Meet the Board

1 Agosta

Board Chair

William Agosta

Representative of Northwest Washington Counties: Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, Clallam, and Jefferson

Dr. William Agosta is a professional research scientist who retired in 1998 as Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry in The Rockefeller University in New York City. One of his research interests there was chemical ecology, which concerns chemical interaction among living organisms. The three books he has written for interested laymen on chemical ecology include discussion of plant-insect interactions, some information on invasive species, and general ecological considerations. 

He has lived on San Juan Island since retiring and has been active in community affairs, particularly affordable housing and weed control. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the San Juan Community Home Trust, a non-profit community land trust, for several years and its President for two years. He is also a member and past Chairman of the County Housing Bank Commission. He has been a member of the San Juan County Noxious Weed Control Board since 2003 and served as its Chairman for two years in the recent past. He was elected to the State Noxious Weed Control Board in January 2012.

Ken Bajema

Vice Chair

Ken Bajema 

Representative of Southwest Washington Counties: Grays Harbor, Mason, Thurston, Pierce, Lewis, Pacific, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Clark

Ken serves on the Skamania County Noxious Weed Control Board. Re-elected to the State Weed Board in 2018, Ken previously served on the State Weed Board from 2005 – 2011.

1 Janet

Board Secretary

Janet Spingath

Western Washington Public Interest Representative

Janet has a degree in Forest Resource Management from the University of Idaho and did her graduate work in Wetlands Ecology. She has since worked as a timber cruiser in Northwest Oregon, taught timber classes at a community college, and has completed a Master Watershed Steward course. A resident of Pierce County, she serves on the Chambers/Clover Creek Watershed Council and is continuing the systematic sampling of water quality in American Lake that her uncle started many years ago. Janet is interested in educating the public about watershed protection and health. And she is a noxious weed geek- yes, one of us, who points out noxious weeds to friends while hiking. 

1 Veleke

Dirk Veleke

Representative of Northeast Washington Counties: Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Lincoln, Grant, Kittitas, Chelan, and Douglas

Dirk Veleke grew up on a dairy and raspberry farm near Lynden, Washington and graduated from Washington State University in 1966. His noxious weed career began in 1989, when he served as the Supervisor for Kittitas County Weed District #5 in the Cle Elum area. In 1992, he became the first Coordinator for the Kittitas County Noxious Weed Control Board. In 2001 Dirk started his own vegetation management company, Cascade Weed Pest Management in Chelan County.
Dirk is active in his community having served as a past board member of the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, Trustee for the Lake Chelan Eagles, Member of the Chelan Lions Club, Director of the Chelan County Weed Board and Director of the Washington State Weed Association.

1 Hendrickson

Jerry Hendrickson

Representative of Southeast Washington counties: Adams, Whitman, Asotin, Garfield, Columbia, Walla Walla, Franklin, Benton, Klickitat, and Yakima

Jerry Hendrickson grew up on a cattle and wheat ranch in Asotin County in southeastern Washington. He fought weeds on the ranch mostly by summer-fallowing the land and some spraying. He become an educator and taught in Alaska for six years and then in Olympia for 25 years. He moved back to Asotin County in 1994 and joined the county noxious weed board twenty-one years ago. He was first elected to the state weed board in 2001.

Jerry has a home on the Snake River ten miles out of Asotin. He has pasture land and continually fights weeds in the Anatone and Pintler areas. With his work on the state and county conservation district boards and membership on the county and state noxious weed boards, he keeps abreast of the state's fight against invasive weeds in the area. 


Carey Caruso

Eastern Washington Public Interest Representative

Carey and her husband are beekeepers who operate a small farm in Pomeroy where they offer commercial pollination and swarm removal services, and they also produce honey-based products. Carey is committed to raising healthy hives and producing quality honey and understands the importance of noxious weed control.

1 White

Dr. Brad White

Washington Department of Agriculture 

Dr. Brad White is the Acting Assistant Director of the Plant Protection Division at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in silviculture and forest protection. Brad has worked in regulatory agriculture for over a decade. Along with representing WSDA on the State Noxious Weed Board, he also represents WSDA on the Washington Invasive Species Council and on the Hops Commission.

1 Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson, 

Clallam County Commissioner, Representative of Washington Association of Counties

1 Parsons

Jenifer Parsons

Scientific Advisor

Jenifer has a BS in biology from Boise State University and an MS in aquatic ecology from Western Washington University. She has worked as an aquatic plant specialist for the Washington Department of Ecology since 1994. Duties with that position include monitoring aquatic plant and weed populations in lakes and large rivers throughout the state and conducting research on the effectiveness of various aquatic weed control methods. Jenifer became a scientific advisor to the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board in 2012.

1 Steve Headshot

Dr. Steven Seefeldt

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Ian Burke

Scientific Advisor

Ian is a professor of Weed Science at Washington State University, where he researches the management of many weed species, and supervises many students. He completed his PhD at North Carolina State University, and completed Post-Doctoral work at USDA-ARS Stoneville.