Mark grew up in north central Iowa and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, receiving his B.A. in social and behavioral sciences. For many years, Mark worked in the biotech industry, but was always an entrepreneur at heart. He began investing in real estate in 1997 and quickly evolved into a real estate developer. Adding to his entrepreneurial portfolio, he also co-owns a beer company called Buck Creek Brewing, in which he developed his own signature beer, ‘Patti’s Ale.’ Beyond all of this, his heart has always truly been in agriculture.
The development of Buck Creek Hops was a natural choice. With his experience as a row-crop farmer, he knew the rich soil of Iowa would surely grow high quality hops plants. Mark and his wife, Lynette, have two children. Their close-knit family enjoys doing anything they can do together from working at the farm to family vacations, and the kids’ school activities.
It’s no wonder anyone working with Buck Creek Hops feels like family!
Christian grew up in small town Iowa, where he spent a lot of time on his grandparents’ farm. He swears he came into this world with a pint of IPA in his hand! It was early on that he developed an interest in the science of plants and their development. He attended Iowa State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in horticulture.
During his time at ISU he grew fond of all things hops… and let’s face it, beer! His interest took hold not only in the plants themselves, but yard design, plant development, and processing. As the on-site horticulturalist at Buck Creek Hops, Christian has quickly become a vital member or the team, as he possesses the extra boost of knowledge needed to increase production and create healthy, larger, more lupulin-dense hops. Christian has several hobbies including home-brewing, snowboarding, and reading. He loves using his knowledge of horticulture to grow the best hop product the midwest has to offer.
Erica grew up in a small rural town not far from Solon. She received her associates degree of applied sciences, becoming a registered veterinary technician, and worked in the veterinary industry for 8 years. She continued to have an interest in business management and operations. In 2013, she began working for a mechanical contractor which allowed her growth and development in division management, business operations, and accounting. In 2015, the opportunity to be a part of Buck Creek Hops was presented and she hasn’t looked back since! Erica enjoys the diversity and challenges of developing operations, protocols, and marketing tools for Buck Creek Hops, as well as being a contact point for growers, alliance members, and her fellow hops colleagues. Outside of work, Erica enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and doing just about anything that involves being outdoors – when the weather is warm!
Brian grew up on his family’s farm in eastern central Iowa. He graduated from Saint Ambrose University with degrees in business and economics. After retiring from 35 years of medical device sales in 2020 he decided to join the Buck Creek sales and logistics team.
He enjoys the camaraderie of the Buck Creek family and the opportunity to help grow it’s business. Brian, his wife Joan and their dog Penney currently reside in Iowa city. In his free time he enjoys hunting, golfing and playing racquetball.
Michelle grew up in Eastern Iowa. She received a degree in Communications and International Business from the University of Iowa. She joined the Buck Creek team in 2021 after spending 12 years as the director of client services in an entrepreneurial company. Michelle and her husband, Brett, have one son and enjoy spending time outdoors and traveling.
Food Scientist with over 35 years’ experience in product development and technical sales in the food industry. Homebrewer with interest in science of brewing as well as the historic and social story beer and other fermentable.
Based out of Eastern Nebraska.
Mercedez grew up in a small town in Illinois, right along the mighty Mississippi River. She attended Capri College where she received her license for Massage Therapy. Mercedez joined the Buck Creek team in March of 2022 after spending the last 6 years working as a director for a health and wellness Retreat, where she developed her passion for internal operations, business development and marketing. Outside of work, Mercedez enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book and traveling south to enjoy the warm sandy ocean.
Brent O’Rourke563-880-0511 Read Bio
Brent grew up on the river in Northeast Iowa. He received a bachelors degree in psychology from Coe College, followed by receiving his masters and Ed.S degrees from UNI. Brent joined Buck Creek in 2022 after spending 11 years working as a psychologist for an educational agency.
Brent and his wife Jillian built their home and moved to Solon in 2016. They have a young daughter and son. When he isn’t working or spending time with his family, You will most likely find him at Kinnick Stadium, Wrigley Field, or the golf course.
Aaron was born and raised in Keota, Iowa. He graduated from Mt. Mercy with a BS in Business. After leaving his career as a Pharmaceutical-Specialty Representative he joined the Buck Creek team as our Iowa Delivery Driver. Aaron enjoys archery, deer hunting, fishing, biking and tending to his farms.
Shawn is a native Iowan with family and agricultural roots in Dubuque, Iowa, and currently resides in Iowa City with his wife Kelli and daughter Zoe.
He joined Buck Creek Distributing, in early 2019, bringing with him 30 years of deep experience in food and beverage manufacturing, procurement and distribution. Prior to joining the Buck Creek Team, Shawn most recently led JM Swank,LLC, a national leader in Food Ingredient Distribution as its Chief Executive Officer, following senior leadership roles with ConAgra Brands, E&J Gallo Winery, and Sara Lee Branded Foods.
When he’s not enjoying his passion for the outdoors with his family, Shawn is also an engaged community leader and holds a diverse set of roles as the Executive Board Chair for the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, board member for Iowa City-based Table to Table, and as a member of the Johnson County Food Policy Commission. He has previously held board roles as a member of the American Dairy Product Institute’s Dry Products Marketing Board, and as a founding board member for the Hawkeye Endurance Athletics Triathlon Team.
Shawn holds degrees from two of Iowa’s regent universities …a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Logistics from Iowa State University and an MBA from the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management.
Dan & Chris Paca
Dan grew up on a farm in north central Iowa. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in agriculture. He has been an employee of the Kent Nutrition Group for 24 years, and is currently Vice President of Sales and Co-op of Deluxe Feeds. Production agriculture is a large part of dan’s life, making Buck Creek Hops an easy fit into his ever-busy life. Dan and his wife, Chris, have four children who all enjoy assisting at the Buck Creek Hops yard. Agriculture is in Dan’s blood and beer is usually in his belly!
Chad grew up in a rural town in northeast Iowa, working on farms since he was young. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in liberal arts, and is currently a Commercial Insurance Sales Producer at True North in Cedar Rapids. Chad and his wife, Jacqui have two children, and they all enjoy the outdoors and helping at the hops farm during planting and harvest season!