Sira Spotlight: In the Tech Weeds with Ashley Rooney
Posted by Andrew Sharp

The Sira Spotlight series focuses on one of the most interesting aspects of Sira Naturals: our people. Each month, we highlight members of our staff from across the entire organization.

In this Sira Spotlight, we are highlighting our IT Manager, Ashley Rooney, to learn about her role overseeing the tech infrastructure and IT operations for Sira.

Ashley Rooney Spotlight Blog

What is your role at Sira?

I am Sira’s IT Manager.

How long have you been a part of the team?

Since May, 2019.

How has your past experience informed your current role at Sira?

Before Sira, I was an IT Consultant in NYC. I learned so much there- from the ins and outs of general IT, to the nuances of managing daily tickets- all while keeping clients happy and functioning!

What made you interested in working in the cannabis space?

Honestly, the people here! I happened to know a number of good eggs who were working at Sira which initially got me interested. When I learned more about the industry and saw its potential to really take over, I was sold! We really do have such great possibilities in our industry, and it happens to be run by some awesome people. Wins all around!

What does a typical day look like managing IT services at Sira?

Each day is unique- it’s one of the things I love about it! Since each department uses such an array tools, there’s loads of different reasons for people to need support. A typical day starts with fielding the morning requests, followed by hopping onto to those action items! When all is quiet for a bit, you act on the behind-the-scenes stuff. Maintaining the servers, coordinating the migration/merger, etc. It’s very engaging!

What types of skill-sets and knowledge base does someone need to have to work in IT for a cannabis company?

In the IT sense, security is a big one that specially applies to cannabis. That and a good general knowledge of systems as a whole, since so many areas rely on each other. Task management and people skills are also big ones. Every day you receive calls and emails of different problems- its your job to sort, prioritize and fix! You have to be able to recognize what’s important to relay to a user and try to get the job done optimally.

What excites you most about working in the industry?

Stagnation is the worst to me, and both our industry and IT are ever evolving! Keeping up with new tech and new innovations in cannabis is most exciting to me.

What is the most common IT issue you troubleshoot?

The dreaded “Something went wrong..” Office error- those who know, know!! Also label printers are the bane of my existence in that they follow no real rhyme or reason.

What makes working in IT in cannabis different from other industries?

I hate to say it again but- the people! I have found the people in cannabis so much more pleasant to work with, than say, the hedge fund I had to support years back. From a technical side, there is a bit more security involved than your average office setup. All that needs to be considered whenever changes are proposed.

What’s your favorite Sira product and why?

I really like our Jack Herer pax pod for its effectiveness and convenience. I also have reeally been liking the Dream Lotus flower I picked up in Somerville.

What do you enjoy outside of work?

I play video games a lot, I also like art and music. My most missed pre-covid activity is going to live shows! That and karaoke- the Korean style where you get your own room with friends. So fun!

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