YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
NACT Canada is a membership organization, a not-for-profit industry association, as such we represent membership by electing our board annually at the AGM. The next AGM is expected in quater one of 2020.
Meet your current board of directors, and be sure to conenct with them if you'd like to be involved at a board or working group level with NACT.
John Hewson, President and CEO
Foodie, traveller and vision enabler John has enjoyed leadership roles in the tourism, hospitality and service industry for over 35 years, with a focus on strategic development and community building. He has served on several community boards, including Art Whistler in readiness to host the 2010 Cultural Olympiad
As Co-Founder, President and CEO of NACT, John builds member & stakeholder relationships, working to understand both member and visitor needs, concerns, expectations relating to cannabis tourism. He also supports NACT in advocating for policy change and industry best practices.
A three times cancer survivor, John’s passion for cannabis lies in its healing and therapeutic powers. His mission is to see cannabis normalized in society, and looks forward to building Canada’s proud authentic cannabis tourism and hospitality industry.
Arnold Warkentin, Chair
Arnold’s first experience with cannabis was in 2009 as a tourist in Amsterdam. Since his first trip to Europe, Arnold has been a passionate advocate for both travel and cannabis.
Professionally trained as a health scientist, Arnold focuses on the intersection of health, wellness and cannabis. He facilitates the sharing of cannabis knowledge and experiences on his blog Informed High.
Arnold understands the importance of tourism to local and national economies, and aims to help small Canadian businesses navigate the emerging cannabis tourism industry.
The combination of Arnold’s in-depth knowledge and passion for both cannabis and tourism has lead to him taking the helm of NACT as the Founding Chairperson.
Shaman Ferraro, Vice Chair
Based in Prince Edward Island, Shaman is a Canadian cannabis tourism industry expert and oversees the strategic direction for Gocanna, Canada’s premier cannabis tourism resource.
By creating Gocanna, Shaman has established and defined the first cannabis-based quality service standard for the hospitality and tourism industry. Gocanna is also the first member-based network for businesses that commit to providing safe, legal and responsible environments for cannabis consumers.
Shaman’s passion for cannabis tourism led him to create Prince Edward Island’s first recreational cannabis event in October 2018, ushering in a new era of Canadian hospitality & tourism.
Joining NACT as a Founding Board Member he looks forward to establishing a community of professionals that share his passion for educating adult travellers on what they need to know and where they can go.
Tristan Slade, Secretary
Tristan is passionate about sharing British Columbia’s natural beauty with visitors from all over the world.
After earning a degree in Forestry Sciences from the University of British Columbia, he worked as an environmental consultant in Northern Canada and has enjoyed leading group tours across Western Canada for several years. Tristan has also advocated for cannabis in anticipation of Canada’s federal legalization in 2018.
Using his entrepreneurial vision to merge his passions of guiding and cannabis into a cannabis-friendly sightseeing business, High Definition Tours, has made Tristan a pioneer in Canada’s cannabis tourism industry.
He looks forward to serving on the Board of Directors for NACT, by actively applying his knowledge of tourism and cannabis to help successfully merge the two industries.
Dean Nelson, Treasurer
Dean has spent the last 30 years blazing trails in the Travel and Tourism Industry.
Earning his diploma from Thompson Rivers University (1992) he has since been recognized as a Distinguished Alumni (2016) and granted an Honorary Doctor of Law (2018) for his work on International Human Rights and Tourism.
Among his many achievements, Dean founded the 2010 Olympic Pride House, co-founded the Mr. Gay World competition, executive produces the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival, and serves with the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce and Travel Gay Canada.
As a Founding Board Member of NACT, Dean looks forward to helping shape Canada’s cannabis tourism industry in education, safe consumption and memorable experiences.