Our scientists, R&D specialists, sustainability and technical experts are focused on one mission: building a company that will revolutionize the personal hygiene market.
We are proud of our team’s deep roots in the local community. Founded by NC State grads and supported by funding from the likes of the Wolfpack Investor Network and the Carolina Angel Network, Tethis recruits heavily from regional universities and we are always seeking innovators who want to make a difference.
Robin Weitkamp, CEO – With broad experience in the development and commercialization of emerging chemical and materials businesses, Robin is responsible for steering strategy at Tethis. Before joining Tethis, Robin was with Elevance Renewable Science where he led commercial strategy and partnerships for the fast-growing company, and was eventually tapped to be Chief Operating Officer. Prior to this, he served as VP of Symyx Technologies, a Silicon Valley materials R&D technology development company. Robin began his career leading various chemical and materials business and manufacturing platforms within BP and Albemarle. He holds a BS and MS in chemical engineering from the University of Arkansas and the University of Houston, respectively, as well as an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Ryan Chan, PhD, VP of R&D – An entrepreneur, skilled manager and published academic, Ryan leads innovation in research and development at Tethis, a company he co-founded in 2012 with fellow NC State colleague Scott Bolin. He has held various technical management roles within Tethis while building the company’s R&D capabilities and technical team. Prior to founding Tethis, Ryan held multiple R&D roles at innovative companies such as RTI International, NC State University, and Corning Incorporated. Ryan holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in materials science & engineering from NC State University. Ryan has been published in academic journals for his work in the areas of thin-film microstructures, ion bombardment for manipulation of microstructures, predictive fracture stress models and more.
Frank J. Popola, VP Manufacturing Operations– With more than 25 years of management experience in the plastics and biopolymer industries, Frank oversees operations with the goal of scaling Tethis to meet extensive demand. Prior to joining Tethis, Frank was the Principal of Process Solutions Group, LLC, a Renewable Technologies consulting practice, and Sr. Business Advisor at The InnovaNet Group. He served as Chief Operating Officer for Aspen Research Corporation, responsible for the development and commercialization of Aspen’s proprietary biopolymer compounds and optimizing the company’s contract development and toll manufacturing operations. He also held executive positions at Metabolix and Century Extrusion. Frank is a board member of the Extrusion and Bioplastics divisions as well as Chair for the Building and Infrastructure division of the Society of Plastics Engineers.
Tyler Tibbits, MBA, VP Sales & Marketing - Tyler has more than 29 years of experience in sales and marketing, product management, and operations. He has extensive experience in launching new products and has co-founded five companies. At Tethis, Tyler steers marketing and sales to build a company rooted in helping manufacturers — and the consumers they serve — reduce their impact on the Earth and operate more sustainably. Tyler has held executive positions in management consulting, software and healthcare firms, and has extensive experience in the energy sector, having been raised in and around the upstream oil and gas exploration and production business in Oklahoma and Texas. Tyler holds a BS in geology from the University of Oklahoma and holds an MBA from UNC’s Kenan Flagler School of Business.
Jim Bray, Ph.D. Chem. E., MBA, VP of Special Projects (former CTO) - During the course of his 40-year industrial career, Jim has steered an array of companies—large and small—in sectors that include renewables, manufacturing, chemicals, biopharma, nutraceuticals and more. He has served on several scientific advisory boards and as a Director as well as CEO of several companies. His line management experience includes product and process development, customer application testing and manufacturing. Jim earned his BS in chemical engineering from NC State, an ScD in chemical engineering from MIT and an MBA from UConn. Augmenting his role with Tethis, Jim currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at NC State University.