Chase Terwilliger is the Chief Executive Officer of Balanced Health Botanicals (BHB). BHB has some of the top brands in the cannabinoid wellness space, including its flagship brand – CBDistillery.
Chase has led BHB since shortly after its conception in 2016, growing the company from $0 in annual revenue to over $30 million. He is an experienced executive with a history of working in the healthcare, technology, and consumer packaged goods industries. Chase received his Bachelor of Science in Integrative Physiology from University of Colorado – Boulder, received an MBA from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, where he graduated summa cum laude, and received a LEAD certificate from Stanford Business School.
Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer
Andrew (Andy) Papilion is the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Balanced Health Botanicals. He co-founded CBDistillery and the Bota Skincare brand and has been with the company since its conception in 2016. Andy received his Bachelor of Science in Botany and Biological Sciences from Colorado State University.
Bill Stoufer is the Chief Operating Officer at Balanced Health Botanicals. He has been with the company since 2019 and has over 30 years’ experience in the food safety and processing, sales, logistics, and consumer packaged goods industries. A driven leader, Bill is engaged, customer-focused, and agile, providing data-based, strategic results. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Transportation and Logistics from Iowa State University College of Business, in 1990.
Alejandro (Alex) de Gortari
Alex is the Chief Financial Officer at Balanced Health Botanicals (BHB). He joins the BHB executive leadership team after over 16 years with Molson Coors and then over a year with Bell Rock Brands. Bell Rock Brands owns and operates some of the largest brands in the high-THC space, such as Mary’s Medicinals and Dixie’s.
Alex was the CFO at Bell Rock and led them through a transformational time. At Coors Alex held many different management positions within their finance team. After years in finance, he was promoted to the prestigious position of General Manager- Emerging markets. Prior to Coors, Alex was a senior auditor at one of the big 4 accounting firms- Deloitte. Alex is known not only for his finance skills, but also his ability to lead and build strong teams. Alex received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
EVP, Human Resources
Dexter is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Balanced Health Botanicals (BHB). His role includes strategic planning and managing the human resource sciences for the organization.
Dexter has extensive experience in operations management, process design and improvement, fostering long-term client relationships, and implementing product development cycles. He has a proven track record of success in executive mentoring, strategic planning, financial management, compliance reporting, human resource management, and risk/HS&E management. Dexter is the founder, CEO, and Principal of Human Resource Alliance, Inc., where he models consultative responsiveness and a branded business model that meets the demands of today’s economic business culture and expanding HR needs. Prior to joining BHB, Dexter was an executive with Schlumberger, an international oil field service giant, where his involvement included managing multi-cultural projects and employees from Caracas, Venezuela to Jakarta, Indonesia. Dexter received his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University and his master’s degree from University of Michigan Graduate School.
John P. Harloe, J.D., Ph.D.
John Harloe is General Counsel at Balanced Health Botanicals (BHB). John joined BHB in 2019 and has since been involved on the board of the Hemp Round Table, as a representative for Colorado’s CHAMP program, and as Vice-Chair of the ABA’s cannabis practice section.
He is a member of the State Bars of Colorado, Texas, and Oregon, and maintains membership in the International Cannabinoid Research Society, and the International Cannabis Bar Association. After graduating from Furman University in South Carolina, he attended VCU Medical Center’s department of Pharmacology & Toxicology in Richmond, Virginia, where he spent the next five years doing cannabinoid and endocannabinoid research. Successfully defending his dissertation on the endocannabinoid system’s role as a potential therapeutic target for disorders of learning and memory, John was awarded his Ph.D. Subsequently, John attended SMU law school in Dallas, Texas, and graduated cum laude in 2011. After graduation, he spent the next few years practicing drug and device litigation, during which time the firm settled over $800M in claims and obtained numerous nationally recognized trial verdicts. He lives with his wife and two pugs in Denver, where they take every opportunity to hike, fish, and camp.
