Women of Excellence 2023- Suzan Nickelson

Sponsored By


Honoring the passion, dedication and action of 6 remarkable
South Jersey women

Photography by David Michael Howarth
Shot on location at Collingswood Ballroom

Suzan Nickelson, CEO, Holistic Solutions

Game Changer

Suzan Nickelson

CEO, Holistic Solutions

In the way that families pass down homegrown health remedies through generations, Suzan Nickelson’s Jamaican-born mother taught her about the powers of plants to heal. Tracing back to West Africa, her mother told mesmerizing stories about their lineage of female herbalists who used plant-based medicines to care for and protect their community.

“Cannabis was a normal part of our world. It was revered,” says Suzan, recalling how her mother grew the plant in their vegetable garden in Galloway Twp., teaching her daughter how to prepare the leaf to make balms, oils or tinctures and turn it into a soothing tea.

“I didn’t understand it was outlawed until I was probably in my teens when my mother said this cannot be talked about in public.”

As one of the first women of color in New Jersey to own a licensed cannabis dispensary, Suzan’s deep-rooted knowledge of the healing powers of cannabis are being put to good use. The opening of Waterford-based Holistic Solutions as a medical and recreational-use dispensary earlier this year fulfills a lifelong dream, says Suzan, who previously worked for the New Jersey government, most recently as an employee relations administrator. She also served as the first civilian leader of the state police.

“We’re different because of our purpose and our mission,” says the mother of 3 teenagers now living in Cherry Hill. “We believe there needs to be more diversity in the cannabis business. We also want to make sure there is more intentionality to ensure that those who were most impacted by the negative ways cannabis was used against our communities can participate economically.”

While her mother discreetly became known as a healer who helped countless neighbors treat health issues, Suzan says other members of her family have been adversely affected by the harmful effects of cannabis prohibition. Through her consulting firm, Ital Daughters, she is helping other minorities – women as well as veterans – work through the highly regulated industry to open successful cannabis businesses.

“Holistic Solutions is a manifestation of intentions we really believe and prayed for,” she adds. “To be able to bring a plant that has been revered by my ancestors into the public mainstream and help to reduce the stigmas has been rewarding.”

Styling by Sarah Gleeson

Makeup by Vanessa Lopez for Jaylyn Thompson, Brielle Savage & Suzan Nickelson; by Melisa Ortiz/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Zeynep Yuderi & Marguerite Schroeder; by Jessica Palumbo/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Ivette Guillermo-McGahee

Hair by Ashley Voit/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Brielle Savage & Jaylyn Thompson; by Mackenzie Garland for Zeynep Yuderi; by Debra Beach/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Ivette Guillermo-McGahee; by Tiffany D’Argenzio/Rizzieri Salon & Spa for Marguerite Schroeder

See all of our 2023 Women of Excellence Honorees!

May 2023
Related Articles

Comments are closed.


Get SJ Mag in Your Inbox

Subscribe for the latest on South Jersey dining, weekend entertainment, the Shore and much more - sent directly to your inbox.

* indicates required
Email Format
WATCH NOW: Millennials looking for Mentors