ESMC / EMSRC Team
ESMC is a member-based organization launching a national scale ecosystem services market program for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental services to society. The Ecosystem Services Market Research Consortium (ESMRC) is ESMC’s research arm. The ESMC/ESMRC team supports all efforts of the ESMC and the ESMRC in the development of this market program.
Debbie Reed - Executive Director
Debbie Reed was named Executive Director of the ESMC in May of 2019 upon the establishment of the Consortium and subsequently assumed the same role for the ESMRC upon the creation of the Research Consortium in November of 2019. Her role in leading the ESMC builds on decades of experience in agriculture climate change mitigation and sustainability efforts at the national and international level. Previously, Debbie led the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (C-AGG), a national multi-stakeholder coalition, supporting the development of tools, support systems, knowledge, and programs to improve quantification of GHG from agriculture. Prior to her work with C-AGG, Debbie worked at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as the Director of Legislative Affairs and Agricultural Policy and in the U.S. Senate as a Senior Staff on natural resource and agricultural issues for U.S. Senator Robert Kerrey of Nebraska. She has held numerous leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including special assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics (REE) and special assistant to the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS).
She has graduate and undergraduate degrees in human nutrition/dietetics, chemistry, and communications.
Debbie is a member of ESMC’s Leadership Team.
Caroline Wade – Deputy Director
As the organization’s Deputy Director, Caroline provides leadership and coordination across the ESMRC project team, Working Groups, and Strike Teams to guide research, development, demonstration, and deployment of cost-effective, scalable technologies and approaches necessary to accomplish program goals, objectives, and outcomes. Prior to joining in September 2019, Caroline was the Agriculture Program Director for the Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy where she led their sustainable agricultural initiatives to improve water quality and soil health while addressing the impacts of climate change through engagement with local partners and the ag supply chain. She previously worked for the Illinois Corn Growers Association where she served as the Nutrient Watershed Manager and collaborated with partners in Illinois and across the country on sustainability efforts in agricultural production systems. Throughout her career, Caroline has worked to unite environmental science and agriculture by focusing on practical yet innovative solutions to the many interconnected natural resources issues facing the Midwest and beyond and by engaging with multiple stakeholders. She has served in collaborative leadership roles for the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership, the Illinois S.T.A.R. program, Field to Market’s Education and Outreach Committee, and in Midwest Row Crop Collaborative project development and implementation.
Caroline graduated from Illinois State University with a B.S. in Environmental Health and Environmental Science and an M.S. in Agriculture. She finds inspiration in the wonders of the natural world and spends her free time enjoying mountain biking, kayaking, camping, hiking, and gardening.
Caroline is a member of ESMC’s Leadership Team.
Jack Jeworski - Business Development Director
As the organization’s Business Development Director, Jack advances ESMC’s business plan, launch strategy, membership growth, and other essential program elements. Jack brings with him business development experience at every phase of the agricultural value chain. He has worked at multiple firms in the agricultural sector, in close collaboration with farmers and corporate executives alike at a high-tech agricultural hardware company in Silicon Valley and at a California wine company. Jack has also worked as a product strategist for a nonprofit, multi-stakeholder climate advocacy group in Miami. Most recently, he co-founded a food and culture app that received backing from Facebook.
Jack earned a B.A. in Social Studies as a philosophy major at Bard College. He also studied at Stanford University, completing the Intensive Human Rights Program. In his spare time, Jack enjoys hiking, reading, and playing soccer.
Jack is a member of ESMC’s Leadership Team.
Andrew Lentz - Policy Director
As ESMC’s Policy Director, Andrew develops the consortium’s strategic national policy plan to support and align with ESMC’s mission, vision, and national program buildout. Andrew has over a decade of experience in the nation’s capital, serving in roles in the public and private sectors, including at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). Andrew came to ESMC from Deloitte where he served as a Senior Lead in the firm’s Policy & Government Relations office. Prior to his work at Deloitte, Andrew spent over seven years at FAS where he supported international agricultural capacity building and development projects in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa. He has also held positions in the U.S. House of Representatives and at a national political party.
