Advisory Council Membership Updates

Northeastern IPM Center thanks departing members and welcomes new arrivals

Outside Expertise that Shapes Our Priorities

Like all the regional IPM centers, the Northeastern IPM Center maintains an advisory council (AC) comprising a wide range of stakeholders representing universities, businesses, and government agencies with interest and expertise in developing and disseminating science-based, sustainable pest-management strategies.

The AC provides a broad vision and helps inform Center priorities while also constituting an important avenue for outreach to members’ constituencies and beyond. It provides an invaluable service and we owe a debt of gratitude to members past and present, all of whom have given freely of their time, knowledge, and perspective in furtherance of our mission.

Terms and Durations of Service: Planned Turnover and Renewal

Members typically serve three-year terms. Many of those who rotated off in the past year were already on their second terms, and some had gone above and beyond by agreeing to stay on for an extra year as a courtesy to our new director, Deborah Grantham, who took the reins in September 2018.

In other cases, members choose to step down so they can freely pursue opportunities or resources that might create conflict-of-interest concerns if juxtaposed with their AC responsibilities. Integrity and transparency are of utmost importance to the Center and its stakeholders.

We’d like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to those who have stepped down—and a warm welcome to those who have joined—in the year since Grantham assumed the directorship.

New and Recent Arrivals

Kofi Berko: HUD National Program Leader and Advisor to StopPests in Housing Program

Member since January 2019

J. Kofi Berko, Jr., is an environmental scientist with the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He develops notices of fund availability for healthy homes and leads technical studies, manages the review and selection process, and manages some of the resulting cooperative agreements between the successful applicants and HUD, including the Promoting IPM in Affordable Housing project administered by the StopPests in Housing Program.

Andy Fellenz: Semi-retired Owner/Operator, Fellenz Family Farm

Member since February 2019

The Fellenz Family Farm is a small-scale, widely diverse, certified organic fruit and vegetable farm in Phelps, New York. Andy Fellenz helps run the farm with his son and daughter-in-law. It operates an extensive community-supported-agriculture market in three cities in northwestern NY: Canandaigua, Geneva, and Brighton.

Robert Nowierski: USDA-NIFA National Program Leader for Bio-Based Pest Management

Member since October 2019

Robert Nowierski serves as the national program leader for bio-based pest management. He provides national leadership for NIFA’s research and extension programs in applied ecology, biological control, and invasive species. He is the program director for the Crop Production and Protection program area for biology of the Small Business Innovation Research Program and co-directs the Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems program area priority of the AFRI Foundational Program (Plant Health and Production and Plant Products program area).

Julie Urban: Associate Research Professor, Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University

Member since November 2018

Julie Urban is an associate research professor in entomology at Penn State. She is leading the multistate USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant on biology and management of the invasive spotted lanternfly and its impact on specialty crops in the eastern USA.

Recent and Pending Departures

Herb Bolton: USDA-NIFA National Program Leader for the Regional IPM Centers (Former)

Member since 2000

Until his recent move to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Herb Bolton was the national program leader for entomology at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Institute of Food Protection and Sustainability. His grant portfolio included the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program, the regional IPM centers, and IPM in Affordable Housing through an interagency agreement with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Bolton is a board-certified entomologist in the areas of medical/veterinary and urban/structural entomology and holds a PhD in entomology from the University of Florida.

Mike Hoffmann: Professor; Executive Director, Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions; Co-PI on Center Grant since Its Inception

Member since 2000

Mike Hoffmann, slated to retire in January, is the executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, which was created to help raise the profile of the challenges posed by a rapidly warming climate and to help those who grow our food adapt to the changing conditions while reducing their carbon footprint. A longtime professor in the Cornell Department of Entomology, Hoffmann has held other key positions at the university, including director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (Ithaca), associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, associate director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, and director of the New York State IPM Program. He holds a PhD from the University of California, Davis. After retirement, Hoffmann is going on the road with his forthcoming book, Our Changing Menu: What Climate Change Means to the Foods We Love and Need. He will also continue to work on several other aspects of climate change and food.

David Holm: Program Manager, NE SARE at University of Vermont

Member since 2013 in a non-rotating position

In January 2020, David Holm will retire as program manager for the SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) Northeast Region, where since 2001 he has been overseeing the grant review, award, and reporting process.

Ana Legrand: Assistant Extension Professor, Entomology, University of Connecticut

Member since November 2015

Ana Legrand’s research at the University of Connecticut is in the area of biological control. She has interests in the management of insect pests of turf and ornamental plants and in developing more information about insect natural enemies of Japanese and Oriental beetles.

Ken Martin: Director of Agricultural Operation, Furmano Foods

Member since November 2015

Ken Martin is responsible for all current agricultural activities at Furmano Foods, which include tomato and snap bean production at Furmano Farms (SYSCO IPM certified). He manages the field department at Furmano Foods, where his duties include sourcing tomato and snap beans from outside growers.

Rose Ogutu: Horticulture Extension Specialist, Delaware State University

Member since November 2015

Rose Ogutu has been the horticulture extension specialist at Delaware State University since 2011. Her responsibilities include conducting applied research and developing and implementing a nationally recognized extension program in horticultural crops with emphases on specialty crops and organic production methodologies.

Rachel Riley: HUD National Program Leader (Retired) and Advisor to StopPests in Housing Program

Member since 2013

Until her retirement in January 2019, Rachel Riley served as a program analyst in the Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At HUD, she supported the work of the StopPests in Housing Program and made it her mission to promote IPM in all HUD housing to provide safer and healthier homes for the people living there.

Cesar Rodriguez-Saona: Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Entomology, Rutgers University

Member since November 2015

Cesar Rodriguez-Saona joined the faculty at the Rutgers University Marucci Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center in 2005. His research program focuses on the development and implementation of cost-effective, reduced-risk insect-pest-management practices for blueberries and cranberries.

Joe Russo: Head of Research and Modelling, BASF

Member since November 2015

Joe Russo has guided the development of a wide range of software tools used in modelling, precision agricultural products, decision-support systems, and data-management programs.

Jill Schroeder: Weed Scientist (Retired), USDA-ARS

Member since November 2015

Until her recent retirement, Jill Schroeder was a weed scientist and agronomist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service Office of Pest Management Policy. She is an emeritus distinguished professor in the Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.


The Northeastern IPM Center promotes integrated pest management for reducing risks to human health and the environment. If republishing our news, please acknowledge the source (“From Northeast IPM Insights”) along with a link to our website.