This industry wasn't on our radar because, frankly, this product wasn't on our radar.
But one ordinary weekday in Manhattan, Hawaii Mike Salman and I were practically dragged out to dinner in midtown by a mutual friend not named Sharon. We'd known each other for nearly two decades but probably hadn't seen each other in 5 years. The meeting was necessary because we needed to work together as Hawaii and I were embarking in old worlds but on new terms.
Working with Hawaii was a no-brainer because a) he knew his business and b) we bonded over fatherhood to creative young men of color - whole other conversation.
But I became fully engaged in the industry as I began to learn the focus that the industry was giving to entrepreneurs that were severely punished for decades. Their inclusion in this freshly legalized industry is an important discussion and heavily impacts the communities that drove the business when it was always a crime.
About 2 years ago I had the opportunity to sit at a roundtable with Governor John W. Hickenlooper of Colorado. Thirty minutes of the morning's discussion revolved around the economic impact to the state, but there was no discussion with respect to the inclusion of people of color in the new business model that put Colorado on the map.
Hawaii's dinners from Chef for Higher are amazing opportunities to learn the responsibility and etiquette involved in this world. But it's the other conversations that he's actively engaged in with his agency focused on the bigger picture that makes our connection invaluable.
And thanks to our friend - not Sharon - that took her "nephew" to see Hawaii share his message at ComplexCon.
- Good things.