The National Hemp Association is primarily an all-volunteer organization with limited staff and volunteers who have become essential in the successful operation of the Association.
Below are the people behind the scenes to help make NHA the best resource around. Thank you!
Erica Stark – Executive Director – Erica Stark, a former business management executive, took a leap of faith to leave her job and become a full time advocate of industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis long before it was clear that the tide of popular opinion had turned.
Today, Erica has seen out the success of her early efforts and has transitioned from activist to educator and coordinator when she became the Executive Director of NHA in 2017. Erica is also the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and serves as the co-chair of the Policy and Regulation Subcommittee of the PA Hemp Steering Committee which is the official advisory council to the PA Dept. of Agriculture. Erica was instrumental in enacting legislation in Pennsylvania and is proud to have been managing permits and growing hemp in PA since 2017. She is a sought-after speaker with years of experience in hemp education and legislative advocacy, including testifying before Congress. The industrial hemp industry has experienced a rebirth, legally, and now it is time to fuel the fires and continue to breathe new life into the fledgling industry, both locally and nationally. Please contact Erica at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Chanthavongseng – Assistant Executive Director – Anna was a former early childhood teacher and assistant director who trained staff and encouraged teachers to implement kinesthetic and nature-based learning to young children. Her love for sustainability and nature brought her to her first hempcrete workshop in Robesonia, PA in the year 2015. Since learning more about the plant she has been sharing knowledge about the diverse crop through her personal social media pages and with some graphics work. She continues to learn and spread awareness about the plant by attending hemp focused events and promoting businesses and manufacturers in the industry. She is also the co-founder of a new sustainable apparel business, Jasper & Ivy, that focuses on products made with hemp blends. She sees a promising future with hemp in our country and looks forward to working with it.. Please contact Anna at email@example.com
Mell Green – Blog Writer & Volunteer
Mell Green is a 4’ foot-something writer with a body of work that covers a range of topics, however, her primary focus is hemp. Over the last few years, she has advocated for changing the way people perceive the plant and has also worked diligently to build solid relationships with other passionate people in the industry. Yet, she knows there’s so much more for her to learn and do. When not fighting the good fight, she’s dabbling in all things creative or discussing travel plans with her favorite humans. If you enjoy hemp as much as Mell does, catch her work in notable publications such as Terpenes and Testing Magazine, the Weed Blog, and many others.
Jennifer Liske– Volunteer – As the former owner of a brick and mortar business in the upholstery industry, Jen brings 20+ years in sales, client service, consulting, and management experience. Her love for business, has given her a broad array of areas of expertise, including warehouse work, wholesale and procurement research. She is currently freelancing in several areas, including website design, some copywriting, and the craft of Internet/web research specialist, which she loves.
This next phase of her life is being devoted to industrial hemp, all she can learn about it, and to support the progression and diversity of the industry as well as the plant itself. She looks forward to her journey, along with helping the restoration of a self sustaining America that will come with this plant and it’s endless possibilities, with a focus on fiber uses and possibilities. She brings her love, focus and know how of building things and processes from the ground up, along with a high adaptability to change. Traits that are attributable to these ‘growing pains’ (no pun intended) that are currently the American Hemp Industry. As an avid Detroit Tigers fan, she can be found taking in games during the season. She loves listening to music, reading, walking, or just being a bum in the sun, soaking up the rays.
Les Stark – Social Media Volunteer – Les is a Pennsylvania hemp historian who has spent thousands of hours researching the historic Pennsylvania hemp industry. He has documented the existence of hundreds of hemp mills throughout the state and uncovered an epic tale of the days when nearly every farmer in the state grew hemp.
Since 1997 he has been teaching this information to farmers, farm organizations, historical societies, community groups, the media, legislators and the general public. He is the author of Hempstone Heritage I and intends to publish an additional 600 pages of his research which will tell the full story of great historic Pa. hemp industry. Although he has a deep passion for history, his true passion is in helping to rebuild the hemp industry.
Les served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a tank crewman on the M60A1 tank from 1984-1987.
Trevor Yahn-Grode – Researcher & Volunteer
Trevor Yahn-Grode is a hemp activist and data scientist committed to the decarbonization of the global economy. Trevor has worked with hemp companies at all stages of the supply chain, most recently as the lead researcher for New Frontier Data’s hemp division. In his free time he enjoys playing music and hanging out with his dog, Sagan.
Nate Hamlin – Volunteer
Throughout his career, he has had the privilege to capture important, powerful stories as they unfold in the natural world. From the most dangerous off-road race, the Baja 1000, the largest refugee camp of the Rohingya people of Myanmar, into the most intimate moment of a family’s life, childbirth. He has navigated the responsibility of being trusted to honor those stories while making sure that all the elements are delivered for a captivating and compelling journey.
Nate is excited about the future of Hemp and reestablishing this powerful plant to help both the environment and the world.
Owen Deitcher – Volunteer
Owen Deitcher is a graduate student in urban and regional planning, interested in circular economy and rural development. He has previously worked in non-profit settings in education, business development, and urban greening with a particular focus on community engagement. The love for the environment has driven Owen to engage in ecology, policy, and energy to help create a greener future.
The primary goal in Owen’s life is simply: to put hemp in everything humans interact with on a daily basis. In getting to that goal, his interests lie in making sure farmers and rural towns reap the potential economic rewards of growing hemp, not letting them be forgotten in the equation to bring hemp to the consumer. Moreover, Owen is enamored with the environmental, specifically ecological, benefits that will come from growing hemp, including carbon sequestration and increased pollinators for beneficial insects. Towards that end, Owen is supporting policy tracking of regulations and bills at the state and federal levels.