May 19, 2020

First two licensed marijuana retailers open in Vancouver after long road

Tilray
Canopy Growth Corp
Evergreen Cannabis Society
Mike Babins
nat blo
2 min
First two licensed marijuana retailers open in Vancouver after long road

Vancouver is reportedly still rife with illegal marijuana vendors, but the owners of the city’s first two licensed marijuana retailers are confident a wave of legalised cannabis business is about to break over the city. Mike Babins, owner of Evergreen Cannabis Society, told CTV News that "I'm sure there was this issue when alcohol prohibition ended, but today do you go to the liquor store or some guy making bathroom hooch?"

Located in the Kitsilano neighbourhood of Vancouver, Evergreen cannabis is the first of two stores to open this week, alongside City Cannabis. The province of British Columbia told CTV News that it had received 232 applications for the operation of legal cannabis retail businesses, but that so far only six have been approved.

In a national poll conducted by Ipsos in December, it was revealed that one third of Canadian users were yet to try the legal system for cannabis purchasing. Currently, small-scale underground dealers are still expected to maintain the existence of the black market. According to a report by the Washington Post, this is due to the high barriers for entry into the legal cannabis market in several Canadian provinces, where many shops are government owned. Even in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where private enterprises are legal, regulatory fees in excess of US$20,000 per year have reportedly hindered the entrance of small-scale operations to the market.

Commenting on the regulatory control exercised by the British Columbian government, Babins told the Vancouver Sun: “With the provincial stuff it was just a lot of thorough investigation. Every time they had to call me and say we need this now, we need that now. I went from thinking what’s taking so long to of course it’s taking so long. Because they’re trying really hard to make sure it’s a clean industry without a criminal organization in it.”

In November 2018, the Bank of Montreal predicted the Canadian recreational and medical cannabis markets could cumulatively report $5.9bn per year in revenue by 2025. According to a report by the Financial Post, the “biggest three licensed producers in Canada — Canopy Growth Corp, Tilray and Aurora Cannabis — have a combined market capitalization of more than $30bn.”
Jaclyn Pehota, Evergreen Cannabis’ legal consultant said: "I think they represent a success story from the legalization perspective, because they come from the grey market and have successfully transitioned into a legal market. I think that's the point of legalization and that's heartening."

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

CMO
Kyndryl
IBM
Leadership
Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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