Category Archives: Business

Architect & Acoustician: JOHN STORYK

Interview by Tricia Williamson

John Storyk, registered architect and acoustician, is a founding partner of WSDG. He has provided design and construction supervision services for the professional audio and video recording community since the 1969 design of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios in New York City. Beyond an architect, Storyk is many things, he is a musician, art lover, history buff, pilot, passionate scuba diver, dedicated father and husband and loyal friend to many.

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PANACHE: We saw an interview where you shared that you once saw an Ad in the East Village’s The Other, “WANTED: Carpenters to work for free on an experimental nightclub.” …Why was it important for you in deciding to do that project also request that you also redesign the club (Cerebrum)?

John Storyk: The interview story is correct. Try to imagine being 22 years old in the summer of ’68. The events that happened that evening in Greenwich Village were quite spontaneous. The project the ad referenced appeared to be fun; I loved theater, and this cub appeared to be a type of theatrical experience. When I finally saw the design the two owners were proposing it just seemed like I should make some changes to it, which I did – the rest is history as they say.

PANACHE: In what way did that project change your life or open doors for you?

JS: The club opened – and within months it was already very well known. It had made the cover of Life Magazine. Jimi Hendrix went to the club one night and had made the decision to open his own open club by purchasing The Generation — which was located in the basement of the 8th street cinema. The club had been a well-known blues club in the area for the past few years. The irony is that I used to go visit that club a few years earlier to listen to blues artists. I was in a blues band in college as a student at Princeton. Even more ironic is that it was the basement of the cinema designed by one of my all-time architect idols – Fredrick Kiesler. A perfect storm of serendipity striking.

PANACHE: What was it like designing for a legend like Jimi Hendrix?

JS: A bit surreal. I believe Jimi had a few different personalities, but I mostly saw the quiet and almost shy Jimi. Most of the time I spent working on the studio was with his engineer and producer, Eddie Kramer, who became a lifelong friend. Jimi’s input was always special. He did not read architectural drawings very well but had a very definite idea of what he wanted the club to feel like. The club eventually became Electric Lady Studios. Jimi worked on emotions, and it was very special to be with him. All of this happened to me before the age of 24 and by the time Electric Lady Studios opened in the summer of 1970, I already had four more studios to design. Career tip: make your first project famous. For me, it certainly changed my life!

JungleCityStudios
The epitome of hip elegance and acoustical excellence, Jungle City Studios signify the dawn of the ‘Retro Future/Future Retro’ era. The $6 million + complex also re-calibrates the benchmark for destination studio design. Crowning a new luxury office building at 520 West 27th Street in NYC’s chill High Line district, Jungle City morphed 4800 square feet of raw real estate into a showplace duplex with soaring ceilings, a 370 square foot terrace, a 2400 square foot rooftop deck, and river views. Photo courtesy: WSDG

PANACHE: What has been key to your success over the years?


JS: This is a tough question. I believe that I was very fortunate to at an early age discover a way to unite “working”, meaning earning a living, and my artistic loves. Most days, I wake up and simply do not see a difference between “working” and “not working”. This life is one ride – and it has been a very special one that has taken me all around the world, allowing me to meet amazing people. Most of all, it has reinforced my belief in love and art as the most powerful forces in our lives.

PANACHE: In your words, what is WSDG?

JS: Of course this is an acronym for our company – Walters-Storyk Design Group. The ‘Walters’ is Beth Walters, my wife and partner. But it is more than a company, it is a family. My students have become interns, they have become associates, and are now my partners. We have nearly 60 people in multiple offices and locations worldwide. All of them are passionate about our work and passionate about treating our team and our partners (clients) as family. I would never want this spirit to change.

