in corporate law, litigation, and land-use and zoning, she provides clients with the most up-to-date information necessary to operate and invest in successful cannabis and ancillary businesses. Lauren is also a regular contributor to Marijuana Venture Magazine and provides pro bono legal and advocacy services to the Drug Policy Alliance. Lauren enjoys an extensive network of cannabis professionals nationwide, enabling her to provide full legal and business services to her clients. Her representative clients include some of the most well-known and respected businesses in the cannabis space, including, among others, Women Grow.
WOMEN GROW FOUNDERS
Jane West is the Founder & National Events Director of Women Grow, which connects, educates, and empowers the next generation of cannabis industry leaders by creating programs for aspiring and current business executives. She is the CEO of Jane West Enterprises curating a socially responsible, American made family of cannabis brands. Jane also owns Edible Events Co., Colorado’s premiere cannabis event production company.
Building upon twenty years of experiential event production and a MSW Degree in Global and Community Outreach, she is a pioneer of initiatives that promote the positive potential of cannabis for both personal wellness and local community development. In 2014 her breakthrough collaboration between the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and the cannabis sector made international headlines. She passionately pursues endeavors that enable female-led companies, small business owners and American made products to succeed in our next great industry. Respect for the plant, social responsibility, and normalization are key components of Jane’s ventures, harnessing this force of nature as a force for good.
Named a “genius entrepreneur” by Fortune Magazine and a top businesswomen in the cannabis industry by Forbes, Jazmin Hupp is the Founder & CEO of Women Grow. Women Grow connects, educates, and empowers diverse cannabis industry leaders. She educates women and men through monthly events in 30+ cities, a national leadership summit, and online resources. Jazmin’s goal is to have 1,000 women launch cannabis businesses at the foundation of America’s fastest growing industry.
Prior to entering the cannabis industry, Jazmin launched six companies in retail, eCommerce, business services, and media. Her core practice is customer experience design, which combines product design, branding, and business operations. Recently, she served as the Director of Digital Media for Women 2.0, which helps women start high-growth ventures. During her tenure, the brand expanded from the Bay Area to hold events across six countries for over 100,000 business women.
Jazmin believes that business is the strongest force of change in our world, so she works to create responsible cannabis businesses to help us change outdated laws and stereotypes. Her passion for cannabis legalization is inherited from her parents. She’s privileged to have been educated to choose cannabis as a safer alternative to alcohol. In combination with yoga & meditation, she consumes cannabis to relax & focus.
Jazmin holds a Management Information Systems degree from the State University of New York. She splits her time between New York City, Denver, and Oakland, while visiting every major cannabis market regularly. Follow @jazminhupp on twitter or @jazmin_grow on instagram to ride along.
During her tenure, Women Grow Co-Founder Julie Batkiewicz brought a diverse background in marketing, video production, and sales to her work as the company’s partnership director. A sales and marketing veteran, Julie managed the broad portfolio of strategic relationships that provided the network with financial support and unparalleled access to industry expertise. Under her guidance, she completed the FIRST50 campaign and launched membership programs that proved vital underwriting for Women Grow’s rapid expansion in 2015.
Before entering the cannabis industry, Julie worked in video production, design and marketing for more than a decade. She recently launched Monte Content, a production company that creates educational video content for cannabis consumers that is broadcast directly into marijuana dispensaries.
Julie began her academic career in Germany at Universität Potsdam where she studied Political Science and taught English for five years. She also earned a B.A. in Media Management from Columbia College in Chicago.
Women Grow Alumni
Leah Heise – CEO
Linsey Pecikonis – Social Media Coordinator
Jenn Short – Membership Coordinator
Josh Crossney – National Events Director
Sonia Espinosa – Intern
Shanon Melick – Membership Director
Maureen McNamara – Education Director
Candice Owens – Branding & Marketing
Ingrid Henderson – Event Director
Dylan Schwartz – Strategist
Lee Hart – National Chapter Developer
Natalie (Simone) Roberson – Membership Coordinator
Jenn Dowdy – National Chapters Director
Paige Cecchi – Business Development
Jazmin Aguiar – National Chapter Developer
Jess Cosca – Business Development
Kendal Norris – Events Maven
Amy DiIullo – National Sales Director
Jennifer Covington – Chief Marketing Officer
Lauren Cutright Cisneros – National Chapter Director
Amy Drayer – Social Media Support
Greg Wilson – CFO
Melissa Vitale – Bookkeeper
Lauren Gibbs – Social Strategy Director
Karin Clark – Southern California & Southwest sales
Susannah Grossman – Public Relations
Liz Blaz – Pacific Northwest Sales
Kristin Ehasz – Reno Tahoe & Central California Sales
Cyo Nystrom – Northern California Sales
supporting inclusion in cannabis