Posts in Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update February 8, 2019
 
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It is a huge milestone for the company to say that we have submitted our research license and processing license to Health Canada. We are confident that our applications are full, complete and well put together. It may sound basic but our research shows that most applicants struggle to submit complete and organized applications. It is believed that this is why so many of the applicants face delays. We believe that having a complete and professional application will help to move it smoothly through the process. Additionally, we are working in partnership with Auxly which has several benefits - they have gone through the process before and they already have security cleared personnel. As you have seen in other updates, we are building out the facility actively right now. Many applicants wait to receive a green light from HC before starting construction – another alleged reason for typical delays in the road to licensing. We are planning to have our laboratory ready for inspection in a few months. We hope this gives us the ability to simultaneously go through the site review process and the initial application review process.  

I want to applaud my team for completing this step and acknowledge how helpful it was to have Auxly as a partner in this process because of their institutional knowledge and prior experience. We signed a lease at the end of October and within a few months pulled together a complete application. After building selection occurs many people need six months to prepare their applications. Achieving this task is a little over three months after site selection is exciting and shows the dedication of the legal team. Days like this I am super proud to be a founder.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update February 1, 2019
 
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I spoke at the Lyft Conference on a panel about cannabis edibles a short while ago. It was a really nice opportunity to get out in front of the public eye which is something Dooma usually does. It was a panel of four other women who were also running companies in the cannabis industry. Speaking alongside these other dynamic women made me very excited about what is coming in the edibles space, but it also made me realize how much more complicated and progressive our products are at Province Brands. While the industry is moving along and new players are coming into the market everyday, we are still working on products that are so far ahead anyone else in the market.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update December 14, 2018
 
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I am very proud of our team this year! I have been reading their year-end reports and they have accomplished so much. It is encouraging but it is also sobering knowing that despite all the progress we still have so far to go. I know that next year 2019 will be a pivotal time for the company as legalization opens up. We plan to blow expectations away.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update December 7, 2018
 
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We are considering implementing on a training program for new managers and leaders in the company. Let us know if you have any leads on trainers in this area.

We have been debating internally about ordering desktop computers or laptops for the team as we move to a new location in Grimsby. We have found that most employees would prefer laptops but some internal stakeholders have raised concerns about security issues with laptop devices (especially given all of the companies IP and trade secrets). We can’t spend too much time micromanaging this issue and would love to lean on your knowledge in this area. Any tips or guidance?  

As a small group, prioritization is super important. We have to have precise laser focus on the current goals of the company. Sometimes that even requires putting aside projects that provide less value to the company’s overall goal. 

Team productivity and motivation are critical to the success of our next few projects. 

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 23, 2018
 
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We are doing a lot of interviewing in hopes of filling holes in our leadership team. We hope to establish the team that we need to build the brewery on time for legalization. In this process it is interesting to see what qualities we all value in leaders. For example, is a charisma more important that clarity? Is a talkative over-eager person annoying or passionate?  

We are also looking actively for a new Toronto location. Yes, we heard your advice and have come to the agreement that having a presence in the city is of value to the team. Here are some of the parameters that Dooma has asked us to work within the following parameters:

  • Up to a 2 year lease

  • Rent should be under $2400 including electric, internet etc. If we cannot find a place with utilities included, rent should be under $2,000.

  • Needs to be at least 400 SF.

As I embark on this project, I can admit that we need help finding an office. The parameters above are just a starting point, but if anyone knows of office space or has suggestions we are excited to here from you. Please help us!

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 16, 2018
 
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This week I have to give a big pat on the back to Ira and Elad! They are team members that went with me to the MJBIZCon conference. It was amazing to see them in meetings with investors this week. I am really proud when I see team members speaking passionately about the company and their combined efforts I believe helped us secure more investments.  

I highlight their excitement and efforts because one goal we have right now in the leadership team is empowering the team to feel like their roles at Province are career positions and not jobs – “The most important thing is that people in the company feel that they are making a career and are part of something big rather than just doing a job.”

I believe their excitement is hopefully an indication that we are getting closer to our goal of a deeply entrenched, loyal, and invested team.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 9, 2018
 
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Like any start-up we have had some ups and downs in our hiring process. As we are start to plan for hiring employees on the factory floor we are working on creating workplace perks to help us attract the top talent in an area like Grimbsy, a very competitive environment for workers. We know that employees are voluntarily quitting their jobs at the highest rate since 2001.

Today’s job market is ripe for job hoppers and employees are keeping their eyes open for their next big opportunity. Employers are scratching their heads, struggling to retain staff in the most job seeker favorable market in over a decade.

Unions are common in this area and we have already been approached about workers’ unions. We hope to establish a workplace that will be free from the need for unions because of our adherence to the highest workplace safety standards, on campus perquisites, and fair and top of market compensation packages.