James is the Executive Vice President of Technology at Balanced Health Botanicals. He has been with the company since 2019 and has over 18 years’ experience in the information technology industry. James received his Bachelor of Science in Business Technology Management from Regis University.
Ellese is the Vice President of Marketing at Balanced Health Botanicals and CBDistillery. She has been with the company since its conception in 2016 and has extensive experience in marketing, strategy, brand management, customer service, and leadership.
Prior to joining the BHB team, Ellese had a five-year career focused in commercial and residential real estate. As a business owner and licensed broker, Ellese’s career consisted of repositioning residential distressed properties, brokering $19 million in real estate transactions and providing tenant representation for leading corporations and local Denver businesses. As Vice President of Marketing and one of the first five employees, Ellese has contributed to a team that demonstrated 763% YoY growth in 2018, with reported ecommerce revenue of $19.6 million. She received her Bachelor of Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship from University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business.
VP, Marketing Retail
Sandi Gonzales is the Vice President of Retail Sales and Marketing at Balanced Health Botanicals. She has been with the company since 2019 and has over 24 years’ experience in sales, advertising, and marketing.
Sandi is a member of the Forbes Communication Council and has published several articles on brand equity and marketing strategy. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from Boise State University.
Mark is the Vice President of Operations at Balanced Health Botanicals. He has been with the company since 2017 and has over 33 years’ experience in management, operations, safety, logistics, and manufacturing.
A highly resourceful leader, Mark drives performance from all levels of the organization, using his excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. He understands the value of complex business strategies and technical processes. He is trained in OSHA compliance, EPA compliance, ADA compliance, the Federal Medical Leave Act, lean manufacturing, and Six Sigma. Mark received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University.
VP, Global Operations
Luke is the Vice President of Global Operations at Balanced Health Botanicals (BHB). He joined the team in 2019 with a background in sales consulting. Prior to joining BHB, Luke was ranked #1 in his territory in 2017 for 53% YoY growth in national orthopedic medical device sales.
Before starting his career, Luke spent five years playing professional golf on various mini tours across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and South America. Luke played division one golf at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting.
President & CEO
Mandesh joined Pure Sunfarms from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) where he led as SVP, Supply Chain and Wholesale, overseeing all supply chain operations in preparation for the legalization of adult-use cannabis. Previously, he held executive positions at large-scale companies including Longo’s, Target, Aritzia, and Loblaws, where he engaged his leadership, operational, and supply chain expertise to reduce costs, improve efficiency, enhance reliability and service, and inspire innovation.
As cannabis became legal in Canada, Mandesh saw an opportunity to do things differently, which is what led him to Vancouver-based licensed producer, Pure Sunfarms. As President and CEO at Pure Sunfarms, Mandesh is committed to building a company that continues to set an example in the industry — from product quality, to consumer transparency and advocacy, to building an engaged workforce.
Mandesh approaches leadership with a focus on company culture, which he views as critical to a company’s long-term success. With Pure Sunfarms, he aspires to set the tone across the industry. Much of his success can be attributed to his demonstrated ability to build trust and inspire performance within the organization.
Mandesh holds an Industrial Engineering degree from the University of Toronto and an Executive Education and Financial Literacy certificate from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
As VP of Operations, Michael’s expertise provides a critical perspective on how to build, maintain, and continuously improve a dependable supply chain and ensure efficient operations, as Pure Sunfarms and the cannabis industry evolves at scale.
He has always loved building new things and brings a breadth and depth in operational expertise to Pure Sunfarms with experience across various industries, including consumer packaged goods, alcohol, tobacco and automotive. Having held leadership roles for companies such as Labatt, and PricewaterhouseCoopers, Michael understands the ins-and-outs of corporate operations, and is continuously identifying opportunities to do things more effectively. His operational expertise ranges from manufacturing, to supply chains, to IT. He consistently turns to data and insights to inform decision-making, enabling him to rapidly implement best practices and inspire teams to drive operational excellence across every decision.
