Meet the Team!

The Independent Tree team provides quality tree services throughout Northeast Ohio

Alan Kraus owner of Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Alan Kraus

Founder
ISA Certified Arborist OH-5219A
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional #2269

About Alan

Alan Kraus was first introduced to tree work in high school while landscaping and was quickly hooked. In 1995, he began to focus his abilities on arboriculture and has been working with trees and shrubs ever since. Alan founded Independent Tree with the goal of providing quality tree work for his local community in the industry he loves. Alan works hard to keep up to date on arboriculture education so that we can bring our clients the best the industry has to offer. He also conducts educational seminars for various organizations. Alan helped form the Ohio Independent Arborist Association, OIAA out of a need for more local arborist education and training. Outside of Independent Tree, Alan is passionate about history; he loves traveling, reading, music, skateboarding, and spends most of his time outdoors.

Lisa Carrelli-Kraus, Office Manager at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Lisa Carrelli-Kraus

Office Manager / Marketing Manager / Partner in Crime

 

About Lisa

Lisa is the Office Manager here at Independent Tree and partner in crime to Alan Kraus. Lisa received her BFA in art from Kent and is responsible for most of Independent Tree’s design work and marketing. Outside of the office, Lisa is a textile artist, who loves to garden, travel, backpack, roller skate, and spend time with her husband, Alan, and their dogs.

Will Carr, Arborist Representative at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Will Carr

Arborist Representative
ISA Certified Arborist ML-0425A
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified
Certified Landscape Technician (CLT/LIC)
Certified Pesticide Applicator

About Will

Will got his first taste of the green industry back in high school where he worked his summers at a landscape firm. Will has a B.S. in Physics with a minor in Chemistry from Kent State. His desire to specialize in arboriculture grew, landing him at our doorstep; where Will is one of our arborist representatives doing sales for clients and also currently manages our Plant Health Care department. In his free time, Will keeps busy doing recreational tree climbing and rock climbing, he practices Jiu-Jitsu, takes frequent long day hikes on his weekends, and is an avid reader.

Tibor Lakatos, Arborist Representative at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Tibor Lakatos

Arborist Representative
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6910A
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

About Tibor

Tibor grew up in the green industry and is a 3rd generation forester. He got his BSA in Forestry from OSU and has an associate degree in Business Management. Tibor is one of our Arborist Representatives and sales associates. In his free time, Tibor enjoys hiking and camping and spending time with his family and dog.

Nic Rataiczak, Senior Crew Leader/ Climber / Operator at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

NIC RATAICZAK

Senior Crew Leader / Climber / Operator
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6542A
TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional

 

About Nic

Nic is our senior employee here, joining Independent Tree in the spring of 2007 on the grounds crew. Taking quickly to climbing, he worked himself up to be one of our main climbers, as well as a crew leader. Nic is an ISA Certified Arborist and a TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP) and helps with our safety and training program. Nic also competes in the Ohio Climbing Championships. Outside of work, you are likely to still find Nic up in a tree; his other interests include skateboarding, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with his family and wife.

Dave Passarelli, Crew Leader/ Climber/ Production Manager at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

DAVE PASSARELLI

Crew Leader / Climber / Production Manager
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6646A
TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

About Dave

Dave got his start in the tree industry as a sawyer for the Nevada Conservation Corp in 2008 and received his degree in Forestry Management in 2011. Dave is a Crew Leader and Production Manager at Independent Tree. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional, managing our safety program. Outside of climbing trees and running our crews, Dave enjoys outside activities including skateboarding, hiking, and kayaking as well as restoring old motorcycles and spending time with his family.

Linus Glady, Crew Leader /Climber / PLant ID Guru at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

LINUS GLADY

Crew Leader / Climber / Plant ID Guru
Certified Pesticide Applicator

About Linus

Linus came on as an intern from the Tri-C Plant Science and Landscape Technology program and is now one of our crew leaders. Linus is a certified pesticide applicator and has completed his application to become a certified arborist. Linus’s plant ID is top-notch and he loves sharing his knowledge with his co-workers and clients. Aside from being an arborist, Linus enjoys canoeing and fishing, and he coaches High School hockey.

Nick Koeth, Crew Leader / Climber at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Nic Koeth

Crew Leader / Climber
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6811A


About Nick

Nick got his start in the green industry working in the nursery and landscape field. Nick is one of our crew leaders and always eager to lend a helping hand; you will be hard-pressed to find him standing idle; he enjoys hard work and being outside. In his free time, Nick is a musician/ singer/ songwriter, playing guitar in a couple of bands; he also enjoys skateboarding.

