Our Management Team
Montel & team invested time, capital & resources over 16 years. Created advocacy and media campaigns, worked for state and federal legislation, and raised awareness to medical benefits
Founder, Managing Member
Montel Williams is an internationally recognized, award winning media personality, decorated former naval officer, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur and advocate for patients worldwide. Williams has been an outspoken advocate for patients-rights and cannabis law reform for the past seventeen years and is well positioned to be a market leader with a premium medical cannabis brand. Williams has been intimately involved with cannabis product and device innovation over the years and looks forward to bringing this expertise to Lenitiv Scientific.
Williams earned his degree in General Engineering and minor in International Security Affairs from the United States Naval Academy. Williams hosted and executive produced the nationally syndicated "Montel Williams Show", distributed by CBS, for seventeen years. He received a Daytime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host and his show was nominated for Outstanding Talk Show two years in a row. In 2011 Williams founded the neuroscience technology company, Neurohabilitation, Inc, which is now a subsidiary of publicly traded Helius Medical Technologies, Inc. The company is working with the US Army to further research to potentially treat TBI and clinical trials are in progress in multiple locations. Williams is also a principal of Pure Blue Resources, LLC, an innovative renewable energy technology company. Williams serves as a Special Envoy to the United Nations Save Our Sharks Coalition and as a board member to the Fisher House Foundation, The Freedom Festival and Military Adaptive Sports, Inc, host of the 2016 Invictus Games.
Partner, CEO and Managing Member
David Racz brings over 25 years of strategic, operational and international experience. Racz has held global senior executive positions at Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. In his various capacities he has been responsible for developing strategy, directing multiple country operations, sales, marketing and leading multiple corporate functions.
Prior to entering the pharmaceutical industry, Racz distinguished himself as a Medical Corp Officer and aviator in the U.S. Army.
Racz has extensive experience and success in start-up companies, spanning the nutraceutical and medical cannabis industry. From 2006 -2008, he served as a member of the executive management team for Mona Vie. As Senior Vice President of Operations and Distributor Relations, Racz’s leadership was instrumental to the success of the company and its identification as “one of the fastest growing companies in the US” achieving revenues of $1 billion in a two-year span.
In 2009, Racz was an early pioneer in the emerging medical cannabis industry in the state of Colorado. From 2009-2012 he acquired interest in, and operated, multiple dispensaries; established the first testing laboratory in Colorado; oversaw the design and build of a 30,000 square ft, fully compliment and licensed cultivation facility (one of the first of its kind in the state).
Racz currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the board for POS Bio Sciences.
Melanie McLaughlin has over 27 years of business development and marketing experience. She will oversee the companies brand development, launch, expansion and marketing activities.
McLaughlin is President of Montel Williams Enterprises, Inc., a holding company for businesses in the entertainment, consumer products, energy and healthcare sectors. McLaughlin co-founded the Living Well with Montel brand, which is responsible for over 800M in consumer product sales in the past six years. McLaughlin served as Executive Producer of The Montel Williams Show from 1997-2007, overseeing a staff of 100+, an annual production budget in excess of 30 million and production of 175 shows per year. The series was one of the longest running, nationally syndicated daily programs in history and McLaughlin was a staff member of the show for it’s entire seventeen-year run having produced over 3500 hours of television. She has overseen production of an independent feature film, a primetime network series, various syndicated specials, public service announcements, marketing campaigns and the publication of eight books. In her role as Montel Williams’ manager, she has managed all aspects of Williams career and business development for the past 27 years. McLaughlin serves on the board of directors for the non-profit MSRUNtheUS.
CFO, General Counsel
Dean Holter has over 15 years of legal and financial consulting experience with companies in startup and growth mode, with 8 years experience specifically related to companies in cannabis and hemp industries. Mr. Holter (Holter Law) has performed the legal drafting and ongoing compliance work for well over 100 companies and has served as General Counsel and CFO to select companies and High Net Worth individuals since 2008.
Mr. Holter began working in the medical cannabis space when he first served on the Legal Committee of the City of San Francisco's Medical Cannabis Task Force in 2010-2011. Since then, he has become a sought after speaker in his areas of legal expertise in Business Law, and specifically as it relates to the cannabis and hemp industry. He was a featured speaker at the WealthCounsel Symposium: San Diego, July 2018; and the Southern California Investor Conference: Newport Beach, August 2018.
Most recently Mr. Holter was featured on ESPN BISTalk Radio, October 29, 2018, where he spoke about Lenitiv Scientific's Montel-branded CBD Gel Caps.
Mr. Holter grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended college at the University of California, San Diego, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He also has lots of family and deep roots in Humboldt County going back three generations.
Mr. Holter is an active member of The State Bar of California.
VP Communications and Government Affairs
Jonathan Franks is the founder of Lucid Public Relations and Director of Public Affairs for Montel Media. He is a seasoned business adviser with a background in crisis management, public affairs, and strategic communications. His work in national politics and private practice in Washington, D.C. gave him a wealth of experience in high stakes litigation (criminal and civil), political communications, and “bet-the-company situations.” Franks takes great pride in his ability to respond to a communications crisis quickly, strategically, and effectively—bringing calm to otherwise chaotic situations.
Franks has a specialty in working with businesses facing complex regulatory challenges. In the cannabis space, he has navigated multiple state licensing processes, and has succeeded in helping clients get licenses in both the District of Columbia and California navigating both regulatory challenges and winning the necessary community support. He’s also led strategy for Montel Williams’ advocacy to bring other states online.
Franks earned his bachelor’s degree in Government and Economics from Connecticut College in 2004 before handling PR for high profile criminal cases at a major Washington, D.C. law firm. In 2006, he became Staff Assistant to House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, overseeing a variety of communications and logistics responsibilities. He relocated to Los Angeles in February 2008 to work at a prominent Los Angeles PR agency, where he gained experience managing high-profile accounts. His clients have appeared on/in Good Morning America, The Today Show, Access Hollywood, The CBS Evening News, The Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe, to name a few.
Marvin Washington is a 11 year veteran of the N.F.L. Washington was a member of the Denver Broncos' Super Bowl championship team in 1998 and played also played for the NY Jets and San Francisco 49's during his career. He is an advocate for retired players dealing with the effects of concussions and pain management. He has written on this subject for The NY Times, Huffington Post and The Players Tribune. He has also been a guest commentator on ESPN OutSide The Lines, Fox and Friends, MSNBC, Fusion TV and HLN. He sits on the board ofTexas Can Academy, the largest charter school system in Texas and Axim Biotechnologies, a leading bioscience cannabinoid company. Marvin is a graduate of The University of Idaho and now resides in the NYC area.