Andrew brings knowledge of the legislative and political processes of developing public policy to ESMC and excels at stakeholder management, government relations, and corporate affairs. He earned an MBA and an MA in Government from Johns Hopkins University and received his bachelor’s in Political Science from Villanova University. Andrew was born and raised in downtown Chicago and currently lives in Washington, DC.
Amanda Raster - Research Director
Amanda Raster leads the ESMRC Working Group and Strike Team activities, bringing with her fifteen years of experience in food systems and multi-stakeholder sustainable agriculture initiatives. In her previous role as Science Director at U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action, Raster led a comprehensive life cycle assessment harmonization project for major U.S. ag commodities and engaged farmers, ranchers, and supply chain partners around the science of sustainable food systems. Prior to joining USFRA, she worked for The Sustainability Consortium, where she developed environmental and social metrics for food and agriculture products sold at retail and explored opportunities to improve data flow across food supply chains. Raster also served as facilitator of a national effort to develop sustainability standards for U.S. agriculture through the Leonardo Academy.
Raster grew up on a dairy farm in northern Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her undergraduate studies in Anthropology and Conservation Biology and her graduate studies in Agroecology. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Political Science and Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University.
Isidora Jimenez LaCasse - Finance Director
Isidora Jimenez LaCasse, ESMC/ESMRC Finance Director, holds a Master of Business Administration from Mills College, with a program emphasis in Finance. She also completed her undergraduate work at Mills, with majors in Mathematics and International Relations and a minor in French.
Throughout her career, Isidora has performed financial analysis and auditing at the highest levels, as well as asset and debt management. Her recent roles include working for Fortune 500 companies, where she used her French and Spanish language skills managing their international banking relationships.
Isidora currently lives in Reno, Nevada, where she takes advantage of Lake Tahoe’s proximity to enjoy the outdoors with her family and Labrador retrievers.
Grant Ivison-Lane - Protocol and Standards Director
Grant Ivison-Lane leads the development, maintenance, and refinement of ESMC’s Protocol and collaborates with external standards and guidance bodies on behalf of ESMC and ESMRC. Prior to joining ESMC, Grant worked at HDR Engineering supporting greenhouse gas analysis and ecosystem service assessments for clients including agricultural companies, utilities, government agencies, and municipalities. Grant has experience applying multiple carbon-based protocols including the WRI Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate and Value Chain (Scope 3) Standards. Prior to his time at HDR, he completed some of the first greenhouse gas inventories of agricultural emissions in California’s San Joaquin Valley.
Grant lives in San Francisco, CA. He has a B.S. in Earth Systems Science from the University of California, Merced, and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School. Outside of work, he enjoys backpacking, trail running, and reading.
Thayer Tomlinson – Communications Director
As ESMC’s Communications Director, Thayer Tomlinson manages external organizational communications including the ESMC monthly newsletter, website, press releases, and social media accounts. She has worked in organizational communications for the last 15 years, serving as the Communications Director for the International Biochar Initiative and as the Program Manager for the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. She also currently supports the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program providing research and technical support to small businesses and congregations working to increase facility energy efficiency.
She holds a Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia. She lives in rural Vermont where she enjoys gardening, hiking, reading and watercolor painting.
Stacy Cushenbery - Project Manager
Stacy Cushenbery works with ESMC’s pilot projects and is an experienced agricultural planner focused on regenerative practices and community building. She grew up within a dairy community in Wisconsin and quickly fell in love with farming. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Anthropology focusing on food systems, she completed her farm training in organics at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, Wisconsin. Having operated farms in the Midwest, she has demonstrated her ability to work within the farming community.
Stacy previously worked as Sustainable Agriculture Consultant for Solutions in the Land, where she managed projects focused on nutrient reduction and helped guide farmers and stakeholders in agriculture to better environmental and economic outcomes. She has previously worked with local and county governments to design agriculture plans that meet the community’s needs while preserving farmland. Her comprehensive and practical understanding of the steps necessary to implement conservation practices on farmland allows her to meet new challenges with practical guidance and empathy.
