Co-founder and Executive Director Nelson Guerrero
Nelson Guerrero is the Executive Director of the Cannabis Cultural Association. He is a bilingual Ecuadorian-American, who is an alumnus of City University of New York, Lehman College. After successfully educating his traditional, Latin family about the benefits of cannabis, Nelson co-founded the Cannabis Cultural Association in 2016. Through the CCA Nelson works to end the stigma around cannabis use by educating all people, both in English and in Spanish, about the benefits that cannabis offers. The CCA achieved § 501(c)(3) non-profit status in February 2017 and, among other things, emphasizes criminal justice reform, promotes access to medical cannabis, and advocates legalization for adult-use of cannabis. He has coordinated and organized several events for cannabis education, entrepreneurship, and advocacy/activism. Nelson and the CCA are currently plaintiffs suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and The Drug Enforcement Agency. alongside Alexis Bortell, Marvin Washington, Jose Belen and Jagger Cote, for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
Co-founder and Deputy Director Jake Plowden
Jake Plowden is the deputy director and a co-founder of The Cannabis Cultural Association, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that provides resources for disenfranchised communities to get into legal cannabis and hemp. Growing up in Brooklyn and Harlem, he has witnessed firsthand the destructive components of the Drug War and its socioeconomic effects on African American/Latinx communities.
The CCA educates in both English and Spanish to ensure that communities are not lost in translation or left behind in the green rush.
He co-founded the CCA alongside Nelson Guerrero back in 2016 in response to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the growing cannabis industry, especially for millennials of color. He produces and organizes events surrounding cannabis education, entrepreneurship, policy, advocacy/activism, and the the War On Drugs’ effects on communities of color. He uses photography and writing to further understanding of the intercultural experiences within drug policy.
He also the executive producer and co-host of the weekly podcast “In The Know 420” with criminal attorney and cannabis advocate Joseph Bondy.
Jake and the CCA are suing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and The Drug Enforcement Agency. alongside Alexis Bortell, Jose Belen, Jagger Cotte, and Marvin Washington for the removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.
Board President Amanda Reyes
Operational Excellence / PMO and Program Leadership / Client Relationship Management / Staff Development Integration Management / Change Agent / Strategic Planning / Business Development / Profit Generation / Negotiations / Budgets
Proven executive with expertise in operations, program / project, and integration management, process development / refinement, financial oversight, and team leadership. Well-versed in major process and development methodologies in digital and traditional marketing. Drives efficiencies and profitability. Proactively supervises relationships, budgets and new business growth. Skilled conflict resolver. Solutions-oriented; excels under pressure. Motivational team leader who provides clear direction and feedback in pursuit of objectives.
Board Vice President Joseph A. Bondy
Joseph A. Bondy is a volunteer director. He is a criminal defense attorney in private practice in Manhattan. Mr. Bondy is a member of the bar of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York, Colorado and Connecticut, the First, Second, Third, and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and the United States Supreme Court. In addition to winning unlikely trial acquittals and post-conviction reversals of clients' convictions, Mr. Bondy's federal sentencing advocacy has collectively saved clients well over a millennium in prison.
Named one of the Top 100 Criminal Trial Lawyers by the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Bondy has been characterized by the New York Times as "Eloquent and armed with the serene demeanor of a surgeon," with an "oratorical intensity" that "hovers at the evangelistic," and by alma mater Brooklyn Law School as "among the top criminal defense lawyers in the city." Specialties: Defense of complex criminal cases, from pre-arrest, to trial, sentencing, and appeals; civil rights litigation.
Board Treasurer Zachary Tyson
Zachary Tyson a New York native, graduated University of Vermont (’13) with a Major in Sociology. After University, Zachary followed his passion for social justice and interned with the Chittenden County Public Defendender’s office in Burlington, VT as a Criminal Defense Investigator handling misdemeanors and assisting on felony cases. In early 2015 Zachary joined the Madison Avenue firm, Hiller, PC as a Paralegal and is currently the Senior Paralegal at the firm. In 2016, Zachary was offered and accepted a seat on the Board of Directors of CCA in an effort to promote social justice and cannabis law reform.
Board Communication Director Leland
Leland is a public relations professional experienced in social justice, behavioral change, and advocacy campaigns. A long-time cannabis legalization activist, he's worked in top communication positions not only in the cannabis industry but also in real estate.
Leland has worked on local, state and national cannabis campaigns such as decriminalizing cannabis in New York City by attempting to close NYPD’s “in public view” arrest loophole, passing New York’s medical marijuana program in 2015, and the current push for adult-use legalization.
He also founded a local New York City chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, where he met Jacob Plowden his then Co-President. Through SSDP, they organized a local campaign implementing language from New York State's Good Samaritan/Medical Amnesty policy at CUNY Baruch College and was part of the historic national campaign in November 2016 to legalize cannabis in several states across the country.
Board Secretary Sarah Stenuf
Sarah Stenuf is the founder of Veteran’s Ananda Inc and a member of the board of directors as well as our President and Director. Stenuf founded Veteran’s Ananda to help fellow armed service members and their families who suffer from post-service issues by providing them a one-stop shop where they can obtain support, care, rest, relaxation, and alternative treatments and therapies through individualized, selfpaced but structured programs that will provide opportunities and incentives while building trust and creating hope.
Sarah served for 4 years and 1 deployment to Afghanistan on active duty in the U.S. Army. She served as an Apache helicopter crew chief, during which time she rose to the position of Training NCOIC (noncommissioned officer in charge), leading the training command readiness, of the company consisting of over 270 soldiers. She attended numerous certification classes while in service to be optimal in her career and training, she is an AIT (advanced individualized training) Distinguished Honor Graduate where she was awarded her crew chief wings; she has an expert marksmanship badge, a combat action badge, several presidential physical fitness awards, as well as multiple personal and unit citation awards; prior to her being medical retired for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and seizures from epilepsy due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Now Sarah is an outspoken advocate, activist, and entrepreneur. She has traveled the world as a motivational and inspirational speaker, having spoken at business and educational events with professional athletes, celebrities, politicians, world renown doctors and psychologists, and fellow advocates. Sarah serves on the executive board for two other non-profit organizations, helping them obtain optimal results and be successful in their mission.
Stenuf is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and Accounting. She has completed several business and entrepreneur certification courses through the SBA (small business administration) and Syracuse University – IVMF. Having attended several courses to advance in her business and entrepreneur knowledge to include: VWISE through IVFM at Syracuse University, Boots to Business through the SBA, Arm to Farm, as well as Onward to Opportunity through Syracuse University where she obtained her Project Management certification. Stenuf also has numerous certification in horticulture and agriculture from various institutions and universities throughout the country. Stenuf has made numerous appearances on shows and is featured in several publication to include: NYPost, Forbes, High Times, SyracusePost, NY Daily News, AuburnPub, Morning Consult, and Honesysuckle magazine.