FALL/ WINTER 2020
A biannual update for employees and friends of the Wright Service Corp. family of companies.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE
TABLE OF CONTENTS Wright Service Corp. Executive Excerpt Ownership Corner An Outside Perspective
Page 4 Page 4 Page 6 Page 8
Wright Tree Service Storm Response Across the Company Turning a Waste Source into a Resource Do you Really Know the Ropes?
Page 9 Page 9 Page 11 Page 13
Wright Tree Service of the West
Wright Tree Service of Canada & ArborCare
Wright Outdoor Solutions Perennial Perspective Our Partnership with Iowa Orchid Leadership Corner
Page 28 Page 29 Page 34 Page 38
CNUC Transmission from the Top Safety Education and Training Around the Grid
Page 40 Page 42 Page 44 Page 46
Terra Spectrum Technologies Growing, Changing, and Adapting Developer Download The New Normal
Page 50 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52
Sustainable Environmental Consultants The Pandemic of 2020 Welcome to the Team - Myla Meyer An Update on Bioreactors & Innovations in Water Quality
Page 53 Page 53 Page 55 Page 56
Spectrum Resource Group From the Heart: LEAD Program Experience From the Roots Up Safety Education and Training
Page 58 Page 58 Page 59 Page 61
Sprouts & Shouts
EXECUTIVE EXCERPT Loren Klein, Chief Information Officer It’s been a wild year for all of us, and the Information Technology (IT) department is rolling with it. A majority of the corporate office staff began to work remotely very quickly and our team adjusted to help those transitions go as smoothly as possible. On top of the changes made due to COVID-19 this year, we’ve restructured our growing department and have been working on major projects. Adjustments Due to COVID After the pandemic began, over 95% of Wright Service Corp. (WSC) employees were working remotely with minimal business impact within a few days. Much of this was attributed to aggressive efforts toward increasing WSC’s network and security posture as well as moving critical infrastructure to the cloud. This included the entire Office 365 suite netting big benefits to all employees, particularly document access via OneDrive, email via Outlook and Teams for virtual collaboration. The phone system was migrated to the cloud, allowing access via MiCollab. A strong backbone enabled access to eCMS, which was also moved to the cloud over the past year. We maintained our perfect record of not missing a billing or payroll cycle – a testament to everyone at WSC. Department Restructure With continued growth we have seen over the last few years, we have reorganized the IT department – specifically our infrastructure and help desk functions to provide increased customer service to our employees while ensuring a solid infrastructure to build upon. With that in mind, Sarah Leonardi was promoted to manager help desk which includes telephony, audio video, printing, device fulfillment and help desk phone support. James Taffae serves as the manager infrastructure and focuses solely on our infrastructure as this area continues to grow and requires additional attention. This includes all network hardware and software, system software, monitoring, network connectivity for the corporate office, all satellite offices across the United States and Canada, as well as future acquisitions. As we continue to expand and grow our family of companies, a looming issue that plagues companies big and small grows as well – the threat of cyberattacks and breaches of data. With safety being our number one value, we want to ensure our digital assets are secure. Taylor Erickson was promoted to a newly established role within the company, information security assurance analyst. Taylor has been building out
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE
and executing an aggressive two-year security roadmap to enhance our security posture. Project Management Office (PMO) Update The IT PMO kicked off the new fiscal year with several initiatives, including a couple that are continuing from last fiscal year. Workday Human Capital Management (HCM) was recently introduced as “HR at your fingertips.” Workday HCM is a cloud-based platform set to launch in February 2021 that moves the hiring practice from the field to online, digitizes the application process and allows employees access personal employment information. The Enterprise System Integration (ESI) program began in 2018 with the implementation of Gridline, a new global positioning system for our fleet. This year, we build on that service platform with Fleetio. It offers digitized forms for field use and a comprehensive maintenance scheduling and repairs program. And finally, we have a couple of small, short-term projects including off-site storage and the digitization of employee records, and just getting underway is a new accounting structure for expense distribution. Building Remodel The corporate office will have a refreshed security system covering all aspects of the campus with additional cameras scanning the café areas and the parking lot. Touchpad schedulers will be added outside of each conference room, making it simple to locate and book the right meeting space. New Wi-Fi systems with the latest WiFi16 standards will offer increased speed, reliability and coverage. Employees will be able to work virtually anywhere within the campus and take advantage of the new collaboration spaces such as the building connector and café. Prior to the demolition stage, storage for PC and mobile devices was very limited as was space to configure devices, and shipping and receiving. Upon completion of the remodel, we will have a dedicated IT storage and configuration room to house equipment and space for new PC and mobile device configuration. A larger server room will house all the core infrastructure, including new network cabling to all new work locations terminating at new Cisco infrastructure.
LEAD PROGRAM CLASS OF 2020 Congratulations to the following 20 employees who graduated from the Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) Program in June! This two-year company-sponsored program provides a comprehensive perspective of our family of companies, a platform for cross-company networking, and the tools to enhance leadership potential. They concluded their journey in the program with capstone presentations in front of management across our family of companies.
Philip Chen, Manager of Research and Development, Iowa Patrick Larsen, Regional Manager, Idaho
SPECTRUM RESOURCE GROUP INC. Mike Kozak, Division Manager, British Columbia Eric Nijboer, Division Manager, British Columbia Kyle Robillard, Division Manager, Alberta
SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS
Zack Rust, Biological Systems Engineer, Kansas
WRIGHT OUTDOOR SOLUTIONS Josh Appletoft, Arbor Supervisor, Iowa
WRIGHT SERVICE CORP.
Liz Mathers, Assistant Controller, Iowa Krystal Schoen-Helvey, HR Supervisor, Iowa
WRIGHT TREE SERVICE
Wesley Carter, Project Manager, Michigan Carlos Cisneros, Division Supervisor, California Romeo Correa, Project Manager, Texas Chad Fox, Division Supervisor, Michigan Chris Gaston, General Foreman, Pennsylvania Jeff Gilmore, Division Manager, Indiana Jack Hill, Project Manager, Oklahoma Curt Hirtzinger, Project Manager, Indiana Bryon Honea, Project Manager, Illinois Ron Horn, General Foreman, Illinois Jeremy Parish, Project Manager, Ohio
· To support and guide each of the Wright Service Corp. companies to achieve its individual mission. · To enable the growth and success of our family of companies as a whole and ensure attractive value appreciation to our employee owners. · To provide team members with an environment that enables them to achieve their personal and professional goals. · To make a positive difference in the communities we serve.
Values SAFETY It is everyone's responsibility – we each own it. INTEGRITY We abide by the highest ethical standards. EXCELLENCE We continually strive to exceed our customer's expectations – and our own expectations. TEAMWORK It is how we operate and we hold each other accountable. INNOVATION We anticipate our clients' needs and we deliver creative services & solutions. FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.
Vision · Leverage our core competencies to create new environmental product lines and services. · By 2024 traditional business lines will represent 50% of the company's gross profit margin while continuing to remain #2 in our core market segments. · Expand into new services and market segments that will align customer and environmental needs with our expertise and capabilities. · Grow our company in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. · Attract, retain and reward the highest quality talent in the industry.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 5
PERSPECTIVE New, On The Move & Certified Congratulations to the following WSC corporate office employees who were recently appointed and promoted!
NEW · Claire Augspurger, Human Resources (HR) Generalist · Kaitlin Bundt, HR Generalist · Benjamin Cook, Fleet Coordinator · Mubark Jedh, Information Security Intern · Amina Nuhanovic, Internal Accounting Manager
ON THE MOVE · Sarah Leonardi, Manager Help Desk · Mariana Rodriguez, Contract Administration Project Manager · Jenn Schenck, Staff Accountant
OWNERSHIP CORNER GUESS THE VALUE! It’s that time of year again – time to guess the value of WSC stock for the year ending September 30, 2020. Every year, the per-share value is announced in early December. The employee who guesses closest to the per-share value will win six times the new per-share price! Employees can submit your guess by clicking the button below. Your
guess must be received by December 1. The winner will be announced on December 4 via email. The winner will receive their prize in the form of a check. One entry per person, please. No one knows the value but Jon Hicks, chief financial officer, and he’s not talking (or eligible to guess)!
Guess the Value
EMPLOYEE OWNERSHIP COLORING CONTEST Meals From the Heartland Five members of our team took part in Meals from the Heartland’s Annual Hunger Fight on September 3. Wright Outdoor Solutions sponsored the threeweek event where volunteers packaged 7,128,000 meals!
