About Mercaris

Our market data and auctions are helping to grow organic and non-GMO agriculture in the U.S.

The development of non-GMO and organic agriculture is at a critical point. While some resources are in place to educate consumers, address public policy, and support scientific research on sustainable agricultural crops, far less emphasis has been placed on the market infrastructure upon which participants, from producers to retailers, depend.

Mercaris was formed to address the lack of basic market data available to participants in the organic and non-GMO supply chain.

We provide up-to-date, accurate information on market conditions for organic and non-GMO commodities. Our trading platform allows buyers and sellers to meet on-line and trade physical commodities.

Mercaris products and services allow subscribers to:

  • Access an expanded pool of buyers and sellers

  • Apply data to business planning and strategic decision-making

  • Reduce transaction costs

  • Decrease financial risk

The Team

Mercaris team narrow In our office at 1871 (Chris, Micah, Todd and Kellee from left to right).

Kellee James, Founder & CEO

Prior to Mercaris, Kellee spent five years at the start-up company Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the first electronic trading platform and registry for spot, futures and options on carbon, sulfur, clean energy and other environmental derivatives. In 2009 she was appointed by President Barack Obama as a White House Fellow and was Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine ’40 under 40’ rising leader.

Previously, Kellee worked with commodity banks in Latin America on risk management and income diversification strategies. Kellee is an Aspen Institute Catto Environmental Fellow and has also served on the board of Net Impact, a membership organization of more than 12,000 MBA professionals committed to sustainability through corporate responsibility. Kellee received her MBA and MA in International Development from American University in Washington, D.C., and completed a BA in Spanish from the University of Kentucky.

Chris Duesing, Co-founder & CTO

Chris Duesing has 15 years of experience in software development with a specialization in high throughput, distributed applications in the financial and retail industries. Most recently Chris served as the Director of Application Development for the Chicago Climate Exchange, where he led the development of trading platforms, market data feeds, settlement calculation, clearing integration and marketing websites. Prior to this Chris worked at Sears corporate on projects including terabyte scale data reporting and distributed, streaming order processing.

Chris has spent the last 6 years focusing on entrepreneurship and developing new businesses. His company Exchangery took part in Excelerate Labs (now TechStars Chicago) 2011 class, before being acquired by Mercaris. Chris is active in the Chicago tech and entrepreneurship communities where he is an organizer of the Chicago Erlang Users group as well as a mentor for ScaleWell.

Todd Jones, Member Relations Associate

Todd is a modern day renaissance man. Since graduating from The University of Tennessee with a degree psychology, he’s been a pastry chef, a bicycle mechanic, and a serial entrepreneur. In 2008 he pedaled his way across the across the United States (from Chicago, to Boston, to LA!) and in 2011 he started a company that built digital tools for small farms. He’s the organizer behind Chicago’s Food & Tech meetup and his enthusiasm for agriculture is infectious. When he’s not talking to farmers or keeping up on industry news he’s training for next year’s Ironman in Madison, WI.

Lizzie Ekeberg, Director of Market Operations

Lizzie has nearly 10 years of experience as a commodity trader. She got her start in the industry working for Cargill as a soybean buyer, which included dealing with NGMO and other specialty grains, as well as working directly with farmers and grain elevators. Most recently she spent 5 years working for Miller Milling Company selling wheat flour to tortilla companies and bakeries, and also dealt with organic wheat and flour. In her spare time Lizzie is an active fitness buff and enjoys running, cycling, lifting weights, and yoga. Lizzie graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota in 2006 with dual degrees in International Studies/Economics and French.


Mercaris provides a subscription-based data service and cash market trading platform for agricultural commodities that are organic, non-GMO, or meet other sustainable certifications. Mercaris serves a variety of customers, including producers, processors, merchandisers, agribusiness firms and food retailers. We are passionate about sustainable agriculture, markets, and information and we’re looking for talented, fun, mission-oriented folks to join us.

To Apply:
For all listed positions, send resume and cover letter to: info@mercaris.com
All positions are located in Chicago, IL.

Current Positions

Summer Internship in Agricultural Economics + Agribusiness

Summer Internship in Marketing


c/o 1871
222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1212
Chicago, IL 60654


(312) 423-1875