Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 220
Diana joined the PCO team as Executive Director in June 2020. She comes to PCO with over a decade of non-profit leadership in certification of individuals in the environmental and public health professions. Diana has a Masters in Environmental Science and Management with a focus in Organic Agriculture and was the Executive Director of the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP) for the past twelve years, following five years working for Whole Foods Markets in the mid-2000s at various locations around the country. She brings extensive leadership experience along with a passion for organic production and the critical impact it has on climate and the environment. In her spare time, Diana enjoys cooking, music, gardening, and providing a home for many generations of houseplants.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 205
Alison is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and grew up exploring the farmland that surrounded her family’s home. She graduated from Chatham University with a B.A. in art history but after graduation, she found that her real passion was rooted in the organic product industry. She spent sixteen years working for Whole Foods Market where she strengthened her knowledge and committment to preserving the integrity of our food systems. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her partner and dog String Bean as they wild forage for food and medicines around their home in Western Pennsylvania.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 215
Diana joined the PCO team as Director of Operations in Fall of 2012. Prior to relocating to Boalsburg, PA, she lived in Raleigh, NC where she obtained her Business Management – Finance degree from North Carolina State University and began her career. Diana spent the first eight years of her employment in a small business environment, with six years as Operations Manager. She looks forward to contributing to the continued growth and success of the PCO team. In her spare time she enjoys reading, eating local and organic food, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 213
Angela joined the PCO staff in February of 2016 as the Quality Systems and IT Manager. Prior to working at PCO Angela spent 21+ years working at a Contract Research Organization that supported analytical and specialty environmental services as well as bio-pharmaceutical drug development. She started out as a Laboratory Technician and moved on to specialize in Document Control, Process Improvement, and Quality Systems Management. In her spare time Angela enjoys reading, cooking and writing poetry.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 210
Garrick joined PCO as the Systems Administrator in April of 2015. A Penn State graduate, he has previously worked as an IT Generalist in both the healthcare and finance fields. More recently he has worked with the College of Agricultural Science at Penn State, assisting researchers and farm extension offices. Outside of PCO, Garrick is a local DJ and also volunteers for the Centre County Elections Board. He currently resides in Bellefonte with a very grumpy cat and spends his personal time reading, playing music, and auto-crossing.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 201
Sandy joined the PCO Team as Human Resource Manager in September 2016. Originally from Annapolis, Maryland, she lived and worked in Washington D.C and Philadelphia before moving to Central Pennsylvania. Sandy worked in the Natural & Organic Retail Industry for over twelve years before joining PCO, most recently as a Regional Trainer and Career Development Program Coordinator. She is passionate about organic food access and healthy eating education. In her free time, you can find Sandy in the kitchen perfecting her favorite recipes, practicing yoga, hanging out with her house rabbit Pancake, hiking, or out tending her garden.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 214
Vasilia Lopez, also known as Lia, has been involved with PCO since she was just 9 years-old, from helping stuff envelopes and pasting stickers for mailings to cleaning up roadsides during PCO’s Adopt-A-Highway. After graduating from State College Area High School she went on to complete a semester at Penn State and then moved to the DMV (Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia) area where she obtained all her qualifications to be an esthetician. Lia has been with PCO as the Administrative Staff Assistant since 2012. She enjoys the outdoors, crafting, gardening, and going on adventures with her husband and two children in her free time.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 217
Elizabeth started at PCO as the staff accountant in April 2014, and now leads the accounting team as Accounting Manager. As a licensed certified public accountant, Elizabeth is excited about her career in the organic industry (and leaving the public accounting sector). Originally from Clearfield, PA, Elizabeth ventured to the State College area where she attended the Pennsylvania State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She currently resides in Boalsburg with her husband Matt, their children Blake and Bridger, and dog Mayson. In her free time, Elizabeth adores spending time with family and friends, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 218
Shawnee joined the PCO Team as a Staff Accountant in November of 2016. Shawnee was born and raised in Pleasant Gap, PA, and currently resides in Clarence with her husband, Andy. Shawnee received her degree in Accounting from South Hills School of Business and Technology. Shawnee enjoys traveling the Caribbean with her husband, spending time with family and friends, riding her motorcycle, and going for walks in the mountain with her dogs, Nyla and Zara.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 216
Kyla Smith has worked with PCO since 2003 in many roles including Organic Inspector (for all scopes), Certification Specialist, Policy Director, and now as Certification Director. In her current role, Kyla assures that PCO and its mission, programs and services are consistently presented with transparency and integrity to relevant stakeholders in adherence with PCO’s strategic plan, as well as oversees the certification, inspection and material teams. She is a member of the Organic Plus Trust Grass-fed Organic Livestock Certification Steering Committee. Kyla received her Masters degree in Transformative Leadership and Social Change from the Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute) in Laurel, Maryland. She is also a Environmental Leadership Program Fellow and graduate of the Leadership Centre County progam. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, fishing, gardening, boating and most importantly spending time with her husband Ben and their two beautiful little girls, Stella Rae and Hazel Johna!!
