Speaker Profiles

The RAD Expo 2018 brings an exciting variety of accomplished speakers who are experienced professionals in their fields. Our speakers have worked with clients like Disney, Coca-Cola, Levis, Hallmark and Macy's, just to name a few. Speaker seminars at the RAD Expo are free for all attendees, and no additional registration is required!

All of the RAD Expo speaker seminars will be panel-style Q&A's, so feel free to bring all of your questions on marketing and branding, retail design, retail law and "DIY" retail with successful retailers who have opened and designed stores without hiring a lot of outside help.


Mike Dillon

Mike Dillon is president/founder and the guiding force behind Dillon Works, Inc. Mike maintains overall direction in the multidisciplinary design and fabrication facility that produces a countless variety of products for a wide range of industries: Retail, hospitality, theme parks, healthcare, museums, and more. Dillon Works has grown to an internationally known design and fabrication leader with projects all over the world. Mike’s career began in New York City, designing and building animated holiday store window displays, after which he worked in advertising and display at Nordstrom in Seattle. Moving from Seattle to Los Angeles he designed and fabricated sets and props for TV commercials and movies, and worked as an Imagineer at Walt Disney Imagineering. Mike moved with his family back to Seattle and launched Dillon Works in 1985.


Christian Hageseth

Christian Hageseth has more than eight years of experience in the Colorado legal cannabis industry, and more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur. He is the founder and president of American Cannabis Partners and ONE Can Franchise. He is also the founder and former chairman of Green Man Cannabis in Denver. In 2015 High Times Magazine recognized Hageseth with an industry Trailblazer Award. His experience in the legal cannabis industry and his predictions for its future are outlined in his book “Big Weed,” published in 2015.


Jeffrey Harris

Jeffrey Harris is founder and CEO of springbig, a customer loyalty platform for the cannabis industry.  springbig uses SMS, loyalty marketing, and other tools to encourage repeat business for cannabis retailers. Harris and springbig were recipients of a $50,000 award from Arcview Group.



Mike Hayes

Mike Hayes is the co-owner of Miracle Greens in Bend, Oregon. Hayes is a former Marine with a degree in finance from Oregon State University and an MBA. He is also the owner of Maverick’s Country Bar and the former owner of three other businesses in Oregon.


John Issa

John Issa is the founder and director of design for Perimeter Architects in Chicago. John started his career learning the business of architecture at Perkins & Will Los Angeles. At Pleskow Rael and Michael Folonis Architects, John challenged his design process for several years working on projects throughout Los Angeles and New York. John’s portfolio includes custom residential, boutique retail spaces and early childhood centers. He received his BArch from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and his Master’s degree from Columbia University New York. He has lectured at the Chicago Architecture Club. John is a member of Columbia University Club of Chicago, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and serves as a board member of Ensemble Espanol.


Neil Juneja

Neil Juneja is the founder of Gleam Law, a cannabis-focused law firm with offices in Washington, Oregon, and California. His practice focuses on trademark and patent law for cannabis brands and inventions. Neil has written numerous article on cannabis law and intellectual property and spoken at many industry events. He has been awarded numerous accolades including selection as one of the 40 under 40 most influential people in the cannabis industry and has successfully registered more than 400 cannabis-related trademarks.



Steve Kessler

Steve Kessler opened Paper & Leaf, the premier cannabis boutique on Seattle’s Bainbridge Island, in 2015. Promoting a customer-first, high-end business model, Steve and his business partner Brendan Hill have created an artistic vision for Paper & Leaf that has made it an example of the capabilities of retail cannabis as it transitions from an underground market to a legal, transparent. Prior to entering the cannabis marketplace, Steve found success as an entrepreneur in commercial photography and film.



Liz Gill Neilson

Liz Gill Neilson is partner and creative director at The Beauty Shop. The Beauty Shop is a full-service creative agency in Portland, Oregon that creates brands, designs for print and packaging, and builds beautiful websites for clients in the cannabis industry and beyond. Neilson holds degrees in visual arts and communication design from Columbia University and Pacific Northwest College of Art. Past honors to her work include a residency at Caldera Arts Center in Portland.


