Michael Bowman

A fifth-generation native of rural Colorado. Throughout his adult life he has been active in rural advocacy both nationally and internationally, serving as a founding member of both "25x'25" [www.25x25.org] and the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance [www.fuelresponsibly.org].  He was the co-founder of the Colorado Farm2Cafeteria workgroup and in 2010 led the fundraising efforts for the Operation Free -NASCAR outreach campaign.  Michael served as Chair of Colorado’s New Energy Future in 2006 and co-chaired Governor-elect Bill Ritter's Energy Transition Team.  In 2008 he served on Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s ‘Greening the DNC’ committee. He currentlyserves as board chair of the National Hemp Association, is a member of the Colorado Industrial Hemp Commission, serves on the national advisory board of the North American Industrial Hemp Council and was a founding board member of the Rocky Mountain Hemp Association.  He serves on the Board of Advisors for DyneAquaculture (dyneaquaculture.com), the Heartland Center for Leadership Development (heartlandcenter.info) and the Savory Institute (savory.global), a Colorado-based institute focused on the restoration of global grasslands.  Michael is a graduate of the Colorado Agriculture and Rural Leadership program, was a Next Generation Fellow in Columbia University’s American Assembly and a 2008 recipient of Gamma Sigma Delta’s Significant Achievement in Agricultural by Colorado State University.  He was a candidate for the Colorado State Senate in 2010 for the largest geographical district in the state encompassing12 eastern rural counties. He is a White House Champions of Change (2011) and was selected as one of twelve members of the program to meet with President Obama in April, 2012 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the program.

Dr. Bernard LeeAssociate Chief Medical Officer, MJHS Hospice and Palliative Car

As Associate Chief Medical Officer of MJHS Hospice and Palliative Care, Dr. Bernard Lee works with a large team of hospice and palliative care practitioners, including physicians, nurses and physician assistants, to provide expert, end-of-life care as well as pain and symptom management to patients throughout Greater New York. Dr. Lee also is a palliative care attending physician within Montefiore Medical Center’s palliative care inpatient unit and consult service as well as a teaching attending at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in palliative care and family medicine. Prior to joining MJHS Hospice, he served as Senior Medical Director for Compassionate Care Hospice and as Bronx Hospice Medical Director for Continuum Hospice Care. He also worked as a family medicine attending physician at Montefiore. Dr. Lee graduated from the United States Military Academy West Point with a bachelor of science in national security and public affairs; completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at New York University; and earned a medical degree from Stony Brook School of Medicine. He is board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine as well as family practice. He also is New York State-certified in medical acupuncture and HIV and cancer pain massage.

Elizabeth "Mimi" Riley

Is the rare amalgam of artist, photographer, designer, filmmaker and futurist. In her varied career she has worked with some of the top creative talents across an international range of media and locations as a writer, producer, magazine editor, trusted collaborator and filmmaker.  Mimi is the founder, creative director and CEO of Roving Eye Media Group, a cause-marketing firm. REMG has a long track record of creating bold content for print, network television, video, social media, and the Worldwide Web. REMG provides a broad range of creative services, including production, campaign development and execution, website, app, and online platform design and branding. http://rovingeyepictures.wixsite.com/home  Mimi has directed feature films, documentaries, music videos, and ads. The aim of her work is to inspire passion, engage and motivate people to take action. Mimi is a founding member with Michael Bowman of CIA (Cannabis in Agriculture), an organization that creates awareness around hemp. Mimi is producing a hemp clothing line with Project Runway darling, Candice Cuoco that will bring hemp fashion to the mainstream.  

Andy Pressman

A Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), a non-profit organization that supports small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to energy and agriculture.  Andy received a MS degree from Slippery Rock University in Sustainable Systems Design/Agroecology and has a passion for tools and equipment for small-scale agriculture.  Through NCAT’s ATTRA Project – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – Andy provides technical assistance and education to farmers in the fields of small-scale intensive farming systems, organic crop production, urban agriculture, and whole-farm planning.  Andy also works closely with farmer veterans through NCAT’s Armed to Farm Program.  In addition to his work with NCAT, Andy and his family operate Foggy Hill Farm, a small farm and CSA located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.    

Blake Butler

Blake is a native of Asheville, North Carolina. He has over 23 years’ experience in communications, media relations, politics and fundraising. Blake graduated with a B.A. from Florida State University in 1990, majoring in political science and minoring in communications. After college, he moved to DC spending two years working on Capitol Hill for NC Senator Terry Sanford. In 1992, Blake became the Finance Director for the North Carolina Democratic Party and preceded to organize and stage events in all 100 counties in the state. Additionally, he helped organize events in Charlotte and Chapel Hill with President Clinton and Vice President Gore. From 1994-96, Blake was the Finance Director for the re-election campaign of NC Lt. Governor Dennis Wicker. In 1997 he returned home to Asheville to form Seventy-two dpi, a web design and development firm in WNC. After a brief stint in real estate and construction, his life took quite a turn when he launched the first local progressive talk radio program in the Asheville area, Local Edge Radio. While hosting the radio show, he also worked as an account executive for Clear Channel Media & Entertainment. After winding down the radio show at the end of 2012, he partnered with Jill Lieberman to form Adapt Public Relations. Adapt currently handles community, media and public relations for a variety of clients, including Moog Music, Venture Asheville, Asheville Outlets, Vaya Health Care, Western Carolina University, and Trillium Properties. Blake is also the co-founder of HempX and HempX Asheville. Currently the largest free hempcentric festival east of the Mississippi, HempX Asheville held successful events in 2015 and 2016, and looks to expand the HempX footprint in 2017 to Kentucky, Tennessee and beyond. Blake currently resides in Asheville with wife Spencer, daughter Sydney, and their crazy lab Buster and loves to trail run in his spare time.