Vision: To Transform the carbon-emitting construction industry through the healing power of forests.
Mission: To Improve the economic viability amongst forests and woodland communities, while creating a restorative model for the commercial construction industry.
WholeTrees uses the inherent strength of Structural Round Timber (SRT) and millions of years of organic structural engineering to provide beautiful, affordable, sustainable, and durable biophilic structural systems that restore forests. Founded in 2007 on an off-grid forest farm in Southwest Wisconsin, the founding team brought CAD and BIM to the organic shapes of SRT, fabricated ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind structural systems across the country and launched sustainable forestry partnerships to become the National leader and unrivaled expert in engineering unmilled timber for commercial construction.
Now Headquartered in Madison, WI, with teams positioned coast to coast, the company serves as the singular hub between well-managed forests, biophilic architectural designs, cutting edge 3D scanning and inventory management tools, and solid structural timber products. Our nationwide network streamlines your process from sourcing to design, to engineering and fabrication. Whether you are inspired to incorporate whole trees at the start of your project or are seeking to integrate them within current structural systems, we have the products, partnerships, and technology to seamlessly support your vision.
Since its founding, WholeTrees, by its very nature, has brought sustainability and ethics to the built environment. Whole trees are a renewable resource that sequesters carbon, reduces waste, provides increased economic returns to carbon-smart forests, and supports the health and wellness of the community at large through the healing power of forests.
- Are produced by a Certified Women-Owned Enterprise & B-Corp
- Carry a Red List Free Declare Label from the International Living Future Institute
- Have established Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Values
- Qualify for up to 8 LEED v4 credits
- Can be FSC® certified
- Are listed in numerous healthy materials databases
- Sourced from partnerships with sustainable carbon-smart forests
Meet our mission-driven team with decades of experience in forests, architecture, engineering and project management.
Amelia Swan Baxter
Amelia Baxter believes that the 21st century built environment is filled with opportunities for trees. Baxter co-founded WholeTrees in 2007 to develop and sell products and technologies that would scale the use of waste-trees in commercial construction, increasing forest revenues, and offering green construction markets a new material for the 21st century. Amelia has led project teams in over $2M in USDA research grants working toward the commercialization of the tree’s natural engineering. By raising equity investment for her company, attracting national executive talent, and pinpointing nascent urban markets for trees as structure, Baxter has participated in the growth of a truly conscious and regenerative company.
She has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, speaks Spanish, and has worked internationally with thought leaders in the Responsible Business movement. When left to her own fancies, she can be found gardening, biking, and mushroom hunting.
Derek Mayhew has been with Whole Trees since its inception. He leads the Operations and Manufacturing teams for Whole Trees. Derek has over 18 years of experience in solid wood manufacturing and is a true leader in the field for sourcing through sustainable forestry channels. He believes that WholeTrees is on the cutting edge of real and meaningful change in the way we manage and cohabitate with forests. Outside of being in the forest as much as possible, he fills his cup by spending time with his children, playing banjo to the Sunrise, and planning the design of his future tea house on the Moon.
Paul is a proud UW-Platteville graduate where he received his degree in Civil Engineering with a structural emphasis. He worked as a consulting engineer for 5+ years before spending the next 20+ years in a multitude of roles in the commercial focused Engineered Wood Products manufacturing industry, most recently in the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)/Mass Timber space.
Paul has witnessed firsthand the evolution and renaissance of structural wood products used in commercial construction. The skeptics are becoming proponents and the oft misunderstood and under-utilized wood products are rightly becoming the “cool kids” of commercial construction, which is exciting to him…He truly can’t wait to see what the future brings!
Robert joined WholeTrees in March 2008 as an entry-level carpenter and has grown into a lead foreman and our go-to artisan craftsman with gusto. His attention to detail and ability to execute detailed projects in scales as small as serpentine wood benches to as large as entire commercial structures remains a huge asset to WholeTrees’ functionality. Rob has studied and built bamboo structures in Hawaii, bringing knowledge of re-purposing invasive wood species into viable round timber structural components. Elusive Works is Robert’s thriving art studio where he crafts wood-turned bowls and large-scale murals.
Raised in the rural outskirts of Boston, MA, Touson developed a passion for architecture and building at an early age and worked his high school summers immersed in landscape construction. In the early 90’s he studied Architecture at Syracuse University and Landscape Architecture at UMass, Amherst before landing in far Northern California for a 2 yr internship focused on sustainable design with an ecological architect.
After travelling in Hawaii, Belgium and New Zealand and meeting his wife (of now 27 yrs), Touson and Gitte settled in Crestone, CO, started a family, designed and built their adobe/ mass timber home with breathtaking views of the Sangre De Cristo mountains and San Luis Valley. Touson launched his custom home design practice in 1998 and has had extensive experience designing with natural & alternative materials, including rammed earth, strawbale, ICF’s, SIP’s, AAC and Mass Timber.
He’s excited now to be working with WholeTrees to connect with the larger world of architecture and to help foster biophilic design in commercial construction. His family of 7 have been living in the small town of Mt Shasta, CA since 2004 where, when not engaged in the studio, he enjoys hiking, mountain biking, skiing, gardening and enjoying deep conversations amongst friends.
