Under the Microscope, MDG's Business Development Manager: JoElla Barnes

  • MDG
  • June 17, 2021

Joella BarnesMDG’s Business Development Manager, JoElla Barnes, brings a tenacity of passion and knowledge from working years with Bacillus.

What drew you to Microbial Discovery Group (MDG)?
I had been working for several years in the microbial industry, so I’ve known of MDG and their R&D team for a while now. In 2020, Mike and I started talking and I decided to step onboard at MDG! It was a great fit. It feels like home to me here and everyone has been so great!

What does your typical day look like?
It starts early. I get up, feed my cat Yeezy, then get myself down to the basement to my “home” gym to exercise. Once I’m finished, I come back upstairs and boot up the computer for work. I spend my day working on our projects, making sure that deadlines and deliverables are met and assisting others that need my help or expertise. I knock off about 5:30-6:00 pm, feed Yeezy and get a bite to eat. Then it’s time for a little R&R, I’m currently addicted to some great TV series so you can find me in my living room for the rest of the evening.

What is something at work that you’re passionate about?
I’m very passionate about implementing our new Learning Management System. It’s challenging work, but it feeds my need to create. I love building things from scratch and seeing them flourish. At my previous company I built up our aquaculture program and microbial program, but I’m even more excited about this project. It’s going to take MDG to the next level and help us serve more people and help them work better.

Having worked in the microbial industry in the past, where do you see the industry going and what excites you the most about impacts of microbial products?
From all my years of animal research, it’s clear that the solutions to the world’s biggest problems in the future are going to be biological. People are not as fearful of “bacteria” as they were a decade ago. We’ve seen the amazing benefits of probiotics, DFMs for improving the growth and health of livestock, and the use of bacteria in polluted soils and waterways. I see the industry continuing to grow as we learn more about what Bacillus can do. We’ve just scratched the surface. What really excites me is the fact that we can use “good” bacteria to impact the effects of “bad” bacteria. Seafood will become a major source of protein by the years 2025-2030 and bacteria is going to help make that seafood safer and healthier.

As a business development manager, how do you bridge gaps between different departments?
The key to bridging gaps between departments is to listen to their needs and find that common ground between them. We all believe in our Feed, Clean, Save mission, and know the quality of our Bacillus. I keep those things in my mind when I work with the different business units and it helps keep us unified and focused.

MDG’s cultural values include Feed. Clean. Save, what does that mean to you?
This world has finite resources, and we must find ways to support our growing population in the future. To me that means cleaning up our oceans and waterways, cleaning up polluted soil for future use and making sure that everyone has enough to eat. It’s time we work together and invest in our planet. It’s the only one we got for now.

How has working with bacillus changed the way you go about your everyday life?
When I read about an oil spill or a new disease or bacterial issue with our food source, I think “we need to do some research with our Bacillus for that”. I’ve even become more cognizant of the fact that microbes are a part of my body and thus have tried to use health-care products to support that understanding. I’m trying to take care of my outside as well as my inside. Bacteria are part of our everyday lives. They were here long before we were, and they’ll be here long after we’re gone. We work well together!

What do you like to do when you’re not at the office?
I love to read, especially Stephen King. I’m also a very active person; hiking, biking, boating, just to name a few. I just started golf lessons a couple of weeks ago and I love it! But my passion is to travel. I’ve been all over the Caribbean, Panama, Mexico, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, London, Paris, Vietnam, Canada, Italy and all 50 states. I also consider myself an amateur photographer, I enjoy taking pictures on my trips.

Quebec, Canada in 2014

Venice Italy in 2019