PanTheryx Leadership

Board of directors

PanTheryx Leadership

Board of directors

David Abramson

Executive Chairman of the Board

Mr. Abramson has a demonstrated track record of advising and building emerging growth, middle-market and large multi-national companies primarily in the health and wellness, food, and nutrition business sectors. Formerly, Mr. Abramson was President of Martek Biosciences Corporation where he played a key role in transitioning Martek from a research and development company to a fully integrated, highly profitable commercial organization. He developed and implemented the branding strategy for life’s™, one of the most successful branded food ingredients, while leading efforts to include life’s™ in over 500 commercial products.

Before Martek Biosciences, Mr. Abramson was the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for U.S. Foodservice as well as the Executive Vice President for Legal Affairs at Ahold, U.S.A. Mr. Abramson managed the sale of  U.S. Foodservice to Royal Ahold, N.V. Prior to joining U.S. Foodservice, Mr. Abramson was the President of Levan, Schimel, Belman & Abramson, P.A., a law firm specializing in corporate matters and mergers and acquisitions. In addition to serving on numerous for-profit boards of directors, Mr. Abramson also previously served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Howard County General Hospital: Johns Hopkins Medicine, and served on the Wellness Board of the Cleveland Clinic.

Mr. Abramson is a graduate of The George Washington University, B.B.A. and the University of Maryland School of Law, J.D. with honors. Mr. Abramson is a member of the Maryland bar.

Craig Cogut

Vice Chairman of the Board

Mr. Cogut has spent a career building successful investment businesses. He founded Pegasus Capital Advisors, a private equity fund, in 1996. He now serves as its Chairman and President. Mr. Cogut is an active philanthropist in the fields of improving education, building civil society and championing environmental and health issues. He serves as Chairman of The Polyphony Foundation, an organization that he co-founded to provide equal opportunity music education for Arab and Jewish Israeli youth. In addition, Mr. Cogut serves as a board member for Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability, for The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, for the R-20 Regions of Climate Action, for Six Senses, a luxury hotel and resort chain focused on sustainability and wellness, and for Lighting Science Group, a provider of LED lighting technology.

Mr. Cogut is an alumnus of Brown University and Harvard Law School.

David Cogut


David Cogut is a Principal at Pegasus Capital Advisors. Prior to joining Pegasus, Mr. Cogut was an investment banker at Moelis & Company, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, and financing transactions across the gaming and lodging, industrial, media, real estate, and technology sectors. He was significantly involved in Pegasus’ investments in Halo, HTS, PanTheryx, Renaissance Downtown, Six Senses, and T&M Protection Resources. He currently serves on the boards of the following Pegasus portfolio companies: PanTheryx, Six Senses and Halo. He also serves on the board of ZeroBase Energy, and the Advisory Council for the Institute at Brown for Environment & Society.

Mr. Cogut graduated from Brown University with a major in Economics.

Peter Erickson


Mr. Erickson brings more than 30 years of food science expertise to the PanTheryx Board. Most recently he served as Executive Vice President for Innovation, Technology and Quality at General Mills Inc.  Mr. Erickson has held a variety of technical leadership positions since joining General Mills in 1988. He is credited with building a culture of industry-leading innovation, technical excellence, product quality, and food safety, resulting in invention and commercialization of advanced food and technologies that benefit the lives of consumers globally. Mr. Erickson remains committed to driving innovation and delivering safer, more effective products to consumers through his active board service with Noblegen Inc. and Wenger Corporation.

Mr. Erickson received a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in food science from University of Massachusetts, with a focus in dairy microbiology.

Holger Liepmann


Mr. Liepmann has been consistently recognized for his leadership and business results throughout a 35+ years career in the global healthcare industry, including pharmaceutical, nutritional and hospital products. Mr. Liepmann retired after an extensive career with Abbott Laboratories, including his last position as Executive Vice President, Nutritional Products. In this capacity, he was responsible for all aspects of the global nutritional business and reported to Abbott’s CEO. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President, Pharmaceutical Products Group; Senior Vice President, Abbott International, the commercial operations for Abbott’s international pharmaceutical business; and Vice President Japan Operations. Prior to joining Abbott, Mr. Liepmann worked for Bayer AG in a variety of capacities, both in the US and in Germany. Mr. Liepmann has advised boards since 2012 and remains active on the boards of Altan Pharma and the Desert Research Institute.

Mr. Liepmann earned his Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a Master’s degree in business administration from Stanford University.

Mehmet Oz, MD


Dr. Oz brings decades of medical, nutrition, wellness, and communications expertise to the PanTheryx board. As former vice-chair and professor of surgery at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Oz is a world-renowned practicing cardiothoracic surgeon who has authored over 400 original publications, articles, and medical books. He is also the host of the Emmy award-winning television series The Dr. Oz Show, as well as co-founder of HealthCorps, a national nonprofit with a mission to educate and improve physical and mental health in American teens. Dr. Oz has been named Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, Forbes’ most influential celebrity, a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, Harvard’s 100 Most Influential Alumni, as well as receiving the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. He won the prestigious Gross Surgical Research Scholarship, and he has received an honorary doctorate from Istanbul University.

Dr. Oz received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and obtained a joint MD and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Wharton Business School.

Wes Parris

President, CEO, and Director

Wes is a nutrition industry leader with over 30 years of experience growing brands in the consumer goods and health and wellness space. Prior to joining PanTheryx, he was the President & CEO of i-Health (a subsidiary of DSM) where he led all operations including sales, marketing, research and development, and business development. During his almost 13 years with the company he established and grew a category-leading consumer brand portfolio. These brands include Culturelle (the #1 global probiotic brand), AZO (the #1 global OTC urinary health brand), Estroven (the #1 global menopause symptom relief brand) and Ovega-3 (a leading brand in the vegetarian omega 3 category).  Wes has worked in a variety of executive level positions in marketing, sales, and commercial strategy for Fortune 500 companies including, Procter & Gamble, Gatorade, and Energizer.

Wes is an alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The Harvard Business School (General Management Program).

Rajiv Shah, MD


Currently serving as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Shah brings over twenty years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy. Appointed as USAID Administrator by President Obama in 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate, Dr. Shah was charged with reshaping the $20 billion agency’s operations to provide greater assistance to pressing development challenges around the globe. When Dr. Shah left USAID in 2015, he continued to create opportunities for communities to thrive in the developing world by founding Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia.  Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture. He also served in a number of leadership roles at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he helped launch the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, a joint venture by the Gates and Rockefeller foundations, and the International Financing Facility for Immunization, which is credited with raising more than $5 billion for childhood immunizations worldwide.

Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business.

Thomas Washing


Mr. Washing has been active in the venture capital industry for over thirty years. Since 1996, he has been a founding partner of Sequel Venture Partners, a Boulder, Colorado-based venture capital firm with $410 million under management. Sequel’s investment focus has been emerging growth technology companies in information technology, telecommunications, biotechnology, and life sciences. He began his career as a tax, corporate and securities lawyer, and has served on several dozen corporate, nonprofit and community boards of directors. He was the founding Chairman of the University of Colorado Center for Entrepreneurship, is a former member of the University of Colorado Business School Advisory Committee, a past President and Chairman of the Colorado Venture Capital Association, and past Chairman of the Boulder Development Commission, University of Michigan National Technology Transfer Advisory Board, and Board of Trustees of the Vail Mountain School. Mr. Washing is a past winner of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce Esprit Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award and was named Master Entrepreneur of the Year by the Colorado Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Committee.

He earned his BA from Dartmouth College and his JD (With Distinction) from the University of Michigan Law School. He also served two years in United States Army Intelligence, completing his service as a Captain.