Chief of Staff | Evergreen Herbal
At 30, Rachael Caldwell was ready to leave Chicago and her career in insurance for a chance to join the cannabis industry in either Seattle or Denver. She left the choice between the two cities up to her children.
“They were old enough to have a say and they chose Seattle, so we packed up and moved to Seattle,” she says, looking back at the choice more than six years later. “I feel like we landed where we were supposed to be.”
In hindsight, the move to Seattle was extremely fortuitous for Caldwell who admits she was ready to take a job trimming or working on a retail sales floor, but instead landed an executive assistant position for the cannabis manufacturing company Evergreen Herbal. Moving from insurance and into Washington’s over-regulated cannabis market actually played to her strengths, and Caldwell quickly demonstrated her ability to understand regulations and implement new processes and SOPs for the company.
“When I took this job as an assistant, it was really just to get my foot in the door and I really hoped that in time, they would see all the other things I was good at — and that’s just what happened,” she says. “I definitely learned a lot from our CEO, Marco [Hoffman]. He’s honestly the best boss I have ever had.”
During the next six years Caldwell moved from assistant to project manager, then to overseeing product development, then worked as the company’s compliance officer before taking her current position as chief of staff.
Although her title is chief of staff, Caldwell’s role at Evergreen Herbal actually extends far beyond HR responsibilities.
“I am responsible for making sure the vision of the company is being upheld,” she says. “From the products that we produce, the way that we produce them, the way that they’re sold, to making sure that all of our customers are receiving the same experience.”
Caldwell says her ascension in the company is her biggest milestone and she is ever thankful for her opportunity at Evergreen and the support she received from Hoffman, its president, Andrew Brassington, and chief operating officer Jackie Brassington — and to her children who happened to pick Seattle over Denver.
“I think that Colorado was probably a little further along in some aspects and so having been able to grow with this industry has given me a lot of opportunity for my own growth as well, which has been exciting,” she says.