Mike Patterson is co-founder and President of Alias Cann, a company devoted to helping cannabis companies grow through inside sales and customer service.
Patterson started his career in sales services in 1995 as a sales representative for Intech Services, the sole distributor and seller of Teflon™ industrial coatings, becoming President in 2005 and purchasing Intech Services in 2009. During his tenure, because of his “Employee Success” philosophy, business revenues exceeded industry standards with double-digit growth. In 2015, Patterson founded The Alias Group to utilize the successful model used by Intech to serve a broader range of industrial businesses from $1M-$100M with integrated B2B sales and marketing services.
In 2017, Patterson co-founded Alias Cann. By bringing time-tested sales strategies to the dynamic cannabis industry, Alias Cann’s clients - from start-ups to publicly traded companies - have the advantage of scaling B2B sales with trained and motivated sales professionals.
The Alias Cann tagline “No One Grows Alone” defines the company’s view of valuing clients, employees, and community through education and advocacy. With an employee retention rate of 95%, Alias Cann’s corporate culture is notable in the cannabis industry for its employee engagement and wellness emphasis. Alias Cann employees benefit from the company’s view that leadership should be flat and employees should be inspired and empowered to do their best work. Team structures within Alias Cann contribute to their corporate, community, and personal growth through collaborative leadership opportunities on the company’s Corporate Culture Team, Community Service Team, and Wellness Team. The company also hosts an annual team off-site meeting and offers yoga, beer on tap, and a fitness facility to all employees. In 2018, Patterson sold his interest in The Alias Group to focus his attentions on Alias Cann.
Patterson credits the phenomenal business success to the culture of putting employee success first. His track record of creating high-growth companies proves that when employee success comes first, corporate success always follows and performance and retention rates soar. Besides overseeing Alias Cann’s strategy and corporate culture, Patterson speaks to audiences from 50 to 500 about the ROI of leadership and corporate culture in the cannabis industry.
Patterson holds an MBA in Marketing and a BS in Business Administration. He, his wife, and three sons live in Delaware.
Francesca Vavala’s path to cannabis entrepreneur is an indirect but meaningful one. She launched her post college career as a high school English Literature teacher and searched for the perfect fit in secondary education. After six years, her entrepreneurial spirit won over her teacher heart, and she left to pursue a career as a Realtor®. Her ability to teach and guide clients through an often new, high-stakes, competitive process combined with her sharp sales strategy made her an award-winning real estate agent multiple years in a row. Ultimately, a personal tragedy and a desire to be of greater service landed her in a position to help found a cannabis sales agency.
Born a conjoined twin, Francesca’s sister, Emily lived with a severe form of Cerebral Palsy. In 2013, Emily passed away from pneumonia. Not long after Emily passed, Francesca discovered cannabis may have helped Emily cope with the aspiration that caused her fatal pneumonia.
Francesca’s discovery gave her new purpose. Vavala started in the marketing department with her eventual partner Mike’s company, The Alias Group, in 2015. Quickly moving up the ranks and employing her background in education, content creation, and sales, Mike turned to her as a natural partner to co-found Alias Cann, a sales and customer service agency specifically for the cannabis industry.
Today, Francesca helps U.S. cannabis companies grow and educates through the full-service sales and customer management services offered by Alias Cann and by sharing her story.
Francesca is an informed and inspired cannabis entrepreneur, advocate, and speaker. She shares out-of-the-box sales strategies and best practices with other cannabis businesses to help them and others grow their business and share the power of cannabis.
Francesca is a University of Delaware graduate, theater and literature fan, and lives with her husband, Nick, and their pets in Wilmington, Delaware.