Our Team

Our team currently works on more than a dozen projects to increase adoption of IPM and other best practices that improve working conditions, reduce greenhouse gases, improve air quality, water quality and soil health and reduce risks to health and the environment from pesticide and nutrient use in agriculture and communities.

Thomas Green, PhD
Founder & Board President

Thomas Green, Ph.D. is co-founder and board president of the IPM Institute of North America, working with farmers, food companies, pest management professionals and communities since 1998 to improve sustainability. Accomplishments include leading the transition of more than 70 Vietnamese black pepper farmers to certified organic. He also founded an IPM supply business, now part of Gempler’s, Green Shield Certified, a rigorous third-party certification for pest control companies and facilities and the Partnership for Ag Resource Management, working with more than 100 farm supply retail locations to increase sales of products and services that reduce ag input losses from cropland. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and presented at more than 250 professional and industry events. Dr. Green holds a Ph.D. in entomology, is a Certified Crop Advisor and operates Green Pest and Tick Control, serving residential, multi-family and other sensitive environments in Wisconsin with natural and low-risk solutions to structural and landscape pest problems. This year, Dr. Green was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of Excellence by the International IPM Symposium.

Nick Speckmen
Chief Financial | HR | Operations Officer

Nick spent first 10+ years of his career in the financial sector/corporate world, followed by 5 years with an award-winning Landscape Architect firm that had a concentration in naturalistic harmony. In the latter, he developed a true appreciation for sustainable agriculture and environmentally conscious design. Nick studied Business & Human Resource Management and Accounting, most recently attended certificate classes at the University of Wisconsin – Madison on Servant Leadership & Cultural Civility and Respect. Outside of work, Nick enjoys hiking, traveling and being outdoors. In addition, Nick is inseparable from his poodle Mary, which she accompanies Nick to work every day. Mary is the self-proclaimed Chief Human Resource Officer of the IPM Institute of North America.
Rozemarijn (Rose) van den Brink
Senior Business Development Manager

Rose has extensive background and experience in corporate sustainability efforts in Europe, Australia and now the USA. She earned a M.S. in Culture, Organizations and Management from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and worked in strategy consultancy for years, and then for the Global Sustainability team of ING Bank. In Australia, she helped social enterprises and non-profit organizations increase their positive impact and then joined Sustainable Food Group when she moved to the USA in 2019. Outside of work, Rose enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her husband and their three young children.
Sarah Laves
Project Manager

Sarah’s passion for sustainable farming and climate change began while volunteering at farmers markets and working on farms in Memphis, TN. Her interest in how agriculture impacts life globally led her to serve in Panama as a Sustainable Agriculture Peace Corps Agent, collaborating mostly on fish farming, IPM, and female empowerment projects. In 2021 she received her M.S. in Agriculture, Food and Environment from Tufts University with an emphasis on data analysis and policy, and now spends her free time hiking with her pup, training for her first marathon, and listening to audiobooks.  
Natalie Nesburg
Team Member: Sustainable Food Group

Natalie earned her B.S. in Environmental Science at Northern Michigan University. Her passion for sustainable agriculture stemmed from interning at a local, non-profit farm. There, she conducted soil research, aided crop production, created educational workshops, monitored beehives and initiated a community outreach project that provided fresh produce to the community for free. Outside of work, Natalie enjoys hiking, reading and listening to podcasts.
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Daniel Skolnik
Senior Software Engineer

Daniel received a B.S. in Engineering and a Master’s degree in Information Technology, both from the University of Wisconsin. Daniel has software development experience working in industry including work at a sub-contractor for NASA and working on vision software for manufacturing and quality control applications. His present focus is primarily on the software that runs pesticiderisk.org (PRT). His interests include biking, cooking, golf and skiing.
HR Counselor

Rose studied at the prestigious Puppy Den, where she graduated Magna cum laude. Rose developed a true appreciation for Sustainable and Regenerative agriculture in her early years and has a passion for ethically sourced pet treats. She spearheads initiatives with her cohort on proper methods of fertilization in local fields and parks. Rose has had a passion for making people smile and prosper at their work. You will either find Rose wondering the halls looking to see if anyone needs assistance, or hard at work in her office.