Michael has always loved building new things and believes in building improvements as a collective team. He believes when you’re building, growing in size and creating high-performing teams, it’s important to do it in a way that embraces culture as well as results.
Michael holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Toronto, and a Professional Engineering (P.Eng.) certification.
VP, People & Experience
Elaine is devoted to shaping an exemplary company culture at Pure Sunfarms. As VP of People and Experience, she believes in advancing a people-led organization that celebrates diversity and inclusivity and embraces different backgrounds, experiences, and new ways of working.
Elaine brings Pure Sunfarms over 15 years of relevant experience, with time spent at leading organizations such as Hootsuite, Aritzia, and Best Buy Canada. She is methodical in strategic matters and is quick on execution and delivery to help transform fast-paced business environments from infancy and start-up, to growth and acceleration, and from re-invention to transformation.
Elaine’s approach is dynamic. Facilitating change and growth in both people and business drives her to do what she does. She is motivated by struggles and challenges to look for creative ways to best support people in learning, self-discovery, and personal and professional development.
Elaine recognized that establishing core values and foundational business essentials early at Pure Sunfarms was critical to rooting a strong culture from the outset. She worked to establish “H.E.A.R.T. values” (Humility, Empathy, Accelerate, Reliability, and Team) which continue to guide the organization both daily and long-term.
Elaine holds a Masters of Business Administration and Human Resources from the University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia.
VP, Cultivation & Greenhouse Operations
Rob’s passion for plants shines through every aspect of Pure Sunfarms. As VP of Cultivation and Operations, he is dedicated to growing high-quality cannabis with a passionate and caring team of growers. He is responsible for all aspects of Pure Sunfarms’ cultivation and greenhouse operations, and continues to showcase world-class growing capabilities to deliver high-quality, consistent cannabis to the Canadian market.
Before Pure Sunfarms, Rob was the Grower and Facility Manager of Village Farms, growing and farming greenhouse tomatoes. The greenhouse that he managed is the same site where Pure Sunfarms now operates and thrives, with Rob overseeing all greenhouse conversion efforts.
He is passionate about everything he grows, and when transitioning his growing focus from vegetables to cannabis, he was excited for a new chapter. Rob’s unique journey has given him over two decades of invaluable experience managing greenhouse operations in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley. His knowledge and understanding of the land and growing conditions, paired with his hands-on growing expertise is at the heart of the Pure Sunfarms greenhouse.
Miguel leads the finance team, overseeing all financial and accounting operations as VP of Finance at Pure Sunfarms. He is responsible for financial strategy, financial analysis, and team management.
Miguel brings significant experience leading financial planning teams, building strong cross-functional partnerships, and driving growth in the business. He comes to Pure Sunfarms from Village Farms and previously, PricewaterhouseCoopers. Over a decade of relevant experience guides Miguel’s decision-making as he continues to build cross-collaborative teams that oversee financial planning, debt financing, and budget management systems within the organization. In Miguel’s role at Pure Sunfarms, he critically interprets information to make strategic decisions about the company’s future.
Operating within the rapidly evolving cannabis market, Miguel loves that each day is different at Pure Sunfarms, and that rapid growth brings new challenges and opportunities to excel. He is a proven strategic leader dedicated to accuracy, accountability, and collaboration, and sees every challenge as an opportunity to spark collaboration and fuel a strong sense of teamwork.
Miguel holds a degree in Financial Management and Accounting from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
VP, Brand & Commerical
Maria is a passionate and results-driven marketing leader with experience across all facets of brand building. As the VP of Brand and Commercial at Pure Sunfarms, Maria is dedicated to propelling the cannabis narrative, and delivering Canadian cannabis consumers with something they’re looking for — everyday premium cannabis.
