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

Dr. Thomas A. Green worked on tree fruit farms in Virginia and Florida early in his career, ultimately managing an apple orchard and becoming captivated by the pest management challenges faced by growers. This led to pursuit of a career in IPM, working initially in the Massachusetts Apple IPM Program. In 1980, he founded an IPM supply business subsequently purchased by GEMPLER’S, Inc., a national agricultural product supplier. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and former USDA NRCS Technical Service Provider, and has worked directly with growers influencing practices on hundreds of thousands of acres of cropland in the US and internationally.  He co-founded the IPM Institute in 1998, and initiated the Institute’s IPM STAR, Green Shield Certified and Partnership for Ag Resource Management programs, and Public Tick IPM Working Group which has regularly convened national experts and advocates since 2014. He has served on the US EPA Pesticide Policy Dialogue Committee, chaired the International IPM Symposium Steering Committee, chaired the board of the Entomological Foundation, served as a member of the Exam Committee of the Certified Crop Advisor Program, the Stakeholder Committee for the USDA North Central IPM Center and the Maryland Pesticide Education Network. He has been recognized with awards from US EPA, USDA and the International IPM Symposium. He continues to provide consulting services through IPM Works LLC and IPM services in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois as proprietor of Green Pest and Tick Control. He also currently serves as board chair of the Heartland Health Research Alliance, as a director of Protected Harvest, and as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Field to Market. Dr. Green holds a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts. 

Nick Speckmen
CEO | CFO | HR

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 Rose, who accompanies Nick to work every day. Rose is the self-proclaimed Chief Human Resource Officer of the IPM Institute of North America.
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.

Hannah Kasun
Jr. Project Manager: 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.
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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.
Chris Johnson
Junior Software Engineer

Chris is finishing his A.A.S. in Web Software Development. He holds technology certifications including CCNA R&S, CompTIA A+, Cisco IT Essentials and more. He has worked in the Cyber Security, Automotive and Information Technology industries as a System and Network Administrator, Advanced Repair Agent, Network Engineer, Software Development Intern and QA Automation Developer. His hobbies and interests include jogging, weight training, obstacle courses, hunting, roller-skating and ice-skating (both poorly), geopolitics, economics and playing with his pets.
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.
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.  
Leah McSherry
Marketing and Community IPM Specialist

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.

Kelly Adams
Accountant

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.
Rose
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.

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
Josie Talbert
Jr. Project Manager: 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.
Marnie McMullin
Project Coordinator: Sustainable Food Group

Marnie earned a B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Since her time at Evergreen, Marnie has immersed herself in many aspects of sustainable food production and distribution. She has extensive academic as well as hands-on farming experience ranging from field management and pest scouting to cover crop research. Most recently, Marnie worked with local farmers to develop successful retail relationship by strengthening their marketing and sales. In her free time, you can find Marnie in her garden identifying pollinators, on the trail riding her bike or in the kitchen fermenting & canning.
Bonnie
Leisure Services Coordinator

Bonnie came to the IPM Institute with a passion for recreation, a background in being cute, calm and collected and an exceptional ability to sense when humans need to de-stress. As the Leisure Services Coordinator, she offers structured activities to staff when they are in need of a break during the work day. Outside of work, Bonnie enjoys camping, hiking, road trips, playing with Rose and catching frisbees.