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 261
Cathy joined PCO in 2016. As Certification Program Manager, she leads PCO’s certification review team and oversees PCO’s certification programs. During her tenure at PCO, she has also worked as a Certification Specialist for all scopes of organic certification and Certification Program Assistant Manager specializing in the handling scope. She previously worked as a Certification Specialist and Organic Inspector for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. Prior to working in certification, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Ohio University and an associate’s degree in Eco-Tourism and Adventure Travel from Hocking College. She has several years of experience working on organic produce farms and enjoys all things outdoors in her free time.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 263
Dara joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in June 2020. Dara is originally from Columbus, Ohio and grew up spending weekends on her dad's conventional farm where she learned about running tractors and growing quality forage crops. She earned a B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from Cornell University and after graduation spent 5 years working on a four-season organic vegetable farm just outside of her hometown. Dara and her husband Luke are dedicated members of their church community and enjoy spending time with friends and family, visiting national parks, and working in the garden.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 256
Gwen joined PCO in 2022. She
started working in organic agriculture in 2002 and has spent her career
intertwining organic production and natural resources with education. Prior to
PCO, Gwen spent six years working for the Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture,
most recently as the Organic Program Manager. She has also spent several years
working for the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), several seasons with
U.S. federal land management agencies doing conservation work, and a few years
leading international study abroad trips. Her great passions are backpacking,
cross-country skiing, organic gardening, and international travel where she has
been able to work and learn on a variety of organic farms on five separate
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 219
Craig joined PCO in January 2018 as a Certification Specialist. Prior to joining PCO, Craig was a farm inspector for PCO and Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. He is the 2017 recipient of the International Organic Inspectors Association Andrew Rutherford Scholarship. Originally from Indiana, Craig spent 12 years living in Asheville, North Carolina where he worked on a Boer goat farm and for Organic Pharmacy & Wild Earth Market. In 2011 Craig married and moved to Penns Valley, where he and his wife live with their two children and dog. In his free time he enjoys fly fishing, gardening, and spending time with his family.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 259
Heather joined PCO as the Certification Staff Assistant in 2007, and is now a Certification Specialist working primarily with transitioning farmers and first time applicants. Heather is originally from a New Jersey suburb and arrived in central Pennsylvania to attend Susquehanna University, graduating with a bachelors degree in Business Administration. She came to PCO while working for Sweet Meriam’s Farm CSA in Snyder County where she was a co-manager for 2 years. Heather continues to enjoy the country life in Mifflinburg, PA with her husband Jeremy, their 3 dogs, 1 cat and 2 horses. They raise chickens for meat and eggs, and keep a large garden, all managed organically of course!
