Josh Ludgate has decades of experience in a wide range of cannabis processing methods. As co-founder of Appalachian Extracts in White Sulphur Springs, WV, Ludgate nurtured the company to a robust level of operations before leaving to focus on hemp production in the state of Virginia. As a contractor for the USDA he has developed an extensive network of Certified Organic farmers in Virginia and North Carolina. He has consulted and guided many of these farmers through their first year of successful hemp cultivation. He resides on his family farm in Amherst, VA.
Michael Soo, MD has a BS degree from Duke University and an MD degree from Wake Forest University He has 22 years of medical practice experience in neurology and sleep medicine. He has a wide-ranging knowledge of holistic healing and plant medicine. He is particularly interested in the potential benefits of CBD and hemp related products. He lives with his wife in Willis, VA.
Phil Louer is a multi-faceted business owner/operator in the New River Valley. As a longtime Class A Virginia residential contractor he has built high quality, premium custom homes throughout the region and on Smith Mountain Lake. He is President of North American Gem Carvers, LLC, which provides worldwide representation for a consortium of renowned gem artists. Louer is active in the exploding hemp industry: in addition to being a co-founder of New River Extracts, he is also a co-founder of The Wise Leaf, LLC, a retail outlet for premium hemp products, and a co-founder of Homestead Farms, LLC, a cultivator of premium hemp. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Bedford, VA.
John Emery is an experienced international consumer-sector executive who currently serves as the Managing Member of Stone Circle Holdings, a privately held company focused primarily on lifestyle real estate-related investment opportunities. He has also served as a senior advisor or board member of several high-growth companies. John previously served as CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOLF), a family entertainment resort company, where he led the company’s expansion to a nationally recognized brand and IPO. He was also President of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:IHR), a global independent hotel management company with more than 400 hotels. John is a frequent guest lecturer at several universities and is a graduate of Virginia Tech.
Luke Staengl has been the driving force behind several high technology environmental companies since 1979. He founded and served as chief executive officer of three companies involved in converting biomass to fuel, fiber, feed and other high value products. In this capacity he has lead and directed the design, construction and operation of several plants which produced fuel ethanol from corn and industrial wastes, using novel fermentation techniques and high rate anaerobic digesters to treat the resulting effluent. He helped develop technology which hydrolyzed wood wastes into fermentation feedstock and other high tech materials such as epoxies, carbon fibers, and resins. To that end he co-founded the Bio-based Materials Center at Virginia Polytechnic Institute with Dr. Wolfgang Glasser.
Brothers Keith (pictured left, below) and Mark Brankley own and run Brankley Farms, Inc. in Mecklenburg County near Skipwith, Virginia. With decades of experience farming tobacco, soybeans and other grains, they are now cultivating some of Virginia’s finest hemp. Together with their brother-in-law David Buchanan (pictured right, below), owner of Turkey Ridge Farms, they farm 800+ acres of USDA-certified organic hemp and other crops in beautiful sandy loam. As partners in NRE, they assure a consistent and sustained supply of quality biomass.