Marielle Weintraub

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Member
President

Marielle Weintraub, Ph.D. is the new Director of Scientific Research and Development for Zilis, LLC, a company focused on researching, developing endocannabinoid-based products. Prior to joining Zilis, Marielle was the Strategic Business Development Director of the Hemp Initiative at Eurofins Food Integrity and Innovation (formerly Covance Food Solutions). In this role, she introduced the hemp industry and their needs for valid and reliable testing to Covance (2016) and continued to drive development of hemp-specific testing and standards until she left Eurofins in 2019. Marielle is very active in many dietary supplement and hemp industry trade associations, including her role as a founding board member and the current President for the US Hemp Authority, a member of the US Hemp Roundtable - Analytical Standards Technical Committee, a member of the American Herbal Products Association - Cannabis Committee and a member of the United Natural Products Alliance - Hemp Extracts/CBD committee. Marielle earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience from Texas Christian University in 2011 and 2014, respectively, focusing her research on Alzheimer's disease pathology, including the accumulation of amyloid-beta plaques and prevention of cognitive deficits resulting from peripheral inflammation.

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Joy Beckerman

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Member
1st Vice President

Joy Beckerman is the Principal at Hemp Ace International, a New York-based consulting, legal support and expert witness firm serving the global community, as well as the Regulatory Officer & Industry Liaison for Elixinol, an international leader in superior quality hemp extracts, and Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of Colorado Hemp Works, the nation’s first post-prohibition hemp grain processing facility. She is the President of the Hemp Industries Association®, founded in 1994, and is an Executive Vice President of the U.S. Hemp Roundtable. After joining the Cannabis Movements in the spring of 1990, Joy opened the first hemp store in the State of New York, in Woodstock, in 1994. She also led her first legalization march and rally at that time. When the inaugural Vermont Hemp Bill passed in 1996, Joy was appointed to serve as Secretary to the Vermont Hemp Council.

While continuing her work in industrial hemp, Joy commenced an extensive dual career in compliance and complex civil litigation legal support in late 1998, supporting some of the West Coast’s most distinguished attorneys at such firms as Dorsey & Whitney and Lee Smart. In addition to working on the high-profile Enron and Exxon Valdez cases against those corporations, Joy has been the Lead Paralegal for several multi-million-dollar civil lawsuits, including the largest municipal securities fraud litigation in the history of Washington State. Her vast professional and hemp experience well serves her roles as an effective advisor and respected voice and leader in shaping law, policy, standards, and ethics in the rapidly developing hemp industries. Joy is a renowned public speaker, writer, and educator throughout North America, instructing on hemp subjects from history, law, agronomy, and infrastructure to permaculture, hempcrete, and the wide spectrum of hemp industries. In addition to conducting continuing legal education seminars for practicing attorneys, she has presented at numerous universities, colleges, and conferences for more than two decades. Joy is also a Guest Lecturer at Seattle University School of Law and Oregon State University.

Joy officially formed Hemp Ace International in February of 2014. Permaculture and regenerative agriculture are the foundation of Joy’s mission, and they play a fundamental role in her work and purpose. As the Principal Consultant at Hemp Ace International, Joy provides comprehensive professional industrial hemp consulting, legal support, expert witness, and brokering services throughout the globe. Her world class instructional programs are enhanced by her international network of industrial hemp agronomists, breeders, processors, manufacturers and experts. She is a broker-distributor of a wide spectrum of industrial hemp raw and processed materials and manufactured goods, including fiber, biomass, genetics, bulk food ingredients, building materials, textiles, rope/cordage/yarns, apparel, paper, body care, cannabinoids, and biocomposite/bioresin components.

Joy received the Hemp Industries Association’s “2014 National Hemp Activist of the Year” Award and Seattle Hempfest’s “2016 Regional Cannabis Activist of the Year” Award. She works with lawmakers and regulators both federally and in multiple states as a grassroots activist, both proactively and upon request. Educated stewardship of the extraordinarily versatile hemp crop and industries is Joy’s calling and driving force.

 

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Richard A. Badaracco

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Member
2nd Vice President

Richard A. Badaracco is an accomplished law enforcement professional with nearly four decades of service in public safety and law enforcement, and nearly two decades of executive, command and supervisory experience. Among his varied roles and responsibilities, Rich served as an Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Detroit and Louisville, the Staff Coordinator at DEA Headquarters in Washington DC, the Interim Chief of Police for the Corpus Christi Police Department, the Commissioner of the Department of Criminal Investigations for Kentucky's Attorney General, and the Executive Director of Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

 

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Jonathan Shell

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Member
Treasurer

Jonathan Shell is the Campaign Chairman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Director of State Initiatives for the Pegasus Institute, a Louisville-based conservative think-tank specializing in public policy research.

From 2017-2019, Shell served as the first Republican Majority Floor Leader in the history of the Commonwealth. He served as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2013-2019, representing Garrard, Rockcastle, and part of Madison Counties.

In 2015, he was selected to serve as the House Republican Caucus Campaign Chairman, where he was in charge of overseeing all Republican recruitment for the 2016 House elections. In November of 2016, Republicans picked up 17 seats and took the majority for the first time in 95 years, and his colleagues rewarded his efforts by electing him House Majority Leader.

During his time in the General Assembly, Shell championed issues aimed at improving Kentucky’s economy and protecting life, including infrastructure and workforce development measures, right-to-work, and numerous pro-life bills. He has also worked diligently to ensure that vital infrastructure needs are met, as displayed by his securing passage of a major I-75 widening project in Rockcastle County.

In August of 2017, Shell was named Campaign Chairman for the re-election of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell. Shell will be leading McConnell’s grassroots efforts, including traveling the state and organizing voters in support of McConnell, who also serves as Majority Leader of the United States Senate. In announcing the move, McConnell commended Shell for “dedicating his professional life to advancing conservative values” as well as stating that Shell’s “experience, leadership, and commitment to public service will prove to be invaluable assets to the campaign team.”

In his role with the Pegasus Institute, Shell is focused on expanding the organization’s footprint across the Commonwealth.

Shell helps manage Shell Farms, a 1,200-acre family farm based in his hometown of Lancaster, KY. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Jonathan and his wife, Brooke, are the proud parents of three young children, Jaxson, Lydia, and Reagan, and the attend Pilot Knob Missionary Baptist Church in Berea.

 

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Ron Conyea

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Member
Director

Ron Conyea is a grower representative for GenCanna Global US, Inc. and resides in Graves County KY. Ron is a hemp and tobacco farmer as well as a crop adjuster. Ron and his wife are the proud parents to two children.

Elected to the Authority Board by the board of directors of the US Hemp Farming Alliance to represent the interests of hemp farmers.

 

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Nathan Gerhardt

U.S. Hemp Authority Board Member
Director

Nathan Gerhardt is the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance for Charlotte's Web, Inc., the market leader in the production and distribution of innovative hemp-derived cannabidiol ("CBD") wellness products. Mr. Gerhardt is an accomplished legal executive with over 15 years' experience devising and implementing practical solutions to complex problems in the food, beverage and dietary supplement space. Immediately prior to joining Charlotte's Web, Mr. Gerhardt served as Associate General Counsel and Sr. Director of Quality for Omega Protein Corporation, a nutritional specialty oils and proteins products company, where he was responsible for the company's legal, regulatory and quality functions. Prior to this, Mr. Gerhardt served as General Counsel for a fast-growing dietary supplement company where he was responsible for the company's legal and regulatory functions, as well as quality. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Gerhardt served as a naval officer in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Gerhardt holds a Juris Doctor and MBA from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Washington.