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 262
Katie joined PCO in June 2020 as a Certification Specialist. She has a B.S. from Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences and M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College. Katie previously worked for Penn State Extension, specializing in both producer and consumer education within the mushroom farm community in southeastern Pennsylvania. Prior to joining PCO, Katie worked as a flock supervisor for a commercial turkey company and coordinated animal welfare and organic certifications for contract growers.
Katie is passionate about all things equestrian, gardening, cooking with her Italian American family, and traveling.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 264
Jordon joined PCO in June of 2021 as a Certification Specialist. Jordon was an Organic Certification Inspector for PCO, NOFA-NY, MOSA, and OEFFA before joining the PCO team. Residing in Starrucca, PA his entire life, Jordon has worked on his family’s dairy farm which has been certified organic since 2007. In his free time, Jordon enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, fishing and just being outdoors enjoying nature.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 265
Gabrielle joined PCO in June 2021. She grew up in Queens, NY and learned where her food came from through urban agriculture initiatives. Gabrielle studied Soil Science at University of Maryland and has an MS in Agriculture Education and Extension. She’s worked primarily with immigrant and refugee farming communities as well as beginning farmers in urban and periurban areas.
Gabrielle is a competitive whitewater paddler and enjoys spending time in her garden and fiber arts.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 266
Lou joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in July 2021. They previously
worked for three years as the Materials Specialist at the Ohio Ecological Food
and Farm Association. Lou currently lives in Athens, OH in an off-the-grid tiny
house with their two cats. When not working they enjoy tromping through the
wilderness of Appalachia, reading on the porch, and working on homestead
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 267
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 282
Alex joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in October 2021. Alex worked as an organic farm inspector traveling up and down the east coast since spring 2018. Prior to inspecting, Alex worked as a farm manager for an organic CSA produce and poultry operation in Northern VA.He has a B.A. in Finance and Marketing from Baldwin Wallace University. In his spare time, Alex enjoys soccer, camping, hiking, fly fishing, and exploring nature with friends and family.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 281
Abbey joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in October 2021. Abbey grew up in Michigan spending evenings, weekends and summers working on her dad's organic farm. She earned a Bachelor’s in Public Policy and Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan and a Master’s in Environmental and Geographical Sciences from the University of Cape Town. Abbey now lives with her partner, Moeti, and her cat, Moo, in South Florida and enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, hiking, and baking.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 283
Caitlan joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in October 2021. Caitlan grew up in Binghamton, NY and has also spent time living in New York City. She graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies and earned a MS in International Transportation Management from SUNY Maritime College. Prior to PCO, Caitlan has worked as a certification coordinator for NOFA-NY and in the international dry bulk shipping industry. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, fishing, bird watching and skiing.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 254
Hank joined PCO in April 2022 as a Certification Specialist. Prior to PCO, he worked as a Processing & Handling Certification Reviewer with another USDA-Accredited Certifying Agent. Before his time in organic certification, Hank worked as the Quality Manager for an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited food microbiology testing laboratory. Hank grew up in Miami, Florida & The Florida Keys. He is currently a part-time graduate student at Washington State University in the Food Science & Management and Molecular Biosciences master’s programs. Hank graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science with a concentration in Animal Biology. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, he was a member of the Honorary Fraternity of Alpha Zeta and an ambassador for the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences. Hank worked in two research laboratories at the University of Florida. He studied iron chelators in the treatment of iron overload diseases at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy Department of Medicinal Chemistry for five years. He researched treatments with the Glycogen Storage Disease Program at the University of Florida College of Medicine & College of Veterinary Medicine for two years.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 255
