Building Relationships: 5 Questions with Chris Kelly 

 

                                                                                                             

 

Chris is Trulieve’s Director of Wholesale. He brings 20 years’ experience in sales, operations, and marketing roles. Chris leads the strategy development as well as the implementation and execution of Trulieve’s national wholesale plan.  Chris brings vast experience to this role with an impressive track record in building strategy and delivering results across national wholesalers and strategic customers.  Prior to joining Trulieve, Chris spent 8 years with Kellogg’s and over 10 years with PepsiCo in various cross-functional leadership positions.  Chris is a native of Maryland where he received his BS from Towson University and an MBA from Loyola University of Maryland. 

 

What department are you in?

I am on the sales team.

 

What drew you to want to work in the cannabis industry? 

The cannabis industry provides the opportunity to supply consumers with products that make their lives better. Another opportunity is to assist in paths for folks harmed by the war on drugs to benefit from this exponential industry growth. Finally, the opportunity to be part of an exciting new industry where people work super hard - but have tons of fun!

 

Tell us about your day-to-day work at Trulieve? 

Working to establish and launch an industry-leading wholesale infrastructure and go-to-market plan. I 

network with cannabis operators in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and in other key markets as well. I perform analytics and access implications around key trends in the consumer, product, market landscape.

 

What has been your experience working in cannabis as a Black male? 

Having worked in the CPG industry my entire career, I am very used to not seeing many folks, in leadership positions, that look like me.  This industry is very similar.  Having said that, in my experience, I have found cannabis people to very welcoming and supportive.  That support has enabled me to get things done because cannabis seems to be a lot about relationships.

 

We have lots of work to do to get the cannabis industry to a place where it reflects its consumer base.  Fortunately, we have companies like Trulieve, and others, that prioritize making this happen.

 

What makes you excited to come to work at Trulieve? 

The TruFamily.  They are smart, humble, collaborative, and committed folks that are focused on making Trulieve the best company it can be.  I work with good people that enjoy fighting the fight.

I like building stuff and working here gives me that opportunity.  What we are building here daily is very exciting.  

 

Also, the refreshing aspect of learning every day.  I have significant customer/ consumer and CPG experience but am new to cannabis.  I am a sponge so seeking out experts and learning new aspects about products keeps me refreshed.

 

What is a fun fact about you?

I have ridden my bicycle from Orlando to Ft Lauderdale, FL two times