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“Helping others” With Len Giancola & Thomas Gavin IV

With a large number of veterans experiencing PTSD, insomnia, and depression after their service, I would like to see a movement to make cannabis medication and counseling more accessible to these people. Down the road, I would like this movement to expand to helping homeless individuals with basic needs, including jobs, clothing and housing. As […]

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With a large number of veterans experiencing PTSD, insomnia, and depression after their service, I would like to see a movement to make cannabis medication and counseling more accessible to these people. Down the road, I would like this movement to expand to helping homeless individuals with basic needs, including jobs, clothing and housing.


As part of my series about “5 Things, I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started Leading a Cannabis Business” I had the pleasure of interviewing CannaTrac Vice Chairman and CEO Thomas Gavin IV.

Thomas came to CannaTrac® with a long list of attributes. His previous business experience includes over 18 years in residential and commercial real estate finance. During this time, he managed a corporate office along with 4 out-of-state offices and was responsible for over 100 employees.

His professional marketing and advertising experience started in 2005, where he assisted with the development of an improved marketing campaign for 14 publications. He saw a niche and this led him to start T E G Resources, Ltd., in late 2007, where he provided marketing consulting to small-medium sized businesses looking to expand within their market and become more efficient.

Gavin started as a consultant for CannaTrac Technology in September of 2015, assisting with marketing. After helping retool the layout of the company’s marketing plan, the company hired him as the Director of Marketing in February of 2016 and promoted him to COO in May of 2017. While in his position as COO, he established relationships throughout the industry and beyond. In January of 2019, the Board of Directors appointed him to the position of CEO.

Since he took the chair over CannaTrac has exploded, becoming first to market in multiple industries and making history. Through innovative marketing strategies and the excellent network he has established, Gavin has brought CannaTrac into the limelight and is moving closer and closer to making the company the go-to payment solution for cashless transactions.


Thank you for joining us! Can you share with us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?

As cheesy as it sounds… fate brought me to this business. I met the founder of CannaTrac while having a drink with some friends at a local restaurant. Personally, I was contemplating leaving the finance industry to start a new career at that time and was given an opportunity by Mr. Patton to consult for CannaTrac. I jumped at it, as I had recently watched a few people very close to me pass from cancer and I saw how cannabis improved their quality of life through their terrible struggles. I thought to myself: this must be a sign. Over the course of the next 5 months, I proved my worth, was offered a full-time position with the company and began climbing the proverbial corporate ladder. By the beginning of 2019, I had worked my way to the top and was voted in as CEO by the Board of Directors at their January 2019 meeting.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I would have to say the most interesting thing that happened to me since I began leading this company is the time I was asked to speak at the Ohio Bankers’ League’s Cannabis Banking Conference. I got to sit in front of a room full of bankers, primarily compliance officers, and explain to them the benefits of banking cannabis-related businesses. I learned what it was like to try to explain things from the outside to the black-and-white world of banking, which was very interesting considering that was my former profession.

Are you working on any exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are in the middle of quite a few projects now. The one that we have publicly spoken about already is our payment software being included in the Squad Drones. This is truly an amazing concept and we were beyond grateful to be asked to participate. These drones will be able to make B2B transportation much more cost-efficient and safe. It’s great for the industry, the consumers and the places where these businesses are located.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

The person who helped me get into the industry was our Chairman and Founder, Terry Patton. Without his invitation to join the team, I probably wouldn’t be in the industry. On top of his help, I received help from many people along the way, including my Board of Directors, advisors, employees, friends, and family. Everyone in my life has played some sort of role in crafting how I do my job every day.

This industry is young dynamic and creative. Do you use any clever and innovative marketing strategies that you think large legacy companies should consider adopting?

As much as I would love to take the credit for our brilliant marketing campaigns, that credit is shared with CMW Media, CFN Media, my Sales/Marketing Committee and my CMO, Ed Sochacki. This group collaborates with new creative and brilliant ideas nearly every day. I am always hands-on and do come up with original ideas periodically, but I have recruited these people and companies for their amazing backgrounds in Social Media, PR and most of all, technology. I think every company needs to keep its eye on the ball, as it is constantly moving. You need to be open to new ideas, which doesn’t mean you have to implement them all, but don’t close your door because something is new, different and confusing. Find the right person to explain it to you.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?

Exciting:

1.) People are now able to get the medicine they so desperately need without the stigma that cannabis used to carry in America.

2.) Our industry helped revitalize other industries (like agricultural and manufacturing) and has created so many new markets for jobs that didn’t exist prior to state legalizations.

3.) I, personally, have been given the ability to help educate people on safety and cannabis regulations.

Concerning:

1.) There is a lack of understanding among many of our legislators regarding the importance of taking cash off the street, rescheduling cannabis and opening the financial system.

2.) Taxing and excessive mandatory testing limits the increasing costs in the legal cannabis markets, in turn, steering people towards the black market.

3.) The lack of federal testing being done to increase the use of medicinal cannabis uses and decreases the use of other prescription drugs; like opioids.

What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

Make sure you have enough money to reach your goals and then multiply that by 2. This industry is very expensive and things take more time to come to fruition than in most industries.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

With a large number of veterans experiencing PTSD, insomnia, and depression after their service, I would like to see a movement to make cannabis medication and counseling more accessible to these people. Down the road, I would like this movement to expand to helping homeless individuals with basic needs, including jobs, clothing and housing.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

On Facebook

For Corporate Information: @CannaTrac

For Consumer Information: @CannaCardRewards

On Twitter: @CannaTracTech

On LinkedIn: @CannaTrac

On Instagram: @cannacardrewards

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