OUR TEAM

Leaf

we speak cannabis.

Leaf

Welcome to the premier source for medicinal cannabis in Illinois. We exist to make it simple and easy for qualified patients to get safe access to the highest quality information and expertise.

You can visit elevele® in Highland Park, IL as of March 23, 2016. You’ll find there is no lingo. No code words. No hype.
Just sincere, medicinal cannabis experts with a customized approach to your care in a clean, safe, secure and supportive environment.

For many years, medicinal cannabis has been misunderstood. We’re here to bring a sensible and informed perspective to your care.
Learn for yourself and discover a great experience with experts that can help you find your level.

Meet Our

Expert TEAM

Paul Nowacki

Paul Nowacki

GENERAL MANAGER

Paul is an integral member of the management team at Elevele. A native of Northbrook, Illinois, Paul’s interest in the medical marijuana industry began after taking a pharmacology course in college where he learned the in-depth medicinal benefits of marijuana and its numerous cannabinoids. After earning his psychology degree from the University of Iowa, Paul served as a top manager for the marketing department of an international liquor importer, followed by four years in the healthcare industry. During this time, his passion for medical marijuana drove him to begin researching on his own. He traveled between Illinois and Colorado over the next several years to learn as many aspects of the marijuana industry as possible. This experience allowed him opportunities for hands-on learning about cultivation, producing extracts and edibles, and developing exceptional product knowledge with a focus on quality. Paul’s vast, in-depth knowledge of different cannabis strains and consumption methods provides patients at Elevele with an exceptional level of care that addresses both their medical and emotional concerns. Paul currently resides in Highland Park, Illinois and in his free time enjoys exercise, fly fishing, and traveling with his family.

Jack Weiss

Jack Weiss

ASSISTANT MANAGER

As the assistant manager, Jack is invested in providing a wide variety of different products to cater to the needs of all of Elevele’s patients. Jack has been a Highland Park resident since 1999. He studied at College of Lake County with a focus in psychology. Jack’s passion for medical cannabis started in 2016. His father decided to join the Illinois medical cannabis pilot program after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for many years. After joining the program, his father had shown significant improvement in symptom management. When Jack saw all the relief that cannabis had provided for his father, he decided that he would obtain a medical cannabis card as well to treat his PTSD and depression. After personally using medical cannabis, Jack discovered that it relieved his symptoms more efficiently and effectively than conventional pharmaceuticals. In his free time, Jack enjoys glassblowing or spending time with friends and family. As a caregiver, Jack is accustomed to helping all those in need and is happy to do so.
Akemi Almeida

Akemi Almeida

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Akemi is a Communications Studies and Hospitality Leadership graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Her journey with cannabis primarily took off in college when she joined Students for Sensible Drug Policy and learned about the systematic issues of the war on drugs. She went on to intern with a Chicagoland local CBD company called Alternative Vibes. Her path eventually led her to southwest Colorado for the summer after graduating college to work at Chimney Rock Organic Hemp Farm where she pursued her love for cultivating. Wanting to be closer to friends and family, she made her way back home where she now humbly serves the patients of Elevele. Akemi also takes pride in being a part of the non-profit organizations Chicago Psychedelic Club, Illinois Women in Cannabis, and Chicago Recovery Alliance. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new forest preserves, running shows with her company she created, going to concerts, and simply spending quality time with her close friends.
Brendan Striegl

Brendan Striegl

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Brendan grew up in Northbrook where he currently resides. He returned to Illinois after spending 4 years at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he studied Business Management. It was during this time that he became very interested in and more knowledgeable about the uses of cannabis to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. His personal interest in the field of medical cannabis was later strengthened when his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. As a patient care representative, Brendan is dedicated to helping others and using his knowledge to educate others. In his free time, he enjoys snowboarding, sports, and spending time with family and friends.
Daniel Gabay

Daniel Gabay

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Daniel grew up in Highland Park where he currently resides. He spent most of his life in Illinois where he went to College of Lake County and studied business. He got interested in the medical cannabis industry when he learned that THC and CBD working together works really well in order to help treat his Grandfather’s Parkinson’s disease and severe fibromyalgia. As a patient care representative, Daniel is passionate about helping others and using his knowledge to educate others. When he isn’t working as a PCR, he likes to channel his creative side by creating & repairing jewelry at his jewelry shop.
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Carla Olvera

