Meet Our Team

MedPharm’s team of scientists and experts is uniquely positioned to perform groundbreaking research in cannabis therapeutics. MedPharm’s team includes chemists, a PhD in medicinal and natural products chemistry, compounding pharmacist and formulation development experts.

Board Members

Dr. Chris Nelson

Managing Partner

Learn more about Dr. Nelson. Dr. Chris Nelson is the owner of MedPharm Iowa, and he is also the president and CEO of Kemin Industries, a global ingredient manufacturer that has been dedicated to using applied science to improve the quality of life for over half a century. As a global company touching 3.8 billion people every day with its products, Kemin is committed to improving the quality, safety and efficacy of food, feed and health related products to feed a growing population and be a resource for others in need. Committed to feed and food safety, Kemin maintains top-of-the-line manufacturing facilities where over 500 specialty ingredients are made for humans and animals in the global feed and food industries, as well as the health, nutrition and beauty markets. The company provides product solutions and options to customers in more than 120 countries. Dr. Nelson began his career with Kemin in 1980 as director of research and development (R&D). Since 1993, he has served as president and CEO of Kemin. Distinguished among the company’s many commercial and scientific advances is the fact that Kemin pioneered the process of isolating and purifying the antioxidant molecule lutein for human consumption in supplements and fortified foods. Researchers have identified lutein as playing a central role in human eye health, specifically in reducing risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of adult blindness. Over 60 million people consume lutein daily through multivitamins or concentrated lutein supplements. Under his leadership at Kemin, the company has more than quadrupled in size and now employs nearly 2,500 people. Dr. Nelson received his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in biochemistry and biophysics from Washington State University. He holds 15 patents and has authored numerous peer reviewed, published research studies. Dr. Nelson has been named one of the top 100 CEO Leaders in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). He serves on the boards of the Des Moines Symphony and the Des Moines Community Foundation, among others. He continues to have a passion for science education and serves on the Board of the Science Center of Iowa, where he helped lead a successful development effort for construction of the $62 million interactive learning center.

Andy Williams

Managing Partner

Learn more about Andy. Andy Williams is the President and CEO of Medicine Man in Colorado. He is veteran of the US Army, and served three years as a Cavalry Scout in the 3rd Infantry Division. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, CO. Andy has worked in a wide range of manufacturing industries as an industrial engineer, and in leadership positions. He is a lifelong entrepreneur. In 2009 the Ogden letter was published stating the Department of Justice would not utilize their resources to prosecute those individuals following state marijuana laws. That was the call to a new opportunity in the marijuana industry for Andy and his brother Pete. In December of 2009 they launched Medicine Man with the concept of being the Costco of marijuana. Six years later Medicine Man is now a $17 million a year corporation and has branched out to assist start up marijuana companies and grow facilities across the country with their consulting company, Medicine Man Technologies. They are known as industry leaders throughout the United States.

T.J. Johnsrud, BSPH

Managing Partner

Learn more about T.J.. TJ Johnsrud, BSPh is founder and president of NuCara Management Group, LLC, headquartered in Conrad, Iowa, which oversees pharmacy locations in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota and Texas. The NuCara pharmacies are jointly owned by NuCara Management Group and Dakota Drug. In addition to community pharmacy practice, NuCara offers Home Medical Equipment, specialty pharmacy, respiratory services and is an industry leader in sterile and non‐sterile compounding developing patent-ready formulations. Mr. Johnsrud has been honored for his commitment to excellence in pharmacy in Iowa with the 1991 Bowl of Hygiea, the 2001 Robert G. Gibbs Distinguished Pharmacist Award, the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and the 2014 Osterhaus Medal for Lifetime Achievement. He has served as Past President and remains a current member of the Iowa Pharmacy Association where he is Chairman of the Task Force on the Iowa Pharmacists New Practice Model. He was the first Chairman of the Board of PACE Alliance multi‐state pharmacy buying group. He is a member of the National Community Pharmacists Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the National Association of Chain Drugstores, and a lifetime member of the University of Iowa Alumni Association. He has served the University of Iowa on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Pharmacy, on the College of Pharmacy Second Century Fundraising Campaign Committee, the University of Iowa College Curriculum Advisory Council and by participating as a President’s Club member since 1983, Golden Hawk member since 1982 and the Kinnick Society since 2003.Mr. Johnsrud was a Liberal A Arts major at Creighton University before graduating with high distinction in 1966 from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in pharmacy.

