Meet Our Team Members

Brian Applegarth
Brian Applegarth | Founder

Brian Applegarth founded the California Cannabis Tourism Association in 2017 and is the creator of The Cannabis Trail, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the cannabis history of California. Brian is a cannabis tourism subject matter expert, educator and international speaker on the topic. Brian has lived, worked or traveled to over 50 different countries and holds a BA in International Studies from U.C. Irvine. Brian is inspired by building bridges between the travel and cannabis industries, and he helps businesses develop and implement customized cannabis-related tourism strategies that drive success. 

Amanda Reiman
Amanda Reiman | Board Member

Dr. Amanda Reiman, the founder of Personal Plants, is an activist, professor, and researcher with twenty years of experience studying the relationship between people and plants. Her experience as the Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance enabled her to make real change in how the world treats medicinal plants like cannabis. Amanda was also the first chairwoman of the Medical Cannabis Commission for the City of Berkeley and taught classes on drug use and policy at UC Berkeley for over a decade. She strives to empower, enlighten and guide others to take their healing and creativity journey into their own hands by spreading knowledge and access to information and inspiration.

Jerred Kiloh
Jerred Kiloh | Board Member
Jerred is the President of the United Cannabis Business Association and owner of The Higher Path, an award-winning medical cannabis dispensary in Los Angeles. He promotes access to good medicine with good education, with an emphasis on quality of life and wellness. Jerred is an advocate for legislative action and hopes to empower businesses to uplift the industry.
Omar Figueroa
Omar Figueroa | Board Member
Omar Figueroa is a graduate of Yale College, Stanford Law School, and the Trial Lawyers College. He has also completed an Executive Education program for directors of corporate boards at the Wharton School in Philadelphia. He has more than twenty one years of experience practicing cannabis law in the Golden State. The Law Offices of Omar Figueroa is one of the leading cannabis licensing, regulatory compliance, and intellectual property law firms in California.

Work Groups

Laura Hand | Marketing Chair
Laura Hand is the CEO and Founder of Laura Loo Experience Design (LLXD). LLXD helps cannabis brands execute their vision by crafting a delightful brand strategy for every touchpoint of the customer journey to provide the experience their customers want and deserve. Laura’s background consists of starting her career as a web designer specialized in digital UX strategy for financial institutions and health care businesses. In 2016, Laura was promoted to vice president of VGM Marketing, an internal agency that specializes in marketing for the 25+ businesses of VGM Group, Inc. She led a team of more than 20 marketing experts dedicated to finding creative and strategic solutions to help VGM expand its healthcare services and better serve their customers. In 2019 she left the corporate world to realign her focus to the cannabis industry to honor her family. The loss of her brother to a drug-related heart attack and my father to brain cancer has forever shaped her life. She believes that proper education and access to cannabis would have changed their outcome. To learn more about Laura and Laura Loo Experience Design, you can go to www.customerdelightprocess.com LinkedIn: LHand Instagram: @LauraLooExperienceDesign Clubhouse: @LauraLoo
Georgi Gordon
Georgi Gordon | Membership Chair

A Founder and Principal of GBG & Associates, Georgi has created and implemented a wealth of strategic marketing and communications plans for travel and hospitality clients.  Continuing to serve the tourism industry,  she has expanded her focus to bring  her travel sector expertise to the Cannabis Tourism and Travel industry. Georgi believes all communication is not just defined as Business to Business or Business to Consumer, it is all People to People. Cannapreneurs and businesses can reach out to GBG & Associates to create and implement B2B branding and marketing communication strategies for professional partners such as service providers, software creators, customer feedback solutions firms, financial servicing companies, legal services, marketing and sales organizations, architects, and professional trade associations.  Consumer facing businesses can be assured of GBG’s commitment to branding, design, marketing and communications that support and further visibility and create a healthy sales environment. To learn more about Georgi or GBG & Associates, you can go to www.gbgandassociates.com

Twitter: @GeorgiBG
LinkedIn: georgi-bohrod-gordon
Facebook: Georgi.Gordon
Instagram: @georgi_gordon

 
Ali Fakhri
Ali Fakhri | Events & Advocacy Chair

Ali Fakhri is the CEO and Founder of EventHi. EventHi is an event management platform built for the cannabis culture. Ali’s background consists of working for and with two of the largest Fortune 500 companies, leading sales and business development. Ali considers himself an entrepreneur at heart, launching his first business at 20 years old. After being introduced to the medical cannabis industry, he started attending events; months later, he began sponsoring and coordinating events. This experience allowed him to see many issues that the cannabis events industry faced. After months of research, he began developing EventHi to help bring a solution and fill a void for the cannabis industry. Ali is building an ecosystem through technology with a mission to bring people together offline. To learn more about Ali Fakhri or EventHi, you can go to www.eventhi.io
Twitter: @eventhi_io
Instagram: @eventhi.io

Yvonne Brown Bio
Yvonne Brown | Events Co-Chair
Yvonne Brown is passionate about creating exceptional experiences through events. With over 20 years of experience in travel and events management, she has planned and produced workshops, conventions, meetings and retreats for small groups to audiences of 1,000+. Yvonne is currently the Travel and Event Director for the Glowing Goddess Getaway and Retreat Director for the Venice Retreat Center as well as a licensed Travel Agent specializing in Cannabis travel experiences.
David Vu | Marketing Volunteer

After attending the cannabis horticulture and business program at Oaksterdam University in 2017, I was a key member in a start-up called Zesty that was merged and rebranded to Caviar and acquired by Square and Doordash. I was one of five members of the launch team that led the San Jose location and took part in account management, recruiting, training, developing standard operating procedures and marketing content. I also developed the marketing strategy, branding, and product designs for a CBD company that was based on a monthly low cost model. I shifted to the cannabis industry in 2020 when I began working at a cannabis software start-up helping brands improve their customer retention and marketing. I also launched a recognized student organization called CannaClub at San Diego State University, which is the first California State University chapter focused on the cannabis industry. Now I create and manage marketing collateral for the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, Cannabis Travel Association International, and am in progress of becoming a certified business mentor with SCORE Mentors to consult small business owners on their marketing needs.

Advisory Board Members

Antonio Flores Bio
Antonio Flores | Advisory Board

Antonio Flores is currently the General Manager at Hotel Zeppelin in San Francisco. A rebellious hotel that celebrates San Francisco’s counterculture tradition with a mischievous approach to hospitality. Antonio brings more than 20 years of experience to his role as General Manager at Hotel Zeppelin.  Prior to joining Viceroy Hotel Group, Antonio held positions with Kimpton Hotels as General Manager at both Hotel Triton and The Prescott Hotel, both in San Francisco since 2006. He was previously with Hilton Hotels for several years in Southern California.

Jonathan Grella Bio
Jonathan Grella | Advisory Board

Jonathan Grella launched JAG Public Affairs in 2019, specializing in high-impact advocacy and communications. For the past 20 years, Grella has built a stellar reputation as a dynamic leader, communicator, and advocate across a wide array of arenas: political, corporate, association, and professional sports. For six years, Grella quarterbacked the U.S. Travel Association’s renowned public affairs operation as executive vice president, leading the association’s government relations, communications, marketing, research, grassroots and political action committee (PAC) to new heights. Since Grella’s arrival in 2013, U.S. Travel bolstered its stature and success. Under his stewardship, National Journal and APCO’s comprehensive TradeMarks study rated U.S. Travel as one of the top four associations overall and first in three categories. He has been honored as a top association advocate in The Hill for the past two years.

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