Vertical Growers Network Ltd (VGN) is a multifaceted management company providing the vital link that connects national and international retail food companies, food services, hospitality businesses and value-added food processors with produce locally grown by Trusted Freshness® Master and Grower Franchisees network, Canada’s newest commercial vertical farming enterprise.

VGN is totally focused on providing quality produce that will contribute to higher profitability for our customers.

Meet Our Team

Company Principals
Jim Schroeder - CEO Chief Marketing Officer - VGN Corporate Headshot

Jim Schroeder, Founder/Chairman


Jim Schroeder is responsible for Corporate Development and Operations/Marketing. He oversees fresh produce production planning, sales and marketing, and distribution and network logistics.

Jim brings many years of business and corporate development, market research, domestic and export development, and purchasing and procurement, especially tailored for product placement in retail and food service markets to the business. He is well versed in the establishment of sales and marketing systems for new fresh produce grower facilities, fresh produce brokerage, and logistics planning for fresh produce distribution.

In the past five years, Jim was involved with designing vertical farming systems, and implementing germination and horticulture planning for vertical farm systems designed specifically for commercial grower applications.


Trish Schroeder, Office Manager

Marketing & Sales

Stephanie Bell, Marketing & Communications Manager

Kelly Legros, Account Manager

Tara Cable, Account Manager

Ralph Riess, Account Manager

Sarah Dantzer, Account Manager

Kim Collins, Account Manager

Ali Khalid, Account Manager

Mike Williams, Account Manager


Dr. Asif Malik, Senior Production Manager



Dr. Abdus Shakir, Production Manager



Chantel Starchuk, Assistant Production Manager



Ibrahim Elserafy, Food Safety Manager


Nan Raj, Food Scientist, Product Development

Dr. Robert IppolitoConsultant, Product Development


Brandy Schroeder, Consultant, Product Development