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 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.

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.

Will Carr


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

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. Always having a love of the outdoors, he came back to the landscape industry after college in 2012. During his several years in management at a leading landscape firm, his desire to specialize in arboriculture grew and he landed at our doorstep in the summer of 2019. Will’s extensive background in the green industry as well as his project management expertise are a welcome addition to the Independent Tree Team. In his free time, Will keeps busy doing recreational tree climbing and rock climbing 2-3 times per week; he practices Jiu-Jitsu 1-2 times a week, takes frequent 12-15 mile day hikes on his weekends and is an avid reader.

Nik Rataiczak, Independent Tree in Ohio

Nic Rataiczak

Senior 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 a certified arborist & is also working on his tree climber’s specialist certification. 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, being outdoors & spending time with his family & soon to be wife.

Dave Passarelli

Dave Passarelli

Crew Leader/Climber
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6646A

Dave joined Independent Tree in the spring of 2019 as a Crew Leader. Dave got his start in the tree industry as a sawyer for the Nevada Conservation Corp in 2008. He received his degree in Forestry Management in 2011 and became an ISA certified arborist in 2016. Outside of climbing trees & running our crews, Dave enjoys outside activities including skateboarding, hiking & kayaking as well as restoring old motorcycles.


John MacKay

Crew Leader/Plant Health Care Foreman
Certified Pesticide Applicator 

John came on as an intern from TRI-C’s Plant Science & Landscape Technology program. After finishing his internship, he chose to stay on full time. In addition to his Associates degree from Tri-C, John has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology from The University of Akron. John has a strong propensity for learning, like a human sponge who wants to learn everything he can, and likewise is eager to share his knowledge with clients & his co-workers. John is a licensed pesticide applicator & one of our Plant Health Care Technicians. 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.

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Linus Glady

Climber/Plant Health Care Foreman
Certified Pesticide Applicator

Linus came on as an intern from the Tri-C Plant Science & Landscape Technology program in the early spring of 2015. Linus became interested in arboriculture after taking a horticulture botany class to fill a science requirement. 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. Linus is a certified pesticide applicator & has completed his application to become a certified arborist. Linus is a very bright young man & his plant ID is top notch. Aside from being an arborist, Linus enjoys canoeing & fishing and he coaches High School hockey.

Nick Mrosko 2 - small

Nick Mrosko


Nick joined our crew in the spring of 2017. Nick had known some other people who worked at Independent Tree, and through following us on social media, grew enamored with the industry. Although he came to us completely green, within 6 months, his natural athleticism quickly moved him up to a climber trainee. Nick enjoys the physical & mental challenge 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.

Nick Koeth-small

Nick Koeth

Ground Crew/Climber Trainee
ISA Certified Arborist OH-6811A

Nick got his start in the green industry in 2011 working in the nursery & landscape field. He came to Independent Tree in the fall of 2017 & currently works on our ground crew taking in everything he can. Nick is always eager to lend a helping hand & you will be hard pressed to find him standing idle; he enjoys hard work & being outside. In his free time Nick is a musician/singer/songwriter, playing guitar in a couple of bands; he also enjoys skate boarding.

Aaron Mohr headshot

Aaron Mohr


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 & mental challenges of tree work. When not at work, Aaron plays soccer; he also enjoys snowboarding, water skiing & volleyball.
Willie Headshot

Willie Berry

Ground Crew

Willie, aka “The Saw Wizard”, joined Independent Tree in the Fall of 2018 as a ground worker/feller. He started his career in the tree industry in 2013 & outside of saw wizardry, Willie enjoys fishing & playing music.

Jen office assistant Independent tree

Jen Sirk

Office Assistant

Jen is the voice of Independent Tree & 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 and before joining Independent Tree, she worked as the office & safety coordinator for a leading landscape firm, where she managed their fertilization & irrigation departments.  The expertise she brings with her coupled with her upbeat personality is a winning combination. Outside of the office, Jen spends most of her time with her husband & daughter where they are involved in a lot of sports.

Tiffany Fibich

Tiffany Fibich

Staff Accountant

Tiffany has a BS in accounting from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. She has over 10 years’ experience in accounting & we are happy to put that expertise to work here at Independent Tree. Whether you are a customer or a vendor, if you have any accounting questions Tiffany is your woman! When she’s not crunching numbers, Tiffany enjoys gardening, spending time with her dogs & renovating their house with her husband.

Independent Tree team members Nightshade and Katie (2 dogs)

Nightshade and Katie

Certified Good Dogs

Meet Independent Tree's owners Nightshade and Katie. You can see how much they enjoy operating a first class tree care company. The dynamic duo runs a tight ship working around the clock daily, between naps and sunbathing, of course. Starting their tree careers at the bottom with stick fetching, they have amassed a combined total of 11 years of tree experience and are now top dogs of the industry. Nightshade enjoys afterwork patrols of the homestead guarding the chicken coop, while Katie spends her free time swimming and snacking on goldfish crackers. 

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