Working in the cannabis business requires an extensive amount of networking, collaboration, and understanding of the public and political landscape surrounding the cannabis industry. As the Director of Government Relations at HYC, Kris focuses on initiating, facilitating, and strengthening relationships with state and local government officials. He works to constructively impact policies regarding the cannabis industry and enhance the success of HYC clients, and ultimately, their communities. Kris collaborates with the client, community, local government, and cannabis leaders to influence proactive change within the industry. From screening applications and conducting focus groups to working with investors and stakeholders, Kris works to propel economic growth, stability and trust within the community, government, and cannabis industry.
Establishing and maintaining relationships is a complex process, and it requires an extensive amount of effort and skill. Kris develops positive relationships by building upon experiences and interactions gained through working with diverse groups of people. He has spent most of his career working with the differently-abled community and their families, addressing the need for further reaching service by helping them navigate complex systems and facilitating community integration. Publicly, he has invested himself and much of his time in shaping policies and regulations that affect the lives of adults, promoting opportunities for mental wellness and intellectual and developmental growth. Entwined throughout, Kris began a career in community leadership roles to help his community achieve socioeconomic prosperity. Kris served as the Mayor of Edgewater, Colorado, and as a City Council Member. During his time in office, Kris was Vice Chair of Colorado’s 1st Judicial Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) and member of the Metro Mayors Caucus (MMC) a group of forty-two mayors collaborating on major policy issues affecting Colorado. As part of the CJCC, Kris collaborated with a diverse group of stakeholders and helped establish a behavioral health unit in the county jail, assisted in the implementation of a family justice center for victims of domestic violence, and strengthened relationships between law enforcement and the mental health community. Additionally, Kris was chair of the MMC Homelessness & Hunger Committee, served on Jefferson County’s Child and Youth Leadership Commission, all while sitting on other business and economic development boards.
Kris aims to capitalize on economic opportunity within the cannabis industry while maximizing social development and safety, upholding the mission of HYC. Edgewater is often looked to as the premier municipality for cannabis success, and for good reason. As an Edgewater council member, Kris helped lead the first municipality in the US to organize and regulate the sale of recreational cannabis. As mayor, Kris’ leadership cultivated a positive and proactive environment for cannabis business growth. From a standpoint of prudent fiscal management, burdensome regulations were waived and no taxpayer dollars were wasted by extensive administrative overhead. Together, Edgewater and the cannabis business community reaped major economic and cultural benefits. Ever passionate about advancing the cannabis industry, he has seen firsthand the opportunities that it can provide to the community’s economy when done legally and ethically.
Delivering on economic prosperity is important to Kris and his values. Kris believes that individual liberties do not thrive without community success. Kris understands how hard it is to make a choice between food and rent, or bills and medicine, as he’s had to make these choices in the past. Kris values hard work and isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves to get the job done, and will exhibit the same values while working with you.
Kris lives with his wife, who is a military veteran, and their 13-month-old son. In the past, Kris enjoyed hiking and being outdoors, but is currently enjoying every available second with their toddler, with whom he is looking forward to sharing his passion for nature. Kris is also a voracious reader, and thoroughly enjoys Classical studies, especially Greek and Roman culture.