Hannah joined PCO as a Certification Specialist in April 2022. Originally from the suburbs of Milwaukee, WI, Hannah relocated to the Driftless Region of Wisconsin in 2018, where she currently resides. Before joining PCO, Hannah worked with Natures International Certification Services (NICS) as a Client Relationship Officer. When Hannah isn’t working, you can find her spending most of her time on the Mississippi River kayaking and fishing. On the off chance, she isn’t on the river, you can find Hannah reading her favorite book, tending to her plants (both indoor and outdoor), or enjoying the outdoors.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 268
Anna joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in September 2022. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Indiana University and a Masters in Food Studies with an emphasis in sustainable agriculture from Chatham University. Prior to joining PCO, Anna worked as a Certification Specialist at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, a Farm Director for a PK-12 school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a Research Assistant for the Center for Regional Agriculture, Food, and Transformation. In her free time, Anna enjoys spending time with her partner and loved ones, hiking, cooking, rock climbing, and cuddling with her three kitties.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 253
Corinne joined PCO in 2021. Originally from southern NJ, she now lives on a farm in Maine with her family where they produce organic seed from native and perennial plants. She holds a BFA from the University of Pennsylvania, and has worn may professional hats, including bicycle mechanic and organic inspector. Most recently, she worked in organic compliance and quality systems. In her free time, she enjoys camping, coffee, kayaking, and kestrels.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 285
Nathan joined PCO in 2022. He is originally from Central Washington, where he spent his summers working in various agriculture positions, including for crop consulting companies. He holds a B.A. and M.S. in Biology from Central Washington University. His Master Thesis was a collaborative research project, with USDA ARS, on the apple maggot. While working on his Master’s degree, he conducted research at a USDA lab on various tree fruit pest insects. He spent the last ~7 ½ years at the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. First working in the Division of Plant Industries, and was then the Organic Program Specialist since 2018, where he was involved with every facet of organic certification. He is an avid gardener, including seed saving, and always looks for odd fruits and vegetables to grow. He also enjoys hiking, playing piano, collecting insects, and spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 271
Lee joined PCO in 2022. She is originally from San Francisco, CA, but has lived in Alberta, Utah, Colorado, and Florida before settling in the beautiful state of Idaho as home. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies, and is currently pursuing a masters program in Environmental Science. She spent 8 years working for parks departments across the country and, prior to joining PCO, worked for the Idaho State Department of Agriculture in organic inspections and certification. She is curious and passionate about science and, in particular, where nature and agriculture meet - organics! In her free time, she enjoys a wide range of hobbies including gardening, fishkeeping, playing a wide array of instruments, and spending time with her husband, dog, cats, and ferret.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 284
Hector Nunez C. joined PCO
in 2021 as a Certification Specialist and then transitioned into the Materials Program Assistant Manager position in 2022. He is from Mexico where he studied a
Bachelor of Sciences in Agricultural business. Hector came to Pennsylvania to
study a dual degree at Juniata College but fell in love with the 4 seasons
of the woods of Pennsylvania and never left. He also met his wife who is an ESL
teacher. Hector worked at Penn State University as an Extension Educator with the mushroom
and orchard industry of the state who mainly employ Spanish speakers. He made a
transition to the mushroom industry where he held many roles as a Grower and
managed many projects. He has consulted many industries in the development of
business plans and truly enjoys assisting others. He also worked as a Food
Safety Director for Manfredi Cold Storage and International Repack processing
fruits and produce from 22 countries. He is currently aspiring to obtain a M.S.
in Sustainability and Renewable Energies at Penn State World Campus. During his
free time, he enjoys time outdoors, camping, videogames and working on his
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 252
April grew up in the small town of Emmaus, Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with an Environmental Studies degree in 2002, April spent the next few years apprenticing on diversified family farms in Vermont, Virginia, and Massachusetts, coming to love many facets of farming from maple sugaring and making herbal preparations to weeding long rows of veggies and collecting eggs. April is passionate about organic food and farming and is thankful for her small role in the movement from PCO staff member and organic CSA supporter to committed organic mama. April lives in Lehigh County with her two lovely daughters, Tessa and Althea. When April isn’t busy working for PCO, you may find her country-road bike riding, reading, or planting flowers!