Standing Committee for Social Equity


Mission Statement

The National Hemp Association Standing Committee for Social Equity is passionate about capturing the state of cultural diversity, social equity, and inclusion in our nation and creating a conversation of social equity and justice through advocacy and educational programs. The members of this committee represent people of color of many ethnicities, immigrant backgrounds, and genders; African Americans, Native Americans, Latin Americans, first-generation Americans, Asian Americans, and Women members bring vast experience in the hemp industry, business sector and law industry. As diverse and bold as the hemp plant is, this committee will capture and embody the plant’s symbolism and bring it to fruition.

The mission to extend supportive education opportunities to communities missing generational inclusion begins with supporting existing inclusion visionaries, new business owners, leaders and experienced consultants to improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of our communities by fostering education into the 50,000+ products hemp can produce. This committee desires to create a hub for knowledge, social equity validation, and a national movement for business owners to have access to experts and workers from underrepresented groups through health, education, and inclusion.

Our goal is to leverage the hemp industry to provide opportunity in everything from farming, handling, manufacturing, and in the emerging high tech sector to heal the planet, create the future, and make sure no one is left behind.

Calvin Frye


Scientist, activist, entrepreneur, and Pre-ICO license holder Calvin Frye has 14 years of experience as a dispensary owner and Medical Marijuana (MMJ) industry consultant. Mr. Frye was recently awarded, as part-owner, one of the highly sought-after West Hollywood edible consumption lounge licenses. Mr. Frye has held several key positions in the Biotech industry for major companies like Xoma, Amgen, and Baxter Biosciences, advancing his career from Research Associate to Associate Scientist. Mr. Frye has more than a decade of experience in the cannabis industry, working alongside some of the founders of the MMJ industry (Dennis Peron and Richard Eastman) as well as many of the industry pioneering groups in Los Angeles (Americans For Safe Access and Norml).

Mr. Frye has one of the oldest Pre-ICO licenses in Los Angeles and is one of the first dispensary owners in the entire country. He has been pivotal in the progression of the cannabis movement throughout the United States. As an activist, Mr. Frye travels all over the United States to help shape and pass current MMJ legislation. He has appeared in numerous documentaries and television shows and has been featured in many magazines as one of the premier voices in cannabis. Nationally, Mr. Frye has been the featured speaker at many conferences including the World Congress Cannabis Expo, Blunt Talks, and in the months ahead, MJ Biz. Mr. Frye has first-hand knowledge of the regulatory issues affecting the cannabis industry through his extensive work with local LA government bodies and agencies. Currently, he is participating in the sponsored mentorship program that oversees and teaches social equity program owners how to operate and run a successful dispensary for the City of Los Angeles. Mr. Frye has also branded his line of cannabis genetics and trademarked the name “Cloneville” which he has attached to his genetics. In 2009, Mr. Frye consulted in the hydroponics industry where he gained extensive knowledge in the actual growing, set up, and production of cannabis. Mr. Frye also owns Frye Consulting and Management Group, a full-service firm that provides consulting services from startup to full-scale production, including regulatory expertise. Mr. Frye earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa (Big Ten Conference) in Science Education. He also attended graduate college with an emphasis in General Science.

Leo Bridgewater

Leo Bridgewater Sr. was born and raised in Trenton NJ. He attended Trenton Central High School graduating in 1994. In 2001 Leo enlisted into the United States Army in response to the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington DC. Leo spent 5 years as a Telecommunications specialist with multiple deployments to Iraq. Leo separated from the Army in 2006 and spent 2 ½ years working for the Dept. of the Army at the Pentagon in Washington DC. As a Department of Defense Contractor serving in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Leo has worked for companies like L-3 Communications, ITT systems, and Excellis.

