Meet Our TeamValens has ensured success by enlisting a passionate, driven, and knowledgeable team, including a CEO with grassroots experience, passion, and an exciting vision for the industry's future. Our cannabis cultivators are proven professionals, and the quality of our products is backed up by our accredited and respected scientific team.
Based on Tyler’s impressive commitment and contributions to Valens GroWorks, he was appointed CEO in May 2017 after previously serving as Chief Operating Officer. Tyler attended the University of Saskatchewan on a football scholarship, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree. He returned to Kelowna to pursue his passion for the cannabis industry by focusing on research and development, plant innovation, and life sciences. Tyler’s main interest is the medical application of cannabis to combat ailments while preparing for the up and coming adult use recreational market.
Chris B., CPA, CA
Chris has over 15 years of diverse financial experience working as a senior financial executive with many public and private organizations in a wide range of industries including retail, pharmacy and consumer packaged goods. During this time, he was responsible for internal and external financial reporting, strategic planning, treasury, tax, information technology, human resources, financial controls and corporate governance. Chris’ experience enables him to manage the Company’s expected growth in the near term as the Company explores opportunities into international financial and retail markets.
In 2007, Chantel was appointed Director of Operations, then Director of Marketing for a fast-growing Western Canadian retail pharmacy chain. She was responsible for overseeing operations, financial performance, and marketing for 21 locations. The pharmacy chain’s success led to an acquisition in 2012 by Shoppers Drug Mart. In January 2013, Chantel took the opportunity to join a Canadian natural health food company for a more fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, leading the operations and marketing of a national product launch. By late 2015, Chantel and her team had gained shelf placement in over 8,000 stores, while implementing standard operating procedures, financial reporting structure and national consumer and trade marketing programs to grow the brand and prepare the company for further growth. She was promoted to President of the company in 2016. Chantel also acts as Human Resources.
Mr. Knight was a Portfolio Manager at Matco Financial Inc. where he had an impressive track record managing the Matco Cannabis Mandates and the Matco Small Cap Fund which was ranked number one in its category ending June 29, 2018 for one year Trailing Total Returns according to Morning Star. Mr Knight has analyzed hundreds of cannabis companies and toured countless facilities globally. His investment experience in the sector began in 2014 and he has accumulated a thorough understanding of the industry, regulations, subsectors and the companies invovled in this fast paced growing space. Mr. Knights previous work experience includes working at Petrominerales and Petrobank Resources. Mr. Knight graduated from the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business with a Bachelor in Commerce majoring in Finance and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
Scott’s focus at Valens is corporate finance initiatives. He has spent the past 15 years working in the capital market sectors of Canada, the United States and Europe. Beyond this, he has extensive business development experience in Hong Kong, North and South America. He has helped finance numerous start-up companies through his networks in energy, mining, technology and biotechnology. His expertise in financing, marketing and communications help profile VGW to retail and institutional investors globally.
Cynthia, CPA ,CA
Cynthia is Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), qualifying as a Chartered Accountant (CA). She has a BBA from the University of the Fraser Valley and Master of Professional Accounting degree from the University of Saskatchewan. Cynthia has over 7 years of experience in the accounting industry, and her background ranges broadly from working in public accounting to working as an accounting and finance consultant in cities around Canada and the US. Her experience includes working with companies through mergers and acquisitions, system implementations, technical accounting training, and audit and assurance, in a variety of industries including technology and software, real estate, and retail and manufacturing.
Anderson has been involved in analytical testing for over 15 years. He has developed quality management systems that have led to ISO accreditation for laboratories specializing in the analysis of natural health products. Anderson has taught numerous technical courses on analytical instrumentation to technical support staff as well as conducted specialized training for users with demanding analytical applications. In addition to his technical background, Anderson also has a background in business development that allows him to better integrate and drive success of sales and supporting services. An international laboratory software vendor utilizes Mr. Smith as an integration specialist for their North American clients.
Kayla, CPA, CA
Kayla completed her Business Management degree at the University of British Columbia, where she specialized in Accounting. She went on to complete her articling and Chartered Accounting designation with a diverse experience at both big four and mid-sized firms. She then moved on to run a vertically-integrated agriculture company where her role comprised of, but was not limited to, accounting, finance, business development, marketing, branding, ranching operations and meat packaging/processing/distribution in the Canadian market. To her marketing side, she has also been a professional, published photographer for 15 years. Her diverse professional and creative skills currently have her running the marketing and communications at Valens as well as supporting investor relations when necessary.
