Dr. Kingsley is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and founder of Vireo Health LLC, and Minnesota Medical Solutions LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vireo Health. Dr. Kingsley oversaw the implementation of the Vireo Health System in Minnesota with the construction of a state-of-the-art greenhouse facility, four dispensaries, and the pharmaceutical and patient care center models. Through Vireo Health of New York and other national startup companies, Dr. Kingsley has developed the leadership and healthcare management skills needed for a large-scale endeavors across disparate processes.
Dr. Kingsley is co-author of the book Medical Cannabis Primer for Healthcare Providers, written to elucidate objective medical cannabis knowledge in the medical community. Using a comprehensive, state-wide program that integrates healthcare providers, communities and patient organizations, Dr. Kingsley has optimized and accelerated the Vireo Health of New York access plan which will ensure patient access by January of 2016. Dr. Kingsley’s solitary goal is to make Minnesota Medical Solutions the safest, most reliable and compassionate choice for the patients of Minnesota.
Joseph (Jay) Westwater, M.D.
chief executive officer
Joseph (Jay) Westwater, M.D., J.D., is the Chief Executive Officer of Minnesota Medical Solutions, a subsidiary of Vireo Health. Dr. Westwater is a board-certified emergency department physician who has practiced in Minnesota for almost thirty years. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Medicine and the Saint Thomas Physician Leadership College of Business, Dr. Westwater completed his residency at Hennepin County Medical Center and has held numerous medical staff and professional group leadership positions over the years.
Prior to his career in medicine, Dr. Westwater received a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and practiced tax law and specialized in legislative affairs in Washington, D.C.
deputy chief executive officer
Gary Starr, M.D., is the Senior Vice President of Global Affairs & Chief Quality Officer for Vireo Health. Dr. Starr is board-certified emergency medicine physician who practices in Minnesota. In his role at Vireo Health’s international office in Montreal, Canada, Dr. Starr brings a wealth of knowledge as a result of his many years of experience at the intersection of medicine, business, manufacturing quality and politics. Dr. Starr currently serves in leadership roles in the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the Society of Cannabis Clinicians (SCC), and the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS). He also co-founded and has held multiple executive roles for other vertically integrated licensed medical cannabis manufacturers and consulted for multiple U.S. and Canadian companies engaged in cannabis-related bio-pharmaceutical and consumer product development.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Dr. Starr graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed his residency in emergency medicine at the University of Chicago and his residency in family medicine at Saint Louis University.
Chief Medical Officer, Vireo Health
Dr. Stephen M. Dahmer is the Chief Medical Officer of Vireo Health, LLC, the parent company of Minnesota Medical Solutions, LLC. He is a board-certified family doctor whose passion for health and healing has taken him around the globe. A fellow of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, for over a decade he has studied the relationships between plants and people, working closely with diverse cultures and documenting their uses of plants.
Aspiring to understand ethnomedical systems as well as the plants and traditional beliefs that support them, he has worked in divergent settings including Umbanda terreiros in the heart of Brazil’s second largest slum, Maori clinics in New Zealand, native healers on the Palauan Islands, and as a hospitalist to the Navajo (Dine) Tribe in Chinle, Arizona. Prior to starting full time work for Vireo Health of New York, Dr. Dahmer was most recently Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where he passionately provided innovative primary care for over seven years in New York City where he lives and resides with his family.
Chief Financial Officer
Amber Shimpa is responsible for all aspects of the company’s finance, accounting, treasury, investor relations and administrative functions. She has 14 years of experience as a financial services professional with various commercial and investment banking organizations. At Minnesota Medical Solutions, Ms. Shimpa drives the company’s planning initiative to provide the safest, most reliable medical cannabis to patients at a price that is supportable given the higher cost of quality, optimal manufacturing practices that Vireo Health bears, along with the continued review of financial planning as it relates to Internal Revenue Code §280E.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Shimpa spent the last nine years as Vice President of a $1.6 billion bank focused on commercial, nationwide lending. Her experience in the highly-regulated banking environment has engrained quality and control in her leadership and financial management approach. Banking is often seen as a challenge for operators within the cannabis industry. Ms. Shimpa’s understanding of the strict compliance requirements in the banking industry, coupled with Vireo Health’s scientific and safe medical model, have led to welcoming discussions with banks, and ultimately the first known open banking relationship with a cannabis-related company in the country.
Chief Security Officer
Jennifer Duey serves as Vireo’s Chief Compliance Officer and brings over 17 years’ law enforcement/security experience at the private, local, and federal levels. She served over 14 years in the federal government as a Criminal Investigator/Special Agent with the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Homeland Security. Jennifer has been involved in hundreds of federal criminal investigations and has extensive experience planning, organizing, and conducting criminal and administrative investigations for a myriad of offenses.
In addition to her law enforcement/security experience, Jennifer has over 2 years’ experience working as a Quality Control Manager in the manufacturing industry. She is familiar with ISO 9001 Quality Management standards, and worked closely with both US and international regulatory agencies during compliance audits and inspections. Jennifer has developed, implemented and managed quality control systems that ensured continuous production of material and applications. Jennifer earned a BS Degree in Criminal Justice, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from Columbia College. She also holds a MS Degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a Master in Public Administration, both from Nova Southeastern University.
chief strategy officer
Ari Hoffnung serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of Vireo Health. Mr. Hoffnung was previously the founder and CEO of Fiorello Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a medical cannabis company. Prior to that, Mr. Hoffnung served as New York City’s Deputy Comptroller for Budget & Public Affairs, where he oversaw the City’s $70 billion budget, managed a 100+ employee staff, and served as the chief liaison to all levels of governments and to various labor unions.