With over a decade of marketing leadership experience, Maria knows what it takes to inspire a team, and build a successful brand that drives meaningful connections with consumers. She joined Pure Sunfarms after her time at Labatt, where she led the development of new products and built engaging and sales-driven marketing campaigns for leading alcohol brands, including Corona, Stella Artois and Bud Light.
Maria is passionate about driving brand growth and leverages her expertise to inform all aspects of brand marketing, including strategy, planning, brand and product positioning, communication, market research and consumer insight, innovation and new brand development. Coming from the alcohol industry, Maria sees endless opportunities within the cannabis market to develop new products and fresh campaigns that resonate with consumers.
She is also personally invested in building an organization and brand that is driven by purpose. She is proud of Pure Sunfarms’ progressive approach to company culture, and continues to lead and inspire a strong, dedicated team.
Maria holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia.
EVP, Sales & Marketing
As EVP of Sales & Marketing for Village Farms International Inc., Eric Janke is responsible for the overall productivity and effectiveness of the Produce Business’ Sales, Marketing and Fulfillment Teams. Eric will be concentrating on both short- and longer- term initiatives including the strategy for the company’s future opportunities within the evolving Controlled Environment Agriculture sphere. This encompasses planning, reporting, budget management, process optimization, as well as training and development.
Eric’s vast experience as a senior leader among the many facets of the produce industry, has earned him a proven record of success with some of the largest and most respected organizations in the industry, including Albertson’s, Sysco Food Service, Kraft Food Service, and Fresh America. The expertise he has gained across these core components of the produce and grocery supply chain will provide Village Farms with a solid knowledge base to benefit the company in navigating the future demand of the changing business model.
Eric believes in cultivating a culture of accountability that will translate into critical and tangible growth, in addition to honesty, integrity and strong ethics. Eric’s experience and pursuit of excellence spans over 40 years within the produce industry, to include his previous role as VP/COO of the DiMare Fresh, Inc. Company.
He has held a board position with UFFVA Wholesale/Distributor Board. Wal-Mart National Tomato Supplier of the Year and been awarded the highest honor given from Kraft Food Service the Gold Medallion award.
Bret T. Wiley
SVP, Sales & Sales Operations
Bret joined Village Farms in July 1998. He started his produce career with Dole Fresh Vegetables in March of 1981 in Cleveland Ohio as a merchandiser, then as an Assistant District Sales manager in the Banana and Pineapple division in Pittsburgh, PA.
As of July 1982, he relocated to work for the newly formed California Vegetable Division of Dole Corporation in Long Island, New York. He held a variety of roles over the next 10 years, rising to become the division's Senior Regional Sales Manager. Bret was responsible for Sales and Marketing of over 25 different vegetable commodities from the West coast and Idaho to the Northeast region of the United States and Canada.
To diversify his product sales experience, Bret joined NT Gargiulo in Naples, FL during 1993, where he oversaw all cherry and roma tomato sales and handled the sales and logistics of their premium ripe tomato program for Puerto Rico. Additionally, he assisted in the sale of strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries from Chile as well as strawberries and raspberries from California.
From 1995 to 1998 Bret worked for Fresh World Farms, a division of DNA Plant Technology, becoming their newly formed Tomato product manager overseeing their tomato sales out of Florida, Holland, and Mexico. In 1997 he was promoted Vice President of Sales and Marketing along with maintaining his role as Tomato Product Manager, growing the sales revenue from $1 million to $31 million in just over two years.
His tenure with Village Farms began at their former King George, VA. location, and he is now the SVP of Sales and Sales Operations for the company. He graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in Communications in 1981.
SVP, Grower Relations Supply Development
Michael earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from St. Johns University in New York, before starting his career in the produce industry. In 1996, Michael started with Village Farms. Over the last 25 years, Michael has accumulated a wide range of experience in several departments including project development, project finance, business development, and sales & marketing.