In September, the Employee Ownership Committee announced the winner of the 3rd annual Employee Ownership Coloring Contest! Employees were encouraged to share the contest with someone close to them and have them draw a picture of him or her, their favorite employee, doing what they believe the employee does at work. Again, we want to thank everyone who had someone submit an entry. We had great participation and hope to continue increasing the participation in future years. This year’s winner was Keona Walker, daughter of CNUC Division 10 Regional Supervisor Todd Walker.
Payroll and Billing Supervisor Sarah McFadden, Graphic Designer Megan Taylor, Communications Administrative Assistant Shannon Bussone-Rue, Assistant Controller Liz Mathers and Fleet Admin Paige Henderson
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE
Here’s what Keona had to say about her submission, “My drawing shows my daddy inspecting the power lines. He makes sure the power lines don’t
start fires. My daddy is my favorite Wright employee!” Big congratulations to Keona who was the winner of the $100.00 gift card to Fandango! Notable mentions to Isaac Nofsinger, child of CNUC Division 20 Lead Consulting Utility Forester Jeremy Nofsinger, who won 2nd place and Ethon Herron, child of Wright Tree Service (WTS) Work Planner Kymberli Herron, who won 3rd place.
PERSPECTIVE EMPLOYEE OWNER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Congratulations to the 2020 WSC Employee Owner of the Year, WTS Division 25 Division Manager Ken Venzke.
In August, our biannual corporate teambuilding event looked a little different than usual. Instead of taking part in a number of planned activities, employees were encouraged to be active. For every 10 minutes an employee was active, up to 1 hour, WSC donated $5 to one of 6 charities they were able to choose from. We’re proud to support the health of our employees and give back to our community.
The award serves as recognition for an employee within the WSC family of companies who is an outstanding citizen, exhibits the characteristics of an employee owner and the values of our company, and makes contributions in the best interest of the company. The Employee Ownership Committee went through all of the nominations and selected five nominees to move forward through the judging process. A judging panel consisting of management across companies ultimately selected Ken to be named this year’s Employee Owner of the Year. A special note from the nominator: “I have never met someone so passionate about their career, who they work for, and who they work with. Every day, Ken is spreading excitement to everyone around him, all the way down to the newest employee.” Ken will receive: · An honorary framed certificate mailed upon time of announcement · A special invitation to the WSC Annual Awards Banquet with special recognition from Chairman and CEO Scott D. Packard and given a plaque and $500 check · Feature on the Wright Service Corp. website Nominations are open for the next Employee Owner of the Year. They will be accepted through September 15, 2021. For more information, visit wrightservicecorp.com/employee-owner-of-the-year.
TOP RANKED! WSC was recently named one of the largest employeeowned companies in the U.S. According to the National Center for Employee Ownership. WSC is the 24th largest majority employee owned company in the country.
Demo Day September 9 was Demo Day at the WSC corporate office! A few members of the leadership team commemorated the remodel of our international corporate headquarters by busting down some walls!
WSC is proud to be employee owned since 2002, and 100% employee owned since 2006.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Wright Service Corp.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 7
AN OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVE LEADERSHIP IN UNPRECEDENTED TIME Krystal Schoen-Helvey, HR Supervisor Leadership is a topic continuously at the forefront of an organization. People often question the characteristics of what makes a good leader. There are programs designed to help individuals build and develop their leadership skills. These programs are genuinely great resources, especially when leading under normal circumstances; however, these are not “normal” times. Leadership in the face of a pandemic has to navigate through a lot of fear and chaos far greater than in a traditional environment. This is a leadership opportunity – an opportunity to mitigate or exacerbate these fears depending upon their response. From my perspective as a human resources professional and a manager working directly with employees I have seen three major themes continue to emerge and reemerge as areas of opportunities for those in supervisory roles. 1. Communication and transparency The COVID-19 pandemic is a fast-moving, ever evolving situation. This type of uncertainty can easily become stressful. This makes communication and reassurance from their employers, especially from executive leadership, imperative. From my perspective, quality communication and transparency during such uncertainty is an absolute must; it can be a make or break moment for those in leadership roles. All too often we tend to see leaders brush off potentially negative information thinking they are protecting employees, but this tactic really creates more angst and questions. As a leader, it is often thought that you need to have all of the answers. However, this is not necessarily the case, especially when it comes to COVID-19 where information is changing rapidly. Being transparent with the information that is known and communicating often is what's important when it comes to navigating through a pandemic. Interestingly enough, when done right, communication and transparency can actually ease anxiety and fears, because the unknown is now not so uncertain (Argenti, 2020). When quality communication is provided it creates a caring and supportive environment that employees can stand behind. Ultimately, be honest and tell your employees what you do know, what you don’t know, what you are working on and what it means in terms of the vision (Argenti, 2020). Transparency will help to maintain credibility and keep morale positive (Agenti, 2020). 2. There will be missteps Not many of us have lived through a pandemic before, so understand that in a leadership role, there will be missteps and criticism as it relates to COVID-19. The most common criticisms
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE
This article was submitted in April 2020 as part of the LEAD Program capstone requirements to showcase professional growth during the program.
we have seen so far have stemmed from a failure to respond quickly enough, a lack of communication and transparency, and a failure of not having the right team in place to address all of the potential concerns of the pandemic. It has been in my experience that you often learn the most from mistakes and today’s climate would not be any different. Under the present circumstances, missteps are inevitable, especially since information and guidelines are ever changing. It is always important to take your time and think through situations as this allows for both time and clarity to set in. That being said, and with most things in life, it is more what you do after a misstep occurs that matters and will have a long-lasting impression. 3. Flexibility, recognizing the new normal and how it all translates into the workplace It is important for leaders to keep in mind that as the pandemic drags on, employees are being asked to continue to both manage and merge their work life and personal life responsibilities. For some, this may be a relatively seamless transition. However, for others, this may be difficult and present new challenges overnight. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) (Lee, 2020) research indicates that 7 in 10 employers are struggling to adapt to remote work and 83% of employers have made business practice adjustments as a result of COVID-19. This is all to real for many, myself included for many, myself included. Paper processes had to be adapted to a digital workaround nearly immediately in order to accommodate life in a pandemic. These new changes have created redundancies in work tasks and inefficiencies. On the other hand, for some it has done the opposite by improving processes and streamlining efficiencies. As a result of the pandemic, several area businesses have reevaluated having a physical space entirely because their work from home programs have been so successful. Whichever side you find yourself on, it is important for those in leadership roles to continue to work with employees and be flexible, recognizing their challenges, victories and sacrifices made along the way. While these are not new practices in leadership, they remain best practices and their importance has been magnified during this unprecedented time. The bottom line is that people are an organization's greatest asset. For those in leadership roles, try to put yourself in your employees’ shoes from time to time in order to keep a realistic perspective. Maintain open lines of communication and transparency to stay in tune with employees. If a mistake is made, and we all make them, address it, learn from it and move forward. My advice to successfully navigate these times is to stick to the basics and as always, continue to work with employees to determine a meaningful employment relationship.
family tree WRIGHT TREE SERVICE
Storm Response Across the Company 2020 is proving to be a record year for the frequency of extreme storms and natural disasters in North America. So far, over five million acres have burned in California, Washington and Oregon due to wildfires; 11 hurricanes have made landfall in the United States and a rare Derecho storm unexpectedly hit the Midwest. When disaster strikes, Wright Tree Service (WTS) personnel jump into action to clear the way for power lines. Each natural disaster has its own unique difficulties and ways to respond.
unforeseen wind storms require a quick and largely unplanned response effort. Response efforts like this emphasize the ability of an organization to quickly work together as a team and assess the needs and available resources. It requires year-round communication with our field personnel and customers to continually maintain an understanding of flexibility and preparation.
Joe Partridge, Division Manager
Greg Williams, Regional Manager On Monday, August 10, much of Iowa was impacted by a Derecho with wind speeds up to 120 mph. This caused widespread tree damage for hundreds of miles along and north of I-80. Within an hour of the event, we received calls to mobilize local and off system crews to respond to the major storm event still unfolding across the state. We were able to immediately mobilize 60 crew personnel toward the hardest hit locations to begin restoration efforts, as our management team began calling around to other utilities and divisions within WTS in the Midwest to assess available resources in close proximity to Iowa. Within 24 hours, we were able to secure resources from Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, and Minnesota and amassed a total of 325 crew personnel assisting in restoration at the height of the storm event. The crews working on this restoration event worked in extreme heat for 16 hours, a day, for up to 19 consecutive days before returning home to rest. Unlike other major storm events such as hurricanes, when you have days of warning leading up to the catastrophic event, these
It has been a busy year for hurricanes and tropical storms in the United States. WTS crews from across the country have helped respond to storms in the Southeast. So far this year, we have responded to five hurricanes and two tropical storms in the Southeast – and hurricane season isn’t over yet.
pay close attention to the storm in case it changes its path and we have to have our crews head in a new direction. To successfully respond to storms as an organization, we have to make sure our employees are prepared and able to work safely. Responding to storms is stressful; crews spend long periods of time away from their families and work long days. That’s why it’s important for each employee to be a Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper and look out for one another.
