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Celebrating International Women’s Day with the Women of Elixinol

by Chris Husong

For International Women’s Day 2019, we sat down with some of the women of Elixinol to talk about their achievements, their inspirations, their CBD story, and advice for other women looking to break into the hemp and wellness industry.

Joy Beckerman, Regulatory Officer and Industry Liaison

Q: What achievement(s) are you most proud of?
Joy Beckerman International Women's DayA: The first things that come to me every time I’m asked this question are my now two adult sons, who are vibrant and amazing and just men of high integrity. And while it’s not a common or comfortable thing for me to associate my grassroots hemp activism with an actual sense of pride, if someone were to ask me if I had a strong sense of purpose and did I feel as though I were actively performing my purpose in a meaningful way that creates change and healing in the world, I would be able to say yes; and that’s a rewarding place to be.

I’ve been involved in the hemp movements for over a quarter of a century and have educated hundreds of legislators, regulators, decision makers, and thousands of citizens, businesspeople, and students. I’m committed to liberating the hemp plant and doing everything I can to make pathways for it to be able to deliver on the promise of all it can do to serve humanity’s and the planet’s needs.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Elixinol?
A: There are such a glorious host of factors that led to my decision to join Elixinol. The first–and it’s the anchor–is Co-Founder and CEO Paul Benhaim. Paul is a grassroots hemp activist mogul of globally epic proportions who has also been actively dedicated to delivering on the promise of this versatile, valuable plant for over 20 years. He had the single most influence in Australia’s long-fought decision to legalize the densely nutritious hemp seed for human consumption, he’s authored nine books, and he’s simply a brilliant manifestation of planetary healing who keeps producing goodness.

The range and superior quality of Elixinol products are what sealed the deal. I’ve been watching Paul’s and Elixinol’s innovations and successes since the inception, and as President of the Hemp Industries Association and Vice President of the U.S. Hemp Authority, as well as being a woman who relies upon the highest possible quality hemp extract throughout the day to perform optimally, Elixinol was a perfect fit. From genetics and farming practices to extraction processes, ingredients, bottling and labeling, Elixinol leads the industry in ethics and standards.

International Women's Day - Joy Beckerman

Q: Were there any women in your life that inspired you in your career?
A: I’m blessed in that I’m inspired in some way by almost everyone I meet, and I’ve been almost entirely surrounded by wonderful people most of life. There are many female attorneys throughout my career who have made huge impressions of inspiration on me. I also lived in Seattle for 20 years, and a large population of our nation’s most impactful female hemp activists live in the Pacific Northwest and on the West Coast, which I consider to be a gift from the Universe. Anndrea Hermann and Ah Warner (my deeply dedicated hempen sisters) are, however, extraordinary sources of inspiration to me and must be called out by name.

Q: Any advice for other women who are looking to break into/grow in your respective industry?
A: The first advice for any sex as it relates to the emerging hemp industry is to understand that hemp isn’t plug-and-play. Legalizing hemp federally doesn’t mean that, all of a sudden, paper mills will start spitting out hemp paper or that our water bottles will be replaced with biodegradable hemp plastic tomorrow; rather, there is much work to be done to create the infrastructure for, and to educate a full spectrum of industries about, the hemp economy. So be patient when your employer has to pivot and adapt while law, regulation, supply, and former restrictions evolve and change.

As a woman, be mindful of the culturally psychological tendency to not only devalue yourself in situations of negotiation, but to use language that reinforces that devaluation. Choose words that reflect your full knowledge and belief in the tremendous value you bring to the table. Choose words of confidence and affirmation that will produce the positive outcome you intend to create.

Amberley Calvo, Elixinol General Manager

Q: What achievement(s) are you most proud of?
Amberley Calvo International Women's DayA: Truthfully, I cannot say I have reached an achievement that would be defined as an award or status. However, I am most proud of myself when I am able to wake up in the morning, work out, go to work, and have as normal of a life as possible. The simple pleasures of having these moments is an accomplishment that I didn’t believe could happen for me–or something I must struggle to have daily. Therefore, every day inspires me and I am truly grateful.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Elixinol?
A: My involvement with Elixinol goes back to a few years ago when the company began. I was diagnosed at 22 years old with a chronic condition, and the obstacles I faced to understand the condition and its impact on my body often left me feeling hopeless. At one point, in a time of great need, I was offered the first iteration of our hemp products to try–the syringe filled with extract. I was willing to try anything, so I began to routinely use CBD.

