Board Member Bios
Husband, Father and Grandfather, Scott has been engaged with the cannabis industry in Humboldt County for 30 years. His family owned and operated farm is in Honeydew, where he cut his teeth as a cultivator and from where he's had a front row seat for the changes in the cannabis industry from the 1980's onward. With a background in engineering, Scott's passion has always been the intersection of responsible cultivation with the world-class cannabis terroir of Humboldt County.
More recently, Scott co-founded Humboldt Legends, a local company focused on delivering world-class cannabis from Humboldt County's best farmers. Having a range of real-world experience has been an asset in building this California brand, one that reflects the values and qualities unique to Humboldt County.
Scott is excited and motivated to put his knowledge and experience to work building a strong future for Humboldt County's world-class cannabis industry.
Scott Vasterling’s prolific career blends decades of leadership in health and wellness marketing and sales with his family’s thriving Humboldt farming, distribution and restaurant businesses.
As co-founder of Humboldt Family Farms, HumCann and Pacific Crest Distribution, Vasterling guides the vision and daily business operations of the three Humboldt-based entities that support regional farms, including his own. His foray into Humboldt farming began in 2007 when he and his wife and co-founder Alice formed Humboldt Family Farms to grow produce for their local cafes. Now, his three main farming-related businesses cultivate and distribute local produce and cannabis from the Humboldt region to the rest of the State. His depth of expertise in health and medicine, sales and distribution has proved to be a potent combination that benefits his businesses as well as local Humboldt farmers.
Vasterling spent two decades in the health and wellness industries working for leading global and Fortune 100 companies including Johnson & Johnson, and most recently Novo Nordisk, supporting rural medical staff and institutions with education promoting diet and exercise care management. Through his tenure in healthcare, Vasterling successfully navigated the idiosyncrasies of these heavily regulated industries as a member of a product company working day in and day out with the FDA.
In addition to his daily entrepreneurial duties, he is currently in the Humboldt County and California State permitting process for cannabis cultivation and distribution to support family farmers with a smooth transition into an incredibly regulated business environment.
Vasterling’s passion for his family’s business is rivaled only by his passion for the outdoors. A seasoned “thru-hiker,” he has backpacked several monumental long-distance trails including the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Arizona Trail.
Kaylie has been working tirelessly on cannabis compliance and policy both through her position as Partner and General Manager of Green Road Consulting, Inc., a local civil engineering firm, and as proprietor of Forbidden Fruit Farms, Inc., her family’s multigenerational cannabis farm in Southern Humboldt County and the first cannabis farm in the State of California to receive an annual cultivation license through CDFA.
Graduating from Western Oregon University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Legal Studies, Kaylie has been working with hundreds of farmers throughout Humboldt County since 2016 on licensing through Humboldt County Planning and Building, CDFA Cal-Cannabis, North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and State Water Resources Control Board.
Her belief in strong communication, creativity, and community unification is what she has built her cannabis career around, and providing for her one fierce and tireless kiddo is her driving force in seeing Humboldt County’s local cannabis community succeed.
Patrick Kanzler has been involved in the Humboldt County cannabis industry for over 12 years. Primarily on the horticulture supply side, he currently served as General Manager for Humboldt Wholesale (House and Garden Nutrients) and is currently the CEO for Solstice Agriculture, distributor for Front Row Ag Nutrients.
In 2013, he founded Peak Industries, Humboldt County's first cannabis vape brand. He has also served as VP of Marketing at BEAR Extraction House, in Arcata’s Cannabis Innovation Zone.
Over a decade of business representing Humboldt to growers around the world has provided valuable experience and insight. Recognizing the unapologetic, fiercely independent, local culture, Patrick hopes to help Humboldt County's Cannabis industry transition into the regulatory world, while maintaining its unique heritage. Patrick is a father of two, holds a BA in Religious Studies and is a certified Yoga instructor and US Army veteran.
Aaron is co-owner and operator of Paradise Valley Farms in Southern Humboldt and is “excited for the opportunity to represent Humboldt county farmers and work towards a positive future for our industry and the county as a whole.”
Born and raised in Humboldt County, Aaron left the north coast to continue his education at the University of Oregon, receiving a B.S. in General Science and a minor in Business management. After completing his education, Aaron completed a year of Americorp service working with underprivileged schools in San Jose, CA.
