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 Underwood joined the PCO team as Director of Operations in Fall of 2012. She leads the Accounting, Human Resources, Quality, and IT teams and serves as a member of the PCO Leadership Team. Diana also serves as a board member on the Accredited Certifiers Association (ACA) Board. With more than15 years of business management experience and the last 10 years in organic certification, she is passionate about collaborating with teams to support mission driven work. In addition to leading business operations, Diana leads PCO’s commitment to DEI to support and advance just relationships to each other and our environment. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Management from North Carolina State University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading (can you join too many book clubs?), gardening and collecting houseplants, and enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their two dogs.
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. 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 Director. 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. 286
Sarah joined the PCO team as Certification Director in March 2023. She comes to PCO with two decades of experience in organic and a passion to build connection between people, our Earth, and even each other. Over the past 15 years she’s established her own certified organic farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley; developed Oregon Tilth’s education and advocacy into a nationally recognized program; launched DEI initiates and workshops to build awareness in the sector; and most recently served as Head of Stakeholder Strategy for Organically Grown Co, leading their social impact and sustainability efforts. She’s especially excited to join PCO’s leadership team during a time of unprecedented support for organic and hopes to further enhance certification services with education, continue JEDI integration, and infuse our work with joy and care. In her spare time she is restored and inspired by time spent in nature’s wild spaces, laughing with her kids, singing in community, or deep within a good novel. Ask her about her farm cat ‘problem’!
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 216
Kyla Smith has worked with PCO since 2003 in many roles including Organic Inspector, Certification Specialist, Policy Director, Certification Director, and now as Certification Policy Advisor. In her current role, Kyla is responsible for performing certification policy analysis and development, compliance, and program training. Kyla also serves as the certifier representative on the National Organic Standards Board. 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 an Environmental Leadership Program Fellow and graduate of the Leadership Centre County program. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 273
Maggie joined PCO in January of 2023 and comes with a diverse background in agriculture. She holds a B.S. in horticulture and M.S. in plant science both from the University of Connecticut. Prior to PCO she most recently held positions as operations manager at a certified organic greenhouse and in field vegetable production. Her experience has deep roots, beginning young with her first summer job working on an organic small fruit farm as a summer harvester and selling at farmers markets. Maggie’s love of botany and plant production extends to outreach work, and teaching college level organic agriculture courses. When not working Maggie can be found with her daughter, two dogs and partner outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 272
Tanay began working for PCO as an Organic Inspector in 2019 and joined the team as a Certification Specialist in January of 2023. Prior to joining PCO she worked for two years as a Certification Specialist with Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association. In her free time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, snowboarding, and showing her kids the wonders of nature.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 115
Heidi is originally from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota where she attended the University of Minnesota graduating with a degree in conservation biology. Since graduating, she has worked over 10 years for state and federal departments of agriculture protecting agriculture from invasive species. Heidi has also worked as a contract organic crop inspector covering the southeast. In her spare time, you can find her spending time with her son, hiking, swimming, and gardening.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 113
McLane joined the PCO team as a Certification Specialist in July 2023. She is originally from southern Ohio where she grew up on the small family farm. Prior to working for PCO McLane was a Certification Specialist at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and managed a CSA vegetable farm in Galena, Ohio for four years. McLane is often working in her own garden or in her art studio where she focuses on fiber arts.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 118
Brenda is originally from Bloomsburg, PA. She moved to upstate NY in 2018. Brenda has been a full time organic inspector since 2018. She and her husband own a certified organic produce and hay farm. In addition, they raise beef cattle and pigs on their 120 acre farm. Brenda enjoys evening UTV rides, kayaking and working in the garden.
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 117
Jenny has been an IOIA organic inspector since 2006, mainly working in the mid-Atlantic and mid-west areas. She has enjoyed working on projects such as OSP development and several ACA working groups. A native of northern Ohio, she attended The Ohio State University earning a BS in horticulture. Along with her husband Courtland she operates their certified organic farm- BlueLoon Farm-raising Jersey dairy cows, Tunis sheep and a variety of heritage breed chickens. Hobbies include chasing her sheep out of the herb garden and fixing fences as well as collecting rescue dogs.
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!
Phone: 814-422-0251, ext. 116
Leilani joined the PCO team as the TOPP Program Director in June,
2023. Leilani grew up on an organic farm in southwestern Wisconsin and
has over 18 years’ experience in biological and organic farming. She is
the former Vice President of Research and Development at Midwestern
BioAg where she developed and tested new fertilizers, conducted
consultant and farmer trainings on biological farming practices, and
consulted on soil health and fertility on organic and transitioning
farms. Leilani has authored numerous articles and co-wrote a biological
farming book together with her father, Gary Zimmer. Leilani has a
master’s degree in Plant Ecophysiology from the University of Hawaii at
Manoa, and started her career as a natural resources manager in Hawaii.
In her spare time, she enjoys cycling in the beautiful Wisconsin hills,
hiking with her family, and watching her children perform music.
Phone: (814) 422-0251, ext. 262
Katie joined PCO in June 2020 as a Certification Specialist. In July 2023, she joined the Transition to Organic Partnership Team (TOPP) as coordinator. Katie previously worked as an educator for Penn State Extension, specializing in both producer and consumer education within the mushroom farm community in southeastern Pennsylvania. She has experience in agricultural workforce development, working for the Chester County Economic Development Council in southeastern Pennsylvania. She has a B.S. from Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences and M.S. in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College. In addition to agriculture, Katie is passionate about all things equestrian and is an amateur dressage rider.