Frank Archuleta, Risk Project Manager In 2020, wildfires have ravaged millions of acres across the Western United States, including over four million acres in California alone. Hot, dry, windy conditions, ideal for wildfire ignition and spread came early to many areas this year and have persisted into the fall. During these times of extreme fire danger, it is important that managers and work crews have the training and tools necessary to work safely on emergency clean up and routine maintenance work.
Generally, hurricane season begins in early June and ends in late November. When a tropical storm or hurricane shows up on the radar, the utility company contacts us to begin preparing our response. Responding to tropical storms is different from other events because we normally have advance notice of when and where it’s likely to make landfall. However, Learn more about wildfires on page 23 even with the advanced notice, we have to move quickly to respond effectively. Our goal is to station ¿USTED PREFIERE LEER ESTA crews as close as safely REVISTA EN ESPAÑOL? possible to the storms anticipated path before Esta en nuestra página de internet! Escanee el the storm hits so we código QR con su teléfono inteligente o dirijase are there to begin a www.wrighttree.com/employee_resources y restoration efforts as haga clic en Newsletter. soon as it passes. We
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 9
family tree NEW, ON THE MOVE, CERTIFIED & RETIRED NEW
Central Division Operations Managers •Christopher Fjermestad •Blaine Flory Project Manager •Mark Flory Administrative Assistant •Joetta Sommer General Foremen (GF) •Rusty Ecord Foremen •Kyle Chapman •Brock Dakin •Mason Durkes •Robert Erickson •Jacob Jackson •Carson Jones North Division Foremen •David Evans •Larry Hartwick •Todd Smith •Tyler Stelbrink Division 25 Foremen •Timothy Earl Gilpin •Florentino Juarez •David Mathers •Jose Melendez Hernandez •Mitchell Moore •Ramon Ramos Enamorado •Yannier Reyes Suarez •Angel Rivera Benitez •Yusbel Torres Tamayo Pacific Division Administrative Assistant •Dana Nault GF •Jonathan Geyer •Daniel Whisler Foremen •Buck Adair •Forrest Boel •Michael Gurule •Austinn Howard
•Tony Linn •Tyson Malae •Roman Maldonado •Mark Manzanares Jr. •Sean Meeks •Kache Moosman •Derek Neil •Dustin Neil •John Parker •Lane Pell •James Penney •Robert Peterson •William Roberts •Frederick Underhill •Phil Western •Travis Willes •Matthew Williams •Cheyenne York Southeast Foremen •Cris Basilio Jr. •Aaron Briley •LB Brown •Ronnie Camel •Michael Ferrer-Pagan •David Jenkins •Julio Mejia Valencia •Ronald Osburn Jr. •Kenneth Owen •Luis Rivera Rodriguez •Andrew Roberts Riches Division 45 GF •Scott Carrick •David Gamble •Ryan Peck Foremen •John Ara Fitterling •Joseph Baker •Daniel Greene •Abran Herrera •Eli Mendez •Thomas Nieman •Dana Shanabarger Southwest Division Foremen •Filiberto Avila Jr. •Luis Garcia •Cristian Perez •Alejandro Sigala
Division 55 Work Planner •Brennon Ibert •Matthew Jones •Matthew Miller GF •Darrin Salvador Foreman •Leonard Adams •Jacob Constance •Jeremiah Contreras •Kendall Durham •Zephaniah Heath •Jose Ortiz Adorno •Ethan Owens •Roberto Pacheco •Orlando Pulido •Paul Putman •Charles Robinson •Nehemias Rodriguez Division 65 Foreman •Miguel Mayorga •Llan Moran Rivera •Jason Walbecq Division 80 Work Planner •Brian Dunlevy Safety Supervisor •Bob Bennett Corporate Office Payroll & Billing Specialists •Denise Morales •Abby Muller
ON THE MOVE Central Division Division Manager •Cory Edwards North Division GF •John Ditta Division 25 GF •Jon Hamm •Don Wolfe
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Mountain States Division GF •Andrew Partipilo
Division 80 GF •Ruben Gonzalez
Pacific Division Field & Administrative Supervisor •Carli Forsythe
Project Manager •William Tomlinson GF •Jon Geyer •Jim Herndon •Josh O’Connor Southest Division Project Manager •Jeff East GF •Kyle Driggers •Matthew Fearing •Horace Dean Shelton Division 45 GF •Jeremy Coomer •Ryan Peck •Jason Pierson •Andrez Rangel •Jorge Velez Southwest Division GF •Guillemo Martinez Ochoa Division 55 Project Manager •Markus Allison •Tyler Byington GF •Ryon Birtsch •Scott Moorshead •Jerry Stringfellow •Gary Thacker Division 65 Project Manager •Andrew Zeigler GF •Lisa Bagalay •Chris Fulk •Mike Soper
New International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist® North Division GF •Benjamin Smith •Derek Steinsiefer •Derek Walker Trimmers •Ryan Cheek •John Mose Division 35 Work Planner •Edward Woody Division 37 GF •Jackson Estes Trimmer •Jose Valdovinos Division 65 GF •Matthew Yats
•Mickey Carman •John Clayton •Dale Clink •Mariano Gonzalez •Gary Harris •Mark Jann •Kelly Pettijohn •Kirk Schuster •Todd Ziehm
FROM THE TREETOP
Turning a Waste Source into a Resource Shannon Lux, Sustainable Environmental Consultants Operations Manager and Greg Williams, WTS Regional Manager After a vegetation management service trims a tree, the trimmings can either be recycled or dumped in a landfill. There are various ways that wood chips can be given a second life. WTS donates wood chips for use in communities throughout the country, such as parks, trails or zoos, who use chips as animal bedding. When requested, WTS also gives wood chips to homeowners. However, organic landscaping is not the only option to salvage tree trimmings. A more environmentally sustainable way to recycle wood chips is by manufacturing Filtrexx® SiltSoxx™. WTS and Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC) partnered together to create a path for tree trimmings to be reused as SiltSoxx, an erosion control device, diverting organic matter from landfills which reduces those greenhouse gas emissions from being related into the atmosphere. What is SiltSoxx and why does it matter? SiltSoxx is generated from a tubular nylon casing containing wood chips used to filter water runoff and control erosion on construction sites and other disturbed areas. It’s used in locations where vegetation is ultimately going to be established. The wood chips in the SiltSoxx have the ability to chemically bind some of the invisible contaminants in water and slow the runoff to minimize soil disturbance as vegetation grows. Maintaining water and soil integrity around construction sites has farreaching impact on the environment. Construction sites have compliance regulations to minimize the environmental disturbance of projects and fines can be issued if sites are not maintained properly. Sedimentation of waterways is a large environmental
concern due to its impact on water quality and aquatic life locally and downstream. For example, the Gulf of Mexico’s hypoxic zone is a result of sedimentation and nutrient pollution from upstream urban and rural point and nonpoint source pollution. Although there are other erosion control products, SiltSoxx is the most environmentally sustainable option that outperforms all other devices, like silt fence, in keeping more sediment and contaminants from entering our water bodies. Silt fence is a petroleumbased plastic product instead of being generated from a majority of repurposed organic matter like SiltSoxx, is the complete opposite – It is an additional pollutant that ends its life in a landfill. According to a 2017 EPA report, almost 20% of landfill volume resulted from plastics, a figure that has been increasing greatly over the last few decades. One mile of silt fence is equivalent to generating 8,244 tons of CO2 equivalent in its lifetime, whereas one mile of 12inch SiltSoxx with filter media prevents 369 tons of CO2 equivalent.
» WTS will continue to be recognized by utilities as providers of the highest levels of quality, service, responsiveness, reliability and value.
OUR MISSION » To enable gas and electric utilities to provide
reliable service to their customers by ensuring that transmission and distribution lines are clear of vegetation.
» To provide attractive value appreciation to our employee owners.
» To provide team members with an environment
that enables them to achieve their personal and professional goals.
» To make a positive difference in the communities we serve.
OUR VALUES » SAFETY It is everyone’s responsibility – we each own it.
