Celebrating International Women’s Day
Hello, my name is Amber Shimpa, and I am proud to be the Chief Administrative Officer and a Board Member of a cannabis company that lifts female voices and perspectives. In honor of International Women’s Day, it is my pleasure to highlight just a few of the amazing women that help make Vireo a leading cannabis company. From our cultivation and processing facilities to our retail dispensaries right up to our leadership team and Board of Directors, Vireo is fortunate to have many strong female-identifying teammates.
International Women’s Day takes place every year on March 8 to celebrate women’s rights and inspire people to act in the ongoing fight for gender equality. It is a day to recognize women for their social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.
International Women’s Day started in the U.S. in 1909 when the Socialist Party of America took to the streets to honor garment workers who went on strike the year before on that same day. At the time, it was called National Women’s Day, and it took place on February 28. It was not until March 8, 1975, that the United Nations recognized the day as an official holiday. Since 1975, the holiday has gained awareness around the globe to honor women and continue fighting for gender equality.
Although our society has made vast improvements in the 45 years since the first International Women’s Day, there is still much work to be done. If you want to learn more about the current state of Women in the Workplace and how we can better protect and amplify female voices, check out “The State of Women in Corporate America,” created by LeanIn.org.
Vireo is home to many impressive women, some of whom we have featured in the past in our Team Member Spotlight series. You can read about our Director of Patient Services, Alicia Hilliard here, or our eCommerce Analyst and Co-Chair of our DEI Council, Jaren Forbes, here.
On our Board of Directors, I serve alongside Chelsea Grayson, who was the first female CEO of True Religion Jeans and served as CEO of American Apparel. Read more about Ms. Grayson here.
On Vireo’s leadership team, we have many amazing women leaders, including Colette Bellefleur, our Vice President of New Market Development, whose spotlight can be found here; Katherine Greiner, our Vice President of Digital Marketing & E-Commerce; Jillian Eckman, our Director of Quality and Product Safety; Theresa Svoboda, Sales and Marketing and finalist for Maryland’s 2020 Explore Maryland Cannabis Awards; and our Directors of Medical Education Dr. Paloma Lehfeldt and Sarah Overby.
At the state level, there is our District Managers of Retail, Cindy Hupf and Karissa Stoyell; Ellie Besancon, our General Manager in New Mexico; Mai Der Vang, our General Manager in Minnesota; and Kaitlyn Nedo, our General Manager in New York, who was honored in the Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40 Awards and featured as a local leader in her hometown paper. Additionally, over 63% of our retail Green Goods workforce identify as women.
In honor of Women’s History Month in March, we will also be featuring a new group of Vireo’s female-identifying leaders as part of our #CannaQueens series on our blogs and social media. Read a few of our past spotlights and let us know which Vireo (or industry!) #CannaQueens inspire you and that you would like to see featured next by emailing us here.