Owen joined WholeTrees in 2011 and quickly established himself as the critical conduit of communication and details while he worked his way from laborer to lead carpenter. He stepped away from Whole Trees for a few years to build his own carpentry LLC and broaden his skillset. He came back in 2022 accepting the role of Shop Manager. His wife Megan and 3 sons inspire him to work hard and be the best he can be. In his free time, Owen enjoys going on adventures with his family and remodeling his home. He also enjoys woodworking, making furniture and creating wonders for his children.
Jeremy joined WholeTrees in January 2022 as an Architectural Sales Manager after relocating to Madison, Wisconsin. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he earned his Associate degrees in Business Administration and Architectural Technology before becoming a CAD draftsperson for 15 years. In 2011, Jeremy and family relocated to Lincoln, Nebraska gaining more experience in the construction industry as a project manager in steel fabrication, as an estimator in concrete and roofing, and as a field engineer with a general contractor. He has earned his bachelor’s and Master of Project Management degrees in 2020 and 2022. Jeremy is married to the love of his life, Stephanie. Together, they have one son at home – Gavin, and 2 dogs – Ender and Quigley. Jeremy has an adult son, Jackson, who lives in Kansas City, MO, and Stephanie also has an adult son, Brandon, who is married and lives in Austin, TX. In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys reading, gaming, paddleboarding, bicycling, and cooking.
Kara joins the WholeTrees team as is a talented professional with a background in environmental science, construction, and business management. She graduated with a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Minnesota and later earned an MBA from the University of Saint Francis Indiana, where she gained valuable skills in business strategy, finance, and project management.
Kara’s career in construction began in 2013 when she completed the Natural Building Certification program at the Endeavor Center in Ontario, Canada. She started in the field building with natural materials like straw bale and clay/straw construction and earthen plaster. Over the past decade, she has gained extensive experience holding various project management roles in high-end, high-performance home construction in Colorado and California and has been responsible for custom home projects exceeding $2M.
Recently, Kara returned to her home state of Wisconsin to work with WholeTrees as an architectural project manager. In this role, she is responsible for leading WholeTree projects, managing resources, and ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the highest standards of quality. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending her free time hiking, camping, skiing, and taking her dog Birdy on adventures.
Aaron Van Loo
Aaron Van Loo grew up in Eastern Ontario, Canada and now lives in Southwest Wisconsin, where his family tree holds deep roots. Aaron has been designing and building residential and commercial projects with a focus on sustainability for the past 25 years. Aaron is happy to work with WholeTrees Structures for the opportunity to continue his work in sustainable modes of construction and applying creative aesthetics that invite users to interact personally with the structures we provide.
Pete joined Whole Trees in September ’23, coming home to the midwest after a number of years living and working in the mountains of North Carolina. He has a background in forestry, and has spent most of his career working in residential construction. Pete is excited to move into the innovative and forward looking world of mass timber. He likes to spend his free time cooking, woodworking and spending time with his family.
I joined the Whole Trees team in March of 2019 when I set aside my passion of building structures made of rock and stone to pursue a desire to learn how to build with wood in a nonconventional way.
I have spent the better portion of 15 years building and creating structures in southeastern MN using locally sourced stone and rock , I am an artist at heart and loved the idea of joining a company and team that not only would allow me to build wild and whimsical creations out of entire trees, but still do it using locally and sustainably sourced materials.
Outside of the grind I enjoy music, nature, landscaping, designing and building structures that incorporate wood and stone concurrently, good old peace and quite, and of course building memories and moments in time with my wonderful wife and four children
Jon Started his carpentry journey in 1999. Over the last 20+ years he has honed his skills and made a very respectable name for himself in the driftless region. He has built dozens of high end homes and done countless remodels and additions. Whole Trees was lucky enough to cross paths with him in 2017 when he jumped in to assist with an install in Brookfield, WI at the Wilson Center For The Arts. Since then, Jon has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Whole Trees team working as a subcontractor until September 2023 when he accepted a full time position creating beautiful works and sharing his knowledge and expertise. Outside of the shop Jon loves working on his cabin, spending time with his wife Teresa, his adult children Sadie and Alex, his grandkids and his beloved dog Luna.
Augie grew up in the heart of the Kickapoo Valley in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. He started learning the craft of carpentry right out of high school and was mentored by some of the finest seasoned carpenters in the area. Augie started out with Whole Trees Structures as a subcontractor and then onboarded as a full-time employee 3 years ago. For years he has proved to be an asset to the company as a capable and dependable carpenter who can tackle any project presented to him. What truly distinguishes Augie is his problem-solving abilities. He approaches every challenge with a thoughtful and innovative mindset, finding creative solutions that surpass expectations. He is highly dependable and reliable, consistently delivering top-notch results within designated timelines In his free time, Augie enjoys outdoor activities and motor events of any kind. Much of his summer free time is spent with his fiance camping up North or cruising on their motorcycles through the scenic hills of the Kickapoo Valley. Augie is a proud father to two sons, a daughter, and two future stepdaughters
Belmont is a Wisconsin native from Kenosha, WI with a passion for all things gaming. Since moving to Madison, WI in 2005, Belmont has been astounded by the variety of innovative and unique businesses that call Madison their home, and WholeTress is no exception to that list. He joins the WholeTress team with an extensive background in event planning, marketing, administration, hospitality, and residential construction.