» INTEGRITY We abide by the highest ethical standards.
» QUALITY Our service is mission critical to our clients.
» TEAMWORK It is how we operate and we hold each other accountable.
» INNOVATION We anticipate our clients’ needs and we deliver creative services & solutions.
» FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.
SEC became a certified manufacturer of SiltSoxx in 2009. From 2016 to present day, SEC has manufactured about 26,000 cubic yards or 8,826 pallets of SiltSoxx, and their yearly average has steadily increased over the past 5 years. That is over 6,500 tons of organic matter or 1,733 chipper trucks full. WTS has established a goal to continue to repurpose organic matter waste. They’ve concentrated their efforts in areas where there are not opportunities to donate wood chips for organic landscaping, thus reducing the waste going to landfills. Both companies hope to Continued on page 12
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 11
continue growing this partnership for a sustainable future. Currently, WTS is doing land excavation for rights-of-way (ROW) in the Midwest. As crews pull out trees and prepare the way for utility poles, soil is loosened up. During this process, SiltSoxx are being installed along creek banks, waterways and anywhere poles may be set or there is major soil disturbance. In some cases, the SiltSoxx installed for ROW construction contain wood chips cut from the utility’s existing ROW. How is a SiltSoxx made? As part of the partnership between WTS and SEC, WTS chips the wood trimmed from trees on ROW to be the correct size for SiltSoxx. They then dump the chips at one of SEC’s SiltSoxx manufacturing sites, located in Topeka, Kansas, and Austin, Texas. The majority of the wood chips reused in SEC’s SiltSoxx come from trees WTS trims on ROW in a 25-30-mile radius around the manufacturing site. SEC inspects the chips to ensure they meet specifications and removes vines and larger materials. Once the wood chips are approved, they are placed into the SiltSoxx material. SEC
manufactures three different sizes of SiltSoxx; 8”x160’, 12”x100’ and 18”x50’. Once completed, they are placed on pallets to be shipped to the designated location for onsite install. SiltSoxx has a 2- to 5-year life span depending on site conditions and rain events. Once the site is stabilized, which is typically when 70% of vegetation is established, the contractor can cut the SiltSoxx open and spread the chips around the site to add organic matter to the soil. The remaining SiltSoxx material can then be disposed of. SiltSoxx creates less material to dispose of at the end of a project than other erosion control materials, such as silt fence, straw waddles or excelsior logs. In order for SEC to remain a Filtrexx certified manufacturer, they are annually required to submit a wood chip sample from each manufacturing location to Filtrexx, which tests for the following requirements: • PH level is between 5.0 and 8.0 • Less than 60% moisture content • 99% of particle sizes pass through a 2” sieve and a maximum of 60% pass through a 3/8” sieve • Inert or foreign man-made material is less than 1% by dry weight
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
The wood chips are also tested for any harmful pollutants, like fecal coliform. Pursuing the environmentally responsible ways of reusing and recycling brush, rather than just dumping brush in landfills, helps offset some of the pollution created by using vegetation management equipment, leading towards a smaller carbon footprint. Using SiltSoxx on construction sites, near waterways and around utility poles is one of the many ways the vegetation management industry can positively impact the environment. If you’re interested in learning more about SiltSoxx, visit sustainableenviro.com. References Cho, Renee. “What Happens to All That Plastic?” State of the Planet, 3 June 2019, blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2012/01/31/ what-happens-to-all-that-plastic LeBlanc, Rick. “Polypropylene Recycling - An Introduction.” The Balance Small Business, www.thebalancesmb.com/ an-overview-of-polypropylenerecycling-2877863
TRAINING TOOLS SPOTLIGHT
Do You Really Know the Ropes? By: Wes Tregilgas, Safety Manager
After leading multiple breakout sessions on rope inspection at Utility Arborist Association (UAA) Safety Summits, there were a few large industry knowledge gaps discovered that are critical and can be closed with training in the field. Rope is such a commonly used tool in our industry for so many applications. To know the exact outcome using it, one must first fully understand the type and characteristics of the rope they are going to use. I have asked the audience, “How do you know what day, before the day, your rope breaks?” Because that is the day the rope needs to be decommissioned, before unexpected failure. No one in the UAA Safety Summit sessions could really answer this although everyone had raised their hands to witnessing a rope breaking while in use. The rope manufacturer has a clear definition of when a rope should be retired based on inspection and known use. The problem with our industry is we do not track enough of the required rope use history to be able to effectively determine this much of the time even though the knowledge of what to visually inspect for is fairly common. When the UAA audience was asked what rope one is climbing on, the answer was often climbing rope. When they were asked what rope one uses for rigging, I was told a bull rope or rigging rope. Though these titles generally describe the use, it does not describe what the rope really is. So, when you are out in the field, ask what type of rope someone is climbing or rigging with, who makes it, what is the name of the rope, diameter, strength rating and percent of stretch?
If they can articulate to you these things, then the knowledge to put together a good plan, within the limitations of their rope tool, is off to a good start. Rope Name/Construction Type: If the name or type of rope construction being used is not identified, there is not a way to properly inspect it. Rope can have the strength portion on the outside fibers, inside fibers or a combination of both. Without knowing the name of the rope and construction there is no way to determine if the rope has truly been compromised in its strength visually and safe to use. Rope Characteristics: If we are setting up rigging in a tree, and cannot identify the type of rope and characteristics of the rope being used, then there isn’t any way to determine the manufacturer’s strength ratings, the working load limit, potential elongation in the rig and how it should be used. A rope will only go to the maximum breaking strength one time, so if we want to know whether or not we can predict an outcome using a rope, we have to know what the parameters are we must work within. Without a working load limit understood, there is no way to safely determine what size piece of wood should be cut or how much dynamic movement it can be allowed to have. Just because a rope does not break during use does not mean it has not been critically compromised or damaged. When a rope has taken on an unexpected load or force beyond the working load limits, it needs to be decommissioned regardless of what it looks like during visual inspection. The rope manufacturers define this
Congratulations to the following WTS employees who graduated from the Wright Service Corp. (WSC) Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) Program this past spring. This two-year company-sponsored program provides a comprehensive perspective of our family of companies, a platform for cross-company networking and the tools to enhance leadership potential.
Welsey Carter Project Manager
Romeo Correa Project Manager
Continued on page 14
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 13
family tree LET’S BEE FRIENDS North Division
Together with Ameren and a local beekeeper, WTS employees were able to safely relocate a hive of bees to a safe location. We commend everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to safety and the environment.
in their warnings with the ropes they sell. Once a rope has taken on forces outside of the working load limits, it no longer has the strength it was designed to operate in and begins to permanently weaken. This is described as “cycles to failure.” In the ANSI Z1332017 Standard it states that the recommended maximum load for rigging ropes is a factor of 5, or 20% of maximum breaking strength listed by the rope manufacturer. For life support and fall protection it is a factor of 1 or 10% of maximum breaking strength listed by the rope manufacturer. Listed below are three great resources at no cost I use for identifying types of rope and understanding more about rope inspection in the field: 1. Rope Guide Poster from Sherrilltree This full color electronic PDF or wall poster version shows all the different manufacturers’ rope products for both climbing and rigging with inspection and maintenance guide pictures. This is a great resource to matching a rope in the field with the name and manufacturer’s specifications. Contact a Sherrilltree customer service or sales representative to obtain one.
Pictured is GF Damon Muscarella. Not pictured from our crews are Safety Supervisor Chris Lorenz, Foreman Tyler Bechtold, Journeyman Jacob Hutchens and Trimmer Robert Noll.
own and see what is recommended and what should be looked for when inspecting rope while in the field. 3. Rope User’s Manual: A Guide to Rope Selection, Handling, Inspection and Retirement This is a comprehensive 56-page full color electronic book found on their website (www.samsonrope.com) under Resources Tab/Technical Documents/ General Resources. Join me in sharing this needed knowledge about the ropes our teams use in the field so their work plans are sound, within the parameters to operate safely and can provide predictable results!
2. Samson App for Rope Inspection and Retirement Criteria This is an iPhone/iPad only app located in the Apple store. This app is easy to use and shows pictures of rope conditions one can match up to their
SUBMIT A SAFETY SUGGESTION!