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Carla grew up in the Northwest Suburb of Carpentersville, IL. She is currently enrolled at Elgin Community College working through an Associates in Science with a focus on Chemistry and Psychology. While enrolled in a variety of Psychology courses she became very interested in Cannabis, its impact on human behavior, and how it can alter the body’s chemistry to find relief. After two intensive knee surgeries and years of physical therapy, it has led Carla to find an alternative to opiates to manage her pain and depression with Medical Cannabis. Through the Chicago Psychedelic Club and attending cannabis outreach/education events, she has become very passionate about educating and reducing stigma in communities highly impacted by the War on Drugs. Aside from helping patients find relief, she also works as a Barista providing a variety of drinks for everyone to start their day with. In her free time, Carla loves to go hiking, running, and working on photography.
Sophia Sutor

Sophia Sutor

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Sophia is a Driehaus School of Business graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She started off her work with those most deserving by working at different animal rescues in Chicago. The world changed for her after finding Students for Sensible Drug Policy, opening up many outlets to fight the war on drugs. Here at Elevele, she can combine her compassion for helping others with her passion for cannabis. It continues to push her to change stigma behind drug use with fact based education. In her free time she enjoys doing anything outdoors, from hiking to camping to festivals.
Hari Jakllari

Hari Jakllari

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Hari grew up in Athens, Greece and moved to the US at the age of 12. He finished his General Education at Oakton Community College and is looking to further it by getting a degree in Horticulture to expand his knowledge in the plant and the way it is grown. He first started using cannabis after high school when he began to notice his anxiety and PTSD getting better and better. After reading about the many ways cannabis has helped people in the past with Cancer, MS, PTSD, Anxiety, Etc.. He decided to learn about the many ways cannabis can be consumed whether it be edibles or concentrates. Ever since then, Hari got himself a medical card for his qualifying condition and has been a patient at Elevele ever since. He was then truly invested in cannabis and hired a year later as a Patient Care Representative where he learns more and more with new product coming in daily. When he is outside of work, Hari enjoys going out and finding cool hidden views around the city, playing soccer with friends, and most importantly being with his dog and family.
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Dezmond Lookis

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Dez grew up in the Skokie area where he still resides. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when he was 3 and since then has gone through any all medications to help manage the disease and in hopes of finding remission. It wasn’t until he turned 21 and started to take cannabis a little more seriously and began to use cannabis to help with his Crohn’s. Unfortunately back then, cannabis wasn’t looked at the same way as it is now so it was difficult to get people in Illinois on board but he stood his ground and stayed and eventually found his way to Elevele through the pilot program. His whole life all he has wanted to do was to get the message out there and help people in any way possible and being at Elevele he feels like he has found his purpose. In his free time, he loves to play/watch sports and spend time with family and friends.
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Michelle Drinis

PATIENT CARE REPRESENTATIVE

Michelle’s passion for professional cannabis began in 2016 as a senior social work student at Western Illinois University. Here she produced an in-service presentation on how cannabis medicine works and why. Through the lens of social work, she began to understand how to construct the industry to best serve those who need cannabis medicine most. Michelle continued her collegiate studies at Loyola University Chicago as a Masters of Social Work where she graduated in 2019, specializing in leadership and development. During this time she further integrated cannabis medicine into her curriculum to advocate for the powerful knowledge that is cannabis medicine. Along with Michelle’s experience with cannabis in higher education, she has also adopted cannabis into her health and wellness. Michelle is also a caregiver for her grandmother who has multiple qualifying conditions. Observing cannabis through a diversity of lenses increases the scope of people she is ready to serve. She has witnessed the tremendous growth and transformation that cannabis inspires as it is integrated into our lifestyles. Michelle is also a Leader for the global women in a cannabis company, Ellementa. With Ellementa Michelle is able to share her passion and lust for knowledge with her fellow women, who want nothing more than to reclaim their health in a compassionate and sustainable way.

Robyn Stanke

ADMINISTRATIVE REPRESENTATIVE

Robyn grew up in the Northwest Suburb of Carpentersville, IL. She studied and received her BA in Human Services with an emphasis on mental health at Columbia College of Missouri. She is currently enrolled in a graduate program at Aurora University working towards her Masters in Social Work with a specialization in addictions. Mental health has always been a passion of hers and she became interested in cannabis when she learned that it could potentially help those with certain mental health disorders. She is dedicated to learning more about cannabis and to help spread that knowledge. Outside of Elevele, she enjoys outdoor activities along with spending time with friends and family.
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