Sira Spotlight: Dwan Packnett, VP Government Relations & Community Investment
Posted by Andrew Sharp & Jimmy Long on July 14, 2020
The Sira Spotlight series focuses on one of the most interesting aspects of Sira Naturals: our people. Each month, we highlight members of our staff from across the entire organization.
In this Sira Spotlight, we are highlighting our VP of Government Relations and Community Investment, Dwan Packnett to learn more about her role in shaping the organization’s focus in the communities it serves and beyond.
Dwan Packnett, VP Government Relations & Community Investment
How long have you been a part of the Sira Team?
Dwan: 10 months. In October 2019, Sira created a Government Relations & Community Investment department to develop collaborative strategies with measurable outcomes for impacted communities left behind by the War on Drugs.
What has your past work in Government and Community Relations entailed?
Dwan: Most recently with the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at the City of Boston; Department of Neighborhood Development – Managed the 1st time Homebuyer Program; Coordinated Neighborhood Stabilization Program (Foreclosures); Lawyer Emory University in Atlanta; Undergrad BS Business Administration major Accounting University of Illinois at Chicago; Land Acquisition 1996 Olympic Games and Land Acquisition consultant throughout the southeast; Executive Director College Partners, Inc. – Spelman College, Morehouse College (MLK’s alma mater) and Morehouse School of Medicine 501C3 development Corporation.
How have your past experiences informed your current work at Sira?
Dwan: Sometimes the right path or best idea is beyond your imagination – it hasn’t been done before – so I am open to the unfamiliar or uncomfortable and most willing to take a chance.
What is your favorite product at Sira and why?
Dwan: Gummies – sativa infused or not!
What new and exciting initiatives is Sira working towards in the communities it operates in?
Dwan: Partnership with Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS); Economic Development/ workforce training and opportunities; Accelerator 2.0
PPE donation as part of Sira.Community’s COVID-19 response
What’s been your favorite experience working with Sira?
Dwan: I love the strategic challenge of bringing together all of my passions of working with community, politics, and policy.
What’s new with the Sira Accelerator program?
Dwan: Accelerator 2.0 – a Sira team effort focused on using our innovation and expertise to help Economic Empowerment Applicants open their Adult Use Retail stores. We are excited to be working with three applicants who will open sometime this spring/summer.
What does the Sira.Community program entail?
Dwan: Sira.Community is focused on portable job skills that empower individuals from communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs to create careers within the cannabis industry. It is a three-phase program of community engagement, job training, workforce development, as well as empowering entrepreneurs. Participants receive training and mentoring to help them decide in what capacity they would like to engage the cannabis industry. Participants will have access to entry level positions, or through extensive training and mentorship become entrepreneurs.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
Dwan: I enjoy – Laughter; Books especially historical biographies; all things Meghan Markle; Volunteering – Marathon (they give great swag i.e., the Jacket) and politics, elections, Ward 21 Brighton (also great swag and a lot of drinking); Chardonnay and French fries; Coffee shops and scones; walking and spin bikes; clothes; and music – from Bach to Beyonce’; and the color Blue.
Topics: Women in Cannabis
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