Team Member Spotlight: Meet Shannen and Matt

June 14, 2019

Team Member Spotlight

Meet Shannen Smiley, our newest marketing team member, and Matt Miller, our latest addition to the growing Client Services team. Both of our newest hires have made an immediate and positive impact to our team of cannabis consultants, and we hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we have!

Shannen Smiley, Marketing Assistant

Shannen Smiley

Shannen enjoying time with friends and family

What is your role at Canna Advisors?
I work as the Marketing Assistant, so I’m responsible for all of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into keeping up our social media and brand identity online.

What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
I’ve seen a handful of people close to me struggle with addiction, anxiety, and depression, but I’ve also seen how cannabis can substitute as a more holistic aid to the symptoms of those illnesses.

What job(s) were you doing before joining Canna Advisors?
I worked for a group at CU Boulder known as Femme International. Femme was an advocacy group that provided feminine hygiene kits for women in East Africa in order for these women to stay in school, continue their daily lives, and just thrive in general. I was the social media director, so I was in charge of sharing events, fundraisers, and other important information on our platforms. That’s where I discovered that I could use my skills in design/communication for something good.

Favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of this job is how much I learn every day about the cannabis industry. In the short span of being here, I’ve learned so much about the process of regulation and the plant itself.

What’s the best thing about working at Canna Advisors?
Being around so many people who are passionate about what they do is super inspiring and motivates me to work hard.

Tell us something you do every day, without fail:
Send my brother a fun fact when I wake up in the morning.

Describe a really big accomplishment:
Graduating from university a year early! That was pretty cool.

Where are you from? If not from Colorado, what brought you here?
I’m originally from Phoenix, AZ but decided to come to Colorado for college. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made, shout out to 18-year-old Shannen for deciding to move here.

What do you do in your spare time?
It depends on the season, really. If it’s summer or spring I usually go out with my friends. In the winter, however, I usually coop myself up in my room and make art. I’m from Phoenix, we don’t go outside when it’s cold.

Tell us a little about your family.
I’m the middle child of three kids and I have great parents. My dad is the funniest person I know and my mom was a #GirlBoss before it was cool. My older sister is an Art History genius and my younger brother will always be cooler than me no matter what.

Travel memories/trips of note
Two years ago I was lucky enough to spend the summer studying art history/architecture in Europe. I traveled there completely alone and don’t even remember getting there because of how nervous I was. But I ended up meeting one of my best friends in the entire world, Will, and we spent the whole summer running around Europe pretending we were locals.

What are you watching right now?
I’m watching Chernobyl and Big Little Lies on HBO.

Interesting/little-known/unique fact(s) about you?
I can recite a few prayers in Spanish because I attended Catholic school for thirteen years and that was part of the curriculum.

Favorite quote(s):
“The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful…and decide what you want and need and must do.”
Favorite author(s): J.D. Salinger, Zadie Smith, Hanya Yanagihara
Favorite smell(s): Rain, orange blossoms in Arizona, puppies, and bubblegum.
Favorite sound(s): A dog sneezing, thunder, and the high-pitched laugh that my brother inherited from my dad.
Favorite place(s): It’s no longer around, but my dad’s childhood home in St. Louis was like a time capsule from the 60s. It was, and still is, one of the coolest places I had ever been. That was also the only place I’ve ever seen fireflies, which is a memory that is locked in my brain.
Favorite food(s): I love tamales, carnitas, and also just ate a dark chocolate/raspberry candy that changed my life.

Will you name a few items on your bucket list?
Something I really want to do is visit this town in Arizona known as “Arcosanti”. It was this really cool project started in the 70s that was focused on this concept of “arcology”, which is essentially combining architecture and ecology. In other words, it’s a sustainable, eco-friendly playground. Learning about the severity of global warming and pollution from a very young age inevitably makes me a nerd about sustainability, so I’ve always been interested in visiting this place.

What do you order at a bar or coffee shop?
Coffee shop – peppermint tea, because caffeine makes me crazy. Bar – red wine if it’s a nice place, and beer if the bar is…not so nice.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
To be invisible!

If you were a MLB player, what would your walkout song be?
My brain immediately started playing “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees when I read this question, so I guess that song.