Leadership Team

Albert Gutierrez, MS


Learn more about Albert. Albert is an operationally focused executive who leverages his strategic vision to increase production. He has a background in program management and portfolio management. Albert is an Agile Certified Practitioner through the Project Management Institute, Certified Scrum Master, Agile Coach and Certified Scrum Product Owner. Albert has been a part of, and helped build, many successful companies to include: ClickFox, The Regis Company, Qualvu,, and Medicine Man. He is responsible for successfully managing several multi-million-dollar projects from: Visa, MasterCard, Google, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Accenture, AT&T, Verizon, John Deere, Bose and many more. Albert holds a B.S. from Metro State University and a graduate degree from Colorado State University Business School.

Dr. Tyrell Towle, Ph.D.

Director of Extraction & Chemistry

Learn more about Dr. Towle. Tyrell received his B.S. in chemistry and minor in mathematics from the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington in 2007. He received his Ph.D. in medicinal and natural products chemistry from The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa in 2013. His thesis research centered around the design, synthesis, and evaluation of fluoroquinolone antibiotics to overcome antibiotic resistant bacteria. He received numerous awards including a 2012 American Chemical Society Medicinal Chemistry Fellowship (sponsored by Richard B. Silverman) and National Institutes of Health T32 Pharmacological Sciences Training Grants. Prior to attending graduate school, Tyrell worked as a chemist in the pulp & paper manufacture, wastewater treatment, and petroleum industries in Bellingham, Washington. After graduating from the University of Iowa, Tyrell moved back to his home state of Washington to become actively involved in the emerging state-legal cannabis industry. Initially focusing his attention on cannabis extraction methods and safety, he shifted his focus to the analytical chemistry of cannabis while acting as Scientific Director of an I-502 certified quality assurance laboratory in Washington State. Tyrell is passionate about the chemistry and potential therapeutic uses for cannabis and has been a volunteer for the American Chemical Society’s Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision (a subdivision of the Division of Chemical Health and Safety) since 2015.

Scott Karolchyk, MS RPH

Director of Formulation & Development

Learn more about Scott. Scott is an accomplished pharmaceutical scientist, specializing in biopharmaceutical and physical sciences and a product development leader with extensive experience in pharmaceutical formulation design and development, compounded preparation research, and business management. He is proactive and tenacious in applying knowledge to project initiatives, utilizing communication across divisions to influence and drive project teams with a particular focus on successful delivery of new formulations, clinical trial supplies, regulatory submissions and commercial deliverables. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He established a state-of-the-art compounding and nutritional pharmacy, Pharmacy Creations, specializing in problem solving and pharmaceutical care with a particular focus on high risk sterile admixtures for the pain management and ophthalmologic markets. He received the New Jersey Innovative Pharmacist Award in 2008 and has several patents including an ophthalmic injection for cataract surgery which currently has 15% of the US market as a compounded medication.

Dr. Duncan Mackie, Ph.D.

Director of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics

Learn more about Dr. Mackie. Duncan is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2006, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He continued his studies in Biology and Chemistry in 2008, while preparing for graduate school. In 2009, he joined the University of Iowa’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics. As a member of the Division of Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry, he worked with Dr. David L. Roman. During the course of his graduate studies, Dr. Mackie was named an author on several manuscripts as well as producing two provisional patents for his discovery of the first RGS17 small molecule inhibitors. This work by Dr. Mackie lead to him being named an NIH Pre-doctoral Fellow on the Center of Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing T32 training grant and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education (AFPE) Pre-doctoral Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Science. Upon graduation in 2014, Dr. Mackie joined the University of North Carolina School of Medicine as a Post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Cellular Biology and Physiology. Dr. Mackie worked closely with Dr. Kathleen Caron applying the principles of medicinal chemistry and pharmacology to understand the complex signaling underlying disease states. During this time, his work was supported through an NRSA grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The principal focus of his research was the determination of key contributors in the process of angiogenesis. Dr. Mackie’s work focus on G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and a family of interacting proteins known as receptor activity modifying protein (RAMPs) and the roles these interactions play in the angiogenic process. These studies may provide novel and unique approaches for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer. In 2019, Dr. Mackie join MedPharm Holdings as Director of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Duncan is currently overseeing the discovery and development of novel therapeutics derived from natural product isolates of the Cannabis and Hemp plants.

Tim Mathisen

Director of Sales & Marketing

Eric Freidlander

Director of Compliance

Kelsey Rheaves

Director of Packaging

Chris Strada

Director of Cultivation

Sales Managers

Emma Attolinni


Christi Carlin


Cass Clarke


Lindsey Fuchs


Interested in joining the team at MedPharm?

Extraction, Cultivation, Formulation, Sales, Marketing. Our Team is growing. Fill out the form below and let us know why you would be a good fit at MedPharm.