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Jeff is Chief Operating Officer for all entities of Sparx Cannabis and comes to us with over two decades of experience helping companies “grow”. With a background in business development and marketing, Jeff is guided, both professionally and personally by the Italian proverb “Sempre Avanti” which translates to, “Always ahead, always forward”. This philosophy helped pave his professional career to produced award-winning business and marketing concepts for regional and national clients such as Yakima Racks, California Healthy Families, and Hyundai Motors, just to name a few. After transitioning to the cannabis industry over a decade ago, Jeff founded an innovative distribution company that was one of the first companies to provide top-quality medicinal cannabis products to collectives and dispensaries throughout California. Most recently he worked as an industry consultant, helping several start-up companies navigate California’s cannabis industry regulations and achieve success through aggressive marketing and sales strategies.
On the personal side, Jeff has coached and officiated the sport of wrestling for over 30 years and is a former All-American and Internationally ranked wrestler. Additionally, he is active in causes that support adults and children with autism and those that suffer with developmental disabilities. Most importantly, he is a proud dad of three and grandfather to the four best grandkids on earth.
Wes Pagano is the VP of Sales & Marketing at Sparx Cannabis. He Grew up in Oak Park, California with a loving Italian family. Cannabis is personal for Wes. As a young boy, Wes was diagnosed with a rare blood disease called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Wes developed PTSD, went through extensive therapy, and multiple doctors in an attempt to figure out how his disease started. At around age 15, Wes found cannabis and everything started to change. Things started to look up and at the age of 19, Wes was signed to SONY records as an accomplished artist wherein he made music for major motion pictures and television. Wes has played an active role in the cannabis industry since 2003 and thrives on building relationships and supporting business growth. He loves working in the industry as he feels it is an outlet to help others.
Alberto Aceves is the Chief Operations Officer for Sparx Cannabis. He has spent the past 20 years working in large scale agriculture where he specialized in operating high-tech greenhouses. Working in different countries and various growing conditions, Alberto learned first-hand about the cultivation of produce and flowers. Alberto is incredibly passionate about plants and has a special interest in cannabis because of its huge, untapped potential.
One of Alberto’s most note-worthy career milestones what successfully creating and implementing an organic, hydroponic growing system for the renowned tomato company, Nature Sweet.
In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and dogs outdoors, hiking, camping and fishing. In the winter, you can find him hitting the slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
After graduating from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, Clinton started his career working at Nordstrom in their logistics department. He quickly moved up to logistics manger where he learned and became well versed in dealing with many moving parts in large company settings. He won ther corporate logistics cup in 2015 with the best overall results for productivity and fulfillment in the company. Clinton has always had a passion for the cannabis industry and started learning how to grow cannabis. He had his own grow under prop 99 where he learned the in and outs of the cannabsis business. Using his cross of cannabis and logistic expertise, Clinton was hired at Harkins grow where he ran the cultivation process helping oversee building, growing and sales. He has been promoted multiple times to executive vice president where he oversees the whole operation from cultivation, manufacturing and distribution.
We love this planet, which is why we strive to be as eco-friendly as possible. We are proud to be one of the first farms to install solar panels on our technologically advanced greenhouses, which helps us reduce our carbon footprint. We also use local soil, organic pesticides and a reverse osmosis water system to remove contaminants from plants.
Zachary Miller oversees product development, creative direction, brand strategy as well as managing community outreach for Sparx Cannabis. Utilizing his vast experience from over 10 years of management in conjunction with his deep comprehension of all sides of the industry, Zachary has developed a substantial network of professionals as peers. His expertise and understanding of the full spectrum from seed to final sale enables him to properly inform and educate his clients. He provides insight on exactly what products would best meet their needs in both a business to business and business to client setting. Zachary’s vast knowledge, drive, and dedication to his career has poised himself to ascend the vision of the company.
Chandler Halpern lived in Fort Lauderdale, FL for most of his life but recently relocated full-time to Monterey County, CA where he works full time with Sparx cannabis and its partners. Before working with Sparx, Halpern worked for his family’s businesses where he was able to hone his skills in logistics, sales, and marketing.
Halpern entered the Cannabis space a few years back where he co-founded a Hemp farm, and a cannabis manufacturing plant, both located in Colorado. He brings his understanding and experience from these endeavors to help build the Sparx Cannabis brand from seed to sale. He is currently working day-to-day with Harkins Grow LLC, as well as playing a role in the development of other partnered entities.