He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Village Farms’ Grower Relations & Supply Development Division. In this capacity his responsibilities include growing and maintaining Village Farms external supply base by attracting growers across North America that meet and exceed Village Farms standards with regard to food safety, quality, social responsibility and ethics, helping manage the sales, marketing & distribution of the production from that grower base, plays a critical role in managing the profitability of the Division.
In his early years at Village Farms Michael worked in the Development Division as part of a team that developed, financed and constructed greenhouse projects in Ft. Davis and Marfa, Texas, Buffalo, New York and Fredericksburg, Virginia.
VP, HR Admin & Compliance - USA
Derin grew up in Michigan and received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Human Resource Management from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Derin has worked in the Human Resources and management capacity for over 20 years in multiple industries including agriculture, entertainment, retail, construction, real estate, oil and gas, healthcare, and as a consultant.
Derin has been with Village Farms for over 9 years and began his career with the company as the Regional Director of Human Resources. Derin currently operates within all of our Texas assets and partners between operations and the corporate office on multiple initiatives. Derin has also operated in the occupational safety arena along with multiple other operational duties within Village Farms for the past 6 years. The most important role that Derin plays for Village Farms is to be the top advocate between the employer and the employee to form a beneficial and lasting relationship for both parties. In his personal time Derin enjoys spending time with his family, friends and playing golf.
Arie Van Der Giessen
VP, Regional Facility Manager - USA
Village Farms Texas Greenhouse’s VP, Regional Facility Manager, Arie, was born into a family of growers. His father owned and operated a greenhouse in the Westland, also known as "the glass city" in the Netherlands. His late father grew an array of plants including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans, lettuce, cauliflower, and celery. In addition, his father also grew flowers such as iris, birds of paradise, and freesia.
Aries’ passion for growing developed as a child working in his father's greenhouse. Before owning and operating his very own greenhouse in “the glass city” growing tomatoes and flowers, Arie received technical education in electric and went on to a horticultural school in Holland. Now, in company with Arie, his sons are the 4th generation to work in the greenhouse growing industry. With over 40 years of experience in the greenhouse industry in Europe and North America. Furthermore, Arie is a seasoned veteran, he brings tremendous horticultural and large-scale cultivation skills to Village Farms, along with his extensive experience. Arie is passionate and thankful to be a part of Village Farms vision of sustainably grown food. He says, “I love being part of the evolving process of bringing healthy food to the table. And at the end of the day, it’s all about the plants!”
Dirk de Jong
VP, Regional Facilities Manager -Canada
Dirk is Regional Manager for Village Farms in British Columbia, Canada. For Dirk greenhouse growing is in his blood. Born into a family of hothouse growers in the Netherlands, Dirk’s father and uncles grew tomatoes and peppers under glass.
From a young age Dirk spent holidays and summers learning every aspect of greenhouse production nurtured through a long line of family tradition. Educated at horticultural school in Holland, upon graduation de Jong was officially initiated into his family’s greenhouse tomato business where he stayed for 10 years. Village Farms was pleased to find Dirk and persuade him to join up with us in the USA where he spent a year as Grower in the Fort Davis, Texas facility. For the past 10 years, Dirk has been part of the Village Farms’ family in British Columbia, Canada. Here Dirk started out as a Grower, then moved up to Site Manager, and currently is Regional Manager of all of our greenhouse facilities in Delta.
Dirk says, “I am very pleased Village Farms has given me this opportunity and with it the responsibility of overseeing an extremely efficient operation whose technological innovation exemplifies environmental stewardship values.’
VP, Financial Planning & Analysis
Andrew is currently the V.P. of Financial Planning & Analysis for Village Farms product division for the last 8 years. He has been with Village Farms for over 22 years. Before his current role at Village Farms produce division, he held the position of Corporate Controller as well as other positions in the accounting department. The duties in his current role include budgeting and forecasting as well as other reports for management for the whole produce division.
