Nelson and Pade, Inc.® Management Team


Rebecca L Nelson Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Rebecca, a lifelong entrepreneur, is passionate about fresh, local food, good health and sustainable living and business practices. All of these things dovetail into the goals, vision and mission at Nelson and Pade, Inc., where Rebecca oversees the business operations, marketing and customer experience. With an emphasis on excellence and achievement, Rebecca provides guidance and leadership to the management team and employees and engages with customers at all levels.

Involved in sustainable agriculture for nearly 40 years, Rebecca embraces the science behind aquaponics and indoor farming to help people around the world grow fresh, nutritious fish and vegetables. Rebecca is the author of the first and primary book on aquaponics, Aquaponic Food Production, as well as school curriculums, videos, training manuals, operation manuals and many articles on aquaponics. She published and edited the Aquaponics Journal®, from 1997-2013 (62 issues).

Rebecca has created the curriculum for and co-teaches the Aquaponics Master Class®, which to date has had attendees from 110 countries, all 50 US states and 3 US territories. Rebecca is an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and she co-developed and co-teaches the first full semester University course on aquaponics.

She was recently inducted into the NZ4 Global Alliance and has previously served on the Boards of the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association and the Hydroponics Society of America. Rebecca served on the Certified Naturally Grown Aquaponics Advisory Council from 2014-2015 and was appointed to the WI Aquaculture Advisory Council in 2013. Rebecca has been an invited speaker at conferences and events around the world and is a featured authority on local and national radio, TV, magazine and newspaper coverage of aquaponics.

More about Rebecca Nelson

John Pade Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer

John Pade has been actively involved in soilless food production and controlled environment agriculture since the mid 1980’s, as a grower, builder, system developer, consultant and educator. John leads the research and development efforts at Nelson and Pade, Inc. ® and has designed the patented Clear Flow Aquaponics Systems® with ZDEP (Zero Discharge/Extra Production), which dramatically increase food production while decreasing waste. He shares his wealth of knowledge as an instructor in the Aquaponics Master Class® and works with our clients establishing commercial aquaponic farms.

John’s ongoing efforts continue to advance the technology and make the availability of fresh food a reality for people around the world. To date, Nelson and Pade, Inc.’s Clear Flow Aquaponics Systems® are used by individuals, entrepreneurs, schools and Universities in nearly 30 counties.

John is an Adjunct Instructor for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and he co-teaches the UWSP Introduction to Aquaponics course.

John’s upbringing on a dairy farm in Wisconsin contributed to his work-ethic, character and innate problem solving abilities.

More about John Pade

Erin Wickus Chief Procurement Officer

Erin Wickus oversees purchasing, inventory management, accounting and payroll. Erin’s well-rounded experience in purchasing and accounting make her the ideal person to fill this diverse and important roll. Erin’s responsibilities include sourcing, ordering and organizing all of the components needed for timely manufacturing of our Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems®. Erin also is directly involved in the finance and accounting for Nelson and Pade, Inc.®

Erin joined the Nelson and Pade Team in mid 2012. She is a graduate of UW-Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting.

Erin grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin and enjoys gardening and music. Erin has two teenage children.


Jannel Dunn Chief Operating Officer

Jannel Dunn oversees sales, company operations, events and training. She engages with customers at every level, sharing her extensive knowledge of aquaponics and the Nelson and Pade products, training and services. She provides guidance and oversight to our sales team, ensuring that our sales process results in a positive customer experience. Her excellent organizational skills benefits our customers, Team and company. She coordinates all team members and operations, to ensure fluid and productive efforts. Jannel also oversees the organization of our Aquaponics Master Classes® and other events.

Jannel studied at UW-Sevens Point and graduated with honors from Pasco Hernando Community College in Port St. Richey, FL.

Jannel joined the Nelson and Pade Team in early 2015.


Jacob ZuhlkeProduction Manager

Jacob is the Production Manager at Nelson and Pade, Inc., overseeing the manufacturing and assembly of Nelson and Pade’s aquaponic systems.  Jacob maintains the organization of the manufacturing process and warehouses and he works with the management team to ensure timely builds, customer satisfaction and inventory control.   

Jacob has been interested in aquaponics for many years.  He graduated from UW-Steven Point where he studied biology with minors in aquaculture and business.  While at UWSP, Jacob was a student in the Introduction to Aquaponics course.

Jacob is an avid aquarist and enjoys the engineering process in the design of aquatic systems.