The Distrio Team - Managing Partners

Sean Karl

Commercial and Digital Strategy
Seed-to-Sale Technology
Cannabis Knowledge

Managing Director of The Distrio, Sean led the digital transformation program at Canadian LP Ascent Industries, which included the development of its unique seed-to-sale platform: AgrimAware.  Before launching The Distrio, Sean served as ERP Program Manager at Canadian LP AgMedica Bioscience – where he led the delivery of Sage X3 using an Agile framework for seed-to-sale operations. Over twenty years in sales, marketing, and consulting experience at SAP, Oracle, and Sage in Canada, the UK, and Ireland, Sean built a deep understanding of commercial technology practice, information management, and the delivery of business value at the global enterprise level.  With a lifetime in cannabis activism and a professional background in ERP Software, Sean is truly a thought leader in the seed-to-sale supply chain.  You will find him in the 2002 Canadian Senate Report on Illegal Drugs – where he addressed the Nolin Commission in defense of cannabis entrepreneurship.

Justin Kausel

International Cannabis Distribution
Pharmaceutical QA
International Trade and Logistics

As an international business development expert on The Distrio Team specialising in therapeutic cannabinoid commercialization, Justin combines big picture and critical thinking with a deep sense of professional responsibility, a strict adherence to integrity, and an ongoing drive for efficiency.  As VP of Business Development for TherCanni GmbH, he built strong relationships with C-suite executives, regulatory officers, cannabis attorneys and firms, doctors, scientists, and researchers who appreciate the importance of these key success factors.  Justin is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 14 years of hands-on founder experience in diverse & dynamic markets including international pharmaceutical cannabis, facilities construction, advertising, and software.

Gautam Shinde

Market and Brand Development
Manufacturing Operations
International Trade and Logistics

Gautam brings a combination of engineering and manufacturing experience in Cannabis, Oil & Gas, and Consumer Packaged Goods to help bring cannabis and natural health products (NHPs) to market.  As an engineer, he uses strong analytical skills, extensive experience in supply chain operations, and a level-headed approach to business development to help clients make good business decisions. His deep relationships with licensed processors, co-packers, and finished goods manufacturers allows him to support CPG clients seeking rapid market access in regulated environments.

Steffany Karl

Creative Direction
Branding, Packaging, and Compliance Labeling
Digital, Print, and Production Design

Steffany brings twenty years of experience in graphic design to The Distrio Team.  After completing the technology marketing program at BCIT, Steff did not enjoy her brief career in sales and marketing, so she returned to school to study digital graphic design.  Graduating from VCC’s Digital Design Certificate program at the top of her class, she was invited back to teach the following semester. She went on to manage large format production and design at Fast Signs Inc. – handling everything from signs, to trade show booths, to vehicle wraps, and construction site hoardings.  After a pause to raise a family, Steffany launched steffanykarl.com and quickly began racking up clients for her digital and print design services.  After seven years of contract design work, Steffany was hired as Graphic Designer at Canadian LP Ascent Industries, where she honed her craft under the brilliant Creative Director, Andrew McKinley.  She has deep experience rolling out brands across all media, and extensive experience working with regulated cannabis brands in Canada, the United States, and the EU on all matters of branding, packaging, and compliance labeling.

The Distrio Team - Corporate Advisors

Brad Gawne

Business Strategy
Technology Operations
Analytics and Integration

Senior executive, serial entrepreneur, global strategist. Brad Gawne is co-founder of Crossbet Pty Ltd, MCCG Inc., Bralar Software Inc., Insurance Systems Inc. (ISI), The Distrio Team, and other innovative startups that have transformed industries.   He entered the cannabis industry as a primary investor and consultant.  Brad currently sits in several cannabis entrepreneur groups and is active in driving business models that enable company and industry success. Most recently, Brad served as Executive VP of Technology at AgMedica Bioscience International – a large-scale LP based in Chatham, Ontario.   Over 30 years as a silicon valley consultant, Brad worked and travelled across 35+ countries with countless numbers of financial institutions.  He has been accountable and responsible for projects ranging in size from in-garage bootstrap start-ups to $400M multi-year projects in global insurance at the enterprise level. Brad earned his MBA from Laurier University in Canada and also holds a BSc in Theoretical Math & Stats from the University of Western Ontario.

Harv Johal

International Sales
API Delivery
Business Development

In his time in sales and product management in the pharmaceutical industry, Harv gained deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical market, pharmacy operations, and healthcare technologies. Harv is currently VP of Business Development for Vantage Hemp Co. – a Colorado based manufacturer of API grade extracts including CBD/CBG crude, full spectrum oil, distillate, and isolate. With 5 million pounds of US certified biomass under contract annually, Vantage is capable of delivering made to spec cannabinoid APIs at scale. As a strategic investor and business developer in the modern care model, Harv has built and delivered a portfolio of technologies in support of pharmacy operations, elderly care, and telehealth through a number of companies he co-founded. He advises The Distrio Team on all matters related to international cannabis and hemp derived APIs.

Gregory Gawne

Supplier Management
Quality Control
Cultivation Operations

Greg Gawne is a passionate, results driven leader with more than 35 years in operations, sales, and business development across a variety of industries including cannabis, horticulture, renewable energy and energy management.  Entering the industry as an energy consultant, Greg eventually became VP of Operations at AgMedica Bioscience, where he was responsible for building out their pharma grade, state-of-the-art $75M indoor vertical grow facility.  As employee #1 at AgMedica, Greg wore many leadership and management hats and was instrumental in building the company from construction planning through to revenue generation.  Greg holds a Masters of Business (“MBA”) degree and is also a Professional Energy Manager (“PEM”) with a passion for renewable and sustainable energy.