Serving as CGO, Andrea drives the commercial development process with customers focused on the introduction of novel formulations and ingredients involving both major and emerging cannabinoids, as well as product lines containing a full spectrum or specific phytocannabinoid ratios that are 100% THC free. She is the key liaison between customers, industry and academic research collaborators, and PPM’s R&D and product development teams. She also leads PPM’s marketing initiatives and relationship building with hemp industry companies and regulatory agencies. She is motivated to change each person’s world for the better and do so in each interaction, as well as with products created with scientific innovation. Pushing all team members at PPM to higher levels is one of Andrea’s superpowers which in turn helps PPM bring its customers and end-use consumers the benefits of new and efficacious cannabinoid-based products.
Dr. Andrea Holmes received her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at New York University and was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral Fellow at Columbia University in the Department of Chemistry and Columbia Medical College, College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. She is a Professor of Chemistry at Doane University in Nebraska and holds appointments at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award that was funded by the National Science Foundation and a national recipient of Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar award. Andrea published over 60 articles on nano-structured materials, miniaturized sensors, surface modifications for antimicrobial resistance, and has developed colorimetric sensors to detect warfare agents, abused narcotics, and cannabinoids.
Reza Zahedi, Ph.DChief Engineering, Development and Operations Officer
Reza Zahedi, PhD, serves as Director of Engineering. His a proven 10x professional and contributor to PPM’s innovation, scale up, application of advanced technologies to improve quality and consistency, and the commercialization of novel cannabinoid-based ingredients for the global customers that PPM serves. Reza has been a critical factor in designing PPM’s industry-leading THC remediation services that are superior in terms of excision precision of THC and low cost. Whether (i) evaluating and deploying manufacturing processes and leading teams to continuously improve them; (ii) managing scale up and production capacity expansions; (iii) working with customers to design tailored solutions; and (iv) optimizing and at the same time “removing Murphy from the production equation” with processes, systems and company culture, Reza’s impact is 24×7.
Reza earned a BS and MS – Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, the “MIT” of Iran, and a PhD at Shiraz University and the University of Waterloo, Shiraz-Waterloo, Iran-Canada. He has served as a Research Assistance Professor at Razi University in Kermanshah, Iran, Associate Professor at UTM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at Missouri S&T, in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department in Rolla, MO. Of note, he is a published author on supercritical fluid extraction, having researched, optimized and scaled extraction with various plant inputs and botanical seed oils. Since leaving academia, Reza has worked in a variety of industries while employed at engineering consultancies and most recently at a food science and manufacturing company serving a global customer base from two US-based facilities.
Jonathan MartinSenior Research Chemist
Jonathan Martin is a research and development chemist specializing in cannabinoids, organic synthesis, and the scaling of API manufacturing. Jonathan has experience with cGMP compliance, readiness preparation for FDA/DEA visits, and large scale process development. At PPM, Jonathan works to improve and develop new processes and optimization of manufacturing of minor cannabinoids with advanced isolation and purification techniques as well as distillation and crystallization methods. In addition to his specialty pharmaceutical company experience developing and commercializing innovative drugs using novel drug delivery systems for therapeutic molecules, Jonathan has specialty biopharma experience working with engineered toxin bodies to treat different forms of cancers. His work involved conducting large scale fermentations followed by protein purification of the toxin bodies.
Jonathan earned a BS in chemistry from Southwestern University and conducted research to elucidate the mechanism of titanium species catalyzed organometallic reactions. This research involved conducting synthesis using different reagents to eliminate mechanistic possibilities, purifying products using different techniques, and using H-NMR to determine structures.
Colleen HudsonChromatography and Chemistry Manager
Colleen Hudson serves as PPM’s chromatography expert and is involved in all activities involving chemistry of the complex hemp plant oil. Colleen manages people, processes, and projects for PPM. Her experience and high bandwidth allows her to mentor members of her team as well as others at PPM, helping young professionals become both effective as well as efficient. Whether it is innovating and scaling complex plant oil separation, isolation and purification or continuous improvement initiatives or instituting systems and processes, she exceeds expectations. Normal and reverse phase chromatography and characterization with HPLC, LC/MS and NMR are all tools of her trade of which she is a master. She is a highly experienced organic and medicinal chemist who has a record of success generating compounds for SAR through idea generation, design, research, multi-step synthesis, purification and characterization.