After working in the Bay Area in the cannabis industry for several years Aaron developed a passion for being a hands-on cannabis cultivator. Aaron has been growing sun-grown cannabis in the Southern Humboldt area since 2012, and in 2016 co-founded Paradise Valley Farms which now a holds a provisional license for outdoor cultivation.
Aaron has a strong interest in the longterm preservation of Humboldt county’s culture and economy. In 2018, Aaron was a member of Arcata’s Economic Development Committee. His goals are to assist in developing a cannabis economy that enriches the natural environment, provides quality opportunities for employees, and continues Humboldt’s unique cultural history.
Born and raised in Humboldt County, Stacia graduated with a business degree from UC Santa Barbara and promptly returned to Humboldt where she started developing real estate and eventually was politically involved in the development of the City of Arcata’s Cannabis Innovation Zone (CIZ). During the development of the CIZ, she fought hard to ensure there was inclusion for the emerging local cannabis companies. Once the CIZ was approved she and her partners developed the West End Campus, which is now home to nine local cannabis companies, including Bear Extraction House, which she co-founded.
Stacia is currently an executive at Bear and its sister companies, where she specializes in marketing and branding, business development, and compliance.
Stacia is married to Casey and has three kids. In addition to their work for Bear and the West End Campus, she and Casey manage their family cannabis farms in Willow Creek.
Stacia is happy to support HCGA’s mission by providing expertise in manufacturing, business development, marketing and branding. She is passionate about making sure there is long term economic prosperity for Humboldt’s cannabis industry and that Humboldt stays positioned to able to compete on a state and (someday) national level.
Natalynne, HCGA co-founder and Executive Director, brings more than a decade of experience in organizational development and management and community organizing to the table. Prior to stepping into the role of Executive Director, she acted as HCGA's Operations Director from 2016- 2020. She's worked with non-profits, trade associations, on project-based public relations strategies, and election campaigns. She holds a degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Humboldt State University.
Previously Natalynne worked with a regional environmental advocacy organization to protect and restore the forests of Northwest California. During her tenure she developed extensive experience in nonprofit management. In addition, she developed relationships with state and regional legislators and regulators, and built alliances with land managers and owners. Between 2014 and 2015, Natalynne helped facilitate dialogue between environmental organizations, cannabis farmers, and the public. By working across political boundaries Natalynne helped shape Humboldt County’s landmark Medical Marijuana Land Use Ordinance for the benefit of farms, forests and fish. She initially became involved with the burgeoning public discourse of how to effectively regulate cannabis agriculture in 2010 while managing the successful political campaign to re-elect District Attorney Paul Gallegos.
In addition to her work with HCGA, Natalynne is also Executive Director of the Humboldt Community Business Development Center (HCBDC). She holds a certification from the Cascadia Center for Leadership with skills in public engagement and meeting facilitation.
MEMBER SUCCESS EXECUTIVE
Heather got her start in community organizing and leadership as Region One President of California Association of Student Councils in 2004. In this role, she supported students within Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, and Tehama Counties by developing student leadership conferences and attending state-wide conferences.
Heather graduated from Dartmouth College in 2009 with a Bachelors in Sociology and a minor in German Studies. During her education,Heather worked as the Student Director for National Internships at the Dartmouth Center for Social Justice, placing and supporting students in internships with non-profits nationwide. After studying abroad in Berlin and teaching high school for a year in the Marshall Islands, she returned to her hometown of McKinleyville in Humboldt County. There, she served with YouthServe AmeriCorps mentoring at-risk high school students experiencing barriers to higher education.
Between 2016-2018, Heather was a founding member of 350 Humboldt, a local chapter of an international climate advocacy group and served on the Steering Committee. Heather assisted in writing, developing, and lobbying for the 100% Clean Energy Resolutions successfully passed by Eureka and Arcata City Councils as well as McKinleyville Community Services District and the Board of Supervisors.
In her capacity as Account Executive with Lost Coast Communications since 2016, Heather has helped countless businesses in Humboldt County to develop and implement diverse marketing strategies. Heather is a creative and analytical thinker able to work collaboratively with members of the business and civic communities while crafting high-level tactics to drive business success.