Berklee
Berklee College of Music opened the doors to its 160 Massachusetts Avenue, residence tower in January 2014. The building now features one of the largest, most progressive, and versatile professional audio teaching/production/performance complexes in the U.S. Over three years and $100 million have been invested in the development and construction of this cusp point educational compound. Situated over four dedicated floors in a striking, sixteen-story, 155,000 sq. ft. William Rawn Associates building, the ten-studio Walters-Storyk Design Group – designed, audio education component represents a pinnacle of contemporary studio planning. | Photo courtesy: WSDG

PANACHE: What do you envision for the future of studio design in the next decade?

JS: Studios will continue to exist. The fact is that there are more studios than ever before. What is happening now and will continue to happen is a changing business model, a changing technology model, and a more democratic spread of studio locations. Basically, all artists will someday have his or her own studios. These are exciting times particularly for studio design, with the arrival of fantastic computer-assisted modeling software and more and more manufacturers entering the prefabricated acoustic treatment business.

PANACHE: What is your approach when it comes to taking a decision to do a project- what are the key elements or steps in that process of designing and building a world-class studio?

JS: Again, this is a tough question. There are lots of factors. We have a somewhat complex “internal rating system” which includes obvious categories such as the potential benefits to the business, but there are also non-business categories we consider such as the PR value, learning coefficient, location, client friendliness, and other factors. We are very fortunate right now – quite busy, but always excited to meet a new client. And we are always eager to take on a new project. Clients become our partners and hopefully our friends.

DreamAsylum
DREAM ASYLUM: One of the contemporary music scene’s most prolific hit producers, Nate ‘Danja’ Hills and partner Marcella Araica have added a cutting edge, Walters-Storyk Design Group recording studio to their N.A.R.S. (New Age Rock Stars) label. Recognized for their work with artists ranging from Britney Spears and Madonna to Justin Timberlake Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z, Danja and Araica now have the luxury of working in a studio ideally suited to their creative needs. |Photos courtesy of WSDG

PANACHE: With thousands of facilities under your belt, can you describe three (3) that stand out to you and why?

JS: My usual answer for this is “..my favorite studio is the one I am working on…” Obviously, it all starts with Electric Lady, on which we must have done something correctly since it in its 50th year is still considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious studios. Another of my favorites is Jungle City Studios in New York City which we did for Annie Mincielli. The multi-studio complex for Berklee College of Music, Boston, where I also teach, would certainly also be on this list. Paul Epworth’s church Studios in London…… and so on.

PANACHE: 100 years from now what will be the WSDG legacy that stands the test of time?

JS: Hopefully we will still be here with our core beliefs – doing great work – doing honest work – continuing to learn – and continuing to have our family values. During the past three years, Beth and I have distributed over 50% of the company to our team – these are exciting times. It is their turn now.

ElectricLady
At age 45 and counting, Electric Lady is one of the world’s first artist owned recording studios and one of the oldest, most famous and most successful studios ever. WSDG co-founder John Storyk was a 22-year-old fledgling architect fresh out of Princeton University when he was hired to design a studio for Jimi Hendrix. One summer evening in 1968, Storyk was enjoying an ice cream cone and leafing through the Village Voice when a classified ad caught his eye: “Carpenters wanted to work for free on experimental nightclub.” Dialing the number from a corner pay phone, he got the gig. | Photo courtesy: WSDG
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Reflection by Lorraine Givans

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We are now in the last quarter of 2018. This is a great time to reflect on your journey thus far towards your vision, dreams and the goals you had set for your business. And, of course, yourself, as it is important to ensure your overall well-being is holistically aligned to your vision and dreams.

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Lorraine Givans

On reflection, acknowledge and embrace all your achievements, no matter the size. We tend to put too much energy on what we have not achieved. So acknowledge and embrace your wins if you have not already taken this time to do so.

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Review Your Goals

Be gentle with yourself while reflecting on the goals that you may not have achieved to this point. Review those goals and identify one that you wish to achieve and that you are prepared to commit to. Ensure that is SMART-Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic & Timebound, i.e. can be achieved by the end of 2018.

