Meet Our Vitarock Experts
We have a great group of people working behind the scenes to make Vitarock.com the amazing company that it is.
Dr. Karol M.D
Dr. Karol Wojewnik, MD – alternative medicine expert, educator, medical health advisor and author
Dr. Karol Wojewnik is recognized as a health expert who is highly knowledgeable in conventional medicine, supplementation, botanical medicine, clinical nutrition and diet and exercise programs. Karol graduated with a B.Sc. with distinction from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Following this Karol completed a doctor of medicine degree as well as the medical post-graduation internship in Europe.
Karol started his media career by hosting the radio Radical Remedies portion of The Natural Health Show. The Natural Health Show brings together a collection of health experts to discuss natural health solutions in a way that’s easy to understand. Karol also speaks on health matters and the potential of healthy ingredients on video blogs and at health tradeshows. He currently works closely with and represents some of Canada’s leading health product companies.
Karol is our resident health expert here at Vitarock. Karol reviews the products considered by Vitarock to ensure they meet the company’s four core pillars; to be pure, green, safe and fair. He also interacts directly with Vitarock’s online shoppers, being available by phone to provide a free medical consultation and to recommend the best possible products. He is also a senior advisor for dicentra, one of Canada’s leading regulatory and scientific consulting firms. Karol reviews science and compiles reports for Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help companies bring new and exciting products and ingredients to market.
His overall philosophy is that as a society we should implement a more personal approach to our existing medical system showing more empathy, personal attention, as well as emotional and psychological support to individuals in need of help. He also believes in the value of integrating modern Western medical practice with natural remedies, exercise, time spent with nature, and a healthy diet rich in super foods.
Mariah is a Social Media Manager for health and wellness businesses, specializing in content development, recipe generation, food and product photography, and writing. She originally studied Advanced Graphic Design and worked with creative agencies for years as a Graphic Designer, including interior design, advertising and art publishers. After battling her own health issues, she went back to school to study nutrition and gained a certification as a Culinary Nutrition Expert (but she prefers to call herself a Nutrition Ninja). With a background in graphic design and certifications in nutrition, Mariah is able to apply her knowledge and passion for holistic nutrition with her creative skills to create effective and meaningful social media content.
When she's not busy editing photos, you can always find Mariah in the kitchen. With her love for plant-based food and nutrition, and her innovative recipe generation, she has had the pleasure of developing nourishing recipes for a variety of industry leaders. Mariah's goal is to make a positive change in the way people understand health and nutrition, and believes that the more natural, wholesome ingredients you use, the more alive you will feel.
Monica Banach, M.Sc., B.Sc.
In her current role as a Scientific Regulatory Associate, Monica reviews, compiles and reports scientific evidence to assess the safety of ingredients of natural health products and drugs. In this work, Monica conducts extensive literature searches and critically reviews data and the validity of health claims.
Her previous positions include research assistant at the University of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital, and consultant (human health risk assessments in the safety evaluation of chemicals and consumer products - international).
For the last decade, Caleigh has spent her days as a television producer and her nights as a mega fitness enthusiast. As a certified personal trainer and boxing coach in her own right, when she’s not writing about health, wellness and useless celebrity gossip for t.v, you can find her either sweating it out in the boxing ring or yelling (encouragingly not mean) at her clients, who are sweating it out in the boxing ring.
By fusing her experience in entertainment media with her fitness expertise and enthusiasm, Caleigh brings a fun, unique and outspoken perspective on all things health and lifestyle to the Vitarock Blog.
Peter Wojewnik, BSc, MBA
Peter Wojewnik is the Vice President of Business Development for dicentra, a regulatory and scientific consulting firm that helps companies reach compliance with Health Canada and FDA matters. Peter has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Ryerson University.
Read articles by Peter Wojewnik in the Vitarock Blog
Katharine Herringer is an über passionate health foodie, and natural health trend hunter living in Vancouver, BC. She is also the co-founder of Multibird Branding, a boutique branding agency dedicated exclusively to their Natural Health Products business.
