We've been busy, I swear.

Last year when we started this blog, we vowed to keep it fresh. Why do a blog if we aren't updating it regularly? 

That was December. Obama was still president, Judge Wapner was still alive , and Dan and I had this idea that we could run Kria the Business while also promoting and marketing Kria the Brand. How naive. It turns out it's really hard to both run a business and market that business. Today, Kria the Business is thriving (more on that in a sec), but we've not done a good job of telling our story. Ironic, because one of the things we're good at is helping our clients tell theirs. And dumb, because we've got a good story to tell.

In the three months since we last blogged at you, Kria has: planted 1,200 (and counting) CBD hemp plants on a Vermont farm, traveled to The Gambia twice to help the new President transition into office,  and joined a Minnesota campaign for governor as general consultant. We're busy, and we're building Kria into the brand we envisioned. 

Lots and lots of hemp. Charlotte, Vermont. 

Lots and lots of hemp. Charlotte, Vermont. 

CBD

You know how we've been saying that CBD is the bee's knees? It turns out that more and more people - including lots of scientists - agree. In addition to all the other benefits of CBD, a recent study shows that CBD reduces seizures by nearly 40% in severely epileptic patients. It's no wonder that CBD is exploding in popularity across the country.  

Dan, taking a break from working the fields. 

Dan, taking a break from working the fields. 

That's why Dan has been spending most waking hours planning, planting, and tending to our 2017 CBD crop. We are growing more than 1,200 hemp plants for CBD extraction on a Charlotte, Vermont farm, under a permit from the State of Vermont. We're in negotiations to sell the extracted CBD to various Vermont outlets, with the idea of having CBD production and extraction a central part of our vision for a Vermont Botanical Center of Excellence. 

Gambia

Back in January, the people of The Gambia, a small West African nation, elected a democrat as new president for the first time in 22 years. The former president was an autocrat and notorious human rights abuser who lost his grip on power when the Gambian political opposition coalesced and mobilized around a reformer named Adama Barrow in his run for president. After a fair amount of drama that included regional troops massing at Gambia's border, President Barrow took office back in late February. 

Social media played a pivotal role in ensuring that this guy, after 22 years of dictatorship and human rights abuses, is now former President Jammeh. This statue was a tribute to Jammeh, by Jammeh, adorned after his departure with the opposition slogan, and recently torn down from the Banjul city square.

Social media played a pivotal role in ensuring that this guy, after 22 years of dictatorship and human rights abuses, is now former President Jammeh. This statue was a tribute to Jammeh, by Jammeh, adorned after his departure with the opposition slogan, and recently torn down from the Banjul city square.

Shortly after he took office, I took part in a week-long visit with a group of officials from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to assess the needs of the Office of the President, and assist them with the huge job of taking over a national government that had been mismanaged for the previous two decades. Think about what it does to a country's future when its best educated and brightest citizens are imprisoned or forced into exile. There was no "government in waiting," no infrastructure in place for a smooth transition. 

My job is to help the President's team in Banjul with managing that transition, and particularly with communications and messaging. After our initial visit in April, I returned to Banjul in May to provide additional training and assistance to the team, and may end up returning in the coming weeks. This has been a fun and rewarding project, and I love love love The Gambia - if you're looking for a cool place to visit, check it out. The crocodiles are friendly. 

Tim Walz for Governor

Team Walz at the 2017 Minneapolis Pride parade. Tim is awesome, you'd like him. 

Team Walz at the 2017 Minneapolis Pride parade. Tim is awesome, you'd like him. 

I grew up in a small city in southern Minnesota called Mankato. Most people outside of Minnesota have never heard of Mankato, but it turns out some pretty awesome people are from there, like my brother and sister and this guy. Tim Walz is a teacher (at Mankato West High School - go Scarlets!), football coach, National Guard command sergeant major, and Congressman, and he's going to be Minnesota's next governor. I'm honored to be serving as general consultant to Tim's campaign, helping the team build its infrastructure and strategy, and addressing the many day-to-day needs that a growing organization has in the early stages of a big statewide campaign. And best of all, I get to spend time in my hometown with new colleagues, old friends, and even an occasional Twins game. 

 

So there you have it: a sparkling new Kria blog post. I promise that the next one will be posted before we lose Judge Judy.