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Break this goal down further and set actions for each month, then set daily intentions towards this goal. If you have a staff team, check in with them and their key performance areas and be sure to acknowledge their wins too. Set a goal that you believe is achievable for each individual and also that is in alignment with your overall objectives for your business.

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Use this time to revisit your daily routine and the tools you have been using to support you. If you feel that something is not working for you now or needs tweaking or changing, do it NOW!

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So to summarize:
• Acknowledge and embrace all your achievements
• Review your goals and set one you wish to achieve by the end of 2018
• Acknowledge your staff teams achievements & set their goals accordingly
• Review your daily routine & the tools you use to support you

You have now positioned yourself and your business to end 2018 holistically aligned to your Vision.

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As you reflect, remember, you have a unique message for the world: “Be Uniquely & Unapologetically You and Step into Alignment with Your Vision.”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Lorraine Givans is the Chief Supporting Officer (CSO) and Founder of Destiny Achieved Coaching. She is a Certified Business & Life Coach and NLP Practitioner. Lorraine supports business owners and entrepreneurs with a unique message, brand, and commitment that is dedicated to ensuring clients “Step into Alignment with their Vision.”

She is passionate about business support and with this in mind, Givans only works one-on-one and personally designs a bespoke programme specific to the needs of each business. Destiny Achieved Coaching embraces Vision 2030 Jamaica and will endeavour to support its clients in ensuring that their business will be in alignment with this vision.

Introducing Lorraine Givans

Certified Business & Life Coach and NLP Practitioner

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Photos courtesy of Destiny Achieved Coaching

I was born and raised in England, however growing up; I had a burning desire to live in Jamaica. I envisioned owning my dream home there: a beautiful home with a sea view. I held this dream for many years, believing that it would come true. In 2011, I moved to Jamaica, and in 2014 I achieved the dream…the vision… I had created for myself. I built my dream home with my partner.

I left behind family and friends and my job which I had been in for approximately 22 years and my coaching business which I had started to build. Even with the thought of starting over, staying true to myself and following my vision of living in Jamaica & serving others through coaching, was much stronger.

The journey thus far has not been without its challenges but I have always kept my Why in sight and held onto my Vision knowing that there are always lessons to be learnt from all challenges. I am a firm believer in staying true to oneself and not following the norm, the average. We are all unique individuals and as such we have our own unique message for the world, I believe that it would be unjust not to share it. With so much information out there it is very easy to lose oneself and get caught up in the hype, the latest fads etc …. more so when no one quite understands your Vision and doubts the feasibility of it. Fear creeps in, you begin to doubt yourself, you feel it will never materialise, you end up following someone else’s dream…. vision….

It is my belief that if one keeps his dream or vision at the forefront of his mind, while steadfastly working towards achieving it, then he has to reach his destiny. That’s the teaching behind Destiny Achieved Coaching; I help business owners put their vision at the forefront of their lives and use the constant image of their vision as impetus for making their goals and vision a reality.

First and foremost, I help my clients understand why it is necessary to get into alignment with their vision. This alignment requires that there is cohesiveness among their thoughts, attitudes, habits and the actions they are taking to bring them closer to their goals and meeting their objectives.
It is now time for you to be uniquely and unapologetically you, you have a unique message for the world and it is time for you to “Step into Alignment with Your Vision”

I am Lorraine Givans, CSO, Chief Supporting Officer of Destiny Achieved Coaching. I am a Certified Business & Life Coach and NLP Practitioner. I support Business Owners and Entrepreneurs with a unique message… brand…. that are committed and dedicated to Step into Alignment with their Vision. I am passionate about support and with this in mind I only work one-on-one and I design a bespoke programme specific to the needs of your business. Destiny Achieved Coaching embraces Vision 2030 Jamaica and will endeavour to support their clients in ensuring that their business will be in alignment with this Vision.

 


Are you a business owner or entrepreneur with a unique message or brand? It is now time for you to step into alignment with your vision.