Ashleigh Thurston, MSc
Ashleigh’seducational and professional experience has provided her with expertise in scientific and regulatory affairs. During her Master’s research, she gained training in scientific writing and scientific evaluation while developing knowledge of the principles of pharmacology and toxicology. As the Manager of Scientific Affairs at dicentra, Ashleigh oversees the scientific aspects of all regulatory projects. By leading the members of her team, Ashleigh oversees the preparation of all scientific dossiers, whether for the substantiation of claims for dietary supplements, Product License Applications (PLAs) for natural health products (NHPs) or for new dietary ingredient (NDI) and GRAS dossiers. Additionally, Ashleigh oversees product classification strategies, adverse reaction reporting and claim substantiation assessments and is involved in liaising with the government on our clients behalf.
Ashleigh is also a member of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, an organization which facilitates pharmacological research to help develop new therapies for the treatment of existing and emerging health conditions.
Nancy Macleod Grove, BSc
A Food Safety and Quality Professional, Nancy has over 20 years experience in the food ingredient and beverage manufacturing industries. She brings extensive knowledge in regulatory food standards, HACCP and sanitation programs to the dicentra regulatory team. With her audit experience she ensures successful safety audit compliance and proven leadership in CFIA /FDA and Environmental and Food Safety inspections. Her area of expertise includes providing regulatory direction to Food Product Development in the preliminary formulation and concept stage of new product launch activities.
Nancy has previously served as Vice President of the Technical Committee on the Flavor Manufactures Association of Canada and on FEMA – North American Regulatory Affairs Committee, helping to keep U.S. manufacturing organizations up to date on Canadian regulatory changes impacting the import of product into Canada.
Megan West, BA
Megan is a psychology-major-turned-fashion-major who's spent the last 5 years working in publishing as a Fashion and Beauty Editor. While her formal education is in Psychology & Applied Behaviour Analysis, she spent a number of years interning and assisting at various publications and digital media outlets, quickly becoming a senior level editor. She's written for a number of both digital and print publications covering a variety of topics from skincare, fitness, and beauty. Having worked with a variety of industry leaders, she continues to educate herself on the latest advances in each of these areas.
She's passionate about the health and beauty industry, dancing, self-tanning, and Midnight, her adopted rescue cat. She enjoys that her position at Vitarock allows her to merge her passion for writing, digital media, and beauty with her innate interest in wellness and health.
Jacintha Roberts, MEng
Jacintha is a Senior Regulatory Specialist at dicentra and is involved in all aspects of regulatory compliance for supplements, health products, food packaging materials and foods. Jacintha holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering. She currently serves as a member of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) Food Regulatory Advisory Council (FRAC) and prior to joining dicentra she worked for Health Canada.
Colleen Rodericks is a content producer and copywriter. She started her career during the Dotcom boom working for large software companies in sales and marketig}. After many years in the rat race, she decided that it was time to focus on her true self and work on a career that made her happy.
In 2006, Colleen started an organic, Fairtrade, chocolate business called Kakayo Chocolate Company. Her truffles and chocolate bars were made from ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients. She opened her retail store in Leslieville (an artsy neighbourhood in Toronto). Her chocolates were also sold at many local health food stores, farmers’ markets and the dispensary at the Homeopathic College of Canada.
As an entrepreneur, she had her hands in many pots. In addition to her passion for food, she was in her element when writing and producing digital content. At that time, ecommerce was still in its infancy and food websites were unwieldy and unreliable . Colleen built a website that took online orders efficiently and showcased food photography that captured her creations. After five years of working on Kakayo Chocolate Company she decided it was time to start a family. Reluctantly, she closed her business and focused on being a full time mom.
Motherhood brought on many new, enjoyable challenges. After a year of being a stay-at-home mom, Colleen was ready to get back into a creative field. This time, it would be copywriting.
She went back to an industry that she knew and wrote marketing content for software companies. That eventually led her to copywriting for ecommerce companies and now Colleen is part of the Vitarock content team. She has an opportunity to work in the ecommerce field writing and creating social content about ethical, sustainable, cruelty free and natural products. As a passionate tech-hippie, she is able to do what she loves everyday!