She currently lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children, where she finds joy in the outdoors, cooking, and traveling.
Jake Deutmeyer- Project Manager
Jake works with ESMC’s pilot projects and soil sampling. While he grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Iowa, he also brings global experience from his 5 years of procurement work in the spice industry for Kalsec and Frontier Co-op. Jake gained expertise within the organic sector, where he has coordinated projects with farmers across the globe, imported commodities through supply chains, and driven commercial product launches. Prior to his work in spices, he also did a brief internship for a branch office of the United Nations in Zaragoza, Spain focused on water sustainability.
Jake holds a Masters in Management from IE Business School Madrid and a BBA in Economics from the University of Iowa. He and his wife currently live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but will be moving to Los Angeles this summer. Jake enjoys playing ping pong and Settlers of Catan, watching college sports, learning languages, and exploring new places.
Austin Arrington - Technical Product Lead
As ESMC/ESMRC Technical Product Lead, Austin Arrington is responsible for the development, oversight, and coordination of all technical and product aspects of building, launching, and supporting ESMC’s Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification (MRV) platform. Austin is a software developer, scientist, and entrepreneur working on technologies to connect humans and nature. Prior to joining ESMC, he was a machine learning engineer with Teralytic, where he helped develop and bring to market technologies for monitoring and decision-making around soil health. In 2016, he founded the environmental consultancy PLANT Group, installing urban farms and green roofs across the Northeast, while helping growers cut water use by 25% using Internet of Things (IoT) smart irrigation systems.
Austin is a published researcher and holds an M.S. in Environmental Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, an M.A. in Bioethics from NYU, and a B.A. in English from Penn State University. His research explores the intersection of ecology, technology, and ethics.
Alana Pacheco - Membership Manager
As ESMC/ESMRC Membership Manager, Alana leads ESMC’s work to connect to and meet member needs on an ongoing basis and to ensures member management, communications and engagement processes are streamlined and effective. She also works to target and recruit new members to ESMC’s public private partnership.
Prior to working at ESMC, Alana managed programs at a non-profit business accelerator that supported ag and food start-ups working to build a more resilient food system. She additionally ran an annual conference that highlighted current issues in ag/food and promising start-ups in the space. Alana worked on a regenerative livestock operation in Connecticut to learn about alternatives to industrial operations and understand how rotational grazing can help build soil health. She has an MSc in Environmental Protection & Management from The University of Edinburgh and holds a B.A. in Economic & Social History from Barnard College.
Lizzie Rose - Associate Project Manager
Lizzie Rose supports ESMC/ESMRC pilot projects and organizational communications. Lizzie has been interested in sustainable agriculture for many years and spent a summer working on an organic farm in Kansas while pursuing her undergraduate degree. She has also worked with several nonprofits to engage the public and promote environmental stewardship. Her past roles include working as a Naturalist at the Audubon Center of the North Woods teaching nature-based classes and serving as a Communications and Outreach Intern with Women for Conservation by publicizing work to protect endangered species in the Colombian rainforest.
Lizzie earned a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Environmental Studies and English from St. Olaf College, and also holds a Master of Natural Resources Stewardship with a specialization in Forest Sciences from Colorado State University. She currently lives in Washington, DC.
Damaris Canales - Executive Assistant
With 10 years of experience in professional office executive assistant positions and a record of strong performance in high-pressure, high-volume environments, Damaris skillfully manages administrative duties and client relations for her colleagues. As an Executive Assistant at ESMC, she ensures the smooth operation of ESMC with her robust knowledge of office management and efficient handling of client inquiries, consultations, and timely access to executives as required.
Prior to working for ESMC, Damaris contributed her skills to transcendent companies in finance, medical, fashion and non-profits. She’s an NYC native who studies computer science at Columbia University and indulges in bookshops, restaurants, and museums.