Ops chief of Santa Rosa cannabis dispensary wins North Bay Influential Women Award
‘Hard, fast rules don’t always work and as leaders, we must learn to pivot,’ says the chief operating officer of JANE Dispensary
Coming to Santa Rosa from San Diego in 2003, Leigh Anne Baker worked alongside corporate executive coach and consultant Tom Mitchell developing custom-curating C-suite training plans, team building tactics and gap analysis for large corporations to cover health needs. As JANE Dispensary’s chief operating officer, she leads a team expanding the company’s footprint from three to five locations, overseeing store operations and community immersion efforts while helping transform procedures. Baker’s goal is to be involved in developing a social equity program through the Sonoma County Cannabis Alliance.
Is there a major accomplishment you would like to share?
I was elected to be on the Southern California Regional Olympic Development Soccer Team as one of 11 top players in the Western U.S. and played in Europe at age 16 when our San Diego team was ranked 2nd in the nation. Later I became a volunteer coach for underprivileged high school girls.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced?
Speaking in public terrified me, even when I was coaching industry leaders struggling with power and confidence. I was able to overcome this by watching them rise above obstacles.
What advice would you give young professionals striving to become great leaders?
Find your voice, trust your words and declare those words with confidence. If fortunate enough to have a platform to be heard or make a difference — use it. “Strong is the new pretty.” It’s also the title of an inspiring photo journal written and photographed by Kate T. Parker. “Strong is confidence. Strong is resilience. Strong is independence.”
What are you most proud of regarding the achievements of your organization, your work and/or your community activities?
I am most proud of teaching women how to find their voice. Showing women how to find beauty in strength and power by placing them in leadership roles. JANE Dispensary is one of the only women-led and operated cannabis businesses in the state of California.