The Executive Leadership Team is comprised of business leaders from various fields that have been recruited to institute and implement the day-to-day operations at FOCUS. The Leadership Team is accountable to the Board of Directors and has responsibility for all operational aspects of the organization including overseeing standards development activities, developing operational policies and procedures, public education and public agency liaison activities, and preparing annual operating budgets. Members have been recruited because of their impressive dedication to the FOCUS mission and their ability to operationalize business entities.
Lezli Engelking – Founder
Lezli Engelking is the Founder and CEO of the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS), located in Scottsdale, Arizona. She received her Bachelor of Science in Communications and Statistics from Arizona State University. Ms. Engelking brings over two decades of experience in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors. Her keen understanding of the pharmaceutical industry gained during her 12-year tenure with Eli Lilly, prompted her to pivot and apply her expertise to the burgeoning cannabis industry.
Ms. Engelking has been an executive leader in the cannabis industry for nine years, opening the first chain of vertically integrated medical cannabis operations in Phoenix, Arizona. During her two and a half years in that role, Lezli realized the critical need for cannabis specific quality and safety standards. This compelled her to found FOCUS, the International Cannabis Health and Safety Organization, in 2014. With a progressive and intuitive approach, Ms. Engelking has helped shape local and international cannabis policy, including coordinating and developing cannabis specific standards and educational content for the FDA, Department of Agriculture, and the National Environmental Health Association. Most recently, Ms. Engelking participated in the 2018 United Nations and World Health Organization meetings on the global rescheduling of cannabis.
Sean McClelland - Director of Goverment Relations
Mr. McClelland is a former law enforcement, military, and high-risk security professional who has served under three law enforcement agencies (one federal and two local). He has performed countless high-value asset security details for both government and civilians including close proximity and fixed-asset protection. Additionally, he created a Rapid Response Deployment Package under the United States Coast Guard for domestic emergency response of Port Security Unit Reserve components development.
As Director of Government Relations for FOCUS, Mr. McClelland works with federal and state agencies worldwide to: draft comprehensive cannabis regulation; perform regulatory reviews; develop and implement cannabis programs; and assist legislators and public health agencies.
Lissa Satori - Director of Development
Ms. Satori began her career as a child protective investigator where she witnessed the effects of substance abuse and failed drug policies on children and families. Subsequently, she served as director of operations for Ohio Industrial Products growing annual sales from $115k to $1M+ during her eleven-year tenure.
An accomplished and innovative organizer of grassroots cannabis advocacy organizations, Ms. Satori was the executive director of Ohio Rights Group and founder of United Ohio – two premier cannabis patient organizations. She was also a founding member of Ohio Hemp Chamber of Commerce, and the 2016 campaign coordinator for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana – the catalyst for passage of Ohio House Bill 523 legalizing medical cannabis. More recently, she was director of outreach for Marijuana Policy Project’s Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Michigan where she secured a victory for statewide cannabis policy reform. Now, she is returning to her roots in public health and safety as director of development for FOCUS, the international cannabis health and safety organization.
Chelsea Mulligan - Director of Client Relations
Ms. Mulligan began her career as a chiropractic assistant, and immersed herself in the medical field, the world of HIPPA compliance, and patient interaction. Her tenacity led to a promotion as general manager for multiple chiropractic offices. In 2013, Ms. Mulligan brought her considerable experience and keen understanding of operational efficiencies, system management, procedure development and patient care to the cannabis industry. As lead strategist for Seche Strategies, she has successfully navigated 22 high-volume dispensaries through countless launches, relocations, reorganizations, and state inspections. Her comprehensive understanding of supply chain management includes building operational systems to assure cannabis businesses remain compliant with regulations by establishing efficient procedures for transportation, product traceability, recall procedures, and employee training.
Ms. Mulligan’s attention to detail and extensive understanding of cannabis industry compliance led to her role at FOCUS as Director of Client Relations. She works directly with cannabis business owners worldwide to assist with standards implementation and regulatory compliance.
Dr. Gary Starr – Chief Medical Officer
Gary Starr is a practicing ER physician in Minnesota. Previously Gary has served in the Air Force in several medical capacities. Dr. Starr has been involved at the political/ legislative arena for Emergency Medicine on both the state, and national levels. One of Gary’s less traditional medical interests is the development of medical cannabis as a viable alternative to standard pharmaceutical options for various ailments. He and a partner started one of the first Minnesota registered medical cannabis manufacturing facilities. Dr. Starr continues to work in the business/science/political arena in an effort to move the medical cannabis industry forward.