How Marne Velasquez, Medterra’s VP of Innovation, and her team brought a revolutionary new product to a community in need in record time. Compelled to Act The world changes quickly, and at Medterra we pride ourselves in our ability to respond to the evolving needs of our community swiftly and effectively. That’s why when the health crisis appeared as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with its huge implications for our community’s well-being and way of life, we knew how we responded would be one of the most crucial chapters in our company’s history. This is the story of that response—how we were able to bring an innovative new product to our community in record time; and the crucial role of one of the star members of our team in making it happen.
Hearing our community’s needs… As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly evolved, you—our customers—shared your concerns about potential threats to your families and communities. Hearing those needs was the first step in figuring out what existing products we needed to ensure remained available, while also innovating new offerings to meet specific concerns. As one of the world’s largest, most trusted CBD companies, thousands of people count on Medterra products to keep them feeling their best. Our existing line targets a variety of needs that are as relevant now as before the current crisis, like physical and mental support, ensuring a good night’s rest, and boosting overall energy and focus. So we knew we needed to make sure customers could continue to easily and reliably access the Medterra products they count on. And at the same time, we knew we needed to develop an innovative, efficacious product targeting immune system health. Something true to Medterra’s core value of promoting holistic wellbeing, that also addressed the specific needs of our community in these uncertain times. The timeline was tight: we needed to make it available as soon as humanly possible.
Meet Marne Velasquez, VP of Innovation As VP of Innovation, Marne Velasquez’s guidance in the face of this enormous challenge has been invaluable. Though only joining Medterra in January, the impending threat posed by COVID-19 meant that her already-crucial role took on an even more urgent and broad scope. And not only did she help Medterra overcome the trials posed by the crisis—she even helped us keep improving throughout. We’ve always valued being flexible and nimble in how we do business, but crisis response presented a new factor in our approach to development and production. In the past, we’d typically bring a product from development to sale in around 6 to 12 months. But, with the fast-moving nature of the virus, and the mounting concerns and unmet needs of our community, we knew we needed to move faster. Thanks to Marne’s approach in product development, as well as streamlining the processes that go into manufacturing and distribution, we were able to get a new product targeted at the needs of our community from concept to seed to sale in just two months.
A Revolutionary New Tincture for Staying Healthy: Immunity Boost Drops + CBD It was with that spirit of urgency and responsibility that motivated our team to create a new functional CBD tincture that we’re extremely proud of: Medterra Immunity Boost Drops. Medterra’s Immunity Boost Drops combine natural immune boosters with Medterra’s potent CBD isolate. Developed to supply crucial support to your first line of defense against illness, this powerful blend of natural compounds helps protect your body against harmful viruses and bacteria. It's a product we built from the ground-up to target the specific needs of today, and thanks to Marne, we were able to move mountains to get the job done. Our products enjoy a reputation for quality based on rigorous collaboration with our scientific advisory team. To develop the Immunity Boost Drops, Marne enlisted Medterra’s medical advisor and respected immunologist Dr. Matthew Halpert, Ph.D. from the Baylor College of Medicine. Combining proven natural immune boosters like Echinacea, Elderberry, Vitamin C and Ginger Root with our third-party tested CBD Oil, Immunity Boost Drops provide comprehensive support for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Committed to quality and transparency... Even though we were moving faster than we ever have, compromising quality by cutting corners was never an option. Our Immunity Boost Drops meet the same rigorous standards as the rest of our line, with third-party testing data and certificates of authenticity always available online for every product we sell. That means Immunity Boost Drops meet or exceed standards established by the U.S. Hemp Authority, like showing no trace of the 70 potential contaminants and 23 solvents and pesticides included in the testing regimen, as well as containing 0% of intoxicating ingredients like THC. These are the same industry-leading standards to which we hold every product we sell. The importance we place on testing and transparency is as strong as it has ever been; not despite the added pressure presented by COVID-19, but precisely because of it. Now more than ever, quality, purity and effectiveness when it comes to what we put in our bodies isn’t just preferred; it's required to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect ourselves and our families. Relationship-building for success… Once we had the perfect formulation of natural immune boosters and CBD, it was time for the behind-the-scenes grind required to get it in the hands of our community. And again, Marne guided us skillfully down this challenging path. During the whirlwind process, though we were breaking records in how quickly we were progressing with the Immunity Boost Drops, we were compelled to do more. Leaning into our core values of promoting quality of life in our whole community, we included free hand sanitizer with every order during the month of April, during which we were able to get tens of thousands of units out to our customers. As a mother of three teenage girls, and with an impressive resume spanning fields from project management to software development to founding an plant-based foods company, Marne used her instinctual compassion and broad experience to confidently usher the product towards completion. From logistical brass tacks like streamlining packaging and quality control, to fostering healthy relationships between Medterra and our partner suppliers and manufacturers, her authority and experience was invaluable. Marne took a few minutes out of her packed schedule to elaborate: “I can’t overemphasize how important building relationships is in our work. That means internally at Medterra, with our partners and suppliers in the industry, and of course, with our network of customers around the world. It’s one of our key pillars and the result is a net benefit for our entire community’s health.”
Ongoing Innovation If you’re anything like us, the last couple months have felt like a time warp. As our long days in the office rolled into nights and weekends, sometimes we weren’t even sure what day it was. But we knew we needed to be there for our community, and we couldn’t pause until our commitments were met. Witnessing the motivation put into this project by the various teams has been inspiring. We believe this passion shows in the final product, and we think it might be our best offering yet. And thanks to people like Marne Velasquez we were able to do it in record time. But Marne’s influence on product development at Medterra doesn’t stop with our Immunity Tincture. We’re glad to count on her guidance, as well as the expertise of our entire team, as we continue innovating towards ever more holistic, targeted and sustainable products. From sustainable packaging to an expanding line of great natural products, our passion to provide CBD for All is stronger than ever. So along with building a foundation of positive lifestyle and diet choices, we invite you to add Immunity Boost Drops to your daily self-care routine. When these stressful times appear overwhelming, ask yourself—what would Marne do? Take charge, and get the job done!