Jason Warren – CEO & Owner
Jason comes from a long line of farmers and is the fourth generation to work on his family’s cherry farm on the Old Mission Peninsula. After college he returned home to Traverse City to start his own CPA firm specializing in farming and agricultural businesses. In 2008 he sold his firm and went to work for Shoreline Fruit, the largest tart cherry growing and processing organization in the U.S. While there he was involved in finance, human resources, procurement and quality and was part of the Team that built the company’s state of the art drying and juice concentrate processing facility. In 2013 he joined MI Local Investments, a firm specializing in real estate and small business development, and is in charge of the MI Local Hops division. He has over 20 years of experience in accounting, finance, farming, food processing, food safety, quality and manufacturing.
Mark Johnson – Entrepreneur & Owner
Mark is an owner of MI Local Hops, and the CEO of MI Local Investments. He has been a small business owner for 15 years and is a native of Traverse City, MI. Mark has an extensive background in sales and manufacturing and over the last ten years he has been entrenched in real-estate and development.
You can read more about Mark in this feature piece by Bay Life North Magazine.
Dan Taber – Chief Operating Officer
Dan sits on the quality committee for the Hop Growers of America, and is in charge of designing and implementing the quality systems at MI Local Hops to produce high quality, food grade products from our farm and at our harvesting, processing, and storage facilities.
Joe Brulotte – Farm Manager
Joe is a third generation hop grower from the Yakima, WA region who has worked with the likes of Steiner, Wycoff and Kyle Shinn. In addition to being well respected for his yard installation skills and farming knowledge, Joe has also been involved extensively in the propagation of hop plants, root stock and even some proprietary varieties.
Dan Wiesen – Custom Farming & Installation Director
Dan has been growing hops in Michigan since 2008, and is known by many in the small to medium brewing industry in Michigan for producing quality hops. Through Empire Hops, Dan heads up the yard installation and custom services division of MI Local and is part of the team, along with Joe and Alex, that designs and implements our growing and harvesting practices.
Dan has worked with Joe over the last four to five years to adapt the extensive growing knowledge that Joe brought with him from the Pacific Northwest to the unique growing, harvesting and processing conditions of Michigan.
Alex Wiesen – Operations Manager
Alex is the son of Dan Wiesen and has been working with his dad and Joe since 2008. He is also known as a quality grower and has been key in developing and implementing a number of innovations in growing and plant health specific to the challenges that we face in growing hops in Michigan.
Along with Joe, Alex was a key player in the installation and planting of all of MI Local’s yards (almost 200 acres) in a period of less than three months.
You can listen to an interview with Alex on the Short’s Brewing Company Podcast, Short’s Cast provided in the link below. Alex gives a descriptive history of the Michigan Hop Industry and it’s growth over the last eight years.
Mike Moran – Sales & Marketing Manager
Mike is our man on the road, and online. He heads up sales and marketing and has been working in the music and production industry since 2003. He is the founder of Quarter After Productions which produces podcasts like Short’s Brewings “Short’s Cast”, New Holland Brewing Co. “Stop & Taste Conversations” with Fred Bueltmann, and the Michigan craft beer show, Drink My Brewcast. He is responsible for all social media channels, and has been documenting the MI Local Hops build thru video since July of 2015.
If you’re looking to purchase hops via spot buy, or contracting, Mike is the guy to connect with MikeM@milocalhops.com
Tim Prentice – Project & Facility Maintenance Manger
Tim is our Project and Facility Maintenance Manager and brings 30 years of electrical equipment, plant maintenance and project management experience.
Tim is a 22 year Navy veteran, and spent most of his service time on aircraft carriers. Tim has been a key player in managing special projects and establishing and maintaining SQF Global food safety standards.
Sally Erickson – Real Estate & Properties
Sally hails from Traverse City where she grew up in the housing industry, and attended the only high school at the time, The Traverse City Senior High. Extensive experience in the hospitality industry, the opportunity to attend Northwood Institute (now University), and Disney University gave Sally a very diverse understanding of customer service and management.
Sally worked side by side, with her father, as they developed numerous residential neighborhoods in the area. Her expertise in hospitality, special event planning, design, development and construction have proven to be an asset to the team.