The Team

Executive Leadership

Sara Hope Smith

CEO

Sara is a cannabis industry expert with over twenty years of experience in cultivation, retail, and disruptive marketing. She has made it her life's mission to honor the industry's heritage while advancing its future through education, advocacy, and entrepreneurship. Her roots run deep, from the legacy market in Atlanta to the thriving Los Angeles hotbed of advertising, where she has cultivated strong relationships with iconic growers and brands, innovative tech gurus, and key influencers. She has led award-winning creative teams and facilitated million-dollar partnerships with her ability to adapt, guide, and inspire. A driven creative director and big-picture thinker, she uses intuition, insight, and emotional intelligence to create dynamic experiences, build exceptional teams, and develop uplifting campaigns for high-profile clients like the University of Southern California, UCLA, The Home Depot, Hawthorne Gardening Company, High Times Magazine, Merry Jane Media, Film Forties, and NORML. Sara holds a BFA in graphic design from the Art Institute of Atlanta and proudly works out of Green Street in downtown L.A.

Lisa Solomon

PRESIDENT

Lisa Solomon is a pioneer in the digital media and advertising industries. She has led sales and media strategies, developing breakthrough content for companies that include NBC Universal, Microsoft, AOL, and the startups Omaze and AddThis. Lisa is also the founder of Atheneum Collective, a "master class for ad businesses," where her passion for digital advertising, business leadership, and community-building intersect. Lisa strives to live a life that reflects her mantra: "Knowledge is power, and knowledge shared is power multiplied." She believes that the innovative work taking place in the cannabis industry provides a unique opportunity to put this creed into action.

Olivia Christian

DIRECTOR OF CULTURE & DEI

Olivia "Liv" Christian is a digital marketing professional dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Over the last five years, she has helped more than thirty brands clarify and elevate their digital strategies. Liv has worked with cannabis brands, businesses, and individuals to develop creative and incisive content that disrupts mindless scrolling among target audiences. Before Highly Buzzed, Liv worked for Hawthorne Gardening Company, where she sought to grow and amplify the voices of Hawthorne's social justice partners. Olivia is committed to cannabis advocacy, Black liberation, and anti-racism work.

Justin Velez

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Justin Velez is an energetic and motivated social media professional with a diverse background in government, public policy, cannabis, and content creation. He is the founder of Run It Up Social, a social media marketing business. Justin has performed in managerial and freelance roles for companies including Darden, Newport Restaurant Group, and Hope Creative. Justin has led community engagement and content creation for Los Angeles NORML's social media channel. He is committed to NORML's mission and is excited to bring his enthusiasm for cannabis advocacy to Highly Buzzed.