As well as the analyzing the greenhouse facilities and partner suppliers’ sales and operations to maximize profitability, Andrews' duties also include working with the sales, production and procurement staff to ensure that the produce supply that will either be grown or purchased will meet the needs of the customers. He also analyzes asset purchases and produce business opportunities for return on investment and if the asset and opportunities meet the needs of the future plans and growth for the produce division and the company as a whole. Andrew has held varies roles in accounting prior to joining Village Farms.
Michael A. DeGiglio
President & Chief Executive Officer
A former U.S. Navy aviator, Mike is a pioneer of the North American Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry. He founded greenhouse technology company, Agro Dynamics, acquired by Nasdaq-listed EcoScience, becoming CEO. In 1989, he founded Village Farms, serving as CEO since inception, and building it into one of North Americas largest greenhouse produce growers.
Today, Mike remains a significant shareholder of Village Farms and is chief visionary for the Company. He has led its evolution to a plant-based consumer products company, focused on new, large market, high-growth cannabinoid opportunities around the world. He envisioned, and has directed, the execution of an aggressive growth strategy that has resulting in the creation of Canada’s premiere cannabis supplier and brand, acquisition of one of the U.S.’s top cannabinoid platforms, and international investments, while continuing to optimize the U.S. operations for cannabis optionality.
Mike has long believed in sustainable agriculture practices and early on recognized the importance of CEA in this regard, driving Village Farms to be a pioneer and innovator. He has also been instrumental its use of alternative renewable energy sources, which led to founding Village Farms Clean Energy.
Prior to his business career, Mike served on active duty in the U.S. Navy as an officer and jet aviator from July 1976 through January 1983, and the Naval Air Reserves from 1983 to 2001, retiring at the rank of Captain with the United States Naval Reserve. Michael received a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science and Aviation Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida.
EVP, Chief Financial Officer
Stephen began with Village Farms on January 5, 2009. Since joining, the Company, he has assisted the Company’s produce division with developing proprietary brands, as well as being instrumental in the transition into cannabis in Canada. He is also very involved with our business development team as well as with hemp regulatory matters in the U.S. Previously, Stephen served as the Chief Operating and Chief Financial Officer of Performing Brands, a small cap US publicly traded CPG company in the energy drinks segment.
From 2001 until October 2005, Stephen served as the Chief Financial Officer of Hit Entertainment, plc a publicly traded (FTSE-250) UK-company. Hit Entertainment was the preeminent young children’s entertainment company owning such brands as Barney the Dinosaur, Bob the Builder and Thomas the Tank Engine. From 1993-2001, He served as the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Lyrick Corporation and RCL Enterprises, Inc. privately-held companies based in Allen, TX owning both entertainment properties, as well as commercial printing and publishing operations. From 1984 to 1993, Stephen was a Senior Tax Manager at Arthur Andersen & Co. Mr. Ruffini has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin and a BBA from Southern Methodist University. Stephen is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
VP, European Business Development/Operations
Orville joins Village Farms Business Development and Operations team, with specific responsibility for new business and operational activities in Europe in the medicinal cannabis sector.
“The European medicinal cannabis market is a core focus of our targeted international cannabis strategy and Orville’s deep cannabis experience and extensive relationships will be integral to nurturing near-term opportunities, as well as identifying new opportunities in this nascent market, rife with potential,” said Mr. DeGiglio. “Additionally, his operational expertise, honed in Canada through his role in the unparalleled success Pure Sunfarms, will further strengthen our competitive advantage as we expand our cannabis operations to international markets.”
Mr. Bovenschen brings to Village Farms more than 15 years of international business experience while working in Europe the Middle East and North America. Most recently, he held several senior roles at Emerald Health Therapeutics, including Senior Vice President of Operations, where under his leadership and operational expertise the focus was to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase consistency.
He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and attained his Master of Business Administration from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.