For support to achieve this or further information, contact:

Lorraine Givans
T: 876-848-7267
E: destinyachievedms@gmail.com

Books: Kelly & Kathleen…Want To Help You Change The World!

By Shenee Tabannah | Photography provided by JPS

Kelly Tomblin, former President & CEO of JPS believes that the world is calling out for a new style of leadership and she knows how to help you get there in 100 days. Kelly and her best friend, Kathleen Sullivan are the authors of the new provocative leadership book, 100 Days of Doing Power Differently. Change Your Leadership, Change The World.

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Photography provided by JPS

The book is a leadership guide book built on the THINKLOVE model for leadership. It provides a mirror for your current leadership influence and helps you to create a new path over 100 days for the leader that you want to become.

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Leadership is a privilege and an honour, and should be treated as such. This book will inspire you to own your power as a Leader, while challenging you to Do Power Differently.

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The book is dedicated to the people of Jamaica and the Jamaica Pubic Service Family. It was while in Jamaica, Kelly was inspired to put this book together as she was blown away by her experience.

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Kelly had served in Leadership roles for over 20 years, however, she was exposed to a rare and superior form of Leadership when she moved to Jamaica in 2012. In just 5 years, Kelly and her Leadership Team were able to do a 360 transformation at JPS and she believes that their style of leadership could be duplicated and will lead to similar extraordinary results in other companies.

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Kelly returned to Jamaica recently to launch her book at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel. Jamaica is where it all started, so it was only fitting that Kelly started her book promotion tour here. To purchase 100 Days of Doing Power Differently, visit
http://www.doingpowerdifferently.com.

IMARI: Making Authenticity Viral

By Marshelle Haseley | Photos courtesy of Imari Anderson

There are Millennial creators gaining YouTube and other subscribers by the millions. People who are attracted by their topical and inspiring content. Bodies of content that bring the attention of viewers from all age groups and backgrounds to issues that matter more than how many Instagram followers, we have- or how many articles of clothing we own from the 50th fashion micro-season for the year. It is more about how we show up in the world and less about what we show up wearing.

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Our chat with Imari Anderson (@freeimari) gave insight into a brand-new wave of creativity and inspiration. A creative of Jamaican descent, who has profoundly impacted online filmography and digital media.

Imari worked as a filmmaker with the team at Jubilee. Jubilee defines itself as a bridge, to connect and inspire love through the sharing of compelling stories. The team uses platforms such as YouTube and Instagram to share the human-centric content they create to create connections, challenge assumptions, and touch the soul.

He spent a year working there- forming part of a team that created content that gathered over 100 million views, and over 800 thousand new subscribers in that one year.

Anderson defines himself as someone who is working on finding out who he is every day. “Let me put it this way, I am working on trying to remember that every day”. He said, “I try not to identify with the things I do or have done, as who I am. I try to release how others would describe me, or labels to which I could subscribe. I wouldn’t say ‘Imari is a filmmaker’. It feels limiting. It feels more natural to say Imari is a joker, leader- Imari is passionate (sometimes to a fault). Imari is the guy who will debate controversial philosophy with you in the car on the way to the club. Imari is Imari.

In an industry that could create an illusion that everything comes from pulling creativity from the wind, Imari said, thinking is what inspires a lot of his creativity. He said that by subscribing to a certain identity we only allow ourselves to create from that identity. But by being ‘free Imari’, he said, “I’m only limited to create based on what happens to be inspiring me at the time. Notice the nod to my Instagram name”, he said, after which he laughed. Imari believes that life holds within it, unlimited potential and experiences, and he does not want anything holding him back from seeing and knowing as much as possible.

Paternal lineage connects him to Jamaica. Imari gave some insight into how the Caribbean culture contributed to who he is as a creative. Even though his father’s principles impacted him, Anderson still sought to take it in and manifest it all in a way that felt more authentic to him. “There are things that informed my upbringing like certain foods (plantain is my go to) or Caribbean culture, like a strong faith-centred upbringing. But besides the obvious, I’d like to think that from an early age I didn’t want to be defined by things like heritage.”