Heather holds a Digital Communications & Imaging certificate from Humboldt State University and has presented workshops for the North Coast Youth Summit. She has also been a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters since 2016. Her favorite class at Dartmouth was organic farming and she is an avid hobby gardener.
Ross graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Following college, he worked for the Atlanta Urban Debate League, a non-profit that teaches debate and advocacy skills to middle and high school students. As a program coordinator and teacher, Ross worked with students to develop skills in advocacy, community organization, and conflict mediation.
Ross moved to Oakland in 2015 and worked as a paralegal at Robert A. Raich, P.C., a law firm specializing in medical cannabis business law. At the firm, he helped a wide range of farmers, manufacturers, and delivery service operators navigate collective and cooperative laws under Proposition 215 and SB 420, and came to understand the uniquely diverse, independent, and values-driven businesses that make up the California cannabis community. As MMRSA and Prop 64 were passed and then implemented, he developed an up-close perspective on how new laws and regulations were impacting the legacy cannabis community in Northern California.
In 2018, Ross began working with the California Growers Association as policy staff, supporting CGA’s legislative affairs program and leading CGA’s regulatory affairs program. He transitioned to policy work with HCGA in early 2019, and after many visits to the North Coast, moved to Humboldt full-time in June 2019.
Alegria Sita is the Founding Owner of Gala Events and Weddings, a local event planning company started in 2011. While weddings are the bulk of her business, she also supports businesses with product launches, mixers, workshops, and conferences. In 2018 she assisted HCGA with the Meet the Buyer Conference in Fortuna, CA; and then as an event coordinator she assisted the Historic Eagle House in hosting HCGA's House of Humboldt in 2019 and several other cannabis industry mixers and events.
Alegria's love of event planning, organizing and hospitality began at the age of 13 when she worked on producing events for her school. She continued building these skills through college at Humboldt State University. She received her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Communications and Leadership Studies. Throughout her education, Alegria worked for local non-profits mentoring K-12 youth and supporting them in planning, designing, and implementing their own events.
2015 - 2018 Alegria served as an elected Board Member for the Humboldt County Convention and Visitor's Bureau promoting tourism; now she serves as Marketing Chair on the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation Board.
Alegria has directly and indirectly been involved with the cannabis community since she moved to Humboldt in 1996. She has developed a love for all things entrepreneurship and is passionate about supporting all Humboldt Businesses to thrive.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION & MARKETING
As Director of Marketing and Education for HCGA/HCBDC, Nicole leads the research, design, strategy, and implementation of the organization’s marketing and education initiatives. Her approach is data-based and implemented through internal and stakeholder consensus building. She is the founder of Manifesto Synergies, a consulting firm for marketing strategies to the Humboldt cannabis industry. Nicole was for nine years Director of Marketing and Business Development at Marimba One, an Arcata-based niche manufacturer of high-end craft instruments where she designed and managed brand differentiation and global business development.
Jason Bryant is Principal of Bryant Government Affairs and brings a wealth of experience in California legislative, political and public affairs gained from work both inside the Legislature and the third house. As the company's principal, Jason Bryant has worked in California's government affairs arena for nearly 20 years having served as a senior lobbyist and as a political affairs director for two major trade associations. He also served as a senior staff member in the California State Assembly and at the office of the Secretary of State.
Bryant Government Affairs provides timely intelligence for its clients on emerging opportunities and threats, allowing them to harness their grassroots capability to proactively take action on an initiative. With the ability to identify each organization’s unique needs and optimal strategy, Bryant is a highly effective advocate that can rely on experience for nearly any legislative, regulatory or pollical challenge.
Through sound strategy and trusted relationships with key legislative leadership and administration staff members, Jason has successfully achieved numerous legislative and regulatory victories in health care, environmental, land use, energy, agriculture, judicial policy during his career.
Bryant Government Affairs not only offers its clients an opportunity to effectively navigate the legislative process, it also provides strategic political advice and creates long-term plans to maximize its client’s political influence. Bryant is among the most seasoned professionals in California’s political arena, having overseen millions of dollars in spending on numerous winning programs to support or oppose candidates and ballot measures. His expertise allows his clients to design programs that wisely manage their contributions and recruit allies that will strengthen their political presence in California.
Bryant is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a degree in government. While studying, he served in the Leadership and Public Service Program at the Leon Panetta Institute and following graduation he was accepted into the prestigious Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship Program.