Nick Mrosko, Climber/ Operator at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Nick Mrosko

Climber / Operator 

About Nick

Nick is one of our main operators and fills in as a crew leader. Nick enjoys the physical and mental challenges of tree work, especially the creative aspect of tree pruning. Nick’s enthusiasm in his work is pleasantly infectious. Aside from being a budding arborist, Nick is a singer/ songwriter in a band & skateboarder.

Aaron Mohr, Climber at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Aaron Mohr

Climber

About Aaron

Aaron’s interest in tree work was sparked early while studying Urban Forestry for 2 years in high school. He then received his associate degree from the Plant Science and Landscape Technology program at Tri-C. Aaron is a strong climber, who enjoys both the physical and mental challenges of tree work. When not at work, Aaron plays soccer; he also enjoys snowboarding, water skiing and volleyball.

Jeff Spurlock, Climber at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Jeff Spurlock

Climber

About Jeff

Jeff started recreational climbing when he was 24 and started to realize that he could do it for a living. In 2012 he went down to Louisiana to do tree work after Hurricane Isaac and when he came back north started doing tree work full time. Jeff is a climber and works on both tree maintenance & removal; he loves climbing large trees & taking in the views.  Jeff still recreational climbs in his free time and is involved in music, playing guitar.

Donnie Drebus, Ground Crew/ Climber Trainee at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Donnie Drebus

Ground Crew / Climber Trainee

About Donnie

Donnie came to us as a seasonal employee during his summer break from Hiram college. He loved it so much, that he came back the next year and decided to stick around and we are glad he did. Donnie will be graduating from Hiram with a degree in Business Management and aspires to grow into a management/sales position. Right now, Donnie loves working outside running a saw and equipment and is a climber trainee. Outside of tree work, Donnie loves fly fishing and hanging out with his dog.

John Mackay, Plant Health Care Technician/ Climber at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

John Mackay

Plant Health Care Technician / Climber
Certified Pesticide Applicator

About John

John came on as an intern from TRI-C’s Plant Science and Landscape Technology program. In addition to his Associate's degree from Tri-C, John has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology from The University of Akron. John is a licensed pesticide applicator and one of our Plant Health Care Technicians and a climber. In his free time, John does a lot of propagation, whether it’s starting plants from seeds or cuttings, he loves “geeking” out on plants.

Katelynn Konik, Plant Health Care Technician at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Katelynn Konik

Plant Health Care Technician

About Katelynn

Katelynn’s interest in the green industry started gardening and out of a desire to be self-sustaining. She followed her path, first in agriculture and then leading her to arboriculture and Independent Tree.  Katelynn is one of our Plant Health Care technicians and fills in on the tree crew; she loves the diversity that each position gives her, from the individual work of Plant Health Care to working as a team on the tree crew. Above all, she loves to constantly be learning and working outside in nature. In her free time, Katelynn loves gardening, kayaking, hiking, tree climbing, singing and writing.

Tiffany Fibich, Staff Accountant at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Tiffany Fibbich

Staff Accountant

About Tiffany

Tiffany has a BS in accounting from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. She has over 10 years’ experience in accounting and we are happy to put that expertise to work here at Independent Tree. When she’s not crunching numbers, Tiffany enjoys gardening, spending time with her dogs and renovating their house with her husband.

Jen Sirk, Office Assistant/ Customer & Sales Support at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Jen Sirk

Office Assistant / Customer & Sales Support

About Jen

Jen is usually our client’s first point of contact when they call in. If you are a customer; it is likely that you would have spoken with Jen at some point. Jen has an associate degree in Business Administration/HR. Jen handles customer support and assists our sales arborists with job scheduling. Outside of the office, Jen spends most of her time with her husband & daughter.

Ted Masink, Sawyer/ Carpenter/ Ground Crew at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Ted Masink

Sawyer / Carpenter / Ground Crew

About Ted

Ted’s background is in Carpentry. Ted works for Independent Tree on our ground crew and also for our sister company, “The Ohio Country” as a sawyer and carpenter. Ted takes the wood from tree work and transforms new life into it, creating benches, small outbuildings, and decorative pieces.  Ted also helps our customers make that special piece of wood into custom sawn lumber or other memorabilia. Outside of work, Ted enjoys the outdoors and spending time in the woods, he hunts both games and mushrooms, loves history, and spending time with his family and friends.

Paulie Vesbach, Mechanic at Independent Tree in Newbury, Ohio

Paulie Vesbach

Mechanic

About Paulie

Paulie keeps us and our equipment ship-shape. He started working on equipment back when he was 10 years old growing up on a Dairy Farm. After leaving farming, he became a full-time mechanic. Outside of work, Paulie still enjoys working on engines and equipment, restoring WWI and WWII era John Deere tractors; he also enjoys gardening, riding motorcycles, and spending time with his family and friends, especially his new grandkids.

Interested in working with us? Join the team!

The Independent Tree Service team in front of a huge pile of logs