HIA Board Candidate Profile

HeadshotJuly2022

Cynthia Cabrera

Chief Srategy Officer - Hometown Hero CBD

Candidate Bio

The years I spent in the vapor industry were nothing less than amazing, starting in 2011, as VP of Compliance & Logistics with an ecig retailer, then executive director and president of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association, the largest vapor trade association ever.

And a new chapter beings as I step into the role of chief strategy officer for Hometown Hero CBD, headquartered in Austin, Texas. Hometown Hero was established in 2015 and has been on a rapid upward trajectory ever since. They have amply demonstrated their ability to innovate, pivot, grow and maintain their customer base. More than that, they have proven they are willing to fight for their industry, most notably suing the state of Texas and receiving an injunction on the prohibition of certain hemp products. In my new role I oversee compliance, legal and state and federal legislative efforts to ensure the future and viability of hemp derived cannabinoid products.

Candidate Skills Self-assessment

Corporate Governance / Board Service - Significant to expert
Nonprofits / Fundraising - Fair to moderate
Business / Management - Significant to expert
Compliance / Regulatory - Significant to expert
Policy / Advocacy - Significant to expert
Safety / Testing - Fair to moderate
Marketing / Public Relations - Fair to moderate
Accounting / Finance - Fair to moderate
Team Building / HR - Fair to moderate
Public Speaking / Media -Significant to expert
Strategic Planning - Significant to expert

What vision for the hemp industry motivates you to get involved and try to help make it a reality?

My vision for the hemp industry is one where innovation, entrepreneurship, personal choice and medical freedom co-exist while businesses and consumers prosper.

Because HIA serves all facets of the hemp industry, we have a truly big tent membership with diverse needs, opinions, and perspectives. As a Director, how will you help the organization to effectively balance those factors?

Since joining Hometown Hero as chief strategy officer it has become abundantly clear that all facets of the hemp industry supply chain rely on each but often act separately, with disparate and distinct efforts undertaken by each of the sectors. Often times those efforts either sacrifice another sector or do not take a holistic approach to supporting the industry, I envision HIA as the bridge and conduit to these conversations and solutions.

What priorities do you think HIA should be focusing on in the coming years in order to best support the hemp industry?

Ensuring the most open and robust playing field as possible. Internal struggles and squabbles can be sorted later; the priority must be to fully protect hemp derived cannabinoid products once and for all.

What aspects of your background and/or character do you think will be most helpful in terms of your ability to be an effective board member?

I have a process improvement background, ran a 1500 member business organization and know that some things are important and others are urgent. The ability to discern between those and make the appropriate recommendations and suggestions is vital to supporting HIA's goals.

What would you tell a prospective member about the HIA in order to help them understand the value of joining?

I already tell them that no other organization in the hemp space advocates for a free and open market that serves all points in the supply chain. If they are in hemp, they need to be in HIA.