Gradually, I began to feel the difference from the day before. I began to observe that I was able to move my hands and feet in the morning, walk the street, go up and down the stairs, and it brought me tremendous relief. When I was offered a position with the company, I immediately said yes, as I could attest to its value and that the product worked. Now, not a day goes by without me having my CBD in the morning. Having mobility, function, and a purpose is why I continue to work for Elixinol.

Q: Were there any women in your life that inspired you in your career?
A: The women of my family are my true inspiration. As large of a family as I have, filled with aunts, my mother, and grandmother, they have each influenced the woman that I am. Coming from the path of immigration, I am humbled to know first-hand their times of struggle and strife. It is their perseverance to become professionals, business owners, highly educated women, and wonderful mothers, to show me that through determination, I too can have it all. They have earned their right to be the matriarchs of our family and I hope I may one day be just like them.

International Women's Day - Amberley Calvo

Q: Any advice for other women who are looking to break into/grow in your respective industry?
A: Absolutely. Confidence is key. Knowing what you’re capable of and to be able to execute, even in the most trying times, is the breakthrough moment. Often, I have observed women in leadership roles lose their backbone for various reasons, myself included.

As a part of this industry, I’m proud to see the respect garnered for all individuals, of all backgrounds, who can demonstrate their skills and strengths with confidence. It has allowed for a vibrant and rich community of professionals that exceeds many other industries. For women, in general, it would be pivotal for their careers and personal lives to trust in themselves.

Diane “V” Capaldi, The PaleoBOSS Lady and Elixinol Brand Ambassador

Q: What achievement(s) are you most proud of?
V Capaldi International Women's DayA: Being of service to others throughout my life gives me great pride. I am blessed to be a mom to an amazing daughter and uber proud to be potentially one of the most healed from my condition using only diet and lifestyle.

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Elixinol?
A: Elixinol came to me by accident. Over a 4th of July weekend, a friend gave me the X-Pen and after using it for a few weeks, I noticed changes in my body from sleeping better to diminishing inflammation. I researched the company and product line and realized there’s so much to know about CBD and hemp.

I contacted Elixinol and the love affair began. For the last year, I have toured in the BAM van wrapped in hemp leaves driving all over the USA educating the community about hemp. I am proud every day to be an ambassador and face of Elixinol and CBD.

Q: Were there any women in your life that inspired you in your career?
A: Louise Hay and my Mom.

International Women's Day - V Capaldi

Q: Any advice for other women who are looking to break into/grow in your respective industry?
A: I believe that speaking your truth is the best advice for anyone. If you have something to say, others will come–if your message is told in a way it can be heard. If at first, it does not resonate, don’t give up; simply change the delivery until it can be received. Believing in yourself is the hardest, sexiest, most important and key ingredient to grow in anything.

Jessica Filoramo, Regional Sales Manager (West)

Q: What achievement(s) are you most proud of?

Jessica Filoramo Elixinol CBD New York City MarathonA: The achievements I am most proud of are breaking into the health and wellness space. I am grateful to be able to connect with people every day in an industry that is truly helping people. I have not found that in other careers, but I have working in CBD with Elixinol.

I also feel proud that I have made time to give back to various causes, either through fundraising (GirlUp Foundation ), or volunteering my time with the Orange County Rescue Mission .

Q: Why did you decide to get involved with Elixinol?
A: I was working next to Elixinol at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium in New York last year and was lucky enough to meet Dave, Libby, Chris, and Dr. Blair. Initially, I started talking to Dr. Blair about my condition and how CBD can support overall wellness. Throughout the weekend I was able to learn about the product, the company, the company culture through these people and I said to myself, “I need to be a part of this.” Lucky for me, a few months later, they needed a West Coast Sales Manager and I was able to start with the company.

International Women's Day - Jessica Filoramo

Q: Any advice for other women who are looking to break into/grow in your respective industry?
A: The advice I would have for any woman wanting to break into any part of the wellness industry is that it is growing exponentially (especially CBD)! There is so much opportunity, but it’s so important to align yourself with companies that are moving the industry forward, and especially supporting gender equality. I’m proud to say that Elixinol has an all-female sales management team, along with women in many important roles throughout the organization.

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