Our Team

Dr. Thomas Green has been a national leader in market-based sustainability and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) initiatives for more than thirty years. He is president and co-founder of the IPM Institute of North America, a non-profit working to leverage marketplace power to improve health, environment and economics in agriculture and communities through IPM and other sustainable practices.  The Institute co-leads the National School IPM Working Group, which works to reduce pest and pesticide risks in schools, including promoting IPM curricula for students and educators, operates IPM STAR Certification for schools, and offers Green Shield Certification to facilities, structural pest management professionals and IPM programs. The Institute partners with food companies including Sysco, McDonald’s, ConAgra Lamb Weston, McCain Foods, Simplot and Whole Foods Market on sustainability initiatives, and with American Farmland Trust in the BMP CHALLENGE project, guaranteeing farmer income when they adopt conservation practices.  The Institute was awarded Supplier of the Year for Quality Assurance from Whole Foods Market in 2015, earned the International IPM Excellence Award from the Sixth International IPM Symposium in 2009, was recognized as an US EPA Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program Champion in 2004, 2005, 2008, and received the US EPA Sustained Excellence in IPM Award and 2009 and 2012.  Dr. Green has served as a director of the Entomological Foundation since 2009, and as vice-president and president from 2011-2014. He was awarded the Foundation’s Medal of Honor in 2015. He has been a member of the Entomological Society of America since 1983, and served on the Presidential Committee on Science Policy and the Presidential Committee on Awards.  Dr. Green is a Certified Crop Advisor and a USDA NRCS-certified Technical Service Provider.  He holds a Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Massachusetts and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications and presented at more than 250 professional and industry events.

Kelly Adams, Office Manager: Financial and grant administration, employee services management, former School IPM Project Coordinator. Kelly attended certificate classes at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, which fueled an interest in sustainable agriculture and environmental health issues, particularly school and community-based projects.

Mark Adelsperger, Resource Management Specialist: Great Lakes Resource Management Initiatives. Mark has a degree in Business Administration from Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio and a background in agriculture, sales and customer service. Mark’s immersion in agriculture and enjoyment of the rural lifestyle reinforces his viewpoint that farming is an ever-evolving way of life.

Thomas Bernard, Project Team Member: IPM and Conservation Programs. Thomas received his B.S. in Environmental Studies with a directed study in sustainable horticulture from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. After graduation he guided sea kayakers on Lake Superior, built mountain bike trails in the Chequamegon region, and found his way to a well-known orchard in Bayfield, WI. While serving on the orchard’s management team for two seasons, he developed a keen interest in the complexity of tree fruit production and found a source of understanding through the application of IPM technology. He and his partner Anna currently reside in the backwaters of Trempealeau County.

Astrid De la Cruz, Project Team Member: Supply Chain Sustainability. Astrid received her B.S. in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her past experiences in landscape ecology research have taught her that separate components of biological systems are deeply interconnected, something that she has realized also applies to agriculture and the food system. She believes that changing the way consumers view and interact with food can significantly impact how other sectors of the food system operate. Her other interests include cooking, gardening, painting, yoga and brewing Kombucha.

Alina Eva Freund, Project Manager: Community IPM. Alina is responsible for the strategic direction of a suite of projects that improve health and environment in our communities and make schools healthier places for children. She also oversees certification programs for Green Shield Certified and IPM Star for schools. Before following her Midwestern husband to the U.S., Alina worked for international organizations that focus on sustainability in global food and wood products supply chains, and managed projects on market research.

Sharon Haberkorn, Office Manager.  Sharon has a financial and management background working as an Operations Officer at a bank and as a Paid Audience Development Manager with a media company.  She will be managing financial/bookkeeping and human resources. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening and cooking.

William Hamel, Audit Team Member: Supply Chain Sustainability. Will received a B.A. in English and Environmental Policy & Decision Making at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. His interest is sustainable agriculture and its cultural contexts stem from studying environmental literature and history. After graduation he worked on a coastal island farm in Maine as part of an organic gardening apprenticeship. At the IPM Institute, Will assists in the verification of a sustainable rating system project for a national retailer. Outside of work, he enjoys biking, cooking, jazz, and creative writing.

Luke Hingtgen, Project Coordinator: Luke has an M.A. in Rhetoric and Discourse and a B.A. in Music and Philosophy. He spent many years training and working as an organic farmer in New York state and here in Wisconsin. He joined IPM Institute with a desire to put to good use his creative and analytic skills developed in school and the breadth of knowledge he acquired becoming a farmer.

Ariel Larson, M.S., Project Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability. 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 research background includes weed management in the establishment of switchgrass. Her interest in sustainable food production and socially responsible business led to her work at IPM Institute, where she will be working to implement a sustainability rating system for a national food retailer and their suppliers.

