Kristina “Kay” Garcia (neé Neoushoff) is the Chief Executive Officer at Women Grow, @womengrow. With almost 20 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, customer service, and innovation from some of the best leaders in business, an experience that fueled her desire to create simple solutions to everyday problems.
Read our Q&A below to learn more about Kirstina’s background, the origins of Women Grow and her advice to ganjapreneurs.
Ganjly: When was Women Grow originally founded, and what was your role in your creation?
Kristina Garcia: Women Grow was founded in 2014. I started in June 2015 so I am not a Founder/Co-Founder, but I’m currently the CEO.
Ganjly: What was your background before getting into the cannabis industry?
Kristina Garcia: In addition to the bio sent, I attended Rutgers Univ. and graduated with a Bachelors in Environmental Policy. I worked for Apple for about 7 years, in a variety of roles, working my way up from a part-time position to store leadership. I then worked at a tech retailer in Manhattan (where I met Jazmin) and then at some startups. Then I worked on a cattle farm and as a veterinary technician before taking a position with Estee Lauder running a technology implementation for North America. Then I moved to London and continued as a consultant, before coming back to the States to work as a rural mail carrier, then taking the Director of Ops position with WG in June 2015. I took the CEO position in April 2017.
Ganjly: What do you think is the most important consideration when organizing a Women Grow event for the cannabis community?
Kristina Garcia: Ensuring the community that we are here to provide quality education to all members of the community (not just women.) WG SNEs are non consumption events, and open to all people of all genders!
Ganjly: What is your proudest moment since you started down this path of cannabis activism/entrepreneurialism?
Kristina Garcia: I’ve had the opportunity to not only meet amazing individuals doing remarkable things, but connect them with one another to make an even greater impact in their respective communities. I recall a specific interaction with a woman telling me a story about starting her business. It was emotional, and to hear the positive impact she had on others brought tears to my eyes. It’s hard to fathom how many chances we have in this industry to help others, as well as ourselves.
Ganjly: What do you think is the best way for cannabis entrepreneurs to go about building positive relationships with the general business community in their area?
Kristina Garcia: Talk to people in your community. It’s easy to promote misinformation when you haven’t been provided an opportunity to learn the truth. By talking to people, you’re giving them accurate information, reputable resources, and a face with a name to return to with questions. Your personal experience can open the eyes of people who haven’t had the chance to learn for themselves.
Thank you so much Kristina for taking some time to talk to us about your experiences. To learn more about Kristina and Women Grow, visit WomenGrow.
About Kristina “Kay” Garcia:
Kristina met Co-Founder Jazmin Hupp after moving to New York City in 2009, while working together at the independent Apple retailer Tekserve. In New York, she worked with Tekserve and MoviePass before joining Esteé Lauder Companies to lead technology implementations for the North American Global Retail Channel.
Kristina has also worked on a NJ cattle farm, as a rural mail carrier for USPS, and as an independent consultant while living abroad in London.
Kristina joined Women Grow in 2015 as Director of Operations. In this role, she worked closely with all aspects of the organization identifying and implementing processes, tools, and strategies to support the company’s rapid growth.
She takes pride in helping the intelligent and self-motivated Women Grow community do their best work.
Kristina’s life goal is to make a positive impact on the world in whatever form that takes.
She owns and operates a pet-sitting business, and is particularly interested in therapeutic applications for cannabis and hemp in the veterinary community.
This passion has led her to launch a new line of CBD pet treats.
She also has begun consulting on various cannabis opportunities, utilizing her unique knowledge and skill set to help others achieve success.
About Women Grow:
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.
Women Grow is the largest International (US and Canada) professional networking company supporting women leaders and entrepreneurs in all facets in the cannabis industry.
As legalization occurs on a national and global scale, women have the opportunity to build an inclusive new industry from inception. Our name stems from our goal to cultivate women professionally at all levels of business. More importantly we want to encourage more women to join this industry to become leaders.
Women Grow is open to women at all career stages and in all segments of the cannabis industry and ancillary businesses. Women Grow also welcomes business-savvy men and LGBTQ+ who understand that being inclusive in their organizations and partnering with women-owned businesses is good for the bottom line.