At WTS, safety is our number one value. If you have a safety suggestion, compliment, concern or general comment, we invite you to submit it to our safety suggestion box. Find it online at www.wrighttree. com, or use your smartphone to open the QR code on the left. The code will direct to the safety suggestion box, allowing you to submit your suggestion easily from your mobile device.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
CORPORATE DOT AUDIT AWARD
SUMMER SAFETY CHALLENGE
Through the Corporate Department of Transportation (DOT) Audit Program, Director of Risk Management Rocky Palmer recognizes employees that have successfully completed a random DOT audit on a WTS truck and have received written documentation from a DOT officer with branded duffle bags. Those deserving of the recognition since last fall include:
The world has changed dramatically in the last year – that’s why we decided to host a two-week 2020 Summer Safety Challenge focused on “What Changed for You?”. 532 employees participated in the challenge, sharing the many different ways COVID-19 has impacted them. “I have been following all the guidelines put forth by the CDC, Ameren, and Wright Tree Service. Masks have become an everyday way of life. It's become second nature to grab my mask and put it on before talking to customers during door knocks and putting it on as I climb into the truck to go to the next jobsite. If it's possible to social distance, then I keep at least 6 ft away from coworkers and wash my hands on a regular basis.” - Shaun Thompson, North Division “September 5th, was one of the most important days of my life: my wedding day! While it was a beautiful and happy day, it still was not all that we had imagined. Pictures most certainly look quite different than expected. My bridesmaids and I had to stagger our hair/makeup appointments and had to wear masks for the hour we were in salon chairs. Masks were also required at the church for our ceremony for all of our guests, the preacher, our bridal party, and even my father and I as he walked me down the aisle.” Nicole Barth, Corporate Office
NORTH DIVISION Project Manager • Bryon Honea DIVISION 25 Trimmer • Ryan Bortner “The precautions we have to take are for protecting ourselves, our families and our coworkers. We have learned how to battle COVID-19 by watching the safety orientation video and reading the regulations provided by the board of directors of WTS. Since the beginning of the pandemic hit, truck crews changed show up times to accommodate smaller employee gatherings. Job briefing and tailgate training have been handed over to a single person to disseminate the information.” - Rebecca Haught, Division 55
SOUTHEAST DIVISION Work Planners • Teddy Green • Holden Moore Foremen • Jeff Carlisle • Eddie Collins • Alekzander Echelle • Bill Gilbert Trimmer • Russell Morris SOUTHWEST DIVISION Trimmer • Charles Davidson DIVISION 55 Foreman • Edgar Rivera Aviles Trimmer • Jorge Serrano Melendez MINNKOTA DIVISION Foreman • Michael Nelson
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 15
family tree FEEDING THE ZOO North Division
WTS has partnered with Ameren to donate browse to the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, Illinois. The Mulberry browse, which includes vegetation such as twigs, leaves and young shoots that are a good source of substance for animals, is used to feed Mona-Sasha and Jack, the resident Bactrian Camels. Throughout the year, nearby crews have also delivered and donated truckloads of recycled mulch to the zoo to help cover paths for animal exhibits. A special thank you to crews in Illinois who help support their community zoos!
NEWS FROM THE BRANCHES CENTRAL DIVISION
Evergy "I wanted to recognize a great experience I had with a WTS crew. There was a hazardous tree removal that was in close proximity to intersecting three phase conductors. My team showed up to haul away the debris and caught the end of the job. They still had a large lead to remove over the wires and then get the 40â&#x20AC;? trunk down below the neutral. There was landscaping and a fence below it all. The crews were incredible. They all worked in tandem perfectly and the job was completed with precision. All pieces were controlled to the ground and placed in the clear. The level of safety and efficiency was very impressive. The homeowner was equally impressed. She was extremely worried about the hazard tree in her yard. She said the crews showed up, set up and explained the job to her. They were polite, articulate and very professional. She called them heroes. Job well done!" GF Tommy Pearson, and Foremen Oscar Lopez, Paul Reynolds and Austin Ogle "I would like to compliment the crew that trimmed back my pin oak which is scheduled for removal. It was an enormous job as is evidenced by the size of the piles of limbs in my yard. The crew was terrific and made certain I would be able to reach my flower beds and bird feeders. You are fortunate to have such competent, hardworking employees. Thank you so much." Foreman Josh Peterson and Trimmer Gurmaro Reyes "They were very pleasant and professional. They're all wonderful and did a fabulous job." Foreman Josh Peterson and Trimmer Gurmaro Reyes "The crew members on my property did a wonderful job and were very polite." Foreman Yoni Revera "The two employees working in my area did such a great job. They cleaned up all debris and were very courteous." Foreman James Emery and Groundman Zach Harrison
Foreman Robert Yette and Trimmer Jeremy Curry
"The crew was here to trim limbs and trees around utility lines. They did a good job with that, but I have two specific compliments. First, my fiber line loop came detached from the house when a branch fell and hit it. No damage to the line, but as soon as the branches above it were cleared, they came straight to the house and reattached everything, nice and tidy. Second, they were very thorough picking up limbs from my yard. I was impressed
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
they were picking up even very small ones." Several crew members "Two trimmers came to clear the power lines. They were quick and helpful in answering questions about the condition of my other trees. They had a good sense of humor as we talked trees." Several crew members "The crew that worked on my property did an awesome job!" Several crew members "The crew members trimmed and cleared trees very fast. They were very polite and respectful and even moved my trash container (it was trash day) up to my house! Very nice job!" Several crew members "We just want to highly commend the crew that came out to remove tree limbs hanging over the power lines in our backyard. We appreciated the skill level, respect and careful consideration for our property and that of our neighbors' property. They worked so hard in the heat and humidity in an efficient and methodical manner. Thank you to the whole team at WTS for helping us take care of this issue regarding the limbs and power lines. We were very pleased with the service." Several crew members Westar "Your crew did such a good job and made my tree look nice. They were very careful with my shrubs and items near the tree and did a good job cleaning up." Several crew members "The crew was amazing. They did a real good job and very safety cautious." Several crew members KCP&L "They were extremely nice, neat and helpful. I wanted to be sure to let you know what a great crew you have. We have been here for 28 years and have not always had the best experience when having our trees trimmed. We really appreciated the job they did." Several crew members MidAmerican Energy "Two WTS crews came to my house a couple weeks ago to clear the tree limbs out of power lines. Both crews were here together, and they did the most awesome job. I owned my own company for 33 years and had substantial crews working for me
family tree and I don't think any of them were ever better. In fact, after meeting your employees, I thought about trying to hire them and going back into business. But being retired, and knowing crews, they were as they come. Hats off to the crews! They were hard workers. Thank you." Foremen Jared Pickett and Yoni Rivera, and Trimmers Ezekiel Clardy, Mark Ponce and Ty Williams
"Not only did they have awesome services, but they went above and beyond. They came to our house to trim trees near the power lines. I asked them if they had time to cut down the trees. They called their boss and immediately got to work. They've been doing amazing work and I wanted to give them a 5/5-star rating." Foreman Tracy Bunton and Trimmer Curtis Thomas
"I had a very pleasant visit with Travis and Grant. they were very nice and considerate gentlemen. They were contacted to do some trimming on a tree at our neighborâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s house. She has been moved to a home, so no one is there. They wanted to make sure it was ok to do the work and to let someone know they were there. Kudos and great job!" Foreman Grant Bunce and Trimmer Travis Robinson
"I just wanted to say how professional your employees were that did preventative work on our street. They came to our door to let us know they would have our road closed off in case we needed to move our cars. They did a great job on our road of removing limbs and cleanup. Thank you so much." Foreman Jesse Graves and Trimmer Rob Noll
"The crew working for the power company did a great job for me. I was very happy with them!" Foreman Guerrero Moreno Jr. and Trimmer Mario Melgar
"Your employees did a wonderful job removing a large ash tree in my yard. They demonstrated safety and ethics throughout the job." Several crew members
"They were removing material around the support wires for the utility company. They did an excellent job on the whole job and we really appreciated it. The cleanup was great." Several crew members
Ameren "I wanted to compliment how pleasant your employees were and what a great job they did. The cleanup was fantastic. Your workers are just really impressive. Everything they told me they were going to do along my property, they did. It looks great. Good job! Thank you very much." Foremen Andrew Siemsen and Greg Watts, and Trimmers Cole Lancaster, Jon Langellier, Scott Reel and Preston White
"Thank you to the crew. They did an excellent job." GF Jorge Velez, and Trimmers Steven Murray, Jacob Warren and Ashton Woods "I just wanted to let you know how impressed we were today with two of your manual crew members; Zack and Frankie. They were working on a large hazard removal and we were there to observe them setting it up with a fiddle block and taking it all the way down. I was really impressed with how Frankie ran the process, but both he and Zack were explaining to the other crew members what they were doing and why. This was a great example of Foremen being Foremen. I really appreciate the attention they gave to the entire process. Great job by WTS!" GF Brian Emert, and Foremen Frankie Elledge and Zach Elledge "We had a branch that had broken off during a recent storm and it had fallen on the service line and was dangling above our pool. The crews that came out from WTS were very professional and did a fantastic job getting this branch down. Had this branch fallen, it would have ruined our pool.