Outside of work, Belmont enjoys participating in board games, table top role playing games, Magic the Gathering, video games, and snuggling up with his two cats to read while listening to Broadway musicals.
Our expert collaborators manage forests, support research and development, and provide engineering guidance for WholeTrees Products and Services.
Jason is the Market Development Manager for Port Blakely, a family-owned timber company based in Seattle, Washington. In 2021, WholeTrees and Port Blakely launched a joint marketing initiative, whereby Port Blakely brings over 150 years of experience in sustainable management of forest resources to meet WholeTrees unique product offerings and skilled sales team for a first-of-its kind direct sourcing effort for structural round timber and sawn heavy timber in the Pacific Northwest. Jason graduated with a BS in Forest Management from Oregon State University, and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. A forester at heart, he is excited to take part in this initiative that brings together a passion for sustainable forest management and an interest in developing a healthy built environment for the future. Jason and his wife, Gesine, live in Lake Oswego, Oregon with their two young children.
Tom Gorman, Ph.D., P.E.
Tom Gorman is the Lead Scientist for WholeTrees R+D Grant Program. He is a vital resource and collaborator for our team as a pioneering expert in small-diameter utilization research. Gorman has been a staple at the University of Idaho since 1987. Prior to his work at the University, Tom was a Research Engineer at the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. While working on his college degrees he spent most summers working for the US Forest Service in the Bob Marshall Wilderness outside of Augusta, Montana and on the Kenai Peninsula near Seward, Alaska. He is a licensed professional engineer in Idaho, Montana, and Washington and a member of the Forest Products Society, the Society of Wood Science and Technology, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has served as a consultant and expert witness in the area of wood products evaluation and testing.
Russell Miller-Johnson, P.E.
Russ has become the go-to engineer for WholeTrees projects with his profound understanding of timber and interest in sustainable engineering design. Miller-Johnson, P.E., Team Leader and Senior Engineer at Engineering Ventures, PC, has over 28 years of progressive experience in the integrated business practice of structural engineering design, management, and leadership. His focus is on advancing sustainable structural engineering practices at multiple levels. He is currently an active member of ASCE SEI’s Sustainability Committee. He has presented at Structures Congress’ on both sustainability issues and case studies. He has led the structural engineering effort for several LEED certified projects; as well as developing his offices’ LCA procedures, green specifications, and detailing approaches.
Amie Sullivan, SE
Amie is the lead consulting engineer for WholeTrees’ continued research to optimize truss designs. Her structural engineering expertise mixed with her acute sense of design and understanding of mass timber markets has made her a valuable asset to the WholeTrees R+D team. She leads her team at KPFF Consulting Engineers toward improved small-diameter round timber truss designs to cater to the breadth of the commercial construction market safely, sustainably and beautifully. Amie completed her engineering degree at University of Washington and has been working as a structural engineer in the Pacific Northwest for 15+ years.
Auri is a PhD researcher at the University of Bath’s BRE Center for Innovative Construction Materials, in the United Kingdom. Auri completed his Bachelor’s degree in Building Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2015, where his thesis explored low-impact modular construction systems using small-diameter round timber. Auri’s PhD research focuses on new computational tools to help architects and engineers design structures using round timber and reused steel elements. In his spare time, Auri enjoys kayaking, sailing, and playing American and Irish fiddle.
Karin Petrin is the President and CEO of Karifin Partners, LLC. She holds multiple degrees in Accounting and Business Administration and has worked over 28-years in public and private sector management. She is a serial entrepreneur who has owned and operated several successful small businesses over the last two plus decades. Karin has led communities in her role as a town manager and supported leadership in her role as CFO. Her rich and well-rounded experiences, knowledge, passion to help people, and desire to make a difference has led her to support the success of small businesses starting and expanding across the US. Karin serves as a bridge partner connecting WholeTrees’ Wisconsin operations to their Maine ramp-up of a fabrication facility. She acts as liaison addressing local project needs, supporting the Interim Director of the OMTMaine Initiative, and administering the public dollars pledged to the efforts.
Join Our Team
WholeTrees Structures is a certified B Corp and WBE (Women-Owned Business Enterprise) headquartered in Madison, WI with colleagues located coast to coast. We integrate over two decades of custom architecture and construction with present-day material science research to innovate standardized round timber structural systems.
We foster a company culture based in the belief that excellence comes from a cocktail of inquiry, accountability, passion, authenticity, connection, laughter and self-reflection amongst our forests.
At WholeTrees, we embrace Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and are committed to building our growing team with a variety of backgrounds, skills and views. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. Our commitment to these values is unwavering across our work and hiring practices.
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