Corporate Legal Counsel
Cintia is responsible for all internal legal functions of Village Farms and its subsidiaries related to a wide variety of general corporate, transactional, public company and regulatory and compliance related matters. She brings more than 20 years of experience, including as in-house counsel of NYSE- and TSX-listed companies where she oversaw the legal responsibilities for mergers and acquisitions, public equity and debt offering transactions and major project financing, as well as joint venture agreements.
Prior to joining Village Farms, Ms. Zanellato served in senior legal roles in various companies in the mining, metals and agricultural industries and while in private practice she represented investors in a diverse variety of businesses including infrastructure, manufacturing, industrial, import and export, marketing and sales, technology, real estate, fashion, wine, among others.
She holds an LLM from the Osgoode Hall Law School – York University in Toronto, Canada and her Bachelor of Laws from Universidade Mackenzie in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is an authorized House Counsel by the Florida Bar, and is licensed to practice Common Law in Canada and Civil Law in Brazil. She speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian as well as conversational French.
VP, Corporate Controller
Patti has overall responsibility for the controllership and financial reporting activities of the Company and its subsidiaries.
Prior to joining the Company, Patti held a variety of senior financial management positions with U.S. public companies listed on both the NYSE and NASDAQ, most recently as the CFO of The LGL Group, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of highly-engineered electronic components. Her industry background includes technology, hospitality, telecommunications, and consumer goods. She is a seasoned professional with expertise in SEC rules, regulations and required filings, US GAAP, IFRS, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and technical accounting research.
Patti, a Certified Public Accountant, began her career as an auditor with the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse in Rochester, NY. She earned a BS in accounting from St. John Fisher College
VP, Corporate Human Resources
Lofton provides executive-level leadership and guidance to the organization in all areas related to Human Resources strategy that support the achievement of corporate business objectives. He began his tenure in 2012 and has been instrumental in Recruitment, Training and Development, Labor Relations, Benefits Administration and overall Organizational Culture.
As a performance driven professional with more than 25 years of extensive experience with multiple Fortune 500 companies and industry giants such as Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels as well as big-box retail experience with The Home Depot, Lofton continues to deliver corporate HR solutions for Village Farms in his current role.
He holds a Master of Business Administration from Stetson University and has been certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI) as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) as well as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) from the Society for Human Resource Management. He is the recipient of various academic awards by Alpha Sigma Lambda, Alpha Chi National Honor and Scholarship Society and Beta Gamma Sigma for his outstanding academic achievements where he was ranked in the upper 7% of graduate business students worldwide.
He currently is an active member of many local and national organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Central Florida Human Resource Association (CFHRA), the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) as well as the National Black MBA.
VP, Applied Research & Development
Paul has been Village Farms’ Vice President for Applied Research for 17 years. He brings a wide range of technical skills, and a lifetime of greenhouse growing experience to VF’s Development team. Paul started his growing career in the United Kingdom, studied Horticulture at University of Nottingham, and went on to manage greenhouses in a wide range of technologies and climates.
Greenhouse design, climate control systems, and application of new technology, is a core part of Paul’s role. He is widely respected in the industry and much sought after speaker at conferences in Indoor Agriculture, and more recently in Cannabis Cultivation. The research, design, conversion, and establishment of operations at the Pure SunFarms cannabis greenhouse was his most recent project.
Paul is actively working with cutting edge technology suppliers to monitor plant responses with new cameras and sensors, modeling crop development, and the application of machine learning and AI to control greenhouse and indoor climate. With this new knowledge, together with a foundation of growing principles and effective greenhouse management, Paul and the Village Farms team is making rapid advances in cannabis production.
Applying the lessons learned at Pure SunFarms, Paul is currently developing new greenhouse designs and cropping programs for Village Farms future US and international cannabis projects.
VP, Asset Development
Born in the Netherlands and fluent in Dutch, Jonathan has worked in the high tech horticultural space his entire professional life. He has served on various Canadian provincial and federal trade advisory committees representing the horticultural industry in British Columbia.
