About Us

Our Board

The Wholistic Research and Education Foundation co-founding directors are passionate about understanding when and how medicinal cannabis may be beneficial in treating a variety of health conditions and leveraging this research-driven data to make a meaningful difference in the quality of life of millions.

Andy Noorda

Andy Noorda

Chairman and Co-founder

Andy has a long history as a philanthropist, following in the footsteps of his father and mother, the late Ray and Tye Noorda, founders of the Ray and Tye Noorda Charitable Foundation (RTNF). Ray Noorda was the founder and CEO of Novell, one of the highest impact technology companies of the 20th century. The life-changing experiences CBD-rich therapeutics delivered for his 12 year-old son with cerebral palsy led Andy to co-found Wholistic Research and Education Foundation and Mana Artisan Botanics. Additionally, Andy serves as a board member of RTNF, continuing his parents’ philanthropic missions. Andy holds a B.A. from Brigham Young University (BYU).

Pelin Thorogood

Pelin Thorogood

President and Co-founder

Pelin Thorogood is a tech executive and entrepreneur who has made a career out of being at the forefront of emerging business trends and technologies. The potential for CBD-rich therapeutics to deliver significant health benefits has recently led Pelin to co-found Wholistic Research and Education Foundation and Mana Artisan Botanics. Previously she was CEO of Anametrix, the award-winning multi-channel marketing analytics platform (acquired by Ensighten). Her career as a technology executive also includes serving as CMO of WebSideStory, the pioneer in web analytics (acquired by Omniture/Adobe). Pelin holds a B.S. in Operations Research, Masters in Engineering and MBA degrees, all from Cornell University, where she also serves as Virtual Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Steve Sakala

Steve Sakala

Director and Co-founder

Steve has been a leader in the medical cannabis and sustainability movements for more than two decades. Over the last seven years he’s focused on CBD-rich hemp strains that have diverse and potent health benefits. He has served as the president of the local chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United. He has also spent time lobbying for sustainable agriculture in Washington, D.C., and in the Hawaii state legislature. In his efforts to support sustainable hemp legislation and cultivation in the State of Hawaii, Steve’s company Green Hawaii Genetics was awarded the first contract to grow hemp for the state. He is also CEO and co-founder of Mana Artisan Botanics. Steve graduated from Humboldt State University with a bachelor’s degree in natural resources and city planning.

“There is increasing data that the endocannabinoid system plays an integral role in our overall physical and psychological well-being. As such, we are dedicated to partner with internationally recognized research organizations to drive groundbreaking research projects that have the potential to dramatically shape the developing field of cannabinoid therapy.”

Andy NoordaChairman & Co-founder Wholistic Research and Education Foundation