Element 7 recently expanded its footprint across North America, launching a social-justice led movement in Illinois. The program has paired over a dozen cannabis entrepreneurs with an experienced and committed local management team to bring justice and opportunity to Element 7’s newest cannabis market.
Meet the Illinois Team
Co-Founder & CEO, Element 7 Illinois
Gabriel Wiesen is a lifelong Chicago native. Professionally he is a results-driven, highly creative entrepreneur with broad based experience in the hospitality and marketing industries, with over 15 years of experience focusing on QSR franchise concept development, marketing and financial planning. He is a 2008 finance graduate of DePaul University where he now often speaks as a guest lecturer at the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, and the DePaul School for Hospitality Leadership. In 2011 he co-founded Beavers Coffee + Donuts with a single food truck. Locally the group now has 5 licensed food trucks in Chicago, one in the suburbs, one brick and mortar location in downtown Chicago, dozens of employees, and serve over 1 million donuts a year. President of the Illinois Food Truck Owners Association, Gabriel is responsible for advocating on behalf of hundreds of local small business owners. He is also a member of the Political Action Committee for the Illinois Restaurant Association and works hand in hand with State, County, and City elected officials to craft policy and influence legislation affecting the restaurant and hospitality industry in Illinois.
William D. San Hamel
Co-Founder, Element 7 Illinois
William D. San Hamel (Big Bill) is a Vietnam Veteran from Chicago. Upon coming back home, he formed an all-service advertising agency specializing in startups, political campaigns and gaming. An early investor in a medical marijuana licensee (Florida Wellness) along with his partner Acreage Holdings, which was recently acquired by Harvest Health and Recreation. Currently, he manages a Telemedicine practice dedicated to rejuvenating first responders to optimal health. He is a longtime participant in Rev. John P. Smyth’s Standing Tall Charitable Foundation which provides educational scholarships to the underprivileged across Chicagoland.
Head of Partnerships, Element 7 Illinois
Jordan McCurdy oversees Element 7’s Branding program in Illinois, focused on bringing in new technology, innovation, product development, and premium brands from mature cannabis markets including California, Colorado, Oregon, and Michigan. Jordan resides in Morton Grove and owns a high-end limited-edition shoe store (Sold Out Boutique). He has over a decade of e-commerce experience.
Director of Outreach and Events, Element 7 Illinois
Sara Jennetten has spent the last 9 years in the hospitality and manufacturing industries in both Chicago and Franklin Park, Illinois focused on sales operations, business development and meetings and event management. She’s a Morton Grove resident that brings strong entrepreneurial and business knowledge to our business operations in Illinois.
Steven M. San Hamel
Operations Manager, Element 7 Illinois
Steven M. San Hamel is a Chicago cannabis specialist and care giver, having over 4 years of cannabis operations experience with Safe Alternatives, a non-profit Medical Marijuana licensee in the state of Maine. He has filled key administrative roles including writing standard operating procedures for seed to sale management and acquiring hundreds of new patients through coordinating sign-up events with doctors and potential clients.
Partner, Element 7 Illinois
As a Partner of Alexander, Borovicka & O’Shea (ABO), and previously as President of Michael Alexander & Associates LLC, Mike has an extensive list of clients that rely on him to develop and execute their government affairs and legislative priorities at all levels of government. With over twenty years of experience working in Washington, Mike advocates tirelessly on behalf of his clients to successfully navigate Capitol Hill and the federal bureaucracy. He has developed a reputation of building broad bi-partisan coalitions, helping clients gather intelligence and stay informed of current and pending policy trends, identifying advocacy groups to support their efforts, and passing critical legislation in D.C. Mike began his career in public service in 1995, when he went to work for then Congressman, and now Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States Senate, Richard Durbin from Illinois. In 2003, Mike accepted a position with the State of Illinois, becoming the Director of Local Government for the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity (DCEO). In 2004 Mike transitioned to the private sector when he became the Director of Government Affairs for Simmons Hanly Conroy (formerly The Simmons Law Firm), one of the nation’s top law firms. Mike was born in Springfield, Illinois and raised in nearby Virden. He is a 1996 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, where he majored in Political Science and graduated with honors.
Partner, Element 7 Illinois
Through his work in both the public and private sector, John Borovicka has developed one of the most unique networks of experiences, relationships, and substantive acumen in the advocacy community today. John utilizes this background on behalf of his clients as a founding partner of Alexander, Borovicka & O’Shea Government Solutions. John’s extensive career in public service includes over a dozen years working at the federal, state, and city levels of government. These include senior positions with current Illinois State Senate President John Cullerton, current U.S. Congressman Mike Quigley, and then-U.S. Congressman Rahm Emanuel. John’s governmental and campaign experience began in 1996 on the Democratic National Convention and President Clinton’s reelection campaign. Immediately prior to forming Alexander, Borovicka & O’Shea, John spent five years in public finance at an international investment firm, where he was a Senior Vice President in infrastructure investment banking. John specialized in financings for a wide range of large governmental entities across the United States, including the Chicago Transit Authority, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and the State of Ohio. John holds a B.S. in Communications from Northwestern University, which he attended on a baseball scholarship. He also holds a J.D. from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois. He previously held Series 7 and Series 63 Securities licenses as a municipal finance professional. John has been a guest lecturer in political science and communication at Northwestern, DePaul and Loyola Universities. He is a Past President of the Board of Directors of Chicago Lights, a community organization aimed at combating poverty. John has served as an Elder of the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago. He is also currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors of The N Club, for former letter-winning varsity athletes at Northwestern University. He is a past board member of the Chicago Summer Business Institute and the John Merlo Sports Program, and has been an active member of the Government Finance Officers Association, the National Association of Bond Lawyers, the Chicago Bar Association, and the Lakeview Citizens Council.
Partner, Element 7 Illinois
Sean O’Shea is a Partner at Alexander, Borovicka & O’Shea Government Solutions and President of SPO Strategic Consulting, LLC. Sean has more than 15 years of policy, legislative and legal experience working with various federal, state, and local government entities, nonprofits, trade associations, universities, corporations, and unions in the transportation and infrastructure areas, as well as complex insurance, environmental, and national security issues. Sean served in various capacities in Washington, D.C. from the White House to Capitol Hill, as well as in the private sector representing various clients. Most recently, Sean served as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Illinois overseeing significant capital investments throughout the State of Illinois. Sean served as Vice President of Building America’s Future. As Projects Director & Legislative Assistant to then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sean handled domestic appropriation bills, transportation and infrastructure issues, homeland security and health matters related to the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City, and served as an adviser to Senator Clinton on the Northern Ireland peace process and other key pieces of legislation. Sean previously served in the Office of Cabinet Affairs in the White House for President Bill Clinton overseeing several key agencies responding to crisis events, and helped coordinate policy and operations with the President’s Cabinet for issues such as major disaster declarations, aviation incidents, and policy announcements. In 2015, Sean was elected to the Board of Directors of Building America’s Future and Building America’s Future Educational Fund, the organization at which he previously served as Vice President. Sean is a graduate of DePaul University and American University Washington College of Law. Sean is an attorney licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and the Illinois Supreme Court.