What else should we know about you?
My family calls me “Shoosh”

Matt Miller, Account Manager

Matt Miller

Matt enjoying some Colorado sunshine and the Colorado cannabis industry

What inspired you to work in the cannabis industry?
When I was a teenager, my dad had prostate cancer. He went through radiation and thankfully it’s been in remission (I believe almost or completely cancer free for about 10 years or so). However, during this time (2005-2006), I started to hear rumors that cannabis wasn’t actually as harmful as I had been lead to believe. Furthermore, what I was discovering online was that not only was it NOT harmful, but according to Harvard, could actually kill cancer cells. This information discovery coincided with my first time experimenting with cannabis for my ADHD and injures I incurred through contact sports – which worked more effectively than the prescription pills I was on. That’s what sparked my interest into cannabis. I started reading as much as I could on cannabis, and watching as many “Pot Docs” (cannabis documentaries) that I could.

Once I really discovered what this plant was capable of, and the lies I had been told, I immediately joined NORML. I made it my mission to make the process of getting cannabis as medicine easier for those who really needed it. I want to shred the stigma associated with cannabis and bring change to states where it is still demonized.

I never intended to work in cannabis, but now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What job(s) were you doing before joining Canna Advisors?
I was an Account, Onboarding, and Implementation Manager for the Central and East Coast Regions at Baker Technologies (now TILT)

Most interesting client/situation you’ve worked on?
In 2017, I worked with Dame Dash (Jay-Z’s business partner and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records). He had purchased software from my former employer to use in his store. After meeting with him and talking for about two hours, he asked me about my retail strategizing experience from Apple. Long story short – I worked with him to plan out his store from a walk-in Canna-gar humidor, to having staff attendants with iPads to take customer orders (similar to shopping at Apple), to even some design aspects. While he sold it before it opened, it was an amazing experience working with him – and I don’t think I’ll ever delete his phone number and email from my contact list.

What’s the best thing about working at Canna Advisors?
By far – the team. From Day 1, everyone has not only been welcoming, but extremely helpful whenever I have any questions or concerns.

Tell us something you do every day, without fail:
I make a pot of coffee and cook eggs and bacon every morning.

Where are you from? If not from Colorado, what brought you here?
I’m originally from Houston, Texas. I moved to Colorado a few years ago when I was poached from Apple to work for a commercial Real Estate software startup.

What do you do in your spare time?
Cooking – trying my hand at a new recipe
Hiking – somewhere with my dog
Napping – any chance I get

Tell us about your family:
My parents, two brothers, and 3 dogs are still in Texas. My older brother, Sean, is a licensed attorney, and Kevin, my younger brother, is an interior designer in Dallas.

Travel memory of note:
When I was 15, I went with a few adults, several friends, and a guide on a 2-week-long hiking and canoe trip through the Canadian wilderness. We covered 55 miles in those two weeks.

In January 2018, I spent 5 days in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in a clifftop mansion with 24-hour staff, private beach access, and one-of-a-kind views of both the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean. I saw whales breaching the water every morning. It was the most relaxing time I think I have ever had.

Travel Wish List:
I was planning a 9-day trip to Europe this year, however, I had to postpone that for now. Either Europe, Belize, or Mexico (again) is next on the list.

Interesting/little-known/unique fact(s) about you?
I competed in a male beauty pageant in high school – I didn’t win.

What are you watching right now?
The Office (on a continual loop)

Favorite quote(s):“The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions” – John Ray

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost

Favorite author(s): Robert Frost
Favorite smell(s): Citrusy or Sour Smelling Cannabis (i.e. Lemon Haze), burnt cannabis, and rain (when you can smell it in the air)
Favorite sound(s): Thunderstorms
Favorite place(s): I will let you know as soon as I find it
Favorite food(s): Tex-Mex is a must, queso and jalapenos on everything
Left-over spaghetti from the fridge without heating it up.
A Triple Meat, Bacon Cheeseburger, with Grilled Onions, and BBQ Sauce from Whataburger
Favorite way to consume cannabis: As a Flower Child, I love smoking flower. There is something ritualistic and cathartic about breaking it down, rolling it up, and enjoying all parts of the flower, not just THC or CBD.

Will you name a few items on your bucket list?
-Visit Australia, Cuba, and N. Korea
-Participate in the Running of the Bulls
-Visit India during Holi – a giant paint fight to mark the start of Spring
-Pull off a high profile Art Heist – Carmen SanDiego Style

What do you order at a bar or coffee shop?
Large mocha latte – no whipped cream

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

If you were a MLB player, what would your walkout song be?
Creedence Clear Water – Bad Moon Rising

What else should we know about you?
I was a licensed commercial firework technician in Houston, and at one point in my life I trained to be a professional wrestler (like WWE, although I never had my first match).

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