CHARLES HOLMES, CEO/CVO
Charles grew up in a hard working, blue-collar family in Winnipeg, where he was an honour student, president of his class and an accomplished athlete. The family moved to Vancouver Island and, working alongside his father, Charles discovered his love for entrepreneurship. Together they developed property, created hydroponic greenhouses and went on to focus on the health industry at large.
Charles began his life’s mission in his mid 20s, when his “driven to excel” personality created serious health challenges which forced him to make major lifestyle changes to regain his health. He became a vegetarian, detoxified and averted an impending colostomy operation. This triggered an intense desire to understand the cause and correction of disease. Years of research and mentorship with some of the greatest nutritionists led Charles on a search for the ultimate food source for humans –specifically a vegan protein source. He found it in the mighty hemp seed. Charles founded Living Harvest and later added Hempco® Canada as a strategic vertical alignment. Now the world’s premier hemp seed food company, Hempco® introduced many innovative processing and products “firsts:” hemp protein powder, Achiva protein concentrate, non-dairy products like hemp milk and ice cream, and even Hemphuel, a biodiesel lubricant.
This was not enough for Charles. Dissatisfied with off-the-shelf health products, misleading marketing and mediocre ingredient suppliers, Charles and his wife, Wind, launched Conscious Planet in 2005 – a “do it yourself” retreat center level educational program and a complete health rejuvenating product line. Today, Charles teaches and speaks on health and wellness, and he and his wife and family are working to take Hempco® global.
ANGELA HOLMES, Coo
Angela brings a unique combination of entrepreneurial experience with a deep understanding of how plants and food can be the key to a healthy life. Her career began in real estate sales and continued with the development of a number of pioneering online marketing ventures. For a time, she also pursued her passion as an artist in oil painting, and had her own successful studio in Vancouver.
At the invitation of her brother, Charles, she worked with her family to create and grow Living Harvest. She is also actively involved in the operations of Conscious Planet. Apart from her management skill and expertise in accounting, when faced with her own health challenges she sought to learn more about the healing arts and the relationship of food and plants to health. Following intensive study with Rosemary Gladstar and at the Dominion Herbal College, she became a chartered herbalist and clinical practitioner.
In her current role managing the office, logistics and finances of Hempco®, her training as a herbalist and extensive knowledge of the health food and supplement industry helps her meet the needs of her loyal customers while playing a key role in the growth of Hempco®. She says that the opportunity to work with her family to build an exciting business that will contribute to the world in a positive way is perhaps the best choice she has ever made.
SYMENTHA HOLMES, Social Media, Sales & Education
Symentha is the passionate little sister with the big heart. On a mission to inspire and empower the world by sharing her own journey from sickness to wellness, her vision is big and bold. Similar to her her family’s vision, Symentha strives to help heal the world with hemp.
After years of being a model, recording and performing artist, an actor and professional bartender, Symentha’s health took a turn for the worst. Suffice it to say, hemp came to the rescue.
Going from slinging bar drinks to sharing hemp shakes, she followed the lead of her big brother, took her health into her own hands and did a health make-over. She became a certified Hatha Yoga instructor, a Hypnotherapist, studied Taoism and Qi gong and became a health coach. Today, she works closely with her family and the PlanetHemp team to share her story, knowledge and healthy cooking prowess—using hemp food, of course!
Symentha recently launched her booklet, Bringing Hemp Home, is soon launching her second booklet, Hardwired for Hemp, and started an online hub to support those who would like to use hemp food products to ignite their own health transformations.
PREET MARWAHA, Executive VP
From learning to cook in his grandmother’s kitchen to VIP Chef and Guest Speaker at a United Nations conference, Preet Marwaha’s life has been deﬁned by food.
He was not to know just how much until struck with a life threatening illness at 18. Then, food became the path back to health and his life’s mission: to create a paradigm shift in how people live, starting with food and the systems that produce it.
Today, he is an in-demand nutrition and food authority, locally and globally. He founded the popular Vancouver based OrganicLives™ line of raw organic food products, has worked with the UN Environment Program, India-Canada Organic Agriculture Association, World Wellness Project, and the Safe Planet Campaign; and developed and taught curriculums for Vancouver’s Institute of Holistic Nutrition. Preet also coaches people with acute or chronic illnesses, elite athletes and those who want to optimize their wellbeing. He believes that by reconnecting with our food—and understanding agriculture, production and manufacturing systems and the impact of our choices—the shift back to an optimal, sustainable way of living is possible.
Praveen Varshney, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Varshney obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1987. Following that, he was with KPMG from 1987 to 1991 where he obtained his C.A. designation in 1990. He is a long time member and past President of the Vancouver chapter of The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and a founding director of the Vancouver chapter of The IndUS Entrepreneurs (TiE). Mr. Varshney was a 12 year member of the Sauder School of Business Faculty Advisory Board, a former Director of The Vancouver Board of Trade, and a past recipient of Business in Vancouver’s 40 Under 40 Awards. He is also a director of the Varshney Family Charitable Foundation, a SVP Vancouver Partner, and a Director of OneProsper.org. and a Founding Member of instrumentbeyondborders.org. He’s also on the Advisory boards of Room to Read – Vancouver, Heart & Stroke Foundation – BC Yukon and The Thomas Edison Innovation Foundation in New Jersey, USA.