Meet our 2023 speakers
Vice President of Community Integration at Cresco Labs
Tai Duncan is Vice President of Community Integration at Cresco Labs, one of the largest multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis companies in the US. In this role, Tai and her team provide expertise and leadership to promote Cresco’s corporate social responsibility goals to a wide internal and external audience, driving strategic initiatives that align with Cresco’s business objectives and core values, and serve as the company’s central point of contact with community leaders. She is also leading Cresco's Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Initiative, and represents the company on the United States Cannabis Council's Environment Stewardship and Governance Committee. A licensed attorney since 2008, Tai has enjoyed a successful legal and business career, serving in a variety of roles across industries.
As a founding member of the adult basketball fitness company, Swish House, Tai has acted as a consultant to the startup since 2014, serving as its Vice President of Business and Legal affairs prior to joining Cresco. Previously, Tai was Executive Director of the Chicago Chapter of national youth sports nonprofit, Positive Coaching Alliance, after serving as Director of Corporate Affairs in the Office of the CEO at Ariel Investments, the country’s largest minority-owned investment firm, with more than $16 billion in assets under management. Tai started her legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the City of Chicago Law Department. She also spent ten years as a girls’ basketball, at both the high school varsity and AAU levels. With civic engagement as a priority, Tai has served on boards, committees and as a volunteer for nearly a dozen local organizations. She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of The Cove School, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.
Tai continues to be involved with a variety of nonprofit organizations through philanthropy, advocacy, and board service, including Imerman Angels and Illinois Women in Cannabis. In 2016, Tai received the WNBA Chicago Sky’s #RedefinePossible Women’s Leadership Award, and she was recognized as one of Chicago Scholars’ 35 Under 35 Making an Impact in 2018. Tai Is also a member of the inaugural cohort of The Black Bench Chicago public affairs leadership development program and was recognized as one of Crain's Chicago Business' 2022 Notable Leaders in Community Development. Tai graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in Sociology and a concentration in Gender and Women’s Studies. At Grinnell, Tai was a student-staff member and decorated student-athlete. As co-captain of the women’s basketball team, she received All-Midwest Conference honors for both her academic and athletic performance.
Her contributions to the school on and off the court were celebrated in 2018, when she was inducted into the Grinnell College Athletics Hall of Fame. Tai graduated with Honors from the University of Iowa College of Law, where she received the Dean’s Achievement Award, and served as an Associate Note and Comment Editor for The Journal of Gender, Race and Justice. A native Chicagoan, Tai is a graduate of the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where she is also a member of its Athletics Hall of Fame, and lives in the city’s Bucktown neighborhood.