Meet the Tamerlane team: Heather Williams, Administrative Executive
In this series, we invite you to get to know the Tamerlane Trading team. Today, we introduce Heather Williams, Administrative Executive.
By Rae Lland
In it’s journey to success, the cannabis industry has faced challenges that have required tenacity, determination and resourcefulness to overcome. For the people who have shaped this industry, much of these same traits have been necessary, and perhaps none exemplify that better than Heather Williams, who approaches life’s challenges with amiability and grace.
GET ON YOUR PATH
Williams started with Tamerlane Trading in 2019, opening a new chapter after a winding road that led her there. Before Tamerlane, Williams had been working in finance under some pretty big names, but in 2017 everything changed when Williams suffered a brain injury at the hands of a fly ball at a game.
“What's really interesting,” says Williams about that time in her life, “is that I was not happy working for corporate. I wasn't happy doing my job or with the way that things were going in my life, and I think that this was my huge wake up call because the universe was like, fine--boom--get on your path, figure it out.”
This purpose-driven outlook is what undoubtedly helped fuel Williams in her forward momentum towards recovery and success -- a place where after three years, she has landed with steady footing. Tamerlane is William’s first job in the cannabis industry, and when asked for her impression of the industry, she was quick to reply.
“The people that I work with are fantastic. They're amazing people. I enjoy the candidness that people have and they seek their truth -- at least a lot of them,” says Williams with an intonation of respect. “If they're struggling with something they share it, and most of these people I've never met face to face, but I've built this relationship with them working over the past year. We go over and beyond because they are our customers, and our clients are an extension of our family.”
She continues, espousing the fulfillment she gets from helping others. “I love it when someone will come to me with a problem and I'm able to help resolve it for them and take the ease off of them. I'm happy to take that stress from our suppliers so that I can make the process easier on them.”
ROUTINE AND FAMILY
A typical day in William’s life begins with taking her pit bull shepherd mix, Bullseye, for a walk. Unless it’s raining, of course, which apparently makes her pup stop like a “sack of potatoes” in protest of getting wet. After their walk, Williams says she meditates or does yoga. Once she’s done with this morning routine, it’s time to get to work.
Williams was able to apply her experience in finance to her new position as Administrative Executive with Tamerlane. She handles invoices, AR collection, admin support and various projects for the company. She started by easing into the position -- she had been talked into leaving her previous role after the brain injury and had to spend some time recovering before working again -- referring to the process as a “huge, long, tedious recovery.” With determination though, Williams was eventually ready to get back to work, and her part-time position soon shifted to full-time.
Williams speaks very highly of her team and the clients at Tamerlane, saying they make coming to work feel “totally” worth it, and that she’s grateful for the ability to work and support her family during this unprecedented year.
It’s clear to see Williams is proud of her family when she speaks of them, and she has all the more reason to be since they are in many ways a miracle. When Williams was young she was told she wouldn’t be able to have children, so when she found out she was pregnant at 20 years old, it was a welcome surprise.
“Doctors told me I’d never carry until term and I said, yeah, but you also told me I'd never get pregnant. So I felt this is my shot, although I'm very young, I'm going to take it.”
Williams fought through a difficult pregnancy and came out victorious. Today, her miracle child is her 23 year old son and incredibly, she went on to have another miracle baby -- her 15 year old daughter, who she fought through a second difficult pregnancy, pre-eclampsia and an emergency C-section to have.
Williams grew up in Washington but moved to Portland Oregon 18 years ago, where she lives with her daughter and close to her son, her siblings and nieces and nephews. She speaks fondly of how her kids get to grow up with their cousins as close friends. It’s clear family, and community in general, is very important to Williams and how she approaches life and work.
PASSIONS AND PLANTS
In her downtime, Williams enjoys hobbies like candle making, crafting jewelry, watching educational documentaries and going for hikes or just getting out on an adventure. “I love exploring and traveling new places,” says Williams. “Whether it be just getting lost in the car for a few hours, or set out for a destination but not have any plans made and just see where we end up.” In explaining what brings her joy, Williams also mentions “helping people.”
With a love of nature, a healer’s heart, and an adventurous spirit, it is no wonder that Williams has walked a path of plant medicine. After her brain injury in 2017, she struggled to feel like herself while contending with the effects. Determined to heal and get off the pharmaceuticals she’d begun taking after the brain injury, she sought out the healing properties of plant medicines like ayahuasca and microdosing with psilocybin. This journey brought her back to a place of peace, growth and healing. Today, she credits much of the success of her recovery to these experiences.
“One of my missions is to help heal humanity with plant medicine in whatever capacity that may be,” says Williams. “I feel like we're finally moving in the right direction, having them decriminalized and starting to use them for depression and anxiety. I'm so excited for the steps that have been taken the past few years with legalizing cannabis, and now legalizing psilocybin.”
Williams is a joy to talk to, a beacon of amiability. Though her story is one peppered with challenges, it is the tenacity and grace with which she has faced them that is a testament to her character. It is no stretch to say Williams brightens and strengthens anyone fortunate enough to have her on their team, be it family, friends, coworkers, or the clients she loves to work with every day.
Rae Lland is a writer, journalist and editor with a focus on culture, music, health and wellness. In addition to her extensive catalogue of work for Leafly, she has also been featured in numerous online cannabis publications as well as print editions of Cannabis Now Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @rae.lland