Meet the Team
Rodger Voelker, PhD
Rodger is the backbone behind the OG Analytical laboratory. He received his BS in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma and his PhD in Molecular Biology from the U of O. He began his career in Analytical chemistry with the Oregon Department of Agriculture in 1996, performing trace level analysis of pesticide residues in water, soil, foliage, and food products. Rodger worked for the Oregon Department of Agriculture first as a chemist II, and later as the supervising chemist for the pesticide residue laboratory. During this time he worked with others to develop analytical methods that, through the use of mass-spectrometry and computational analysis, were capable of rapidly screening for hundreds of pesticides at extremely low levels. His experience working in a regulatory environment is the foundation for OG Analytical's quality assurance program.
Rodger eventually left the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture and took a position at the University of Oregon where he has been involved in research developing and using computational methods to analyze genomic data. During this time he has continued his interest in analytical chemistry by serving as a part-time consultant for local companies, and has focused on developing computational methods to analyze various natural products.
Rodger has had a long interest in using analytical chemistry to help ensure food safety. He is keenly interested in extending his interests and expertise towards ensuring the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana in support of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program.
Executive Director, Founder
Bethany founded Oregon Growers Analytical in 2013 under the inspiration of creating a safer environment for her family and community. Born and raised in Oregon, she takes great pride in being able to contribute to the evolution of consumer safety and awareness in the state. Bethany studied Environmental and Political Science right here in Eugene at Lane Community College, before moving on to UC Berkeley to study marketing. She was quickly scooped up by a Silicon Valley tech company, where her motivation earned her 3 promotions in the first year. From Business Development to Project Management, this is where she learned the skills necessary to effectively manage new business. Bethany is also the Director of the Cannabis Safety Institute, a not-for-profit organization aimed at providing educated recommendations for sensible cannabis regulation across the US. Her involvement in both organizations, along with her commitment to the success of this industry have led to her appointment on the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee's technical subcommittee for laboratories and traceability.
A big catalyst for Bethany’s decision to establish OG Analytical came in 2013 when Bethany’s mother, Lin, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. While researching treatment options, Bethany discovered that scientists across the world have been actively working to qualify cannabis as a safe and effective neuroprotectant and antispasmodic, amongst many other benefits. Lin’s a tough cookie - she had never been a proponent for marijuana, and her introduction to the alternative medicine was not without reservation. However, with the implementation of HB 3460 in 2014, Lin now has her OMMP card and Bethany is motivated to ensure a safe and legitimate platform for her mother and other OMMP patients to use cannabis as a treatment for MS and other ailments.
Working closely with Rodger Voelker in the lab, Taylor has been processing and preparing samples for instrument analysis since Oregon Growers Analytical first opened their doors in April 2014. With an early appreciation and interest in science cultivated by “Bill Nye The Science Guy” and two parents who always supported his quest for knowledge and desire to help others, Taylor initially sought to work in the health care industry. Dedicated to understanding more about the foundations of biology and chemistry he decided on a biochemistry major at the University of Oregon and worked in research laboratories at OHSU and organic chemistry and ecology laboratories at the University. Throughout college Taylor gained experience volunteering in several health clinics and working in various laboratories. He graduated in the fall of 2014 with a B.S. in Biochemistry from the U of O. A fresh graduate fueled by a scientific curiosity and a desire to uncover something new, Taylor found himself to be a perfect fit working at Oregon Growers Analytical in an industry full of new questions, answers, and discoveries. Taylor considers himself very lucky to have found a workplace that utilizes his laboratory skills and experience. With a meticulous nature and a fine attention to detail, Taylor uses great care to guarantee that each test result is as accurate as possible, and he is devoted to ensuring safe, clean, and quality medicine that Oregon patients can trust.
Lucas has been working alongside Taylor and Rodger in the lab since September of 2015. He was fascinated with science at a young age, conducting experiments in his basement in middle school before deciding he wanted to enter the field of chemistry. He began his scientific career at the College of Wooster in Ohio, focusing in chemistry and physics. He worked as a research assistant in a synthetic organic chemistry lab his freshman and sophomore years developing supramolecular host molecules for use in OLED polymers. Lucas spent the following two years working on an independent thesis focused on the development of a selective, photoresponsive crown ether for use in targeted drug delivery systems. Lucas graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry in May of 2015, and began working at OG Analytical several months later. Lucas currently specializes in analysis of residual solvents and terpenes in cannabis material by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.
Photography by Megan Griffin. www.meganggriffin.com