Anderson continued by stating that with a Caribbean parent comes specific ideals and values. A lot of it he said, came through when he was growing up playing soccer (football). “Ideas like always being the best in whatever you do, pushing yourself harder than the next man, I think these are things that came to me from my dad and through him from my grandfather.”

Another trait he thinks may have something to do with the Caribbean influence, is something he saw in his father, who he described as a proud Jamaican. Anderson said his father has always been big on helping people. “Now that I think of it, there’s probably some overlap in how I saw his sacrifice for kids that he was coaching, who didn’t have the resources- and how I’ve really gone above and beyond for certain projects that I thought could really help people. Even if it was to my own detriment.”

From an early age, Imari wanted to show up in the world as an individual. “That’s not to say my background isn’t valuable, the island approach to soccer is what initially gave me confidence. The island rhythm is probably where I get my dance moves. But I’ve always been of the mindset – ‘this is what came before me, what am I doing next? How am I going to build on it and make it my own?”

PANACHE asked a few more questions to get more insight into the process of what forms a rounded millennial creative.

P: What did you see yourself growing up to become?

I: “A soccer player. Definitely. There’s nothing you could’ve told me before the age of like 17 that would have convinced me otherwise.”

P: What attracted you to filmmaking?

I: “Honestly, when I first found it in high school I didn’t take it seriously. I just thought it was fun, and I wasn’t strongly interested in any related subjects. So I picked that up as my college major and studied it at the University of South Carolina. I got passionate about it there, and I found myself working on projects more than classmates. I’d sneak into the editing room after hours just to work on my own projects. Then, as I started to see the correlation between media and how the world is impacted. I made a pretty dramatic shift towards exclusively making content that I thought the world needed more of. I stopped doing skit shows and music videos, and started making videos for non-profits or for people with really relevant messages. What really attracted me is that it felt like the tool of our time. Something that could be used to either push us forward as a species or keep us distracted and divided. I saw the power of it and felt like if I was going to be in the game it came with responsibility. I’m trying to be more balanced about that now, though, I want to bring some of the original artistic motivation back into how I approach my work. I still want it to be art.“

P: Did you study film? And what is one of your favourite pieces of work?

I: “Yes I did, but most of my knowledge came from a production company I started while I was in college. That’s what gave me the initial real life experience. I’d say my favourite series is the Between Worlds Series. It felt like it embodied what I’m going for as a filmmaker. It has a message (we create better when we work outside of our labels) but it was also just fun and creative to shoot.”

P: How did you become part of Jubilee?

I: “I’ve been a filmmaker professionally for about 6 years now, it feels like 16. When I really started taking it seriously I wanted to make work that I felt like added to the culture and made people better human beings rather than stuff that was unoriginal or counterproductive. This led me to connect with Jason who founded Jubilee a couple years ago. We stayed in touch and when I left my job in the Bay Area last year I sent him a film I was working on and he encouraged me to consider working at Jubilee.”

P: What inspires you?

I: “Life. The different ways we all live life and the fact that there’s always so much for us to learn. None of us have the answers. And so, the people who really just live in constant curiosity, and the things they make, really get me going. I think for me to say ‘I want to make a living making videos that inspire people and encourage them to think outside of the box’ sounds like a pipe dream. People know how hard it is to make it. Being a director and 9 times out of ten even if you make it, you’re making content that you probably don’t believe in, or that is really just about how much money it can make. I love the fact that I committed to this idea, and that there are other people out there who see the value media has to change things up and invest in it. We can really change the world. I think Jubilee is founded on this idea.”

P: What would you tell your 10-year-old self?

I: “Believe in yourself dude. There’s no point not to. Everybody you see is just on a constant journey of becoming themselves, of trusting themselves. Don’t convince yourself that you’re less than what you are. You’re amazing and there’s no reason not to be.”

P: What is likely to be your next move?

