Board of Directors
MITCHELL “TATE” HALL (PRESIDENT)
Coming from a family boat business with humble roots in Owensboro, KY, Tate has always had an appreciation for farmers and small businesses alike. Upon receiving his Business Administration degree from Western Kentucky University in the spring of 2014, Tate went straight to Seattle, WA to pursue the new I-502 Recreational Marijuana Industry as a consultant for RMMC Consulting.
After leaving in the spring of 2015, Tate went into the insurance industry, but also maintained his relationship with the Hemp Industries Association as the Western Kentucky Manager, becoming a board member in 2018. From 2017-2019, Tate worked in Business Development for Terra Farma in Owensboro, KY.
In the summer of 2018, Tate was also selected to the board of the inaugural Kentucky Hemp Farmers Association. His expertise in insurance, sales, small business, and the hemp industry brings an interesting dynamic to the development of the hemp industry in Western Kentucky and beyond.
JANA GRODA (VICE PRESIDENT)
ONE LOVE HEMP DISENSARY AND DISTRIBUTING (FOUNDER/CAO)
Jana has been involved with the Kentucky Hemp program since 2015. CBD became a game changer for her while recovering from injuries she sustained in a forty-five foot fall in a climbing accident. She developed a deep and meaningful relationship with Hemp though personal experience, courses, study, participating in a Kentucky based grow and obtaining a seat on the board of the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association.
Inspired to seek deeper knowledge of cannabis and nontoxic plant based chronic pain relief, Jana began to travel to better educate herself and bring back knowledge and tools to anyone who could benefit. Jana holds a Second Level Interpening Certification for the Trichome Institute located in Denver, CO. In August of 2018, Jana teamed up with Nancy Roberts to make their dream come true of opening a dispensary in Kentucky. At One Love Hemp Dispensary, Jana can be found “talking terps” and spreading the love of Hemp.
Victory Hemp Foods (Founder, CEO)
Chad moved from California in 2014 and put down roots in Northern Kentucky, where his company Victory Hemp Foods is based. Victory Hemp Foods processes American Grown Hemp Seeds into Hemp Heart, Hemp Seed Oil, and Hemp Seed Protein at their facilities in Kentucky and Vermont. Chad is an entrepreneur passionate about developing impact based businesses with sustainable supply chains. A graduate of the Village Capital Agricultural Accelerator his network in the food system is far reaching at high levels in the private and public sectors. The White House invited Chad to represent Kentucky and Victory Hemp Foods at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Palo Alto, where he met with POTUS’s Entrepreneurial Ambassadors and 700 other entrepreneurs from 170 countries to work on solving for some of the world most pressing issues here at home and abroad, including food security. He’s dedicated to bringing hemp into the rural economy where sustainable economic development is a priority.
Matthew Smith, J.D.
Campbell & Smith (Founder, Partner)
Matthew Smith is an Attorney-at-Law licensed to practice in the state of Kentucky. Matthew received his B.A. from Centre College and his M.B.A from Walden University before eventually going back to school to earn his J.D. from Northern Kentucky Chase College of Law. Prior to going to law school Matthew worked as a financial advisor with Waddell and Reed where he focused on asset protection. His practice at Campbell & Smith Law is focused partially on businesses involved with the development of Hemp in the state of Kentucky.
Kathryn Breiwa Robertson
GenCanna Global (V.P. External Relations)
Kathryn Breiwa Robertson was born and raised in Bowling Green, Kentucky and graduated from Western Kentucky University with degrees in communication, marketing and business. She later obtained a Masters in communication studies from the University of Texas at Austin. She began her career in politics as an intern in the office of Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and later served in management in Mitt Romney’s Presidential campaign. She then moved back to western Kentucky where she served as a regional field director for the Republican Party of Kentucky. After completing her role there, Kathryn became the executive director of American’s for Growth, Opportunity and Prosperity, a super PAC focused during the 2015 gubernatorial primary on nominating then agriculture commissioner James Comer. Her role with GenCanna Global relocated her to central Kentucky and transitioned her from a campaign concentration to a community relations focus. As the Vice President of External Relations, Kathryn primarily focuses on community engagement, government affairs and charitable giving. Kathryn grew up in Bowling Green. She now resides in Lexington with her husband, Steve and son Benjamin.
