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WholeTrees® builds prosperous relationships with forests and communities

Mission:

Improve the economic viability amongst forests and woodland communities, while creating a restorative model for the commercial construction industry.

Vision:

Be the guiding brand in restorative commercial construction, a regenerative inspiration for the forest products industry and leading pioneers of woodland stewardship.

Do this in the following ways:

  • Translate for the building industry the brilliant structural capacity of unmilled trees via products, processes, technology and always unprecedented project management.
  • Sell to emerging commercial markets for cull-trees from well-managed forests, inspire the forest products industry to expand these markets and own the production processes and technologies to scale.

Team

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Staff

CEO/Co-Founder

Amelia Swan Baxter

Amelia Baxter co-founded Whole Trees with Roald Gundersen in 2007, as a response to the national attention received by Gundersen’s use of un-milled timber as a structural resource. Baxter leads her executive team toward both scale and innovation. Baxter has over a decade’s experience in market development, HR, and operations in numerous agricultural and land management projects. Throughout her career, Baxter has specialized in managing short and mid-term systems to reach long term goals, while attracting talented teams that build organizational capacity and successful momentum. She has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, speaks fluent 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.

VP of Operations

Derek Mayhew

Derek Mayhew joined Roald Gundersen Design in 2004 and has been with Whole Trees since its inception. He heads up operations and manufacturing for Whole Trees, as well as working closely with Gundersen in the management of the Driftless Farm forest land. He believes that this job is on the cutting edge of real meaningful changes in the way we manage and cohabitate with Earth’s forests. Derek finds that his work with trees has a way of seeping into all aspects of his life, but he also spends his time in parenting his six year old son and planning the design of his future brewery on the moon.

R+D Programs Manager

Michaela Harms

After completing a university work placement with WholeTrees in 2014, Michaela has returned to the team to manage WT’s research grants. She graduated from Metropolia UAS in Helsinki, Finland with her BSc in Civil Engineering focused on Sustainable Building Engineering. Her thesis on the potentiality of building-integrated photovoltaic energy for southern Finland received a Nordic GBC award for innovation. With her roots in natural building, Michaela hopes to continue the advancement of renewable structural design through research and development. She is an avid backwoods explorer, sauna advocate and team trivia connoisseur.

Lead Foreman

Robert Mini

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.

Lead Project Designer

Autumn Cartee

Autumn joined WholeTrees in 2018, bringing with her a background in Interior Design and Remodel Project Management. She earned her BFA in 2004 from Converse College, in SC and clings to her love of the mountains and the arts. She travels the world drawing inspiration from many destinations and is excited to combine all these loves and experiences, as a part of the WholeTrees family. When not drafting or organizing details, she can be found biking around town, sweating it out at Barre class, or hanging with her hound dog, “Bo”.

Digital Coordinator

Kyle Teal

Kyle Teal joined the WholeTrees team in 2018. His focus involves everything digital from BIM technologies to SEO. He started in videography, which opened the door to a career in all-things-tech. As an emerging professional he is constantly engaging in research and learning new trends to stay on the cutting edge of a quickly changing industry. When he isn’t processing 3D scans for WholeTrees you can find Kyle on his motorcycle, biking or working on his Tiny House.

Lead Carpenter

Owen Hoffman

Owen joined WholeTrees in August 2011 as an entry-level carpenter and quickly established himself as the critical conduit of communication and details.He has been a steady hand at the Giles Residence from before day one. Throughout his childhood, Owen grew up assisting his father in building multiple homes from the ground up. Working for WholeTrees, he finds timber framing and joinery his greatest areas of interest. After the many long days working on-site, Owen spends his free-time playing hockey in a men’s league and disc golf.

Carpenter

Jesse Pauls

Jesse joined the Whole Trees team in October 2016. He grew up in Muscoda where Whole Trees operates one of their kilns. His main focus is on supervising his team who processes whole trees for the company to implement in their many projects throughout the United States. Jesse‘s employment background includes apprentice toolmaker and custom woodworking. On his time away from his awesome job he can be found spending time with his four children and tinkering with Radio Control cars.

Collaborators

Aurimas Bukauskas

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.

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.

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.

Luella Schmidt

Luella is the founder and president of Fine Point Consulting. She supports WholeTrees’ growth with more than 15 years of financial and accounting management. She has extensive experience selecting, implementing, and customizing accounting software and systems. She has also assisted companies in raising venture capital, developed sophisticated budgeting and financial modeling tools, initiated and refinanced debt instruments, and performed due diligence for corporate acquisitions. Her professional experience spans a variety of industries including start-ups, professional service firms, energy, not-for-profit, biotechnology, and medical device companies.


Education

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Professional CEUs and Presentations

WholeTrees is certified to provide continuing education for AIA and GBCI professionals. Why Trees are Stronger than Wood is an intriguing presentation that will provide your team with a better understanding of round and mass timber in ancient and modern construction. 

At the end of this course:

  • Participants will be able to name 3 types of historic structures built using small diameter timber
  • Participants will be able to name a benefit to the forest ecosystems or regional economies of building with small diameter timbers or other mass timber technologies (CLT)
  • Participants will be able to name a performance benefit of using small diameter timber structural system in bending strength, fire rating, fire failure mode, and life cycle performance
  • Participants will be able to quote a new learning of building with small diameter timber found in destructive testing at the USDA Forest Products Lab

Would you like to learn more about specifying WholeTrees into your projects for upcoming clients? We would be happy to provide a lunch and learn for your staff. Contact us with your needs for an educational session in person or via webinar. 


Contact

Madison Headquarters:

800 Williamson St.
Madison, WI 53703
(Ph): 608-310-5282

Fabrication Facility:

e7802 Saugstad Road
Westby, WI 54667
(Ph): 608-769-8853

Inventory Operations:

21698 WI-60 Trunk
Muscoda, WI 53573

Please direct all e-mail inquiries to info@wholetrees.com

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