Meet our Founding
Board of Directors
Tommy joins the US Hemp Building Association from Hempitecture where he manages the company's operations. He brings experience in corporate finance and growing early-stage companies and complements this business experience with a green building background that includes a certification as a LEED Green Associate and training from France's l'École Nationale du Chanvre. Before joining Hempitecture, Tommy worked at an education startup called Piper and Goldman Sachs. He graduated from Princeton University with a degree in public policy.
Scheril Murray Powell
Director of Government Relations Development
Scheril Murray Powell, Esq. is an Agricultural and Cannabis Attorney at Doumar, Allsworth, Laystrom, Voigt, Adair, and Dishowitz. A highly respected force in the cannabis industry, Scheril was a recipient of the Cannabis Business Award's Industry MVP Award and the Crohns Foundation Blood, Sweat, and Tears Award in 2018. She has been selected to share her expertise at many Cannabis Conferences around the world as the industry flourishes worldwide. Scheril was the regular Cannabis Law expert on Cannabis Law Radio every Saturday morning on Cannabis Life Radio and is launching a Cannabis Talk Show called “Terps in the City” in Summer of 2019. As a Cannapreneur, Scheril is the President of Canna Headhunters, a staffing agency in the Cannabis Industry that connects Cannabis talent to opportunities.
Director of University Relations Development
Known the world over as Dr. Hemphouse, Sergiy Kovalenkov, Civil Engineer, has worked on numerous hemp insulation projects across the globe in countries like: Ukraine, Switzerland, France, Russia, Poland, Australia,USA and Poland. In 2015, he founded Hempire UA in Ukraine, which has developed Hempire Mix, a 100% natural binder, that when mixed with hemp and water creates one of the lightest, carbon negative hempcrete insulation materials on the planet. Hempire has received high recognition and numerous awards for innovative technology and developing creative, challenging projects building with Hemp. In 2018, Sergiy has founded Hempire USA in California. The company will focus on bringing a new hemp processing technology and other natural, innovative materials to US market and rest of the world.
Founding Board of Directors Member
Henry Valles is a NAR Green Certified real estate professional with Realty Austin, Co-Founder & Vice President of the Texas Hemp Industries Association and a hemp building advocate. In 2017, He spearheaded Austin’s first hempcrete home in Community First Village, a community for the chronically homeless. Henry has delivered presentations on developing communities through hemp building at multiple conferences, such as the International Hemp Building Symposium and EarthX. Inspired to bring more sustainable and non-toxic solutions to the real estate and building industries, Henry continues to educate his community and champion the use of hemp-based building materials through his real estate and hemp building consulting practices.
Founding Board of Directors Member
Matthew Mead is a mountain-minded ecopreneur who is passionate about transforming the built environment to build a better world. While studying both architecture and environmental studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Matthew connected with this passion and directed his studies to focus on built environment solutions. In 2013, enamored with the potential of hempcrete, a material that historically has been underutilized in the US, he founded Hempitecture. This startup concept focused on using hempcrete as a building material to create habitats that are energy efficient, non toxic, and environmentally friendly. Today, Hempitecture has completed numerous hempcrete building projects across the US. While ever-focused on making an impact through Hempitecture, he currently calls Ketchum, Idaho home, where he serves his community as the Vice-Chair of the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission.
Founding Board of Directors Member
Ladi is a State licensed General Contractor and Building Code Administrator certified through the International Code Council. She has over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. Her primary focus has been in the creation and expansion of small to medium size construction firms. A project manager at heart, Ladi recognizes the plethora of opportunity associated with cannabis. Recognizing both the economic and ecological advantages to utilizing hemp she ultimately evolved into a hemp enthusiast!
Vermont Architect, Bob Escher AIA, hails from an impressive family of builders and engineers whose projects include New York’s original Yankee Stadium and Switzerland’s Gotthard Tunnel.
A practicing architect for over thirty years, his firm features a national portfolio of completed projects in numerous states including New York, Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Vermont.
After completing the first permitted hempcrete structure in Denver Colorado in 2017 and being elected president of the USHBA in 2019, Bob is ready to take the lead to educate, innovate and create the infrastructure to bring hemp-based
construction materials to the marketplace.
With more than 29 years of experience in the cannabis industry, Mr. Markgraaff has achieved many “firsts” for the cannabis industry, including founding Europe’s first hemp store “Cannabis in Amsterdam” in 1993 and worked with General Hemp, a private equity company that started the CBD industry in the USA and around the world.
Founder of the USHBA &
Director of Strategic Growth
Eric McKee is the Founder and CEO of Wndr, a Colorado startup whose mission is to infuse sustainability and style with economic viability in building with Hemp. Eric built the first permitted hempcrete structure in Denver County which gained national attention and propelled Eric to the forefront of the Hemp industry. Eric has contributed countless hours to promote building with Hemp, including time in Haiti's Wynne Farm Nature Reserve demonstrating Hemp’s application for humanitarian and ecological purposes, speaking and training at multiple Hemp Expos, Symposiums and Webinars, and contributing his expertise to the International Hemp Building Association.
Interim Executive Director
Dawn Schulz has been supporting Midwest clients in the industrial hemp space. She is an experienced Controller and Project Manager with a background working across multiple industries including environmental services, seed to sale vertically integrated farm operations producing seeds and plugs for native wildflowers, and grasses with agricultural divisions including field, greenhouse, warehouse, and seed sorting, cleaning, and storage. Spring-fed trout farm, processing center, retail store, and specialty restaurant. High-end residential construction. Investment advisory services and compliance for institutional and high net worth investors. Volunteer work for start-up educational programs focused on experiential learning, nature-based education, and arts integration.