One World Products OWPC, a company formerly known as One World Pharma, which recently changed its name to "One World Products: Sustainable Hemp and Cannabis Solutions,” will announce on Wednesday it has named Isiah Thomas as executive chairman of its board of directors, Benzinga has learned exclusively.
Thomas will continue to serve in his role as CEO of the company, which is one of the largest Black-controlled licensed cannabis and hemp producers in the U.S. with offices in Las Vegas and operations in Colombia.
“It is incredibly gratifying and important to lead this environmentally and socially-aligned company, creating access to opportunities through transformative partnerships that allow us to continue achieving our long-term vision of eliminating volatile organic compounds and plastics through hemp-derived bioplastic production,” Thomas said. “We look forward to partnering with large multinational companies around hemp-based solutions for all types of applications.”
The company’s previous chairman, Dr. Kenneth Perego, II, M.D., will continue to serve on the board as its vice chairman.
One World Products' presence is increasing in the rapidly developing market for industrial hemp and supplier diversity programs at Fortune 500 organizations, noted a company press release.
Isiah Thomas: Eclectic Background, Basketball And International Business Acumen: Thomas, who many may remember as the 12-time NBA All-Star named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, is an inductee in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
After reaching many athletic pinnacles - including winning the 1989 and 1990 NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons - Thomas went on to found Isiah International, a holding company with interests in utility vegetation management, real estate, sports and entertainment.
And Then Champagne: Thomas, who became the first African American elected to the Board of the Chicago Stock Exchange in 1999, is often referred to as a serial investor and entrepreneur. Under Thomas’s stewardship, French Cheurlin Champagne, from the vineyards of France’s Aube Champagne region, became an award-winner and a household name.
That experience provided Thomas with a specific understanding of cultivating artisanal crops and overseeing supply and importation - much-needed skills that were likely put to good use last August when One World built an extraction facility in Colombia that was designed to process cannabis flower.
As its name suggests, One World is also focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards, with particular emphasis on its impact on the environment as well as ensuring that its employees, particularly those within its Colombia operations, are valued and recognized for their contributions, while simultaneously maintaining stewardship over their indigenous land.
Stellantis Development Program: One World Products was recently included as one of the first companies comprising the initial collective of the Stellantis-National Business League Black Supplier Development Program. As part of the Program, One World Products will develop and supply hemp-based bioplastic solutions for interior and exterior components to Stellantis N.V. STLA, one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers.
Thomas, who holds a Master’s degree in education from UC Berkeley, currently serves on the boards of United Wholesale Mortgage and Madison Square Garden Entertainment.
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