SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Tim O'Neill

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Written by | June 30th, 2021

Meet Tim O’Neill, VP of International Markets, who joined the SōRSE team in 2019 after serving as an officer in the British Army for ten years, where he took on a broad range of roles, from policy to counter-insurgency operations. Tim leads SoRSE’s international business development and is responsible for creating strategy for global expansion and building relationships with clients in Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. 

Tim enjoys the challenge of working in this burgeoning marketplace, especially as global consumers show increased interest in products infused with cannabinoids.  While he may live thousands of miles from the SōRSE headquarters in Seattle, Tim is an integral part of our sales team as the company expands to new markets around the world.  

What drew you to SōRSE? What intrigued you about the position?   

I crossed paths with our CEO, Howard, when I was looking at options outside my current role and he was looking for options for SōRSE outside of the US. It was clear that it was an opportunity to move into a brand-new role in a brand-new industry. It was an exciting prospect and a chance to really shape the position and make it my own. It was made clear that I’d be expected to be a self-starter, to make my own decisions and manage my own time; coming from the rigidity of my current organization, this sounded like the perfect job! It took four weeks from being offered the role to starting out as the newest member of the team.  

Prior to SōRSE, you served as an officer in the British Army for ten years. What skills that you developed in your time in the military do you find yourself drawing on working for SōRSE?  

I spent a lot of my time in that role operating ‘at range’ and trying to solve new and complex problems with only the resources that I had available.  I also needed to anticipate requirements for my time and my commanders, and prepare as best I could for uncertainty. It was all about trying to deliver results on time to the best of my ability and with the tools available.  My time at SōRSE has been no different. 

What do you enjoy about your role, and what do you find challenging?  

Working 8,000 miles and eight time zones away from the company office in Seattle has its challenges, but I’ve found the team I get to work with every day have taken it in their stride, and I try and use it to my advantage wherever I can.  The team I work with loves what they do and universally wants the company to do great things, which we are. 

Working with CBD on in a global marketplace has its challenges — one of them being regulatory differences. Despite the challenges, what are the growth opportunities that you are seeing internationally? How do you see people’s perceptions of cannabis changing? 

 Public perception and support for the legalization of cannabis products is only increasing everywhere you look. The ‘Post Prohibition’ era is coming everywhere; it’s just a question of when. People are preparing accordingly, and there is a lot of excitement around what that could look like.  People are being cautious and examining opportunities, but the pieces are already being moved into place. 

Can you describe some significant/meaningful moments in the time you have worked at SōRSE?  

Coming from the Army, and with little practical business experience, the last few years have been full of ‘firsts’ for me. I secured our first international order. Seeing that through from making the sale, helping with regulatory compliance, shipping, clearing customs and delivery was really satisfying. The fact that the customer was thrilled with SōRSE Technology and just how much better it was than the alternatives made me realize I was a part of something special.  

What are your work goals for 2021 and your personal goals?  

I’d like SōRSE to get in at the ground floor of every new legal hemp market in the world, as the best provider of emulsions for food and beverages.  

As a family, we are preparing for my wife to coach the Great Britain Rowing Team at the Olympics in Tokyo this the summer, and between a four-year-old, a Labrador and three chickens, I think I’ll have plenty to occupy me once I clock off for the weekend! 

Can you share something about yourself that not a lot of people know?   

I once accidentally crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq on a jet ski.