Because of the fast response time from WTS, we will be able to enjoy the pool without having to worry about a huge branch falling on us." Trimmers Beau Bragg, Terry Richards & Nick Steinseifer "Thank for the good work completed by WTS as they took down several extremely tall pine trees close to power lines in my back yard. Thatcher, foreman, Josh and Jeremy, high climbers, Shane and Jeremy all worked hard to complete the job. They were polite, skilled and brave. Thank you!" Trimmers Jeremy Curry, Shane Edwards, Jeremy Nailer, Thatcher Rodmaker and Josh Wewer "The crew from WTS, Russ and John, did a wonderful job. I spoke with them prior to the start of their trimming. We talked about how the tree could be trimmed to both accomplish the results needed and still leave the tree aesthetically pleasing. Then they checked with me afterwards to be sure I was pleased with how it looked. I really appreciated that!" Foreman Russell Cooke and Trimmer John Vanderfeltz "I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be happier with my service from WTS! The employees were very professional. They worked safely and hard in a timely manner. Thank you." GF Damon Muscarella, Foremen Tyler Bechtold and Devin Muscarella, and Trimmer Josh Halley City Water, Light & Power (Springfield, Illinois) "The crew that the city hired to trim trees in the alley behind my house were professional, thorough and hard working. Nice job." Trimmer Jake Brandon
AEP "Irving and Patrick were very polite and did a great job on my property. Thank you." Foreman Patrick Hutchinson & Trimmer Irving Ramos
KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON North Division
A job well done by a crew in Illinois who helped ensure the power stayed on in an assisted living facility by safely removing a high-risk tree with codominant stems. Codominant stems with included bark (trees that have two or more branches emerging from the same area of the tree trunk) have a high potential for risk. When there are signs of the trunk splitting, as with this Pin Oak (Quercus palustris), failure is imminent. Left to right: Foremen Thatcher Rodmaker and Dylan Trudeau with Journeyman Jeremy Nailer Not pictured: Foreman Robert Yette, Trimmer Jeremy Curry, and Journeyman Cody Danison
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 17
family tree BROTHER’S AND SISTER’S KEEPER North Division
On July 14, Acting Foreman Jeremy Curry and Trimmer Cole Kidwell were finishing cleaning up when Jeremy heard a woman faintly yelling for help. They followed the sound and located an elderly woman that had fallen and was unable to get up. When the woman fell, she hurt her arm and one of her legs. Jeremy and Cole were able to get the injured lady to her feet and helped her to her door. She told them she was on the ground for about 15 minutes before they found her. She did not want medical attention. Towards the end of the day, they returned to check on her. She thanked them for helping her and said he was bruised but okay. Good job being Brother’s and Sister’s Keepers, Jeremy and Cole!
"AEP sent a team from your company to take down a tree that was damaged from a storm that was compromised. From the onset these guys were extremely courteous, efficient and definitely knew what they were doing! The team that did the work on my property gets five stars! Thanks guys; great job." Foremen Christian Camacho, and Trimmers Jonathan Ayes, Omar Cabrera, Elliot Castro, Luis Lugo, Manuelh Martinez and Jonathan Perla FirstEnergy "I had to write to express how incredibly impressed I am with the team who removed one tree and trimmed others on my property for the electric company. Top notch! They were polite, personable, professional and proficient. Thanks to everyone on the team." Foreman Troy Winkler, and Trimmers Jason Self and Brandon Snyder "We were in a funeral procession and when we drove by the WTS crew stopped working and stood with their hats off and heads bowed. What a very nice gesture to the families that are grieving and see this!" Several crew members
"Your employees have been exceptionally courteous, polite and accommodating. They are hard workers, true professionals and you should be proud to have them employed in your business." Several crew members PPL Electric Utilities "The crew that came out to my house to trim my tree back from the power lines were incredibly professional and did an amazing job. I had the opportunity to speak to the crew leader briefly and he was awesome. In the high temperatures we are currently experiencing (80 degrees by 9 a.m.), I am incredibly thankful for the work that they performed and the professionalism that they exhibited. Your company is very fortunate if all your crews are like this, and kudos to you for hiring folks like this to represent you in the field!" Several crew members
MOUNTAIN STATES DIVISION
Black Hills Energy "I had a great experience with James and the crew removing my trees. They had a big job to do and went above and beyond getting it done. They were very polite and kind, which is a big plus. I had a big branch hanging over my mobile home power line that they trimmed back as well before it broke and caused damage. I would recommend them any day for their services. A big thank you again for the outstanding job." GF James Linenberger, Foremen Chris Keller and Scott Page, and Trimmers George Hebert, Nathaniel Snell, Dan Tittl and Jeramy Woodson "The crew was extremely friendly and helpful. What a credit to your company. They did a tremendous job of cutting the stumps close to the ground and cleaned up the area around the stumps. It was as if they vacuumed the area, as there were no chips or branches to be seen. What a professional job. We are so happy with the quality of your personnel and crews. What a credit to your company." Several crew members "Charlie and Jake did such an amazing job! They were so friendly and quick and cleaned up very well!"
Several crew members "We again had a great relationship with some of your employees. A crew came and removed a tree that had been trimmed in the past and was in the ROW. They were an amazing crew, hardworking, focused, informative, extremely polite and very professional. They were cautious of the power lines and the house, which we appreciated. What an asset to your company. Once again, they did an amazing job of cleaning up the area." Several crew members
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
"Your employees working in my neighborhood were excellent at their job and showed nothing but respect and concern to the owners. We could tell their hearts are into their work. They are doing a great justice for your company." Several crew members Xcel Energy "The crew did a stellar job. Tree looks great. Thank you." GF Jaime Flores, Foreman Walter Robles, and Trimmer Jose Alvarenga
Pacific Power "Your employees came out to trim and cut down two of our trees. They were very professional, fast and good." Foreman Jarron Ellis and several crew members "The young men that worked on my property today did a great job! They did over and above their specific job and it was very much appreciated!" Several crew members Portland General Electric The crew was very courteous and helpful in allowing school buses to get around them on a narrow road, for the purpose of delivering meals to students at home. Foreman Johnny Mankins and Trimmer Jacob Wassom "My four-year-old autistic granddaughter was visiting at my home. She has severe sensory issues with regard to mechanical sounds among other things. I was concerned because your guys were getting closer to my house and l knew it would affect her in a bad meltdown. I informed one of the guys about my problem. My granddaughter was going to go home in a couple of hours and they, without hesitation, pulled up and started working down the road and told me that they would come back after my granddaughter was gone. I just wanted to thank them and let them know how much it meant to me. To some autistic children, some sounds are quite painful." Foreman Kevin Becker, Trimmer Zack Shroyer, and Groundman Megan Barnhiser and Jesse Tyson "I wanted to give a shout out to the crew who worked on my tree and my neighbor's tree. They were very informative, polite, hardworking and did a great job cleaning up after themselves! You can tell that they take pride in what they do!" Several crew members Rocky Mountain Power "We had a crew come to perform the task of trimming trees near power lines. We were impressed with the foreman, Mr. Chase
family tree Larsen. Not only was he and the crew very professional, but they went the extra mile to explain what would be done to our cherry tree and that actually, trimming it would help the growth of the tree. The tree survived their work and won't be threat to the power lines. Thank you for the service you provide and for hiring such industrious personnel." Foreman Chase Larsen and several crew members "The gentlemen who came to our house to clean up the trees around our power lines were not only professional, they were kind and a pleasure to talk to. They left our patio and carport cleaner than when they arrived. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m grateful for the men who worked so hard to make our backyard a safer place to be. Thank you!" Several crew members "A crew came to our property to remove a tree that had interfered with power lines. They were very professional and did a great job. The area was totally cleaned up when they were through, and they left a pile of fireplace size logs neatly stacked. Their work was impeccable, and I would like to commend them on a job well done." Several crew members "The crew who came to trim my trees did the best job I have seen in over 30 years living here. The trim job was beautiful, they didn't leave a single leaf to clean up and they were pleasant and professional. Thank you." Several crew members Tacoma Power "Chad and his crew were courteous, timely and well-organized professionals. Thank you." Foreman Chad Parker and Trimmers Robert McLaughlin and Ken Mills
CDE Electric Company "The crew that worked in my yard were such professional, hard workers. My yard had vines that were taking over the yard and they cut them all down so much cleaner excellent. Thank you." Foreman Franklin Rellias, and Trimmers Ronnie Hogue and David Trotter Gulf Power "The crew that trimmed the tree in my yard was great, very professional very polite and worked awesome together to get the job done right. Thanks for a great job!" Work Planner Holden Moore, Foremen Alekzandr Echelle, Marcus Hires, James Kohls, Derek Long and Russell Morris Jr., Trimmer Russell Morris Sr., and Groundman Aaron Watkins Kentucky Utilities "Your crews did a good job and were very polite when I asked them about their