Our product is complicated to make, and we will not be successful if we have a revolving door of employees. We are fighting against current market stats that tells us “30% of job seekers have left a job within 90 days of starting.”

These issues are easy to fix if we acknowledge them in advance, and we work on them before we even hire our first full wave of employees in Grimsby.

We will start by paying close attention to the motivations for why employees leave in our marketplace. We are acknowledging that the modern workforce doesn’t allow for employers to simply pay high salaries or provide a suite of benefits. Employees are looking for more than that and can find it elsewhere.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update November 2, 2018
 
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It was tough week in the best way. We worked hard to achieve a ton of goals and it was pretty satisfying. To me these are the best weeks because you’re exhausted but feeling accomplished. I am particularly excited that we are making strides on our second patent and that we just received word that we have moved to the final round on our OCE funding application. This would mean a second big research project with a university! Big things are happening. 

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update October 26, 2018
 
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This week Oscar shared a great article with the founders team. The high level overview of this article is a singular message: Value your team. It costs the company money, time, and productivity if employees leave because they aren’t finding value and satisfaction in their roles or feel under appreciated at the company. “Employees are a company's greatest asset. They are your competitive advantage.” This seems to be an acutely on point message from the last few weeks as we plan how to handle a few issues for the company.  

We now know that recruiting for our corporate offices will be difficult if we require team members from Toronto to travel to Grimsby everyday. With this knowledge, do we maintain an office in Toronto despite the costs? Do we allow the Toronto team to work from home – potentially sacrificing team cohesion or productivity? Do we look weak if we turn to our workers and consider their positions in the decision making process? What is most important - happy (potentially more loyal and productive) employees or saving more money and having more liquidity for other projects? 

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update October 19, 2018
 
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This week as been pretty amazing. I think team morale is higher than ever. Part of this is because we are nearing the end of the year and folks are starting to look back and see the list of things we have accomplished this year. The legal and finance team has a goal chart and when we initially started listing our goals for the year. At first they seemed insurmountable, but now that we are in Q4 I am reviewing with each member of the team the things that they need to do to make it to the final stretch. The list of outstanding items is shorter than even I expected. I guess this is proof that when set the bar high and dream big things can really come together. It is also a sign that next year we need to set our goals even higher to achieve even more.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update October 5, 2018
 
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Please remember that our upcoming Annual General Meeting will be held on October 11, 2018 @ 2:00pm EST at the offices of Bennett Jones at One First Canadian Place, Suite 3400, Toronto, ON M5X 1A4.

On September 20th, you would have received an email from ‘Shareholder Communications’ (AST) asking for your vote on certain corporate matters (Subject Line: HONEST INC. ANNUAL & SPECIAL MEETING OF SECURITY HOLDERS). Please be advised, that voting via this online platform closed on October 9th, 2018 at 2:00pm EST. You will now be required to place your vote on the meeting date either in person or via our real-time virtual platform.

We look forward to receiving your votes and gaining your input and insight at the meeting.

Stay tuned for information on how to attend the AGM via a virtual platform!

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update September 28, 2018
 
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I am pleased to invite you to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Province Brands (Honest Inc.). The Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, October 11 2018, at 2:00 p.m. EST.

You should have recently received an email from AST regarding the upcoming annual meeting.  

The email would have had the following information

Sender email address: Shareholder Communications <ShareholderCommunications@astfinancial.com>  

Subject Line: HONEST INC. ANNUAL & SPECIAL MEETING OF SECURITY HOLDERS

This email gives you instructions on how you can vote for the annual meeting.  Please check your spam folder, if you are not able to find the email.    

Note that we have scheduled a call for shareholders to provide details regarding the voting process for the annual meeting.  On this call, we will review steps to voting, how to submit a proxy, and how to return the letter of transmittal.  This annual meeting instructional call will be held on Friday, October 5, 2018 you will receive an invitation via email.  THE PROCESS TO RETURN THE LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL CAN BE COMPLICATED SO I ENCOURAGE YOU TO ATTEND THE CONFERENCE CALL.  

Once again, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the rule allowing companies to furnish proxy materials to their shareholders over the Internet. We believe that this e-proxy process expedites shareholders’ receipt of proxy materials, lowers the costs of delivery and helps reduce the Company’s environmental impact.

YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO VOTE PROMPTLY WHETHER OR NOT YOU PLAN TO ATTEND THE MEETING. YOU MAY VOTE YOUR SHARES OVER THE INTERNET. 

If you plan to attend the meeting, please bring your notice, admission ticket from your proxy card or proof of your ownership of Province stock as of as well as a valid picture identification. Whether or not you attend the meeting, we encourage you to consider the matters presented in the proxy statement and vote as soon as possible.

IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE VOTING PLEASE REACH OUT TO THE LEGAL TEAM MEMBERS LEADING THE CHARGE ON THIS MATTER, KRINA MERCHANT. HER INFORMATION IS PROVIDED BELOW:

Krina Merchant, LL.B, LL.M (Canada), LL.M (USA)
Corporate Counsel
Province Brands
T: 647-986-4062
E: krina@provincebrands.com

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update September 21, 2018
 
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On behalf of your Board of Directors, we are pleased to invite you to attend the 2018 Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Province Brands (Honest, Inc.). The Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, October 11, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Once again, we encourage you to take advantage of the rule allowing companies to furnish proxy materials to their shareholders over the Internet. We believe that this e-proxy process expedites shareholders’ receipt of proxy materials, lowers the costs of delivery and helps reduce the company’s environmental impact.

Your vote is important. We encourage you to vote promptly whether or not you plan to attend the meeting. You may vote your shares via a toll-free telephone number or over the Internet. 

If you plan to attend the meeting, please bring your notice, admission ticket from your proxy card or proof of your ownership of Province stock as of as well as a valid picture identification. Whether or not you attend the meeting, we encourage you to consider the matters presented in the proxy statement and vote as soon as possible.

Jennifer Thomas, AllDooma Wendschuh
Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update September 7, 2018
 
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This week so much happened on the legal and finance team. It was a whirlwind. I am really excited about all of the long-term projects that are starting to come to light and are nearing the finish line. I think these kinds of projects help keep the team eager and focused. I think completing long-term projects that relate to organization also helps the team to feel like we are officially getting ahead of the work instead of always working from emergency to emergency. It was a great feeling this week to have several people ask for help preparing documents that we anticipated that they would need and had already prepared in advance. Great morale boost! I am so pleased with how our team is coming together.

Jennifer Thomas, AllDooma Wendschuh
Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update August 31, 2018
 
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This week tensions were high because we have so many big projects and deadlines. Despite the high stress, I had a moment of clarity and realized how far we have come towards our goal and was proud knowing that so many companies haven’t even made it as far as we have. We are close to going public and getting our license. These goals are well within our reach and we believe them to be attainable – one year ago we weren’t even focused on such challenges. So this upcoming week my message for the team is that the next summit might seem out of reach but we just have to keep climbing.  

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update August 17, 2018
 
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We are in the process of adding several new team members. Most of this growth will be within the product and business development group. This time last year we had about 5 full-time employees, and we were working out of Dooma’s basement. We will have about 20 full-time employees soon, and I am sometimes shocked at our progress. But this is only the beginning! By the end of the year we plan to have beer (alcoholic) in stores. It is great to see our plans coming to fruition.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update August 10, 2018
 
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This week we saw the first bit of skeptical press. It made some people on our team nervous, but I think we all eventually come to the conclusion that this skepticism is one of the first signs that our products and company are getting closer to becoming mainstream. If you are a small fish and no one is concerned about your product no one will take the time to criticize, but as we come closer to centerstage there will be more and more “haters.” This is a great sign! 

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update July 20, 2018
 
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Team morale is something I am consistently focused on. This focus comes as a result of a deep conviction that as a start-up we can’t take for granted one person, because we depend so heavily on every person working at Province. I like to think of these kind of relationships as an exchange - you give as much as you receive - and that means the more you have to give the more you can take without becoming a user of people. We depend on everyone on the team so much that it is important for us as founders to make sure that the our team members are also getting what they need from the exchange. We want a well balanced equation. 

So what does all of this mean in practice? It means that occasionally we as leaders have to stop and assess what employees need to thrive in their roles. Lately, this has manifested itself in an update of our HR policies. Soon it will be reflected in the updated computer systems. The team is even going to axe-throwing this week as corporate development activity! 

We welcome your ideas as investors on how to keep a well-balanced equation.  

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update July 13, 2018
 
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Our Business Development and Fundraising Team is always working hard, but this week I have to commend them and their hard work on closing a few large investors. We rarely stop to recognize milestones because there is always a new mountain to climb, but I would like to acknowledge what a great job the team is doing.

Jennifer Dianne Thomas Founders Update June 22, 2018
 
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I had my first (short) vacation in almost two years. I think sometimes we forget how much you need to take a break to maintain your stamina to continue to keep up the pace. No time off  impacts health, our relationships, our personal well being and adds stress. I feel rejuvenated, and I am really glad that I took some time for family.  

We have unlimited vacation at Province and often these kinds of policies result in employees taking less time off. So our leadership team is trying to set a good example to take care of ourselves. Check out this article on the topic. It helped inform my knowledge about unlimited vacation.