Coming up next on “One Minute With” is Melissa A. Maranda, J.D., a distinguished figure in the financial and legal sectors. Melissa is President at Lighthouse Biz Solutions, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of GFA Federal Credit Union. This subsidiary was established with a unique purpose – to cater to the financial needs of the legal cannabis industry.
Prior to her role as President at Lighthouse, Melissa served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the same organization. Before her involvement with Lighthouse, she held the Senior Vice President position in Wealth Management at Rollstone Bank & Trust.
The legal cannabis industry in the United States has faced a unique challenge due to federal regulations that restrict access to banking services in federally insured financial institutions. Consequently, these businesses have had to rely on cash transactions, which pose substantial risks to public safety. In 2018, recognizing the importance of addressing this issue, the GFA Federal Credit Union Board made a groundbreaking decision to provide compliant banking services to legal cannabis operators and their employees. GFA Federal Credit Union became the first financial institution in Massachusetts to extend its services to both recreational and medicinal cannabis businesses. Their commitment to serving the cannabis industry and providing a comprehensive banking solution has played a pivotal role in helping these legitimate businesses manage their finances securely. Since their initiation of cannabis banking services, GFA Federal Credit Union has processed over $3.5 billion in deposits, demonstrating the significant impact of their efforts.
Melissa Maranda is widely regarded as an innovative leader in her field and is actively involved in the community, serving as a director for numerous non-profit organizations. She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the UNH School of Law in New Hampshire, adding to her impressive qualifications and expertise in the industry.