work. They did a good job on the tree they trimmed near our house." Foreman Edison Caraballo, and Trimmers Luis Guillermo Rivas and Kenneth Igor Lopez LG&E "Mark Williams came expediently to fix our fence and was polite, helpful and did a great job. Thanks, Mark!" GF Mark Williams
AEP "I wanted to let you know how wonderful your crews were. They did wonderful job, were polite and cleaned up." GF Ryan Peck, Foreman Anthony Dykema and Trimmer Darian Brown "The crew that removed trees in my yard had added two trees to the job at the last minute that were not documented. Sam removed those stumps as well and did an excellent job. He was professional and efficient! Thanks." Foreman Sam Rizzo and several crew members "Four employees came up to my house this morning to take down a tree that was marked by the electric company. These guys did a great job taking things down. It was great to see the communication they had with each other to be safe. They cleaned everything up very well and we appreciate that. Thank you for a great awesome job." Foremen Zachary Brown and William Reynolds, and Trimmers Travis Dekine and Richard McIntyre "One of your crews spent several days on my property trimming many trees around our power lines. I wanted to compliment Ryan and his crew on their helpfulness, friendliness, hard work, courtesy, professionalism, advice and cooperation. They work awfully hard, often in heat and extreme conditions, and they are truly a credit to your organization. Thank you!" GF Ryan Peck and several crew members "Your crew was fantastic. They cut and trimmed carefully, and never hit our fence. One large dying tree next to the fence was particularly difficult to remove. One trimmer climbed 60â&#x20AC;&#x2122; or higher to cut it down from the top, section by section." Several crew members Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) "I have lived in my house for 46 years and have had a lot of trimming done at my house that borders railroad property. I must say I was impressed with the quality of work done by the WTS crew. The day they were to arrive I had member of the crew, Eduardo, come to the door saying they would be at my residence that day. What a pleasant young man Eduardo was to have that easy conversation with. It was
a 90-degree day and having worked outside during the summer myself during my college years, I knew how stifling the weather was. I took out some water for them and they were so appreciative. After they left my area, Eduardo rang my bell again and thanked me for the water. We talked a little more and he was so happy to have this job and the benefits that your company offers. Thank you for treating your employees so well and great job from Hector's crew. I hope all of your crews are as professional and pleasant as this one was for me." GF Hector Vazquez and several crew members "The crew that came were very careful putting their truck in our backyard. They explained what they were doing, communicated with the IPL crew on site and then thanked us when they left. They were super friendly the whole time and were true professionals. They gave top shelf service. You have a great crew and should be proud as these guys were awesome representatives of your company." Several crew members
AEP "Bryan is an asset to your company. He and his crew did an excellent job clearing trees under power lines on our property. This is the first positive experience we've had with anyone working on or under the lines." GF Brian Walker, Foreman Jose Aguilar, and Trimmers Logan Davidson, Cody Miller and Michael Taylor
QUICK THINKING Pacific Division
On May 28, GF Skyler Ramble witnessed a car accident during morning traffic. He quickly jumped into action to ensure safety and secure the scene. He called 911, blocked traffic with his truck, set up safety cones and attempted to make contact with the two drivers. One of the drivers was unresponsive and did not have a pulse, so Sklyer and another witness decided it was life imperative to move the driver and give them chest compressions until the paramedics arrived and took over. The paramedics were able to revive the driver and take them to the hospital. Great job securing the scene and helping to save a life, Sklyer!
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 19
family tree Kudos to the crew. Thank you." Several crew members
GOOD SAMARITAN Southeast Division
While working on storm restoration after Tropical Storm Cristobal, GF Jeff East helped a nearby civilian who had collapsed from cardiac arrest. With the help of others, Jeff was able to perform CPR until EMTs were able to stabilize the man and get him to the hospital. A job well done to Jeff and the others who helped save a life!
City Utilities of Springfield "Some employees from WTS were cleaning out the trees near the power lines in our backyard. They went above and beyond as far as being polite and keeping us informed regarding their work. In addition, we had two branches hanging dangerously from a recent storm, and they cleared those out. That means a lot to us because our kids can go out in the backyard again. Thank you so much!" GF Dewey Fare, Foreman Christopher Holmes and Trimmer Esau Lee OG&E "I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say enough about your employees! They were not only professional, but respectful and friendly. They shared with me what I could except of them. They have been working hard on a huge growth of trees since this morning. They are not only cutting them down but are also removing them from my yard and the surrounding area. Thank you, gentlemen! I will see sky again and feel more confident in the storm season knowing these trees will no longer be touching on power lines. Thank you, too, to OG&E for hiring them as the contractor to handle this delicate work!" Foreman Samuel Carreno, and Trimmers Jeremiah Williams, Ruben Marroquin Arriaza and Enrique Guijarro "I wanted to compliment a young man by the name of Charles Baker on his awesome customer service and hard work! He was so polite and informative." Trimmer Charles Baker "Great service! The crew was courteous and respectful of our property. The tree brush was stacked orderly. The crew explained why it is necessary to leave the large pieces behind. And the yard was left immaculate.
Duke Energy "We were in a traffic jam on a two-lane road. It was pouring rain. We could tell there was some sort of accident but there were no emergency vehicles yet. WTS workers were nearby and started to safely direct traffic. We were impressed that they took it upon themselves to get soaking wet and help people. This speaks volumes in the type of employees you hire." GF Jerry Stringfellow, Foreman Nehemias Cruz, and Trimmers David Battle and Edgar Rivera Tampa Electric Company "WTS did an excellent job. I wanted to let you know how happy I was with the job the crew did." GF Tyler Kirkpatrick and Trimmer Cameron Lasley
LONE STAR DIVISION
Oncor "We had a tree uproot next to our house that was leaning near power lines. There's very limited access to the tree and pole. We called Oncor and they came to assess, then called Tim at WTS who immediately came to look at it. He told us exactly what needed to be done and that he and his crew would be back in the morning to climb the tree. There truly are no words to describe the expertise and knowledge necessary to climb to the top of a tree with a chainsaw, and cut and drop branches with the help of the ground crew, in such a fashion to not do any damage to surrounding privacy fences or decks. This crew went above and beyond, and I cannot thank them enough! They are heroes in my book because with the upcoming storms, if that uprooted tree would have fallen, the result could have been catastrophic. Thank you for everything!" GFs Tony Morales and Tim Wright, and Trimmers Fransico Munoz and Eutiquio Cruz
They thoroughly cleaned up the mess that was in my backyard and even raked to get the small pieces up. You should be very proud of these hardworking individuals. Your crews did a great job clearing the tree from the utility line. They worked nonstop for hours and were very meticulous in cleaning up the branches. Great job!" Several crew members
DTE Energy "My wife and I want to let you know how pleased we are with your company. Your employees spent a full day yesterday and another two hours today clearing a power line between our house and our neighbors. They cut the branches, chipped them, raked the area and stacked logs. I spoke to them several times yesterday and found them all to be pleasant and courteous. Job well done!" Foremen Rafael Dominguez and Carlos Solorzano "A crew worked in our back yard in Ann Arbor, Michigan. They were friendly, and I admire how hard and safely they worked. My compliments!" GF Christopher Fulk, Foreman Phill Proshek and Trimmer Larry Aldridge "Your employees are hard workers and did a great job in pouring rain. They made space for the utility to access the power lines for repairs. Thanks!" Foreman Adam Levis and Trimmer Vince Rhodes "The gentleman that were working on my property did a great job. They were very hard working." Foremen Duane Burdick and Aaron Carr, and Trimmers Edward Grable and Sean McKenzie
"Your crew was really nice, professional and did an amazing job! The easement behind my property looked like a forest and I feel safer with the overgrown trees cleared away from the power lines! It was really bad and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so clean now." Several crew members
"I allowed the crews to park on my property during their cutting season. Because of heavy equipment parking on damp/wet ground, I was left with numerous very long, deep ruts. When I tried to do my first mowing of the year, it was so bumpy that I even lost a hearing aid. I called DTE and asked for help. They were very polite and said they would have someone call. After the next few bumpy mowings, I again called and within a short time, two gentlemen came to do the work. I was extremely impressed with the two men who came to fix the problem. They were polite, efficient and a pleasure to work with. I would like to commend Charles Emmons and Ted Doan on a job very well done. Mr. Emmons was extremely attentive and anxious to make sure I was more than happy. After several loads of dirt, he was still not satisfied that the job was complete.
