Meet the Team
Jeff McAllister - President
Strength: Jeff brings with him experience and insight of operating a large company. His hand on approach means physically being in the field along with the team. His forward thinking encourages growth and productivity. Success comes down to having the right attitude and smart decision making.
What does working on your business mean to you with respect to strategic planning?
We approach each season with a precise plan and implement strategies to remain versatile and able to pivot when something unforeseen may arise. A clear direction is vital. How do you approach the grow season with respect to realizing efficiencies? Any young business requires focus, hard work and dedication. I try to focus on innovation and efficiencies. Encouraging the team to be as best prepared as possible for the next steps and possibilities.
Brendon Ditmar - Master Grower
Strength: Passion around the natural medical benefits of Cannabis, cross breeding for optimal quality and output as well as a commitment to the industry. His devotion to cannabis is remarkable.
What's the most important element in growing cannabis? Is there one? I would say the one at the top of the list has to be genetics. No matter what environmental conditions, or nutrients you give it, if the genetics aren't top-notch that you are working with you won't end up with top-notch results.
What is the importance of terpenes in cannabis? I think as time goes on terpenes will become one of the most important factors in cannabis grows. I feel that a lot of operations will switch to growing rare strains that provide specific rare terpenes, matching if not surpassing the demand for CBD and THC. The market is not at a point where it has realized all of the medical benefits that are present in terpenes, but the industry is building on that information every day. I think terpenes are one of the most underrated compounds in cannabis but will become one of the most valuable. Some Terpenes alone provide huge medical value in a lot of areas including anti-inflammation, tumor prevention, PTSD, antispasmatic and can treat a host of other issues. Terpenes are the compound of the future.
Ed Prelaz - Assistant Grower
Strength: Experience Ed has a vast knowledge and experience of agriculture and cultivation. A lifetime of farming and as a business owner in Southwestern Ontario. His insight in agriculture makes him an essential partner in Mariwell.
What are some tips and best practices for maximizing yield?
Soil and the Preparation of Soil. The ability of soil to deliver benefits is linked to its structure. Good plants start with a good, nutrient stocked soil. Available water in the soil can also influence development.
What is the relevance of Heat Units in Southwestern Ontario?
Heat Accumulation is measured in CHU’s (days we have plants to mature). We have 3200 to 3400 CHUS that equals to 105 to 110 days to maturity. The rate of development from planting to maturity is dependent, not solely, but relevant to temperature.
Berton Galbraith - General Manager
Strength: Work Ethic He has an essential role in cultivating cannabis as much as cultivating a strong workforce. He never disappoints. Berton will never ask anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. He brings with him a level of dedication and reliability that is hard to match.
How do you build a strong team? Building a strong team is looking for those key people who are passionate and positive. The ones who just want to get in there and get the work done no matter what task you have them on. Also getting to know every employee on a personal level as well. Interacting with every employee daily and always having a positive attitude when talking to them. Listening to their concerns if they have any or ideas and trying their recommendations to see if it works or not. Making all employees feel like we are a team, a family. Always letting them know you are there if they need anything at all. One thing I always do when asking an employee to do a task for me is asking them if they can ‘do me a favour’. More often then not you get a better response from them when you ask them to do a task instead of telling them they have to do this or that. I believe this makes them feel more involved and happier to do a task for you, with the result of them being happier and more engaged in the work place. You are not just a boss in the work place. I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything that I would do along with them. Showing them that the boss is out there working along with them creates a positive work environment.
Which leadership skills were the most important to develop? I think the most important skill to develop is positive attitude. If you are in a leadership role, others will look to you for guidance and direction. Having a positive attitude will rub off on others making it a positive work environment. I think you should be interacting will all employees and keeping them happy and smiling daily is challenging. But having happy employees who love to come to work and are passionate about their role will make the difference of just getting by or being very successful. Promoting a happy and safe work environment is looking for those key people that enjoy their roles in the company and have positive attitudes and this will lead to being a family / friendly working team and successful business.
Mike Budinsky - Security and Social Media
Strength: Attention to detail Mike is very thorough, accurate and consistent. Spotting the small intricacies makes his work instrumental in both security and marketing. Not to mention the attention to detail while assisting with the grow.
How do you encourage innovative ideas? Staying up to date with new technology is such an important aspect in the media field, whether it be new equipment, or new methods of doing things. New technology includes drone photography and video, time-lapses, slow-motion video. I always think about what people want to see, and what is the most visually appealing to watch. Something that interests people is showing them something they don’t see often. Filming a plant from eye level is not appealing to watch because that’s how people see plants everyday. People would rather see plants differently such as extremely close up, a different angle, or an aerial view using a drone. You can’t see a plant grow in real time, but through the magic of time-lapse, you can watch a plant grow from seed to harvest in just minutes. This is interesting to the viewer because you would never be able to see that in real life.
What inspires you about cannabis?
I love the way that you can train a cannabis plant through topping, super cropping, and low stress training with bending. You can train a cannabis plant into any shape or size that you want. You can grow it completely horizontal, or into a circle, or pretty much any way you can imagine, you can even braid branches together. Grafting multiple strains onto one plant is also another interesting thing that you can do to the plant. There are so many things you can do to a cannabis plant and they almost always adapt to it. I also love the health benefits that cannabis brings to the medical and recreational community. There are so many people in the world that have used cannabis to safely overcome health problems which can be completely life changing. Theresa Robert – Chair of the Board
Strength: Commitment Being an entrepreneur for over 25 years, Theresa is steadfast in her principles and values. Leaving the transportation industry and jumping into Cannabis means she has the courage to take on and commit to new challenges. Grateful for what she has accomplished and eager to take on more.
What does sustainable farming mean to you? The agriculture industry is an easy setting to employ alternate methods or smaller initiatives to save our ecology. We mimic how plants in a natural ecosystem would function. Fundamentally, by promoting methods and practices that are environmentally sound we know our customers are receiving an all-natural product while being conscientious of our planet.
What industry trends are you focused on? It may not necessarily be a trend, but lately, I am focusing on THCP - “p” for phytocannabinoids. The research is becoming more readily available and I find it meaningful. I have a strong confidence in the medical benefits of Cannabis for issues such as PTSD, anxiety and other neurological concerns. I am doing ongoing research into this study on a regular basis.