Meet the Worker Bees!
Mark Walters "The Honey Guy" | Beekeeper and Market Sales
Mark Walters is Miel’s Beekeeper. He grew up in Madagascar and loved the huge variety of insects found there. In college, he majored in French (his third language) and Biology. His interest in Beekeeping was sparked when a college mate commented on Mark’s terrible allergies. “You need some local raw honey!”. Mark began studying everything he could find on honeybees and beekeeping.
That was in 1975. The following year he set up his first hive in St. Paul, MN. He has since kept bees in Long Prairie, MN and in two cities in Madagascar. Now he maintains 30 hives, all in urban Duluth.
Recently, he has been dubbed “The Honey Guy” by the children of Duluth. First at a stoplight, a young boy shouted excitedly “Mom! Look! It’s The Honey Guy!” A while later, another leaned over and asked “Are you The Honey Guy?” Walking through Leif Erickson Park one Sunday afternoon another little girl was heard to say “Mom, isn’t that The Honey Guy?”
It was settled! The family bought him a t-shirt that says “Yes, I’m the Honey Guy”. He loves that he can talk about and educate people on the importance of bees when they see his shirt.
(And by the way, his allergies are no longer a problem!)
Sharilyn | "The Queen Bee"
Sharilyn, the Queen Bee, was Mark’s wife of nearly 50 years. She was the CFO of Miel up until her passing in January 2022. She helped out in whatever other capacity was needed. Sharilyn was a Home Economics major at Concordia College, Moorhead. Little did she know that her education would lead to making non-edibles!
Soon after getting their first hive, Sharilyn discovered she was allergic to bee venom. When Miel began to grow from just selling honey to offering other products, she began researching beeswax products. Sharilyn is the author of the recipes for the lip balm, lotions, soaps and all the other various products.
Her legacy in Miel continues to live on through the products she created and the work her husband, her children and her grandchildren contribute in the day to day.
Zach | CEO & General Manager
Like his father, Zach was born in the US, but raised in Madagascar. He returned to the US when he was 12. He is Miel’s CEO. His enthusiasm and endless energy defines his leadership role in our family business!
Many of you may know him better as “Jungle Boy”, locally popular pro boxer, WBC Africa Champion, USA National Champion. Or you may recognize him as your insurance man, your fitness or boxing trainer, or any number of other roles he performs! The idea of forming Miel as a business was his brain-child. Initially, he just wanted enough honey to supplement his boxing diet. But the honey produced in Duluth is so unique and delicious and abundant, he thought “Why not share it!”
You can find him helping out at a few festivals and in the fun ideas behind some of Miel’s marketing strategies.
Vanessa | CFO, Business Admin., Marketing, Wholesale & Production Manager
Vanessa Roers is the youngest and only daughter of Mark and Sharilyn. She is our newest member of the Miel Family, learning the production of all our various products. She brings fresh eyes to the business and innovative ideas to make production more dynamic. Since Sharilyn’s passing, she took on the business and marketing side of Miel. In spite of a big learning curve, she has really enjoyed learning the business and wholesale side. She is currently attending Lake Superior College, full-time, with her eyes set on an Accounting and Bookkeeping degree to keep up more efficiently with the administrative side of Miel.
She was born in Madagascar and has continued to travel the world as the wife of Senior Chief Keith Roers, USN. They have three children, Evelyn, Axel and Odin. Their travels have taken them from Texas to Florida to San Diego, Okinawa and back! With a short time left before retiring, they felt the children had had enough of moving around. Vanessa and the children moved back to their home in Duluth, until he officially retired in May of 2022.
Lexi | Production Assistant
This is Lexi, our newest addition to the “Worker Bees.” She moved to Duluth from South Texas in 2020 with her partner Isaac, along with their 5-year-old husky mix, Cujo. They have since adopted one of Miel’s cats, Lahy, and now their family is complete!
She enjoys helping with production for Miel. Not only because it’s a unique process of creating all natural products by hand, but because of how rewarding it feels to be a part of a company that contributes to the well-being of local bee colonies!
We enjoy Lexi’s new take on production and she helps to keep everything organized and in top form!
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