I: “I want to explore my creativity. I want to do more writing and picking up more experimental projects. I’m feeling like I have a lot more to express artistically so I’m looking at different ways that can come about – whether its photography, writing, or directing new projects. But first, I’m going to live life. See what inspiration I’ve been missing out on after being so focused for the last couple years. Travel, meet new people, have new experiences. See what other neurons I can get spinning in the noggin and then make some magic with them.”

Imari is no longer with team Jubilee but he will be creating work of depth and authenticity. We look forward to seeing more from this powerful creative.

PANACHE Magazine Wins Big at CTO Travel Media Awards In New York

Best Feature by Caribbean Journalist for a Caribbean Media

June 8, 2018, New York, USA

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Kinisha Correia (L), award-winning journalist, and Tricia Williamson, CEO & Editorial Director, PANACHE, proudly display their winning award at the recent Caribbean Travel Media Awards in New York.

PANACHE Magazine (the flagship travel and lifestyle magazine from the PANACHE Digital Media family), has won the Best Feature Award that appeared in a Caribbean-based media by a Caribbean-based Journalist.  This was announced at the coveted Caribbean Travel Media Awards in New York on Friday, June 8, 2018.

The award-winning feature, “More than Just Beads: Story and Myth,” which was written by Kinisha Correia, was published in the October 2017 issue and showcased the work of Story & Myth, a Jamaican brand which specialises in, “island-inspired handmade jewellery.”   The four-page feature, which included photography by Niesha Brown, was a unique celebration of stunning earthiness behind each Story & Myth bracelet and necklace.  The feature shared details on how each bead is made and highlighted the fact that they are created by local artisans, many of whom are physically disabled.   The creations of these individuals provide them with much-needed income for their families.

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Tricia Williamson, CEO and Editorial Director of PANACHE Magazine, said, “We are honoured by this achievement.  This win speaks volumes to our unwavering commitment to being the voice for Jamaican and Caribbean stories that truly connect with our readers. I commend Kinisha on the way she utilised her writing prowess to produce such a well-written story that captured the imagination of the readers and I am forever grateful to Story & Myth for allowing us to share their powerful story through our magazine.”

Award-winning writer, Kinisha Correia, shared, “I’m appreciative and honoured that my work has been recognized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). I’m also proud that the piece selected was on a business creating change by weaving environmental and socially conscious practices into its work. Winning this award strengthens the message that business can be a force for good in the region. I’m grateful to be a part of that cultural shift.”

Kristie Stephenson, owner of Story & Myth, added that she was, “…thrilled and excited that these long time oral mythical stories are getting acknowledged in the mainstream.”

This was PANACHE’s first time participating in the prestigious travel media awards and along with the historic win; the magazine was also a finalist for Best Photograph Accompanying a Feature.  The image by Ikenna Douglas, which was displayed on the PANACHE Magazine Cover of April 2017, was the entry in this Category.

We’re very proud and excited at PANACHE!  This win is a “celebration of excellence” and we are humbled to know that our efforts are seen in that light!  We are also truly grateful for the recognition of our Caribbean talent by the CTO, as we know that this will serve as motivation to other upcoming Caribbean journalists,” shared Tricia Williamson.


About PANACHE

PANACHE Communications/ PANACHE Digital Media is a magazine publishing and digital marketing company based in Jamaica and the USA. PANACHE Magazine is published six times annually in print on demand via Magcloud and free digital editions at www.panachejamagazine.com

For more info, visit www.panachedigital.media

About the CTO Travel Media Awards

The Caribbean tourism industry cherishes its strong relationship with the media and in appreciation for their constant positive coverage of the region, recognizes media for influencing their readers to travel to the Caribbean.  This recognition took place in New York City during Caribbean Week New York.

To honour the media’s exceptional work in promoting the Caribbean, in feature print, broadcast and online, we invite CTO government members, their public relations agencies and journalists to provide us with their top media placements for 2017 on CTO member countries. Awards will be presented to journalists from US and Caribbean-based media.

