OUR TEAM

Thomas Green

Thomas Green

Founder and Board President

Dr. Thomas Green has been a national leader in market-based sustainability and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) initiatives for more than thirty years. He co-founded and directs the Institute, and served as a director of the Entomological Foundation from 2009 to 2015, 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. He served on the Wisconsin Pollinator Protection Plan stakeholder development committee and currently serves on the Minnesota Pollinator Health and Crop Production Task Force. 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.

Nick Speckman

Nick Speckman

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

Peter Werts

Peter Werts

Senior Project Manager: Specialty Crops 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.

Ariel Larson

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.

Rozemarijn (Rose) van den Brink

Rozemarijn (Rose) van den Brink

Senior Business Development Manager

Rozemarijn (Rose) has a background in corporate sustainability and has worked for a variety of organizations in Europe, Australia and now the USA. She earned a M.S. in Culture, Organizations and Management from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 2008 and worked in strategy consultancy for several years. She joined the Global Sustainability team of ING Bank in 2011, where she worked on strategy development, implementing global sustainability programs and stakeholder engagement. Rose left ING - and her hometown Amsterdam - in 2016 to move to Australia with her family, where she worked as a sustainability and social impact consultant, helping social enterprises and non-profit organizations increase their positive impact. She joined Sustainable Food Group after moving to the USA in 2019. Outside of work, Rose enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her husband and their three (very) young children.

Jim Javenkoski

Jim Javenkoski

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.

Kristen Osgood

Kristen 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.

Sarah Laves

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.

Josie Talbert

Josie Talbert

Project Coordinator

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.

Hannah Kasun

Hannah Kasun

Project Coordinator

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.

Natalie Nesburg

Natalie Nesburg

Team Member

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.

Makenna Kull

Makenna Kull

Team Member

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.