Joseph W. Hickey
Venture Development (Founder) Atalo Holdings, Inc.
Mr. Hickey’s roots in the hemp industry began in 1993 as founder and Executive Director of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative. Soon after, he was convincing then Gov. Brereton Jones to form the Hemp Task Force (to study the feasibility of hemp as a Kentucky cash crop). In 1998, Mr. Hickey was a founder and board member of Kenex Ltd, Canada’s first commercial hemp seed and fiber processing company. For over a decade, Mr. Hickey helped start and grow a number of environmentally conscious and organizations, including Tierra Madre, LLC with Woody Harrelson, Baswood, and Prairie Pulp & Paper. Upon Kentucky’s reintroduction of hemp in early 2014, Mr. Hickey became a founding member of Hemp Oil Kentucky, Kentucky Hemp Seed Research & Development Co. and Kenex Kentucky. He is currently working with farmers, state regulators and attorneys to bring Kentucky its first commercial scale hemp seed breeding, crushing, and fiber processing facility.
Kentucky's Best Hemp (Business Development Specialist)
Shane is a very passionate Kentuckian when it comes to Kentucky’s Agriculture and the Hemp industry. Shane is Kentucky to his core, he is a descendant of Squire Boone — Daniel Boone’s brother who helped to settle Kentucky as a territory and was one of the first farmers in the state. He is a 3rd generation farmer, Co-Owner of Chapel Hill Farms and Cattle Co. in Marion Kentucky and is a Kentucky Colonel. Shane completed his degree in Agriculture from the University of Kentucky in 1995 and went on to complete the Community Leadership Development Masters program at the University of Kentucky.
Essentially Hemp (Co-Owner)
John graduated from the University of Ky with a degree in Agriculture Economics. He and his wife, Phyllis became licensed growers of industrial hemp in 2016, and licensed processors in 2017 under the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Industrial Hemp research pilot program. John is the co-owner of Essentially Hemp, a retail and wholesale hemp CBD company.
Stites & Harbison PLLC (Attorney)
Rick Vance’s practice focuses on real estate law, antitrust, trade associations, financial institutions and the industrial hemp industry. He is based in the Louisville office and specializes in advising industrial hemp entrepreneurs and financial institutions on federal and Kentucky compliance issues. Rick graduated with a B.A. with distinction, in Government and Foreign Affairs in 1978 from the University of Virginia, then received his J.D. with high distinction in 1984 from the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Pharmco by Greenfield Global (Extraction Market Specialist)
Alva is an Extraction Market Specialist for Pharmco by Greenfield Global. Greenfield is an ethanol producer in Shelbyville KY that supplies high purity processing solvents to the extraction industry. Alva has a passion for this industry and wants to help educate on the importance of quality supply to processing facilities.
Mechanical Engineer – Bio-Materials
Patrick Flaherty is a multi-talented and creative Mechanical Engineer focused on bio-material development and applications. He currently helps clients develop new and innovative bio-materials and products. He is an expert in the applications of bio-materials and manufacturing systems utilizing bio-materials for composites, non-wovens, and compounded polymers. With his lab and manufacturing capabilities and assets, combined with years of specialized experience, he has an unmatched ability for product, application, and manufacturing systems development for these materials. He was a founding member of Sunstrand, and recently left his position as VP of Product Development and Lead Engineer to pursue other industry interests and passion projects. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on polymer composite manufacturing and testing. He has co-authored a book chapter on bast fiber processing as well as several conference and academic research papers and presents at natural fiber and composite related events.
Hemp Ventures (President)
Ryan Doherty is a driven entrepreneur focused on sustainable materials and rapidly renewable resources to end our dependence on petrochemical and timber products. Currently working to reintroduce industrial hemp to the North American market along with the social, economic, and environmental benefits of industrial hemp production and processing. Ryan is a graduate of James Madison University and an avid outdoorsman.