Colleen earned a BS in Chemistry from Salem State University and has contributed professionally at several pharmaceutical companies ranging from fast-moving startups to global top tier companies including Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (employee #11 and departing when the company had 600+ employees), Bayer, ArQule (acquired by Merck), Infinity Pharmaceuticals (Novartis collaboration), and Machavert Pharmaceuticals. She is a goal-oriented synthetic chemist and operations professional, knowledgeable in drug discovery design and laboratory operations following OSHA, FDA, and EPA guidelines. Her experience encompasses several models including oncology, cardiovascular, neurological and autoimmune diseases, bringing a perspective to PPM that benefits our customers and R&D work.
Arsalan KhalidProcess Engineer
Arsalan Khalid contributes to PPM as a Process Engineer. HIs multi-disciplinary professional and academic background significantly adds to the robustness of PPM’s product and process development capabilities. He is expert with surface chemistry and modification, material characterization, analytical techniques, reaction chemistry, performance testing, and chromatography-based methodologies. Prior to PPM, his work with various adsorbent-based advanced technologies and nanocomposites including research on different materials including graphene enhances PPM’s approach to problem-solving. His engineering skills together with his project management experience have accelerated PPM’s process development and optimization efforts.
Arsalan’s academic training is broad and a record of excellence, having earned awards and scholarships at every degree level. Arsalan earned a BS in Engineering in Polymer and Petrochemical Sciences from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan, a MS in Chemical Engineering from King Fahd University, Saudi Arabia, and a MS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Lowell.
Moises ZapataAnalytic and Chromatography Chemist
Moises is an analytic chemist skilled with many instruments, experienced with plant chemistry and their oil matrices, and chromatrographic techniques. His broad perspective from the academic (biochemistry, quality, analytics) and private industry (functional foods, bioactive compounds, and among others, wine, whiskey, wild berries, and olive oil) worlds adds to the cross-breeding of skills and talents and idea generation capabilities of PPM. Whether at the bench, at an instrument, or at the white board in a meeting, Moises contributes as a highly effective and efficient team member, and provides insights that are actionable.Whether at the bench, at an instrument, or at the white board in a team meeting, Moises contributes as a highly effective and efficient researcher, and provides insights that are usually actionable.
Moises earned a Biochemistry degree from the University of Concepcion, VIII Region – Chile where he wrote a thesis related to flavonols. Subsequently, he pursued and earned a EMQAL Masters from programs at the University of Barcelona, Spain and the University of Bergen, Norway, including teaching responsibilities and thesis work, at those two institutions, respectively. He has also worked at the Research & Development Center of Functional Food, University of Valparaiso, Chile, and served on the faculty of the University of Concepcion, Chile.
Steve KazemiAdvisory Consultant
Prior to his consulting role, Steve had served as PPM’s COO and executed PPM’s strategy of becoming the leading non-psychotropic cannabinoid-based ingredient supplier globally. He delivered results through his engaged leadership style and creative insight. His depth of experience, keen operational oversight, and dedication to advancing PPM’s science-based approach to extraction, refinement and purification helped launch and grow PPM. His tenure as COO provided him with great fulfillment knowing he contributed to humankind by getting the most out of the complex cannabis plant to help people improve the quality of their lives.
Steve, a decisive and resolute leader, has over 20+ years of executive operational experience and demonstrated expertise in the development, management and positioning of complex manufacturing and production facilities in the dietary supplement industry. Steve earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico and served as the principal partner for Pure Cultures, strategically developing its business model to provide distributors with high-quality probiotic options, and silage inoculants from concept to shelf. Previously, he worked at other microbiome and plant-based science-based companies in the Colorado biotechnology community including Hauser Chemical Research manufacturing the Taxol chemotherapy drug and Nutraceutix.
Serving as working Chairman, David’s primary responsibility is to provide the environment and resources for PPM’s scientists to advance the science of non-psychotropic cannabinoids. David also fosters strategic relationships with industry-leading growers, seed and genetics labs, researchers, and other hemp-based businesses. David views PPM as a transformative company which brings together a world-class group of employees who share PPM’s vision of improving health with new, distinctive, traceable, safe, consistent, and bioavailable plant-based wellness ingredients for the supply chains of consumer products companies.
David has been involved in corporate management and financing for over three decades in a wide variety of industries both in the private equity and venture capital worlds. He has also served in leadership roles at high growth businesses, both on an interim and permanent basis. David has been a lead board member on numerous private company and non-profit boards for enterprises with sales of $1 million to over $1 billion. David is a founding partner of Lynwood Capital Partners and has a dual degree from Yale University in economics and mechanical engineering.