Juan Heredia began his cannabis training at Oaksterdam University for Horticulture where he learned the basics of growing cannabis in a controlled environment. He then attended Heald College where he studied business administration and accounting.
Juan started his own indoor greenhouse and outdoor legal grows in Monterey County under Prop 215, where he mastered hydroponic and soil growing. In 2018, Juan helped start Valley Harvest, a company dedicated to providing labor for cannabis and agriculture fields across Monterey County. It was here he gained valuable experience in Prop 64 compliance and crew management.
Juan has lent his expertise in helping build many successful cannabis teams all across the valley for companies such as Noble Farms, Loudpack, California Collectives, Munk Farms, Bonaventure Farm, Faith & Family and many more. At Sparx, Juan applies his experience in all aspects of the industry including cultivation, management, and curing of the product to further develop key relationships within the industry and best position the Company for success.
Dylan Buddeke started his cannabis cultivation career in Colorado, where he learned the ins and outs of growing in a small indoor grow space. It was here he used what he learned to expand to a ninety-nine light warehouse-style indoor grow operation in Denver.
In the past 5 years, Dylan has traversed various parts of California lending his expertise to numerous outdoor cultivation projects. While in Calaveras County, he managed over 20 acres of canopy, overseeing all cultivation operations for over thirteen farms and over 20,000 plants. In Santa Cruz, he managed a half-acre greenhouse for DH Estates. Dylan is constantly studying the latest technologies and grow styles to make the most efficient, highest quality cannabis.
Jordan Helfant is a 23-year-old entrepreneur who has immersed himself in the cannabis space. He graduated from Palm Beach State College and holds a degree in Economics and Marketing. From a young age, Jordan has held multiple consumer sales positions. Previous to his current Director of Sales for Sparx Cannabis role, he served as Project Manager at Harkins Grow, LLC.
Trish Hansen was born and raised in Carmel Valley, California, where she was the state’s youngest Certified Firefighter at the age of 16. After graduating from Paramedic School, her role included protecting life and property by performing firefighting, emergency aid and treatment, hazardous materials and fire prevention duties.
Trish retired this position to be more available to raise her three young boys. She moved into the cannabis industry with a local company where she held various responsibilities such as scheduling, human resources, payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable while overseeing day-to-day operations.
Trish applied her aptitude for hard work and never-fail attitude to learning all aspects of the cannabis business. She brings an expansive connection to a variety of services and people within the cannabis and the local community. Trish is also an avid lifestyle photographer.
Howard Helfant has over forty years of experience with venture capital firms and private venture capitalists. This has led to a variety of endeavors with companies that are committed to a wide variety of products and services. He attended Valley Stream North High School in New York before moving on to Hofstra University. He has had many successful business ventures including Kosher Mosher, a 300-seat fast food kosher deli in the financial district at 25 Broadway in New York City and International Poultry, which, at its peak, had 6 locations in Manhattan. Howard opened his first Florida location, The Rotisserie in Coral Springs while operating businesses in both New York and Florida. Additionally, he founded and developed Howie’s Hot Shot a novel non-alcoholic tomato mixer. While developing his name in the South Florida spirits industry, Howard stepped into the low-calorie cocktail mixer space with a line of mixers under the Skinny Senorita brand which include nonalcoholic mixers for Mojito, Margarita and Cosmopolitan. A partnership with 101 Cantina brought in a new era of nightlife in Boca Raton, FL.
Howard’s latest endeavors have been in the cannabis farm industry. Since 2016, he has continued to grow the business aspect of the cannabis industry and currently oversees every aspect of Harkins Grow, SUN Holdings and Sparx Cannabis.
A true believer of hands-on ownership, he believes in spending as much time directing employees on cultivation and processing as creating expansion strategies, reviewing production efficiency, and maintaining financial relationships. He brings an extensive sense of knowledge with the skills and dedication.
Dr. Jared Helfant graduated Cum Laude with dual degrees in health science and business from the University of Florida while simultaneously owning and operating a successful college town nightclub and lounge, called Simon’s, in Gainesville. He has since graduated top of his class from NYU dental school and built the TLC Dental brand that includes 5 successful locations in South Florida.
At Sparx, Dr. Helfant applies his expertise to oversee operations, branding, and marketing. With a proven track record of providing top-tier, customer-facing services and long-term strategic planning, his knowledge helps facilitate budget analysis, marketing strategies, and partner relationships.