Co-Founder & COO
Rhiannon Woo is a Quality Management professional focused on continuous improvement in the ag-tech, CPG and cannabis consumables spaces. She works with early stage startups across the United States on leadership training, plan development and implementation guidance.
Background and Experience
Rhiannon first fell in love with agriculture and food systems as a child growing up in a semi-rural community where many families had orchards of peaches, plums, apples, and pears. She was able to see firsthand the planning and skill that goes into having successful harvests and bringing food from the field to the fork. At California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, she studied Fruit Science with a concentration in Plant Improvement and worked in the Beekeeping Enterprise learning end to end business processes and logistics.
Upon graduation, Rhiannon joined NorCal Installations where she developed a modernized record keeping system to track work orders and transition from paper to digital records. While there, she also learned about interstate logistics and working on large scale construction projects for hospitals and medical centers. This role developed her skill in time and cost estimation and resource planning beyond her agricultural background into highly specialized labor with specific regulatory requirements.
Rhiannon next took her interest in regulatory compliance and recordkeeping to the field of third party certification. Rhiannon has worked with major product certification bodies such as NSF International and SCS Global Services and certifications such as GlobalGAP, SQF, PrimusGFS and ISO 9001. She has conducted in-the-field inspections and provided consulting along the value chain from field production, harvest operations, produce processing, product manufacturing and retail food service. As a third party auditor, she was responsible for evaluating hundreds of sites and dozens of programs providing a wide range of industry experience.
In addition to the in-field experience, Rhiannon also began working to strengthen the food and cannabis industries through the development of courses to train the professional workforce. As an adjunct at Hartnell College, she developed multiple courses in the early food safety program including courses that explore the intersection of food safety and environmental responsibility and the use of HACCP, Hazard Analysis Risk Based Preventive Controls and Quality Management Systems.
As Rhiannon began working directly with individual entrepreneurs and early stage companies, she identified that a key factor in long term success was the ability to clearly define and communicate expectations to their teams. She has worked one on one with founders and their teams to develop cultures of food safety, quality and operational excellence.
In 2013, Rhiannon was brought in to Ecopia Farms initially to provide technical quality management and process development consulting for Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), and eventually expanding to head their Plant Science Research program. She worked directly with their board to assess the viability of the technology and develop the roadmap to prepare for commercialization. This experience introduced her to the ag-tech space, and she immediately saw how this technology could apply to the emerging regulated Cannabis industry. She began working with Research Medical Collective and others to apply best practices from traditional agriculture, CEA technology and continuous improvement methodology to the cannabis industry.
In 2015, Rhiannon embraced the opportunity to dive deeper into the cannabis industry and co-Founded TraceTrust with Merril Gilbert. TraceTrust developed one of the first HACCP and product safety training courses specifically for hemp and cannabis producers covering both Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices and produced two audit standards for the cannabis and hemp industry A True Dose™ and hGMP™ to validate dose accuracy, source ingredients, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), instructions for use, and label claims.
Rhiannon serves on the NCIA Hemp Committee and the ASTM D37.04 Cannabis Processing and Handling Subcommittee, is an inaugural member of Women Employed in Cannabis (WEIC) and is a past member of the Farm Food Safety & Conservation Network. She participates in the MISTA ecosystem and provides founder support to climate-tech and ag-tech entrepreneurs through her personal network.
Services and expertise
Today, TraceTrust provides strategic roadmaps, operational consulting, and visionary guidance for early-stage founders with unique and novel approaches.
Rhiannon offers coaching services to entrepreneurs seeking clarity and confidence as they prepare to develop, scale, or seek funding. She teaches founders techniques and strategies to document and standardize their practices, as well as to collect data on metrics that matter to facilitate continuous improvement. Rhiannon also conducts operational and quality due diligence for investment firms to assess a company’s operational strengths and gaps, providing actionable feedback for growth.