For more info, visit: http://www.onecaribbean.org

Kaya & Jamaica’s medical ganja industry

Jamaica’s medical ganja industry takes ‘historic step’ with Kaya

Chairman of Kaya Farms, Balram Vaswani, has said that sister company, Kaya Herbhouse is set to officially open its doors in March to the Jamaican public and visitors to the island, who are interested in sampling its offerings of medical marijuana and related products.

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In making the announcement on Tuesday, Vaswani said persons wishing to purchase ganja and ganja products must comply with one of four regulations.

“We remain in compliance with the rules enacted by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA), and persons will be able to legally purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes while also being able to experience the Kaya Herbhouse and Kaya Café,” Vaswani said in a press release.

The development comes as Vaswani’s Kaya Farms – which is home to the country’s first legal medical cannabis dispensary – harvested its first crop.

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The first official ‘cut’ and harvest took place on Tuesday in the presence of Augustus Staples, Chief Executive Officer of the CLA, at Kaya Farms in Drax Hall, St Ann.

According to a press release, the plants from the harvest will be cured, trimmed and packaged for sale to Kaya Herbhouse in St Ann for the first sale to medical patients, and ‘Everything Oily’ for processing. This it said satisfies the tripartite agreements signed to ensure a closed loop system for the sale of marijuana as enacted in the Dangerous Drugs (Cannabis Licensing) Regulations.

The press release said the regulations allow for the sale and use of ganja for specific reasons, namely in accordance with the written recommendation or prescription of a registered medical practitioner, for consumption on the premises or for the provision of therapeutic services utilising ganja.

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“I am truly honoured as a Jamaican to make the historic step where our country can finally monetise on this industry as Europe, Australia, India, China, and the US have already done,” said Vaswani.

According to the release, Kaya’s goal is to make Jamaica the flagship of the global wellness tourism industry and become the new symbol of the island’s roots and lifestyle.

Source: http://www.loopjamaica.com/content/jamaicas-medical-ganja-industry-takes-historic-step-kaya


‘Got To Have Kaya Now’ – Marley Son Advocates With Bob’s Slang

In the 40th year since the release of Bob Marley’s romantic album Kaya, the legend’s slang for cannabis has become a branding tool in the ongoing campaign to legalise the herb. Many of the sons of the global reggae icon have put action to Tuff Gong’s long-standing cannabis advocacy.

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Rohan Marley of Marley Coffee (left) and Balram Vaswani, chairman of Kaya Inc, cutting the ribbon to the Kaya Café at the grand opening, recently.

Stephen, Ziggy, Ky-mani, Julian, and Damian Marley will headline the second annual, all-ages Kaya Fest, named after the 1978 album. The music festival relocated from Miami, Florida, to San Bernardino, California, where the festival can benefit from the state’s legalisation of cannabis for recreational use. The two-day concert will also feature guests Toots and the Maytals, Lauryn Hill, Cypress Hill, and Tom Morello.

“He would be at the forefront of this movement for people to know the herb. It’s in his nature, where he come from,” Stephen said in an interview with Rollingstone Magazine. In 2016, the family launched Marley Natural, a name brand for various strains of cannabis, pipes, hempseed body wash, and other products.

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“You see marijuana becoming legal. You see his legacy has taken on more importance because of what he has been telling people for years. ‘Hey, I told you so!’ So the legacy has grown another step,” Damian added.

BOLD MOVES

Also making bold moves is the entrepreneurial son, Rohan Marley. As of last weekend, Ocho Rios, St Ann, became home to Kaya Farms, the first legal medical cannabis dispensary in the English-speaking Caribbean. Kaya Farms and sister companies Kaya Herbhouse, Kaya Spa, Kaya CafÈ, and Kaya Tours plan to offer a variety of services for Jamaicans and tourists, including the sale of marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic purposes.

Participating in the grand opening event last weekend was Balram Vaswani, chairman and chief ganja officer at Kaya Farms and his associate Rohan, chairman of Marley Coffee.