Having had 3 battle buddies attempt suicide and 2 being successful. The number of Veteran suicides per day (22) is an issue Leo finds to be totally unacceptable. Leo’s advocacy has seen him testify in NJ Senate Committee to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) added to the NJ Medical Marijuana Program. In September of 2016 NJ Gov. Chris Christie signed bill S-2345 adding PTSD to the NJMMP. Leo currently serves as Chief Innovation Officer CWCBEducation, National Director of Veterans Outreach M4MM Advisory Board Member for Cannabis World Conference Business Expo (CWCBE), and advisory board member for MPX NJ. Leo is Co-Founder of Cannagather NJ and Leaf Lauch Holdings. Leo has partnered with organizations like Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Coalition Medical Marijuana New Jersey, Women Grow, Drug Policy Alliance, The Americans Civil Liberties Union, Cannabis Cultural Association, and the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association, and NJ Cannabusiness Association. Leo has testified in NJ Senate Committee for bill S3195 The Taxation and regulation of cannabis for adult use. Signaling his evolution as Advocate/Entrepreneur to the Cannabis Industry in NJ. Leo hopes to be a vessel by which the industry works through in the state of New Jersey. Leo is married to Dr LaShona Bridgewater PhD and has two children: Leo Jr 14 and Langston 4.

Faye Coleman

Ms. Coleman has extensive knowledge of operations, company culture, and employee engagement. Her expertise includes program implementations in key
corporate areas such as supply chain, global diversity and inclusion, and talent management strategies designed to build “employer of choice” organizations.
Before launching Pure Genesis (PG), LLC, Ms. Coleman began her agile career successfully serving in diverse leadership positions with Kraft General Foods, Campbell Soup, and Vlasic Foods International. Next, Ms. Coleman successfully transitioned into retail leadership with the Home Depot, Target, and CVS Pharmacy where she led significant market teams to drive business excellence as it relates to sales,supply-chain optimization, customer service, pharmacy operations as well as Brand standards while leading with a team-first mentality. Today Ms. Coleman is a multi-state operator, educator, and consultant within the cannabis industry with an extensive list of community first business initiatives that PG is excited to move forward.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ms. Coleman was the first African American female to graduate from the school of Industrial Engineering at West Virginia University. She earned her Masters in Business Administration from Saint Joseph’s University and Executive Education certifications in supply chain management and product development from The Harvard Business School.

For Ms. Coleman, service is a focus in all she does. She has served as a Board of Trustee for Lourdes Medical System and as an Advisory Board member for Saint Joseph’s University Executive MBA program. Today, Ms. Coleman continues to direct her efforts towards serving as a board member for the African American Chamber of Commerce for New Jersey, as a member of the Governor’s Council for adult-use legalization, and as a board member for the New Jersey Hemp Policy Committee. Ms. Coleman also supports her alma mater, West Virginia University by mentoring students and sharing her professional life experience through campus-focused speaking engagements in hopes that by sharing her story she will encourage those aspiring young leaders to excel in their career paths.

With an innate desire to stay connected, influence, and mentor within her local community, Ms. Coleman has had the opportunity to do so through several organizations such as The NAACP, The Network of Executive Women, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, The National Black MBA Association, The National Hemp Association, Women Grow, Minorities for Medical Marijuana as well as, NORML, Jack & Jill of America, Inc. and The Girl Friends Inc.

Ada Estrada

Ada has successfully acquired hemp licenses for processing, research, handling, brokering and collaborated on zoning industrial processing facilities correctly. She has experience with office management, laboratory work, facilities intake, online scheduling, logistics, lab equipment operation, training, and has a background in environmental studies. Currently she is focusing on education and consultation efforts with interested communities.” .

Ada is a first-generation Guatemalan-American with Spanish as her primary language, she assists in all endeavors with Latinx clients looking to understand their regulations or how to apply a business model to them as well as with general translation.

Erica Stark – NHA Executive Director

Erica has been the Executive Director of NHA since 2017. She is also the ED of the Pennsylvania Hemp Industry Council and serves on the leadership team of the PA Hemp Steering Committee, which is the official advisory council of the PA Dept. of Agriculture.

Erica believes that of the many initiatives of NHA, this is by far the most important. We live in challenging times and we need to make sure that all voices and people have every opportunity to participate in establishing and building the hemp industry, here in the U.S. and around the globe.