As part of the Village Farms development team he has contributed to the company’s production improvements, renovations, technology applications, and asset maintenance.
He was part of the team that researched/designed and constructed the company’s semi-closed GATES™ greenhouse facility at its Permian Basin facility in Monahans,TX.
Jonathan was also a team member of the group that researched, designed, constructed and commissioned (from its concept/inception) the company’s pivot from vegetables to cannabis production at the Delta 3 and Delta 2 locations. He, with the Development group, is currently working on VF future US cannabis facility design and processes as well as its other potential opportunities in Europe.
Jonathan also spearheads Village Farms’ commercial utility requirements and is responsible for its Clean Energy division. He was instrumental in the recent rewrite of VF’s 20 pus 5yr landfill gas supply contract with the City of Vancouver and its associated RNG production and corresponding liquid CO2 storage and distribution project.
Jonathan has been with Village Farms for 26 years, is a dual US/Canadian citizen and is based out of Village Farms’ corporate office in Orlando, Florida.
VP, Information Technology
Bill has been the senior IT leader at Village Farms for over twelve years and manages the Development, Operations, and Security teams distributed through the US and Canada. His passion lies in understanding how technology works internally and finding the right technical solution that is also a proper cultural fit.
With a belief that all IT spend requires either return on investment or quantified risk mitigation, IT expenditure is maximized in terms of benefit. His responsibilities include IT operations, security, technology roadmaps, budgeting, IT compliance, project management, and IT due diligence for merger and acquisition activity.
Bill has over twenty-five years’ experience in information technology across several industries. He has worked with numerous companies as either a consultant or employee including Broadway Video (the production house behind Saturday Night Live), Financial Times, SAAB, AT&T, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and New York City Board of Education. The systems on which he worked have varied in size from thirty to over a million users. Mr. Lowe holds an MS in Data communication, an MBA in Finance, as well as CISSP, CEH, and PMP certifications.
Michael Bledsoe, PhD
VP, Food Safety & Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Michael Bledsoe has been in Agriculture for over 44 years. For the last 23 years he has helped shape the greenhouse industry by developing our food safety and employee safety programs and establishing and co-managing our crisis management teams. He is a member of the United Fresh and Canadian PMA’s Food Safety and Technology Committees. He manages all Village Farms State and Federal Environmental Regulatory programs and permitting.
Michael's agricultural background with an PhD in Entomology has enabled him to become an active participate with the USDA/ARS research programs and their 5-year planning. He has actively participated in helping to comment on Federal and State regulations affecting our industry. Michael advises and participates on the USDA Grand Challenge for Controlled Environment Agriculture.
Michael leads a team of Greenhouse vegetable, and Hemp researchers and growers, to develop safe crop protectant tools and products for both industries, thru the IR- Program. He is the Chair of the IR-4 Commodity Liaison Committee and sits on the USDA funded, IR-4 Board of Directors. He has been an active participant and contributor to the Canadian Pest Management Committee (PMC) in the development of Canadian crop protectant products.
Michael has been recognized by multiple opportunities to speak at both national and international symposiums on topics such as Status of the North American greenhouse industry, grower perspectives on new and emerging vegetable diseases and their management.
Phil Jennings IV
Phil Jennings IV currently serves as the CEO of Village Fields Hemp. Phil holds a B.S.A. Agribusiness from The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia.
As an 11th generation farmer, agriculture has always been a huge part of his life and drives his immense passion for working the land and growing crops. His work in agriculture began as early as 10 years old assisting on his father’s modest farming operation that has grown into a bustling enterprise. Through his family’s group of companies, collectively known as The Jennings Group, Phil has spent the better part of three decades working on niche agriculture operations within the food and fiber markets in Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and throughout the United States. He specializes on startups with unique barriers to entry into the marketplace. His extensive diversified experience, leadership, and network built through these projects provide smooth transitions for companies as they enter a new industry.