Beacon North Company
Q&A Session with the National Hispanic Cannabis Council
Q.1 What is your role at Beacon North Company in the legal cannabis industry? How did you achieve this role?
I am currently Chief Executive Officer at Beacon North Consulting, LLC. My professional background was initially in Fortune 500 management consulting. I previously worked as a project manager focusing on implementations across different types of large organizations, where I really began to appreciate the value of an organized business strategy. Working with organizational leadership at Wells Fargo, Xcel Energy, Duke Energy, Westat, and Hunter Douglas, I fine-tuned my consulting skillset and ultimately wound up pivoting to the cannabis space over 5 years ago.
I have always been a self-starter and independent thinker. I had worked with a number of notable subject matter experts and industry pioneers previously, but becoming CEO was ultimately a leap of faith. I believe in betting on yourself. I really dialed in what my skillset and passions are, then I worked to build a network of top-tier subject matter experts around me.
Q.2. What motivated you to enter the legal cannabis industry?
As much as I enjoyed the Fortune 500 consulting space, I ultimately felt like I wanted to build something unique and new. I always had a relationship with cannabis, so the emerging medical and adult-use space seemed like a great opportunity to get my fingerprints on the evolution of an emerging industry while providing alternative relief to folks in medical and adult-use markets.
I went to school with a number of industry pioneers and highly respected cultivators, lab professionals, and retail experts at CU Boulder. I watched their success in the Colorado Market and when they began to consider exploring operations in other states, they asked me to lend support as a project manager. Having an available network of industry professionals reasonably early on was definitely a driver.
However, a major catalyst behind my decision to enter the cannabis space was witnessing how it helped folks like my Mom who suffers from a traumatic brain injury. Getting to see the benefits of this amazing plant firsthand, really reinforced my belief in providing reliable alternative relief.
Q.3 What type of education prepared you for the role you play in the cannabis industry?
I have a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Denver. I definitely tap into my MBA skillset, as well as my professional consulting experience on a continued basis. I believe that an organized, educated, and strategic business approach to operations in an emerging market provides a significant competitive advantage. This is a big-money business and burgeoning international industry, so it is very important that we treat it as such on a professional basis.
Q.4. As a Latino, what was your family’s initial reaction to your career decision in the cannabis industry? How did you overcome this stigma, if any?
I come from a Puerto Rican background, but I grew up in Latin America due to my Father’s position in the U.S. Foreign service. Initially, my folks were definitely of the mindset that the formula for success was getting a 9-5 job with a 401k. Ultimately, their beliefs began to evolve as they saw me grow into the professional that I am today. Truth be told, I would not have built the professional skillset that I currently maintain without earning my stripes in the corporate world.
By the time I made the jump, my family was supportive, but certainly maintained some healthy reservations until recently. I am really grateful to have folks that supported me the way that mine have. I owe a lot of my success to values with which I was raised.
Q.5. What advice would you offer other Latino’s wanting to explore a career in the legal cannabis industry?
Bet on yourself and don’t wait for anyone to give you a handout. Get to know the industry and find where your passions and skillset fit in. Come with an open mind, willingness to learn, and honest intentions. Also, be proactive and network. Go shake some hands and take the initiative to meet folks at networking events or webinars. Taking initiative, staying honest, and working hard have been really become cornerstones for my personal brand within the space.