Jason Saunders

Co-founder/CEO
Chronic Creations & Chronic Therapy

Location: Denver, CO
Founded: 2016
Industry: Cannabis

*Second Year Honoree*

Jason Saunders has built his success off two major components: continuous improvement and company growth.

“The first is my continuous work on the improvement of internal functions within the infrastructure of the company as it is today,” said Saunders, co-founder and CEO of Chronic Creations & Chronic Therapy. “The second is the effort to maintain growth of my company’s overall footprint and revenue.”

Focusing on improving the internal structure of the company stems from the idea that any structure is only as strong as its support system, according to Saunders.

“These are the internal operations, as they are responsible for supporting retail, manufacturing, and cultivation departments, creating an inherently complicated structure as each division has very different needs.”

Saunders adds that working to advance everything from company culture to operating procedures are two ways to achieve a more effective and profitable company. This introspective approach, a constant for this Titan of industry, saves him time and allows him to be proactive instead of reactive. Still, he added, it is equally important to focus on maintaining a goal congruent future and expansion plans. This year, cultivation efforts are showing even more results with the construction of a 7,000 sq ft state of the art cultivation facility in Cortez, Colorado. The cannabis markets volatility has Saunders focusing on a vertical growth business model and it shows. Taking control and learning to understand the most complicated aspect of his company, this industry Titan says that he can lead his team with greater confidence and success. Saunders added that he is a non-traditional business owner in the sense that he lacks a formal business education.

“This has created some obstacles in my professional development, but the steepest learning curve was acquiring the skills to be fluent in my own financials,” he said. “Do not underestimate the importance of this skill set.”

He said that all aspects of his business perform better because he can clearly see the picture created by his financials. “This allows me to react to issues sooner and with greater clarity, freeing me to focus more energy on the proactive growth of my people and business,” Saunders said. He added that maintaining a constant physical presence with an optimistic leadership style was his most important support role during the pandemic. “This enabled us to project continuity throughout the entire organization during a time when a consistent message was extremely important. I operate under the philosophy that my success will only be as great as the success of my employees.”

Saunders said that the past year posed many challenges to leadership, yet the single biggest obstacle enabled the executive team dynamic to change.

“The pandemic exposed a misalignment of vision that had slowly divided the executive team. We were operating as separate or siloed partners each with his/her own segregated responsibilities and agendas. This had happened slowly over time and it wasn’t apparent until we faced the heightened uncertainty that the pandemic forced us to address.” He added this happened in a tight time frame due to the external pressures that the pandemic put on the team.

It became clear that they either needed to work together to shift mindsets and align visions, or face potential hardship moving forward. “This reckoning allowed us to evaluate each other’s strengths and to refocus them on putting the company first.”

Having taken an already profitable company to a whole new level of efficiency, his seamless executive team has allowed harder and more complicated problems to be tackled in a positive way. And with that, Saunders said, comes their new perspective of truly unlimited growth potential.

“I believe that I work for them, not the other way around,” he said. “The whole should be greater than the sum of its parts.”

And according to Saunders, any crisis has a silver lining- a strong statement from an exemplary industry leader.

Presented by:
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Alliance
Community Banks of Colorado
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"I believe that I work for them, not the other way around. The whole should be greater than the sum of its parts."