Prior to serving in New York City government, Mr. Hoffnung was a Managing Director at Bear Stearns, where he worked for more than a decade. Mr. Hoffnung also led a research team composed of economists and policy experts that published two-dozen white papers, including two ground-breaking and widely-cited reports on the public-health and economic impacts of reforming cannabis policies: 100,000 Reasons: Medical Marijuana In The Big Apple and Regulating and Taxing Marijuana: The Fiscal Impact on NYC. He holds an Masters of Business Administration in Finance degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from Queens College.
executive vice president of operations
Christian Gonzalez is the Executive Vice President of Operations for Vireo Health Inc. Christian is an engineer and manufacturing entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the medical device, pharmaceutical and aerospace/defense manufacturing industries. Christian founded and has served as the Chief Executive Officer of a successful Medical Device/Aerospace component manufacturing company since 2008. Before that, Christian filled several different engineering and operations roles in the Medical Device and Pharma industries. His knowledge of the startup process, thorough understanding of good manufacturing methods/practices, and commitment to quality are useful tools in an ever evolving industry such medical cannabis. Christian decided to join Vireo Health because he believed in the company's core values and he saw this venture as an opportunity to effect meaningful change in many people's lives.
Chief Science Officer
Eric Greenbaum is the Chief Science Officer of Vireo Health and has an impressive combination of scientific and legal expertise. Eric began his career working on stem cell and gene therapies for neurometabolic diseases. He went on to explore the role of protein folding in neurodegenerative diseases and led the team that performed the first biochemical characterization of the newly discovered E46K mutation responsible for a form of early onset Parkinson‘s Disease.
After leaving academic science, Eric ran a boutique IP law firm where he crafted global patent strategies for biotech and pharmaceutical inventions. Since joining Vireo Health, Eric has been instrumental in developing our IP portfolio and driving our R&D efforts. Eric received a bachelors of science from Emory University in neuroscience; a masters of science from the University of Pennsylvania in pharmacology; and a JD from St. John’s University.
Director of Medical Education
Sarah Overby spearheads Minnesota Medical Solutions’ outreach and education not only for healthcare professionals, but patient and community groups. Sarah has served the health care industry for more than 20 years, working for a decade as a nurse. Her experience extends across various disciplines including geriatrics, pediatrics, family medicine, cardiology, medical surgery and women’s health. Sarah graduated from Northwest Technical College; Moorhead, MN and obtained her associated degree in nursing in 2001.
As the Director of Medical Education, Sarah is an expert in MinnMed’s operations, its products, current medical and scientific research and publications in medical cannabis. She has lectured on medical cannabis to hundreds of medical providers, while at the same time working to build and maintain strong and lasting relationships. She also represents MinnMed at various conferences throughout the state. Sarah is an advocate for patients, witnessing and documenting countless inspirational and life-changing patient success stories. Sarah has also helped to launch MinnMed’s very own patient support group and facilitates a patient follow-up program. Sarah was awarded the 2017 Vireo Innovative Award.
CindyDikmen, RN C.E.N
Cannabis Patient Center Manager
Cindy Dikmen manages Minnesota Medical Solutions’ four Cannabis Patient Centers. She brings more than 30 years of healthcare knowledge and expertise to the company’s patient care experience. MinnMed’s main focus for each patient interaction is to exude kindness and provide compassionate and personalized care.
After graduating from Hennepin Technical College as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1984, she obtained a degree in Biology from Augsburg College in 1990. She went on to complete her Associate’s Degree in Nursing in 1992. In 2010, she received her certification as an Emergency Room Nurse. Cindy has served as a nurse in a variety of areas, including ICU, Emergency, Medical / Surgical, Infusion Therapy, Long-Term Care / Assisted Living and Surgical Services. Since joining the team, Cindy has expanded cannabis patient center hours, enhanced the company’s educational process, added interpretation services and continues to improve the patient experience by making it specialized and customized to each patient’s needs. With Cindy’s impeccable leadership skills and her invaluable years of direct patient care, the team has been notably enhanced by her contributions.
Chief Business Development Officer
Mr. O’Neill is the CBDO at Vireo Health and brings extensive experience in business development, corporate strategy, finance, real estate, project management, marketing and customer service having held senior leadership positions at several multi-national companies. His business acumen and focus on patient access optimization help to create the organization’s strategy for patient care locations and manufacturing facilities.
Mr. O’Neill is committed to a patient experience that brings consistent and exceptional service in secure, modern and environmentally friendly locations that are accessible and positioned to serve a diverse patient population. He is a leader in the development and growth of the Vireo Health brand and national presence. Mr. O’Neill is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of Minnesota and received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration-Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas and an M.B.A. from the University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management.
Dan Overland, General Manager of MinnMed’s cultivation and manufacturing facilities in Otsego, MN, brings significant experience to our company’s leadership team. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology along with Logistics, Transportation and Supply Change Chain Management and a Master’s in Business Administration, Dan’s deep understanding of both sides of the business has had a direct influence on its success.
Dan also brings experience in program management and is Lean Six Sigma certified. Previously, Dan led a successful 2,000-person operations facility launch while creating positive culture and high performance. Dan is a veteran of the United Sates Air Force.