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“It’s great when what is naturally produced here, the herb, can become a business and drive the economy. So it’s never too late, and that’s why it’s happening right now,” Rohan said during the launch. He accompanied Vaswari in the official ribbon-cutting ritual.

“For me, the journey has been extremely long. This is an economic change for Jamaica. With this product, we have a chance for it to be a product of Jamaica, made in Jamaica, where we can control the start to finish. This could be an export. This can bring in revenue and wealth creation and help small farmers all the way up to large companies – not only farmers but auxiliary businesses, carpenters, plumbers, bartenders, etc,” Vaswani said.

Guests are welcome to tour Kaya Farms and its processing facility and kick back inside Kaya CafÈ, which exclusively carries Marley Coffee.

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Guests to Kaya Farms are able to purchase various strains available and legally purchase medicinal marijuana, once proper documentation as required by the Cannabis Licensing Authority (CLA) has been provided. The regulations outlined by the CLA allow for the sale and use of marijuana in limited quantities and for specific reasons, namely, in accordance with the written recommendation or prescription of a registered medical practitioner, for consumption on the premises, or for the provision of therapeutic services utilising ganja.

Kaya Farms’ grand opening closed with a concert featuring Ky-mani Marley, Keznamdi, Jah 9, and Toots and the Maytals.

Source: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/entertainment/20180318/got-have-kaya-now-marley-son-advocates-bobs-slang


Ganja Company Kaya To List On Toronto Stock Exchange

Kaya Inc, a licensed ganja business in Jamaica that opened its first ganja cafe in Ocho Rios in March, is going public in Canada and will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Under the transaction, Kaya will enact a “reverse takeover” with a listed company called Buzz Capital.

The takeover also comes with a separate plan to raise CAD$8.5 million of which CAD$5.5 million is being sought from institutional investors, while another entity called HIKU Brands has already agreed to provide backing of CAD$3 million, said Kaya Inc CEO and founder Balram Vaswani.

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The Kaya brand is framed on a shirt worn by Owen ‘JahJah’ Warren, chief grower at Kaya Farms, during the March 10 opening event for Kaya’s operations in St Ann. Kaya is merging with another company called Buzz Capital and will list on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The listing is being preceded by a series of transactions, which will see Kaya merging with Buzz. The latter company was formed in 2017 and listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in the same year, with the intent of being utilised as a vehicle for a takeover.

Buzz issued a letter of intent about the transaction earlier this month indicating that the companies would finalise their negotiations and secure a deal by April 15. It will result in Kaya shareholders owning nearly nine-tenths of the amalgamated shares.

Vaswani told the Financial Gleaner that the ganja authority in Jamaica was abreast of the dealings to list overseas.

“All contemplated transactions are subject to oversight and approval of the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This includes both Jamaican ownership and directorship exceeding 50 per cent at all times,” he said.

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“We will continue to work with all governing bodies as we continue to build a Jamaican brand that can extend beyond the shores of our island. This will give all Jamaicans access to invest and participate in a transparent regulated industry,” said the ganjapreneur via email.

The structure of the takeover deal involves Buzz enacting a reduction in its ordinary shareholding from 8.2 million to 4.1 million units followed by a name change from Buzz to Kaya Inc; then the exchange of all issued and outstanding shares of Kaya for common shares of the resulting entity; followed by the exchange of all issued and outstanding Kaya options and warrants for shares of the new entity.

The resulting company is expected to have 43 million issued shares “of which approximately 89 per cent will be held by the current shareholders of Kaya, and 11 per cent by the existing shareholders of Buzz”, according to a press release on the transaction.

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Kaya reaped the first legal harvest for sale last month in the presence of the Cannabis Licensing Authority. This harvest will feed the stock of the store or herbhouse, the first of which opened in St Ann.

The costs associated with the development of the cafe, dispensary, and farm to date have surpassed J$76 million.