Peter Werts
Senior Project Manager: Specialty Crops IPM Program

Peter has a B.S. in Environmental Studies from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. Before joining the IPM Institute he worked as one of the regional interns with the Wisconsin Eco-Apple project in the Bayfield region. His interest in IPM has been a natural progression building upon his knowledge and skills from his days working on the fruit farms in Bayfield, Wisconsin while in college.
Jim Javenkoski, PhD
Strategy and Business Development Manager: Sustainable Food Group and Community IPM

A proud native of Wisconsin’s Driftless Region, Jim is a Midwestern foodshed explorer who is equally comfortable conversing with organic farmers, pastoral graziers, large-scale processors, specialty retailers, craft brewers and beekeepers. He earned two degrees in Food Science (BS ’90 University of Wisconsin-Madison and PhD ’01 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and has previously worked for General Mills, Whole Foods Market and multiple craft breweries. Jim lives in Chicago with his wife, twin sons and Ginger Belle, their beloved Golden Retriever. In his non-work time, Jim tends to an organic edible garden, co-leads the Parkways for Pollinators Project and volunteers as a youth soccer coach for AYSO. Additionally, Jim is a devoted follower of his sonic superhero, Canadian musician and producer Daniel Lanois.
Josie Talbert
Project Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group

Josie graduated from The University of Wisconsin La Crosse (UWL) with a B.S. in Geography and a minor in Environmental Studies. In La Crosse, Josie built on her interest in sustainability and agriculture through internships and volunteering. She worked on projects for UWL and Western Technical College regarding food waste, sustainability marketing, single use plastic reduction and tracking CO2 emissions. Josie also planned climate strikes and managed community gardens in the area to expand on her interest in urban farming and climate justice. In her free time, Josie enjoys backpacking, gardening and music.
Makenna Kull
Team Member: Sustainable Food Group

Makenna earned her B.S. in Biological Sciences with a minor in Sustainability from Clemson University. She attended a semester abroad at the School for Field Studies in Kimana, Kenya where she researched water and wildlife conservation as well as Massai-water relations. While at Clemson she participated in sustainable packaging research and reviewed their potential for greenhouse gas emissions. She also worked with the Clemson Food Collective to review the campus food system and improve sustainable sourcing. Her passion for food sustainability stems from her love for both conservation and healthy eating. In her free time she hangs out with her beloved cat Luna, tries out new plant-based recipes, and goes on long hikes or walks. 
Ryan Anderson
Community IPM Manager

A 2016 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellow, Ryan has extensive experience advancing science-based solutions in urban and residential communities highlighted by his leadership of The IPM Institute’s Midwest Grows Green (MGG) sustainable landscaping initiative. Ryan has a Masters of Sustainable Solutions from Arizona State University and holds a dual bachelors degree in Biology and Electric Journalism from Butler University. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing ultimate frisbee and reading the next iconic fantasy novel series.

Ariel Larson
Senior Project Manager: Sustainable Food Group

Ariel received her M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2013, with a certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility. Her interest in sustainable food production and socially responsible business led to her work at IPM Institute, where she works with food companies to develop and implement supply chain sustainability programs
Kristen Efurd Osgood
Strategy and Business Development Manager: Partnership for Ag Resource Management and Regenerative Ag Management

Kristen’s expertise spans sustainable food and farming, zero waste, circular economy and regenerative strategy. Growing up on an industrial farm in rural Arkansas, she experienced first-hand the challenges many farm families face. This experience anchored her passion for sustainable food, farming and rural livelihood creation. Kristen has completed her Regenerative Practitioner training through Regenesis Group, her Regenerative Organizations through nRhythm and her Ecological Outcome Verification through Savory Global Hub, The Jefferson Center. Kristen’s hobbies include yoga, reading, herbalism and spending time with her dog and two chickens.
Hannah Kasun
Project Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group

Hannah earned her bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with majors in Environmental Studies and Music Performance and a certificate in Food Systems. During her undergraduate career, she worked extensively with the UW-Madison Office of Sustainability, helping to create a Green Events Certification Program, a campus Food Sustainability Working Group and a sustainability-themed podcast. Hannah was also an intern with a variety of local organizations to promote food access and local food production. Outside of work, Hannah enjoys baking sourdough bread, gardening and playing music.
Kelly Adams

Kelly studied Art History and Art Studio with a focus on wood-working at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also attended certificate classes at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, which fueled an interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental health, particularly school and community-based projects. Her interests include permaculture, wood-working, hiking and travel.
Leah McSherry
Community IPM Coordinator

Leah has a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology & Biology from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Her past experience includes working for the Columbia County USDA Farm Service Agency where she headed the Organic Certification Cost-Share Program and Emergency Assistance for Livestock – Honeybees. In her free time, Leah enjoys going for walks with her dog, Penny, and tending to her pesticide-free garden.