Dawn originally joined the Valens team as a member of our cultivation crew, but her impeccable administrative skills, keen attention to detail and strong customer service skills quickly earned her a position as Valens’ Executive Assistant. Dawn’s organizational skills and positive attitude have her handling anything and everything administrative while successfully keeping the Management team on task and organized. Dawn is known for taking new and challenging tasks and effectively executing them without question. In addition to having an amazing work ethic and positive attitude, her professional background is in patient care in the cannabis retail space, making her an important, valuable and compassionate member of the team here at Valens.
Flo came to Valens with decades of experience in office management. She is responsible for the company’s books and all office administration. Whether she’s effectively executing a task, trying to make your day better or celebrating your birthday, Flo is the glue that holds the office together.
Dawn V., M.Sc., has a diverse academic background in which she gained her Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology and Master’s of Science in Biochemistry. After graduation, she worked in a QA/QC laboratory where she gained experience with quality management systems, such as, GMP, GLP, and ISO. Furthering her industry experience, she worked as a research scientist for a company involved in the testing natural health products. She was involved in the research and development of new testing procedures; as well as, setting up an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. She then went on to work in the Cannabis Industry where she was involved in setting up a cannabis testing laboratory to ISO 17025 standards.
Jamie moved to Kelowna, BC after high school to pursue a football career. He got introduced to the use of cannabis to help with injuries and sports recovery. The more he used cannabis, the more he was fascinated by it. He looked at the cannabis industry as a huge opportunity for him to do something he was passionate about. Jamie enrolled in cannabis online courses and volunteered at an ACMPR facility to increase his knowledge in cultivation and extraction. Jamie brings his plant skills and expertise to Valens as a cultivation/processing technician.
Chris C., MA
Born and raised in Calgary, AB, Chris graduated from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a minor in Law and Society. His academic career then brought him to Kelowna, BC where he earned a master’s degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Chris had the unique opportunity to specialize in cannabis under the supervision of Dr. Zachary Walsh, and through his degree has acquired a comprehensive level of knowledge regarding medical cannabis. Chris also has several years’ worth of experience working and volunteering in the cannabis field. He previously sat on the board of directors for the Students for Sensible Drug Policy and had the pleasure of working at high profile compassion club for over 2 years while managing research projects at 3 locations throughout the Okanagan.
Tommy had the opportunity to first work with plants 5 years ago and never looked back. He fell in love with the sector and developed a green thumb as a designated grower multiple ACMPR/MMAR programs. With his background in personal training and nutrition, he quickly correlated his knowledge of effects on human physiology with that of plant anatomy. He applied his familiarity with sprinkler systems, working as an irrigation technician before getting into cannabis, to develop automated watering systems and his plants began to flourish. His main focus is that of facility design and the optimization of workflow practices.
Deepak has been lucky enough to call the Okanagan home for the last 28 years. He is an alumni of the Okanagan School of Business (at Okanagan College) with a Business Administration Degree. To him, the importance of life lies in the interconnectedness between people, this is why Valens has a special place in my heart, because it’s personal at Valens. He has a passion for people, building relationships and doing my part in improving well-being. With this, he moved into the sales industry where he has been thriving ever since. Deepak joined Valens’ sales and purchasing team but is responsible for a variety of tasks as needed.
Dwayne brings over 17 years of experience in the manufacturing sector to Valens. He holds a B.Sc in chemistry and a passion for continuous improvement. Certified as a lean six sigma green belt, he can drive Valens to excel in terms of quality and efficiency. Working in many ISO certified environments, he has the insight to realize the importance of a strong quality control system. Furthermore, with his experience in industrial automation, he has the ability to implement technology that can greatly improve quality processes that drive consistency.
Jarrod was born and raised in Kelowna BC. After spending multiple years in the construction industry and achieving his red seal certification he changed his goals towards succeeding in the cannabis industry. He was given a production licence under the MMAR program and developed a passion for cannabis. It allowed him to see and experience all that cannabis has to offer. He volunteered in multiple large operations where he learned how to manage and operate at a large scale. It gave him the opportunity to work with a vast array of cannabis strains. He saw where cannabis was going and how it was going to help many people who wanted health care options that didn’t involve prescription drugs. At this point he put his focus towards working for a well-known and reputable licenced producer. Now, at Valens, Jarrod works in the cultivation and extraction divisions and is learning about all that cannabis has to offer as a technician.
