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 is a highly committed and knowledgeable hemp professional who has dedicated herself to the growth and development of the industry. As the Executive Director of the National Hemp Association (NHA) since 2017, she has become a trusted voice for policymakers and industry leaders. She was honored to be invited to testify at a US Senate Ag Committee hearing in 2019.
Erica’s service to the hemp industry can be traced back to her grassroots advocacy work in 2014. She went on to become a founding member of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council (PAHIC), serving as both Secretary and Executive Director. She was part of a small team that successfully pushed through hemp legislation in Pennsylvania with a unanimous vote in a single session. In 2023 she was elected as Chairwoman of PAHIC. Erica also serves on the PA Hemp Steering Committee, an advisory council to the PA Department of Agriculture.
Erica’s passion for hemp has earned her numerous speaking engagements, where she shares her insights and ideas on the role hemp can play in sustainability and mitigating climate change. She has played an instrumental role in the growth of the hemp industry and is poised to continue doing so in the future. Please contact Erica at email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Caroline Kim – Volunteer
Caroline Kim is a co-founder and CEO of the 3rd Way, a business consulting firm based in Redding, California. Her 20+ years of experience in administrative and finance roles across multiple industries gives her insight into business process improvement and financial stewardship. She enjoys empowering and partnering with her clients to achieve greater levels of business performance. She believes that when a business has a strong foundation, the business will build stronger, faster and with confidence.
Her side venture is to create a homestead with her husband on their 10-acre property, specifically to build a home out of hemp, implement an alternative energy system, dig a pond for fish, and create a motorcycle trail.
Fun facts: Caroline and her husband are avid travelers and have both circumnavigated the globe and also road tripped for a year across the US and Canada in their custom built DIY campervan (pre-Covid) before settling in Redding. Her primary love language is food, specifically enjoying good food with great people. She, her husband and son are patriots having served and/or currently serving in the U.S. Army.