Our Story

Canopy was born out of Kansas State University’s Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation. In late 2015, an innovative data management system built at OEIE called PEARS was gaining national traction. Over the next several years, cooperative extension and nutrition education programs around the country adopted the system. Committed to continual improvement and serving these important community-based programs, the “PEARS team” slowly grew.

In 2021, we branched out from K-State, forming a new public benefit company called Canopy. Our mission is to serve social impact programs with our technical and evaluation skills. We are currently partnering with the USDA SNAP-Ed program to build a national reporting system. We also partner with Extension programs to provide a robust data management and evaluation tool.

Canopy team in front of Kansas State University sign

Our Core Values

We have six core values that serve as guiding principles for our team. We
believe strongly in service, to our clients, our community, and each other.
Honesty and humility underpin this service, and curiosity, grit, and innovation
drive us to continually improve our products and services.

  • Service

  • Humility

  • Honesty

  • Curiosity

  • Grit

  • Innovation

Meet the Team

Aaron Schroeder
Aaron SchroederPresident
Aaron has over 20 years of experience building data management and reporting tools. Although his favorite tree is a red oak, you might find him on the disc golf course trying desperately to avoid them.
Joel Wallace
Joel WallaceVice President & Director of Client Success
Joel leads our client success team and ensures our clients receive top-notch service. He uses trees to make delicious smoked meats, which the rest of our team loves to eat!
Brent O'Connor
Brent O'ConnorDirector of Engineering
Brent leads our engineering team and has over 20 years of experience in the technology industry. He loves trees found in the mountains the most, and trees in the form of paper the least.
Allison Teeter, Ph.D.
Allison Teeter, Ph.D.Director of Client Development
Allison has 10 years experience working with SNAP-Ed and Extension to improve evaluation and reporting practices. The weeping willow (not to be confused with the whomping willow) is her favorite tree.
John Keller
John KellerLead Product Manager
John has worked with software and data teams for over 24 years. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Canopy team. John has an appreciation for any tree that provides protection from the strong Kansas wind.
Bethany Garren
Bethany GarrenExecutive Assistant
Bethany assists with Canopy’s day-to-day operations. Her ideal summer afternoon would involve a hammock hung between two Cottonwood trees near a stream. Here she would read a book, listen to the trickling water and enjoy the Kansas breeze.
Levi Mann
Levi MannSoftware Engineer
Levi has over 7 years experience working with web applications. When he isn’t working with wood to renovate his home, you may find him hanging in a hammock between two trees enjoying some fresh air.
Derek Beins
Derek BeinsClient Success Specialist
Derek has been a member of the Client Success team since 2019. He is the voice behind and producer of our PEARS training videos. A lover of high fantasy fiction, he will do anything to get his hands on it; except climb a large tree due to a fear of heights. Also, Lord of the Rings is his favorite (of course).
Thomas Lazarus
Thomas LazarusData Analyst
Thomas graduated in December 2020. He started full-time as a software engineer before transitioning to the role of data analyst. In his free time you may find him taking a run with his dog or reading philosophy.
Jared Bothwell
Jared BothwellStudent Software Engineer
Jared has 1 year experience working on Canopy’s flagship product, PEARS. As the tallest member of our team, Jared might standout like a Redwood tree. Despite researching these trees for hours, we were unable to come up with any jokes about Jared’s height. You’d think everything we Redwood have helped.
Connor Knightley
Connor KnightleySenior Client Success Specialist
Connor has 8 years of experience working in the tech industry. He has traveled to over 20 countries. Being from the Pacific Northwest, the Douglas is the tree Connor will always pre-fir.
Joshua Weaver
Joshua WeaverSenior Software Engineer
Joshua has broad experience in both front end development and project management and he enjoys building applications that make people’s lives better. When he’s not working, he is outside, preferably rock climbing.
Weston Chan
Weston ChanJunior Software Engineer
Weston has been with the team for 3 years, starting as a student software engineer before joining the team full-time. When asked what his favorite tree is, Weston said “probably the Willow because that is the one I remember grinding the most in Runescape.”
Jake Hollenbeck
Jake HollenbeckClient Success Specialist
Jake has been in the tech industry for 11 years and has experience with military intel, IT hardware, PC repair, and now software. Jake grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and his favorite tree is the Ponderosa Pine. While some people may not prefer pine trees, others would say it is a matter of o-pine-yon.
Peyton Riley
Peyton RileyStudent Software Engineer
Peyton is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science and has been a member of the Canopy team for a little under 1 year. Prior to working as a student software engineer he worked as a videographer for K-State. Peyton enjoys playing and making video games in his free time.
Joshua Patterson
Joshua PattersonSoftware Engineer
Previously employed as a student software engineer, Joshua briefly worked for Cerner before returning to our team full-time in 2021. He enjoys playing video games, reading books, taking walks around his neighborhood, and is also learning to play electric bass in his spare time.
Madalyn Talmage
Madalyn TalmageSenior Client Success Specialist
Madalyn has 3 years of experience supporting SNAP-Ed and Extension in their use of PEARS. Her favorite houseplant is aloe vera. She identifies with its low-maintenance lifestyle and love of sunshine.
Victor Valdez-Herrera
Victor Valdez-HerreraJunior Front End Software Engineer
Victor has been working with the Canopy team since he was an undergraduate. He has 5 years of experience in the software industry. Victor’s favorite tree is the White Pine, which is scattered throughout the state of New Hampshire where he currently lives.