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Our Team

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Steve is the founder of innov8.ag, a Walla Walla Washington-based agtech startup and Microsoft-partnered company. Prior to embarking on the startup, Steve spent 12 years at Microsoft where he most recently focused on Microsoft’s fastest growing product line, Azure Cloud. His leadership skills contributed to growing Azure from a $100M to a $10B+/year business over 6 years. After his time spent at the Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Steve decided to relocate his family of four to Walla Walla, Washington, in the summer of 2018. He envisions this location as the perfect base for ag startups given the convergence of progressive farmers and three colleges with strengths in agriculture, engineering, science, established ag manufacturers, strong connectivity providers, and a highly collaborative business climate.  An Australian by birth, Steve has his MBA from the University of Washington.

Steve Mantle

CEO & Founder of Innov8.ag

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Nick Croghan

Operations & Accounting

Nick leads our corporate and accounting operations. He joined our team in early 2022 as our bookkeeper, a role that grew quickly, and, in July he decided to join our team in a larger capacity. Nick has a diverse work history rooted in project management, communications and accounting. Joining our team was an easy choice. As a fellow entrepreneur he was familiar with the unique challenges that come with startups. When he's not developing new workflows, or focusing on keeping our team supported, you can find him managing the coworking space he owns (you guessed it, our Walla Walla HQ is there), and, on a day off he's outside, finding new trails, or in eastern Oregon with family. 

"Before innov8, I never thought my skills could find any practical use in the agricultural industry. After seeing what we're doing here, it's exciting to have the opportunity to contribute to a fundamental need like helping growers. Being a part of such a pivotal time in agriculture is exciting (okay and a bit nerve-wracking, but more exciting). Our team is passionate, driven, and doing their best to help our growers make sense of, find value in, and take action on data. Being a part of backing their immense knowledge, with data is really fun!" 

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Ania Webb

Geospatial Data Scientist

Ania Webb graduated from University of Southern California with a M.S. in Spatial Data Science and a B.S. in Environmental Science and Health. Ania's diverse experience includes research positions in a quantitative genetics and development laboratory, as well as a marine biodiversity laboratory at the Natural History Museum of LA.

 

Ania actively participated in various fieldwork initiatives for conservation and ecology, demonstrating her dedication to environmental preservation. Currently, Ania holds the position of Geospatial Data Scientist at Innov8 Ag, where she leverages her expertise to analyze and interpret geospatial data. Her contributions provide valuable insights that support innovative solutions for sustainable agriculture. Ania's passion for environmental issues is the driving force behind her commitment to creating a sustainable future. Outside of her professional pursuits, Ania enjoys skiing and is passionate about drawing and photography.

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At the beginning of the 2022 growing season John Hughes joined our team. His work throughout the season was dependable, on-time and adaptable. This lead to a promotion to Field Ops Lead in this season. He is now our primary point of contact for growers and field managers, keeping an evolving schedule supported with 

John is known for keeping our field teams on-time and efficient. As a part of that he often gets in the field with them to keep us on schedule for delivering our data to support time-sensitive growing decisions.  

John Hughes

Field Ops Lead

Our Advisory Board

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Bob Rupar
Retired VP  •  Nelson Irrigation

Bob brings to the table expertise in water and irrigation management from his career with one of the world's foremost irrigation manufacturers.

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Dave Brown
PhD, Director • Washington State
University AgWeatherNet

Dave is an Associate Professor of Soil Science and director of WSU's AgWeatherNet, a source of data and support tools for Washington State growers and policy-makers.

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Andrew Nelson
Farmer & Consultant • Nelson Wheat

Andrew has rich expertise in computer science and hands-on, long-term experience farming 9000 acres of dryland wheat.

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Erin Anders
PhD • Crop & Soil Science • Ecological Food & Farming Systems • Michigan State • Walla Walla Community College

Erin is lead instructor for the Agricultural Systems Bachelor's program at Walla Walla Community College.

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Douglas Granitz
CEO-Specialized Strategy Solutions LLC

Doug is bringing a global understanding of the downstream cultivation of the data we are providing. He will provide the needs, the regulations, and resources needed to sustain globally. 

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Jeff Tucker
CEO Tuctronics • Computer Science • Electrical Engineering
College of Agriculture WSU

Jeff grew up working on a wheat farms, and even studied at University of Idaho while working on potato tissue culture. He provided the first commercial tissue culture based potato seed in Northern Idaho. 

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Todd Tucker
Tuctronics since 2009 • Computer Science • CWU

Todd is a 4th-generation dryland wheat farmer with 17 years of experience in Eastern Washington. His passion includes working with growers and learning valuable techniques, while furthering research.  Mission: newest tech to ag market in shortest amount of time.

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Hermann G Thoennissen
HTG International, LLC Owner

Hermann has 35+ years of experience in various orchard management positions in WA State, 30+ years as the owner of HTG International LLC., 20+ years of experience in using aerial imagery in permanent crop production and also being an active team member of FarmCloud since 2012.

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Modhurima Amin
Ag Economist

Dr. Modhurima Dey Amin specializes in Applied Econometrics, Statistics, and Data Science. Her research program broadly focuses on food and agricultural markets, precision agriculture, energy, and industrial organization.

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Andrew Sundquist
President • Sundquist Fruit & Cold Storage

Andrew is the President of Sundquist Fruit & Cold Storage, Inc., a multigenerational grower of apples, pears, and cherries in Yakima, WA. 

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Caleb Pan
PhD, Data Scientist

Spokane resident that has a B.S. and M.S. in Geology and a PhD in Systems Ecology. With experience and skills in machine learning, remote sensing, and geospatial analysis.

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