Serving the Chagrin Valley and eastern Cleveland suburbs

Call us at 440-564-1374

Our Team

Alan Krause, Owner, Independent Tree in Ohio

Alan Kraus

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

TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional

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 in arboriculture and has been working with trees and shrubs ever since. Alan founded Independent Tree with the goal of providing quality tree work and education in a field that he loves. Alan is an ISA certified arborist. Alan manages the majority of sales, scheduling & the execution of tree care operations and works hard keeping 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 industry education & training. He currently serves as president on the OIAA board.  Outside of Independent Tree, Alan is passionate about history; he loves traveling, reading, music, skateboarding and spends most of his time outdoors.

Bob Cooley photo - Operations Manager at Independent Tree

Bob Cooley

Operations Manager
ISA Certified Arborist OH-0829A

Bob got his early start in tree work in 1987 doing line clearance work. He transitioned into residential work in 1993 and has been there since, mostly working in NE Ohio with a couple years in California. Bob is an ISA Certified Arborist and is our Operations Manager. There are a lot of responsibilities that fall under the title of Operations Manager but what that means to our customers is that Bob is here to help ensure your satisfaction and timely delivery of services through scheduling and coordination of resources. As we have continued to grow, we knew this would be an important role to fill and we also knew it would take the right person to fill it; Bob shares our love of trees and our ethics in tree care, business operations and client relationships and we believe you will agree that he is a strong addition to our team of arborists.  

Michael Breth

Michael Breth

Plant Health Care Manager
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6388A
Certified Pesticide Applicator
National Association of Landscape Professionals, Certified Horticulturist
ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified

Mike has always been into science & nature, and he received his B.S in chemistry in 2006.  It was however after college during a 3 month backpacking trip through Australia & New Zealand where he truly cultivated his interest for ecology & trees.  Following this trip, Mike sought out a job in arboriculture, where he started his career as a climber. In 2010 Mike went back to school and received a B.S. in Environmental Science & Ecology, he also worked supervising habitat restoration with the parks service, and it is at this time when he became intimately involved in the relationships between trees and people and grew more in tune to his larger role in the environment.  In 2011 Mike made the transition into Plant Health Care gearing his approach to more responsible and sustainable solutions; which happened to be exactly the fit Independent Tree was looking for.  When not working for the betterment of trees and the environment, Mike enjoys reading, cooking and traveling and he continues to invest back into the local parks.

Lisa Carrelli-Kraus photo

Lisa Carrielli-Kraus

Office Manager/Marketing Manager

Lisa is the Office Manager here at Independent Tree, handling all the ins and outs behind the scenes. 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 and designer and works a small hobby farm & csa, she practices yoga, loves to travel, backpack, trail run and spend time with her husband, Alan, and their dogs.

Nik Rataiczak, Independent Tree in Ohio

Nic Rataiczak

Crew Leader/Climber
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6542A

Nic joined 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 competed in the Ohio Climbing Championship for the first time in 2010 placing 8th in the state and has competed and placed every year since. In 2013 Nic also won the work climb at the OTCC.  Nic is currently studying for his tree climbers specialist and arborist certifications.  Nic is also our in the field marketing man, if you follow us on social media then you have already enjoyed many of Nics photographs and videos.  Outside of work, you are likely to still find Nic up in a tree; his other interests include skateboarding, traveling and being outdoors.


Devon Marchinko


Devon has been landscaping since 2010 & transitioned into tree care work in 2013. Devon joined the Independent Tree team in the spring of 2015 & wants to further his growth as a climber and equipment operator. Devon is a hard worker & we look forward to growing alongside with him for many years to come. When not in the trees, you will find Devon on the water, boating & fishing, skateboarding or on his dirt bike.

Brad Nagle

Brad Nagle

Safety/Training Coordinator
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6598A
TCIA Certified Tree Care Safety Professional

Brad studied Natural Interpretation at Hocking College, where he took his first forestry classes. He worked as a naturalist for almost 10 years and while doing environmental education at an arboretum, he realized that he wanted to use his skills as an arborist.  In February 2014 Brad made the switch, from naturalist to full time arborist. He joined the Independent Tree team in the summer of 2015 and is working toward his arborist certification. Outside of tree work, Brad is an accomplished kayaker, he also enjoys spending time with his family and dogs.

Linus Glady

Linus Glady

Plant Health Care Foreman/Climber
Certified Pesticide Applicator

Linus is our intern from the Tri-C Plant Science & Landscape Technology program. Linus became interested in arboriculture after taking a horticulture botany class to fill a science requirement at Tri-C. This immediately sparked his interest & he pursued more arboriculture classes. Linus has competed regionally the past few years in wood id, arboriculture & landscape installation with Tri-C, placing admirably in all.  Linus had previously been working in the city parks department where he got some on the job experience before joining Independent Tree in April 2015. Linus has his sights set on earning his arborist certification and pesticide license.  Aside from being a young aspiring arborist, Linus enjoys canoeing & fishing and he coaches High School hockey.

Amy Brownfield

Amy Brownfield


Amy is the book keeper here at Independent Tree. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes & although it may not be as glamorous as climbing trees & running equipment, Amy would argue otherwise. She has been book keeping since she was 17 and fell in love with it right away; saying “it just makes sense”. It is likely, if you are a customer that you’ve spoken with Amy at some point. Amy makes sure all our i’s are dotted & t’s are crossed, she gets excited about “sexy’ spreadsheets, keeps us in line & always smiles no matter how much we throw at her. Outside of the office, Amy is a mother & Aunt and is very involved with her family & local community.