Aidan attended TRU and studied organic chemistry, where he routinely observed the medical value of cannabis in the absence of serious side effects. Plagued with an insatiable curiosity of what constituents made cannabis the notorious plant it is globally recognized as, self-directed research on cannabinoids and terpenes became a prominent piece before completing his B.Sc. With a desire to continue furthering his knowledge, he pursued a career in this rapidly evolving industry and was recruited by Valens Agritech as a processing technician within our oil derivatives sector.
For Preston, the idea of growing and extracting cannabis has always been of interest. Most of his career was focused around the ski and snowboarding industry. After years of traveling the world working at different resorts as an equipment technician, he was presented with an opportunity to work underground for a shotcreting company in Kamloops, BC and Cigar lake, Northern Saskatchewan for 4 years. The introduction to mining equipment and processes increased his understanding of industrial scale machines. The idea of infusing cannabis into edibles became one of his main interests considering legalization was just around the corner. With this drive, he worked extracting nutrients and essential oils from various herbs and vegetables via industrial ethanol extraction. With the knowledge he gained from extracting nutrients from herbs and vegetables, he joined Valens Agritech as an extraction technician.
Carmelino is no stranger to high pressure piping systems. He holds multiple welding pressure tickets and a wide range of piping mechanical knowledge that he brings to the Valens CO2-SFE team. He has worked on and contracted his skills on the largest liquid natural gas compression systems found in BC. Always with a winning mindset, his continuous implementation of new technologies and efficiencies in managing the facility has helped propel Valens to not only meet GMP standards, but to persistently maintain the pursuit to exceed them. Beyond this, Carmelino is the handiest man around, which was quickly recognized and earned him his title of Facility Manager at Valens Agritech.
Desmond is a graduate from the University of British Columbia where he attained a Bachelor of Science Degree focusing on plant-based sciences. For the last several years Desmond has been advancing his skills in plant extractions while working as an extraction consultant. He is now applying those skills to the cannabis industry and has developed advanced extraction techniques and innovated new cannabis products.
Quinn’s career emanates around production as a multi-ticketed Red Seal tradesman; where he worked in a variety of industries including mining, oil sands, LNG, pulp and paper, and in the construction industry. In 2015 he had the foresight to enter the rapid growing cannabis industry where he took extraction training in multiple facilities around North America. Upon gaining an in depth understanding of the specific process of extraction he began designing and fabricating a variety of high throughput extraction systems. With this ever growing knowledge of plant science and the extraction processes he is now the extraction process manager at Valens Agritech.
Michael joined Valens as a Graduate student studying cannabis. He is currently working on multiple projects around hemp protein and tissues culturing.
Cas completed her Bachelor of Science degree at Simon Fraser University, where she specialized in Environmental Science and Sustainable Community Development. She went on to work in an Ecotoxicology Lab, gaining experience working in a GLP and ISO 17025 accredited lab. After moving to Kelowna in 2015, she worked in a Microbiology Lab, performing analysis on drinking waters and other water systems, in another ISO 17025 accredited lab. In April 2018, Cas joined Valens Labs (formerly Supra THC Services) as an Analytical Chemist. She has since been working with the uHPLC, analyzing cannabis samples for Potency, and with the qPCR, writing and validating the method for Microbial testing in cannabis and its extracts.
Houssain received his BSc. and MSc. in Analytical Chemistry from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands in 1996 and his Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry/Mass Spectrometry from York University, Toronto, Canada in 2004. His graduate and post-doctoral work involved Mass Spectrometry instrumentation design and development, which led him very quickly to join the team at SCIEX in Toronto demonstrating key features and benefits of the various LC-MS/MS technologies to prospective customers. Before joining Valens Labs, Houssain spent more than14 years conducting LC-MS/MS trainings and providing post-sales scientific and applications support for laboratories working on small molecule analysis (e.g. forensic toxicology, clinical, pharmaceutical and food safety). In addition, Houssain also was heavily involved in marketing activities, scientific seminars, business development and implementation of new LC-MS/MS products and processes around the world. During his studies, Houssain received several scholarships from Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam and from York University, Toronto. He also received the prestigious SCIEX award for his work on Tandem Mass Spectrometry and published numerous papers in peer-reviewed journals including JACS, JPCA and JPCB.
Shabnam has a Bachelor of Science majoring in Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry. During her academic career, she was engaged in 2 years of research identifying and isolating transition metal complexes possessing catalytic properties in electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide. After graduation, she worked as a formulation Chemist in a pharmaceutical company where she employed her knowledge in drug biochemistry to design new formulation methods. Shabnam also worked at a custom manufacturing company as a Formulator where she gained valuable expertise in research and development of natural health and cosmetic products.