Frank Laufenberg, Project Team Member: Supply Chain Sustainability, Public Tick Working Group. Frank received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences as well as Community and Environmental Sociology from UW-Madison. In short, Frank enjoys anything that involves ecology and humans. Working as Urban Ag Director for a student organization Frank realized the power that sustainable agriculture and food has to connect physical and social science. He further pursued the research side of organic agriculture as a field assistant in Dr. Erin Silva’s lab. Outside of work Frank is an avid musician and gardener.

Ali Loker, Project Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability. Ali received her B.S. in Community and Environmental Sociology and a certificate in Global Health. Her interest in sustainable agriculture began after an internship on an organic vegetable farm during college. Since then, she has continued to work in food systems with an emphasis on social justice and community engagement. Outside of work, Ali enjoys trail running, experimenting with fermentation and trivia.

Jessica Monnin, Administrative Assistant: Jess is a recent graduate from Edgewood College, with a Bachelor’s in Business Management and a certificate from the Sustainability Leadership Program. Jess has a passion for sustainable living, local farms and the environment. When she is not at work, you may find her in her hammock reading, walking around the lake, or traveling back to her home country in France.

Matt Neff, Project Coordinator: Green Shield Certified, IPM STAR, IPM Voice. Matt received his B.A. in English Literature from Arizona State University. His experiences in journalism, tutoring, and animal rescue cemented his interest in sustainable environmental and cultural initiatives.

Erika Nickels, Project Team Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability. Erika received her B.S. in Sociology and Environmental Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Growing up her parents owned a local restaurant which is where she developed an interest in sustainable food systems. In her free time, you can find Erika hiking, camping or eating sweet potatoes.

Patrick Shannon-Hughes, Project Coordinator: IPM PRiME. Patrick received his BS in Environmental Sciences, with a focus on sustainable food systems from the University of East Anglia (UK). After graduation Patrick followed his interest in sustainable agriculture by working on organic farms in Argentina and Chile. He then worked in London promoting recycling in low income areas, before moving to Madison. Outside of work Patrick’s interests include cooking, swimming, geography and football (soccer).

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 the Pesticide Risk Mitigation Engine (PRIME). His interests include biking, cooking, golf and skiing.

Christian Steponitis, Project Team Member: IPM Symposium, Supply Chain Sustainability. Christian received his B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has spent time working in both the field and the lab for University funded research. In doing so he has learned that there is a lot more to farming than just planting and harvesting. His other interests include writing music, gardening and skateboarding around campus.

Terri Theisen, M.S., Inspections Coordinator: Supply Chain Sustainability. Terri studied at UW-Madison, obtaining a B.S in Horticulture with a certificate in Environmental Studies May 2014 and M.S. in Horticulture with an emphasis in organic and sustainable agriculture May 2016. Her research background includes phenotyping a large collection of open pollinated carrots in organic systems and exploring storage methods’ effects on flavor differences in carrots. In her free time, she can be found wandering her farm and vineyard with her husband, dogs, and chickens, enjoying all things food (growing, preparing, eating, and preserving) and exploring the many facets of homesteading.

Peter Werts, Project Manager: Apple IPM Program, NRCS-IPM Working Group, Growers’ Incentives for IPM, Red Tomato Eco Apple Project and NRCS TSP services. 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.

Marlena White, MSPH, Project Development Manager. Marlena earned a Master of Science in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health focusing on the intersection of public health, the environment, and agriculture policy. She served as a member of the World Wildlife Fund’s agriculture team in Washington, DC for four years, where she researched the environmental and social risks imbedded in global agricultural supply chains and supported environmental sustainability efforts in the U.S. dairy sector. As Project Development Manager for the IPM Institute, she is now dedicated to developing new opportunities to expand the organization’s impacts in environmental sustainability, human health, and community wellbeing.

Gayle Wint, Outreach Manager: Partnership for Ag Resource Management.  Gayle has diversified agriculture experience having grown up showing livestock and taking part in FFA and 4-H leadership opportunities which fueled her continued interest in the field.  She received her B.S. from Purdue University in Animal Sciences, Animal Agribusiness and took part in various study abroad classes along with multiple agriculture internships.  Following graduation, she worked in the commercial lending sector as a credit analyst before relocating to Wisconsin.  Outside of work, Gayle enjoys horseback riding, watching movies, and exploring local fairs and festivals.

Ida Yu, Project Team Member. Ida received her B.A. in Computer Science and Psychology, with a minor in Global Sustainability, from the University of Virginia. Following graduation, she moved into sustainable food, working at a small diversified vegetable farm and with food/sustainability-focused nonprofits. In her free time, she can be found baking layer cakes, playing board games, running, and canning.