Olli is made up of a small but dedicated team of experts who are driven to change the perception of the cannabis industry by providing health minded and artfully crafted cannabis infused teas and edibles.
John B. Aird
Chief Executive Officer
After working in the cannabis industry since its infancy, John has solidified himself as a stalwart and trusted advisor in the medical cannabis space, now focusing his expertise on the recreational side to launch his new venture as co-founder and CEO of Olli. Over the course of his career, he has worked with top medical cannabis brands like Aphria and Nuuvera implementing their domestic and international strategies as well as being a key contributor to their increase in shareholder value with his strategic mindset. As a notable cannabis expert, John knows how best to develop products of a high standard and ensure all Olli product offerings are best in class.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
A Toronto native, Sarah Gillin brings over fifteen years of business management experience, with a focus on luxury goods marketing, to the Olli team as the Chief Operating Officer. She has considerable international experience working with notable luxury brands, most recently with Toronto’s top bespoke jeweler, Mindham Fine Jewellery. With an Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Rotman School of Management, Sarah is breaking down barriers for women in the cannabis industry by developing a compelling brand for entry-level cannabis curious to seasoned cannabis consumers. Sarah is passionate about the community she lives in and devotes her personal time to her growing family, as a new mother, as well as a variety of charitable initiatives.
Director of Tea Product Development
World-renowned tea sommelier, Richard Guzauskas is the Director of Tea Product Development at Olli and one of the most sought-after tea specialists in the world. Richard curates Olli’s cannabis-infused teas creating unique and refreshing blends. Richard entered the specialty tea industry in 1988 by launching the Leaves Pure Tea brand and after selling that brand, Richard began working with DAVIDsTEA in its earliest stages and has remained Head of Blend Development since 2008.
Award-winning and Michelin-starred restaurant-trained chef Adrian Niman is the Executive Chef of Olli, creator of the premium, high-quality edibles in Olli’s product roster and brings his expertise and flair for the extraordinary to create its unique and healthy flavours. In addition to Olli, Adrian is the owner and Executive Chef of The Food Dudes, and studied at the Michelin-starred Reeds Hotel in Mallorca, Spain where he perfected his craft before moving back to Toronto to open and operate prominent restaurants Rasa, Pantry, Clay and Sara.
Dr. Steven Bennett
Dr. Bennett joined the Olli team in July of 2018 and is responsible for all in-house cannabis research, testing and formulation. Having completed 5 years of postdoctoral work and has over 20 years of research experience in multiple CNS disorders, pain, and cancer, Dr. Bennett has developed expertise in molecular biology, cell biology, and animal models of CNS dysfunction and tumorigenesis/metastasis, immunohistochemistry/immunocytochemistry, bioassay development, and project leadership and research strategy. Over the past 5 years, Dr. Bennett has shifted towards the cannabis industry as well as completing the development of an effective transdermal cannabinoid patch in 2014, which lead to the launch of Prescott Logic, LLC. Dr. Bennett is also the Scientific Director of Evolab in Denver, Colorado; focusing comprehensibly on cannabis processing, namely extraction, distillation, and preparative chromatography in the total deconstruction of the plant.
Tess A. Fox
Director of Operations
Since April 2017, Tess has been immersed in the Canadian cannabis industry as the Director of Operations at Olli Brands Inc. She has been working with the co-founders on strategic planning since Olli’s beginning, developing key strategic partnerships and working closely on the regulatory side for both food and cannabis. Prior to Olli, Tess spent three years in the hospitality industry, managing and operating one of the top restaurants in Toronto, Rasa, for three years, sitting in the seat next to the founders. She began working for Rasa in its start-up days, prior to the opening of the restaurant, and helped build out its strategy for operations. Tess has been working in various industries over the years in media, marketing and operations. She has her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and has also attended the Aarhus School of Business in Denmark.
director of production and fulfillment
Matt is no stranger to the restaurant industry. He’s been an integral asset to Food Dudes restaurant and catering company best known for their award-winning restaurants Rasa and Pantry. In the past decade, Matt has honed his skills working alongside noteworthy chefs and restaurateurs to become a master in management, logistics, and customer relations. Not only is he seasoned when it comes to experience, but he also comes armed with a Business Commerce Degree from Dalhousie University, making Matt a natural fit for the role of Director of Production and Fulfillment.
Led by his passion and love for the cannabis industry, Matt is eager to introduce cannabis edibles to the restaurant world. His meticulous nature is in full force when it comes to food detail, and his high-standards are consistently met from kitchen conception to final plate presentation. Food and safety protocol are top priority. Neither taste nor safeties are sacrificed under his watch. Matt’s love for both cannabis and food are reflected in the Olli cuisine and is sure to leave a lasting impression.