Ben Lewinger has journeyed from the entire world of common organization to the most recent New Mexico frontier: the hashish sector.
When an staff of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Lewinger now leads a considerably “scrappier,” but related, organization: the New Mexico Hashish Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a lot to my chagrin to discover myself in this position now,” Lewinger claims. “I am a tough-main progressive, and oftentimes, my own views never align with the views of marketplace.
“What I do know how to do definitely effectively is broker suggestions and help persons comprehend bigger picture items in all situations. I consider my area of interest is doing work on definitely messy, difficult items that are heading to make the environment a better place.”
Lewinger’s role at the conventional chamber was heading the Albuquerque Reads software, which pairs volunteer tutors with elementary pupils. He also has been condition director of Moms In opposition to Drunk Driving and a director at the New Mexico Local community Foundation.
But his biggest projects came with his part at Methods 360, a nationwide general public coverage and advertising business. Lewinger was on the team that assisted start the New Mexico United soccer crew, and he worked on a prosperous tax-improve proposal for the BioPark in 2015. He now operates the Fable Communications advertising enterprise with a childhood greatest good friend.
But Lewinger even now retains fast to a childhood desire: getting a faith instructor.
“I consider religion generates and conveys meaning,” Lewinger says. “It’s how we go what’s vital and what issues from technology to technology. From a incredibly younger age, I understood I wanted to be a religion trainer. So if any of your visitors operates at UNM or CNM …”
How did you get included in the hashish chamber?
“I was suckered into it. I’m not a cannabis advocate. I get every prospect I can to recognize that there are advocates who have been working on this for basically decades in New Mexico. I was just presented with this possibility to phase in and just take in excess of nine months into its existence. I consider hashish is heading to be exciting and difficult for awhile.”
Did anything at all surprise you about the rollout of leisure marijuana?
“I generally say anything in this market is 20% tougher and 15% much more expensive. There are issues that except if you have actually accomplished your homework or except if you worked for a person of the legacy operators, you wouldn’t know. Like there is a federal tax code that generally prohibits cannabis corporations from crafting off traditional business expenses, which if you didn’t spending plan for that and you are functioning a pretty slim margin, that can be problematic. Just one of the added benefits that is also maybe a single of the weaknesses is it’s so effortless to get a license that I believe, however, plenty of organizations will flip around. It’s a tremendous aggressive marketplace, and it is really regulated. The financial gain margins are rather narrow, regardless of what individuals would have you feel.”
What was your initial work?
“I lied about my age, I think when I was 15, and got a job as a dishwasher. And then soon after 6 months, I was in the kitchen area. It was (a) bar and grill in the East Mountains. I grew up in Tijeras. And I cooked for some other eating places and … I was a truly good bartender. I think I appreciated the mind-numbing capacity, in the system of cooking, of attempting to get numerous factors to arrive up at the exact same time, so almost everything is sizzling when it’s served. And I believe which is the very best distraction at any time.”
How did you get there at the intention of religion teacher?
“I bear in mind the moment. I was at Very best Price tag Publications and Espresso. I was sitting down there with my mates … and we would do this issue where by we would give ourselves some time, and we would go and glance for a e-book and provide it back again and go over it. And I would usually bring back again faith publications. I recall wondering, ‘I want to instruct this, since it is so amazing.’ I picked my undergraduate (schooling), dependent on their faith office, at Tufts University.”
In which are your preferred destinations in the globe?
“Hawaii, obviously, because I went to (graduate) faculty there. But I obtained in a genuinely terrible scooter incident in Hawaii, and persuaded the college … to give me a year off to get the job done on my thesis (in) Taiwan. My thesis was on animal-headed demons in Chinese and Jewish popular religion. If you want to study Chinese religion, Taiwan was the only position to do it. Lots of religious establishments and techniques and means of imagining exist in Taiwan nevertheless that do not exist in China any more. And that was a seriously excellent spot. And I really like New Mexico.”
Do you have any regrets?
“No. I just compensated off my college loans a handful of months ago.”
Do you have any quirks?
“I’m a Simpsons (Tv demonstrate) fan. When I was in higher education in Boston, I had roommates, who are still some of my best good friends, and ‘The Simpsons’ was on at 5, 5:30, 10 and 10:30. Individuals had been the times. My pals, nonetheless, we’ll textual content about actually cryptic Simpsons points. It is a contest of who in fact is aware what we’re conversing about. I have been viewing a good deal of ‘Star Trek the Upcoming Era,’ these days, which I truly get pleasure from because that was 1 of the things my father and I did collectively each individual Saturday.”
Who evokes you?
“Jean-Luc Picard (a fictional character in the Star Trek collection) simply because he was the captain who led a staff that boldly went wherever no a person had long gone ahead of.”
THE Fundamental principles: Ben Jacob Lewinger, 42, born in Albuquerque married to Vanesa Lewinger because 2011 two children, Makena, 8, and Willa Leona, 5 3 pets, Ubie, a brown pet dog, and Ziggy and Gandalf, both of those cats master’s degree in Asian religions, College of Hawaii, 2008 certificate in Mandarin language, Nationwide Taiwan Normal University, 2006 bachelor’s in comparative faith, Tufts University, 2002.
POSITIONS: Govt director, New Mexico Hashish Chamber of Commerce because 2019 co-founder, Fable Communications, considering the fact that 2019 senior vice president, Approaches 360, 2015-2019 condition executive director, Moms In opposition to Drunk Driving, 2013-15 director of communications and collaborative partnerships, New Mexico Neighborhood Foundation, 2012-13 vice president of Reads and Management, Increased Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, 2010-2012.
OTHER: Board member, Paws and Stripes, given that 2016 appointed member, Bernalillo County DWI Scheduling Council, considering that 2012 founding board member of the Young Nonprofit Experienced Network of New Mexico, 2011-2016.