Arne Nelson

Arne Nelson is the co-founder and co-owner of the Evergreen Market chain, with three stores in the Seattle area. Nelson spent his previous life launching tech startups and raising venture capital. Prior to the opening of the first Evergreen Market, Nelson was an experienced tech executive with a background in software and startups, but wanted to build something new. Based around the values of Educate, Celebrate, Elevate, Evergreen Market is now among the top chains in Washington state.


Aaron Pelley

Aaron Pelley of 7 Point Law has played an active role in cannabis law for more than a decade. He helped build the foundation for legal protections in medical cannabis law and is a leading advocate for the industry. In addition to representing cannabis clients and their business interests, Aaron has earned a reputation for effective high profile litigation. He has also been invited to speak at legal education seminars and cannabis conferences throughout the United States. He has been repeatedly named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers.


Jeremy Pelley

Jeremy Pelley is a co-founder and creative director at OMFGCO, a Portland-based creative studio that aims to find a better way and has worked on several cannabis-related projects in Oregon, including Serra and Electric Lettuce. Jeremy  studied Socio-cultural Anthropology with a focus on Linguistics at the University of North Texas in Denton, which has accidentally turned out to be incredibly useful in aiding big thinking in design. He flosses daily, both literally and metaphorically.


Ashley Rocha

Ashley Rocha specializes in building brands through strategy, design and storytelling. She’s the co-founder and creative director of rumble – a creative agency that focuses on developing branding, packaging, design touchpoints and experiences that makes brands standout in the congested marketplace.  Ashley holds an bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and an MFA from the Academy of Art where she is now an instructor. She has worked with brands including Odwalla, Smartwater, Benefit Cosmetics, Seagram’s, Coca-Cola, Dolby, Häagen-Dazs, Credo Beauty, Levis and Vitaminwater.



Michael H. Sampson

Michael H. Sampson is partner in the Insurance Recovery Group at Reed Smith in Pittsburgh, Penn. Mike focuses his practice on assisting policyholders address and resolve complicated insurance coverage matters relating to commercial general liability policies, management liability coverages, and many other types of insurance, such as property, hull and marine liability, and pollution liability insurance. Mike is also a member of the firm’s Cannabis Law Team, advising clients about risk-management concerns, insurance-coverage matters, and related state regulations.


Melissa Sandstrom

Melissa Sandstrom develops brands and packages as a design director at Lucid Design. She has  worked in the cannabis industry for more than four years. Having seen and worked through the transition of medical to recreational, she has extensive knowledge on how packaging and labeling regulations have changed and been implemented.


Angela Sarmiento

Angela Sarmiento is the founder and CEO of Urban Chalet, a design firm she has run for 14 years. Urban Chalet is a collective of accomplished design professionals based in the Bay Area and New York, with national and international capabilities. Urban Chalet brings a passion for innovative design, framed by finance, operations and technology. The vision is to create timeless and sustainable spaces that transform everyday experiences through curated and approachable environments. Urban Chalet collaborates with clients to deliver the totality of their brand or lifestyle, bringing a holistic and value-oriented mindset to projects of different scales, budgets, and timelines. Sarmiento is a graduate of the University of Washington.


Joe West

Joe West is an attorney at Garvey Schubert Barer in Portland and has practiced in the areas of real estate, business and commercial finance law in Oregon for more than 30 years. Joe’s real estate practice includes representation of owners, developers, landlords, tenants and lenders in various commercial real estate matters, particularly in connection with real estate acquisition, development, leasing and finance for office, retail, hotel and industrial properties. Joe serves as outside general counsel to his clients providing advice on a wide variety of business transaction matters, including joint venture and entity formation issues, business sales and acquisitions and business succession planning.


Alex Wheatley

Alex Wheatley is an employment attorney at Fisher Phillips’ Portland office. Alex defends employers in employment-related administrative claims and lawsuits and has litigated several jury trials and argued numerous motions in both state and federal court. He also advises and provides training to company owners and supervisors on issues relating to workplace discrimination, family leave, wage and hour laws, and noncompetition, nonsoliciation, and nondisclosure agreements.