Women to Watch: Mandy Lehnbeuter of Heya Wellness
Can women really have it all? Mixed answers come about with that question, but some of Missouri’s women in cannabis are certainly attempting to show they can. Mandy Lehnbeuter, Vice President at Heya Wellness is one such woman. As a founder of over 20 non-profit organizations, founder and owner of Redemption Fitness STL, and a mover and shaker in government affairs, Lehnbeuter’s role at Heya is one more endeavor that she’s using to help break ground for female leaders.
Lehnbeuter is always on the lookout for opportunities that not only allow her to actively shape an industry, but create connective tissue between her personal passions and business objectives. Mandy’s “why” is a central theme to her involvement with Heya Wellness and the story of cannabis in Missouri as a whole. In 2012, her sister was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gherig’s disease, a chronic condition where patients have frequently found refuge from pain using cannabis-based medicine. After seeing the impact of cannabis-based products on the healing of this life-threatening illness, it became clear that this is something that is completely misunderstood by the community at large.
Lehnbeuter states, “One of my primary goals is for Heya to bring wellness to the community and help those suffering from chronic illness. This is being manifested by opening up the conversation around cannabis-based medicines, removing the stigma by having serious discussions about alternatives to side-effect-ridden medications so prevalent in today’s medical community. Traditional medicine is extremely important, but with the advancement in cannabis growing techniques and technologies, Heya Wellness is leading the way in the creation of custom cultivars (or types of cannabis flower) that are able to create specific terpene and cannabinoid profiles targeted as healing complex illnesses.”
By having the conversation, we bring to light the beauty of a plant that has had its name slandered for almost an entire century in American history. Heya is actively working to fulfill the “Wellness” they’ve placed front and center in the company’s name. “Research and development combined with advanced cultivation & manufacturing capabilities are going to ensure that all Missouri patients have access to holistic cannabis-based medicines that will uplift their lives.”
Mandy Lehnbeuter is a shining example of a woman to watch. As a mother, entrepreneur, and leader in a blossoming industry, she is setting a clear example for young women looking to make an impact. There are not many people in the world who have the unique ability to see the entire picture from a 40,000 ft view, while managing the smallest compliance details for a business that has more red tape than almost any in the state. Being able to balance so many things is relatively unbelievable, but Mandy makes it look easy.
Lehnbeuter’s goal for Heya and for herself is to, “Bring Wellness to the industry – remove the stigma – make it no longer taboo.”
Heya’s vertical operations include multiple license types, including cultivation, manufacturing, and retail and they have big plans for the year ahead, including multiple types of products for Missouri’s industry via their labs’ hard work and innovation. Hard work at Heya doesn’t just fall on the front line, Lehnbeuter shares stories of the senior leadership team assembling and packing and labeling alongside employees from all different functions within the company’s organizational chart.
As a woman leader and someone constantly driven to succeed, Lehnbeuter said, “As a mother to two daughters, it’s important for me to empower my children. Teaching our children that they can excel in the fields of business management, finance, entrepreneurship, innovation, science and technology – nothing is off the table. This industry has an opportunity to lead by example. We can “craft” an industry that shifts the norm and changes the landscape.”
“When you’re inspired by some greater purpose than you, some extraordinary mission, all your thoughts break their bounds. You find yourself in a new, amazing world surrounded by other like-minded individuals that feed off of your drive, purpose, and zest for life. It’s then you can lead others. You can inspire others to have a voice. Breathe life and hope into them. Inspire them physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially and they will achieve their own greatness.”
Thoughts on women and their place in the Missouri industry?
“We are elbowing our way through, we are being brought to the table, we are beginning to be heard, but we are definitely ELBOWING our way through and I’m excited to see organizations like Missouri’s JAINE come together. That’s what we need – we need to band together in this industry.” We’re confident that Mandy will continue to be a woman to watch so stay tuned.