“Write your goals where you can see them every day, you can’t hit a target that you can’t see”: now I have a white board in my room with my next steps written down every day I can see the plan and am motivated to execute these next steps to achieve my goals on a daily basis.
Asa part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Evelyn LaChapelle, Community Engagement Manager of Vertosa.
Oakland, CA native Evelyn LaChapelle is an experienced events coordinator and community liaison, who is now utilizing her professional position within the legal cannabis industry to advocate for restorative justice. She is an active member of the Last Prisoner Project, dedicated to redressing the past and continuing harms caused by the war on cannabis through clemency and reentry programs.
Evelyn has been impacted by the War on Drugs firsthand: in 2013, the Loyola Marymount University graduate and mother of a four-year-old daughter was convicted on three charges related to her minor role in a marijuana distribution operation. She was sentenced to 87 months in prison. She had no prior record, nor any indicators that she was a repeat offender. On February 1, 2019, she was released from federal custody and began her 4-year probation sentence, during which she was hired as a sales and catering coordinator for a prominent hotel, but then subsequently fired after a co-worker searched her name and found her convictions.
Evelyn has overcome these challenges and found success in the legal cannabis industry through her work at cannabis and hemp infusion technology company Vertosa, where she manages all public and industry events. Evelyn also spearheads Vertosa’s partnership with the Last Prisoner Project, among additional non-profit organizations advocating for social justice and equity within the cannabis industry.
Through community engagement, Evelyn works to create a more transparent and accessible industry that encourages minorities to penetrate all aspects of the business, including in the labs and the executive offices. She has also made it her goal to create a real second chance for men and women being released from prison through her work with both Vertosa and the Last Prisoner Project.