"Your crews are amazing! They did an excellent job of finishing what Oncor started when our electricity went out.
At this point he brought another load and it was installed and smoothed. I am more than happy. These men are a great public
"Thank you for the quick and professional service. The crew was on top of it and made sure everything was the way the found it." GF Brian Crowe, Foreman Brandon Glenn, and Trimmers Chandler Bailey, Bobby Tubbs and Justin Jackson
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
family tree representation of your company and I so appreciate the work that was done and the men who accomplished it." Foreman Charles Emmons and Trimmer Ted Doan “I am sending kudos to some of your caring and considerate employees. I am disabled. My husband went into cardiac arrest on June 24 and was hospitalized. On June 30th, I was hurrying to get to the hospital. I tried to take a shortcut to get into my minivan but got halfway in and halfway out. I couldn't pull myself the rest of the way in, so I decided to get back out and start over. When my outside foot hit the gravel driveway, it slipped and down I went. I couldn't stand up by myself and my phone was too far in the van door and kept yelling, "help me" and waving as cars drove past. No one stopped to help me. I saw a WTS truck coming up the road, I yelled again and this time the truck passenger heard me and had the driver pull over. They tried to pull me up, but I couldn't help them, so they called another employee who was working very nearby for assistance. He came and two pulled me and one was lifting me. They got me up, but I was very dizzy. I had a walker nearby and they used it for me to steady myself. They waited until I said I was okay and then helped me get into my van and waited until they were sure I was okay. WTS should be very proud of employees who go out of their way to help others in need. Thank you." GF James Newman, Foreman Steven Fuller, and Trimmers Leandro Dablemont and Gage Lance "We had a limb on our power line, and we called DTE to report it. They said it would be 5-7 days before we could expect someone out to remediate the issue. Not even 24 hours later a WTS truck was in front of our house ready to fix our problem. Not only was the foreman courteous and friendly, he was expedient and even spotted and removed a tree limb that was also dangling above the power line. Thank you." Foreman Adam Meloche and Trimmers Lucas Blaszczyk and Hunter Miller "WTS came to clean up a fallen tree on a wire. The two workers who did the job were professional, courteous and did a great job! I appreciated how careful they were not to damage surrounding vegetation." Several crew members "The crew that came out today was very pleasant and professional. They took care of the trees growing into the power lines,
RETIREMENTS Division Manager Kirk Schuster Mountain States Division Division Manager Kirk Schuster retired on September 30 after 42 years of service with the WTS family. Kirk held many operations positions in the company, starting in 1978 on a crew in Nebraska where he did landscape and tree work. He’s seen many changes but says one thing that that has remained constant is that we are all still family. “It has been an honor to be a part of the Wright Tree family for 42 years. I have had the privilege of working for and with so many great people over the years. The level of commitment and the pursuit of excellence from the team is what makes this company great. The principles of honesty and integrity are what built this company, and that tradition continues today. I will greatly miss the camaraderie among our management group as well as the field employees," says Kirk.
Kirk was presented with a WTS bucket truck as a token of appreciation during a dinner celebrating his retirement.
Contract Administrator Kelly Pettijohn Corporate Office Contract Administrator Kelly Pettijohn retired after 35 years of service with the WTS family. Her retirement was effective on September 30. Kelly started working for WTS in 1985 in the accounts payable department. After 90 days, she moved to the payroll and billing department, later becoming a payroll and billing supervisor and serving as a financial assistant. She held her most recent title of contract administrator since 1999. GF John Clayton Division 45 GF John Clayton retired on September 30 after 20 years of service with the WTS family. John has worked as a transmission work planner, distribution GF and filled in as project manager throughout his career. He has also had the privilege of onboarding many great employees during his time with the company. A fun fact about John is that he has worked on the same property for 40+ years and could tell you the pole numbers of any address on the grid. John plans on traveling the USA in his motorhome, spending time with family and continuing to pursue his love for fishing trips with his brother.
Thank you all for your many years of service! You will always be part of the WTS family.
Continued on page 22
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 21
family tree cut low them enough that it will be a while before there will be a problem again, and did not leave any mess at all. Thank you!" Several crew members "I was visited by your crew. They used a bucket truck to access a difficult tree in my back yard. They were careful, took their time and practiced safe procedures. Neighbors and I were impressed with their ability. Thank you." Several crew members "I wanted to issue a compliment to some workers who have taken care of some major tree issues in our yard. They did a
STORM SNAPSHOT Minnkota Division
Photo taken by Project Manager Timothy D. Hanson while working on storm restoration.
really excellent clean up job after quite a major tree cutting in a ROW." GF Chris Posten, and Foremen Dante Borio & Mark Hudson
tree trimmer. I smiled several times just watching them, and the smell of sawdust brought back sweet memories. You have a great bunch of guys in the crew that felled
"I am writing express how extremely pleased I was with the crew DTE sent to my home to trim the trees located along the powerlines at the back of my lot. I was introduced to each crew member. The gentlemen comprising the crew were outstanding. I was impressed by their professionalism and their willingness and ability to effectively communicate to me how they would trim the trees. They were also very professional in the execution of their work. In fact, their work was excellent and considerably better than I had expected, and better than any private tree trimming service I have engaged in the past. They are a group of hard-working men who deserved to be recognized by both DTE and WTS for their professionalism and a job well done. Foreman Dillon Rose, Trimmers Austin Edington, Jeremy Jacques and Christian Nederveld
my trees. I applaud them."
"WTS cleaned up a significant amount of tree branches and other debris that we had begun to pile up. A very special shout out to the crew that took the time and initiative to help clear all if out! Thank you. You guys are awesome." Several crew members "I want to thank the crews that came out to cut down a great big elm tree on my property. They were exceptionally professional and great to work with. The dead tree was hanging over power lines and needed to be cut down to prevent damage. The two-day project was well managed by Phil and his team and I can't begin to thank you enough for the quality service. I really appreciated Phil's calls in advance to let me know when his team were on their way. Thanks again." Foreman Phillip Proshek and several crew members Lansing Board of Water & Light "I had five pine trees that were marked for removal from my backyard. The crew arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and by 4:15 p.m. they had knocked out four trees. They cleaned up, were professional and methodical in their work. They were gone around 4:45. They then came back the next day and got set up to take down the last tree. It was close to 70-foot-tall and, in between wires that lead to my house. I would watch in awe of how precise they were all working together. Not once did I worry about them doing their jobs. By noon, the job was done. They made the final cuts on the last log, cleaned up and were all finished by 2:30. My father was a
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Foreman Chris Kirk and Trimmers Javin Frost, Corbin Priesman, Kyle Wenger and Brad Woodman "Both my husband and I were pleased with the team that trimmed and removed our trees. The work that they did was impressive. They made sure we and they were safe and took the time to communicate what was being done and planned to be done. The work was done well. Thank you!" Foreman Dennis Coderre, Trimmer Jonathan TenHove and Groundman Gabe Potter
Xcel Energy "We had called our utility company about a tree we partially cut down through a private tree company and, due to the power line placement, were unable to completely remove. We experienced great service from the crew sent out to assist in clearing the limbs surrounding the utility lines. He was kind and courteous and made sure to keep our lower vegetation intact." Several crew members
Austin Energy "I needed my trees cut back from the power lines so my arborist can prune safely. Kymberli Herron met with me and did a very thoughtful assessment of our tree needs, being careful and respectful of my desire to preserve as much of our live oak as possible. I was extremely happy with the work proposal that was drawn up and look forward to having the work done. Very professional team!" Work Planner Kymberli Herron "I was very impressed with the crew. Jose was a very hard worker, polite, courteous and cautious. Thank you!" Foreman Rafael Rios and Trimmer Jose Valdez
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA! WrightTreeFamily Wright Tree Service
Storm Response (Continued from page 9) As in all other aspects of utility line clearance work, situational awareness is one of the keys to safety when dealing with wildfire hazards. Maintaining an awareness of current and changing conditions and surroundings and modifying work activities and behavior accordingly is what keeps employees safe. In addition to maintaining situational awareness, it is important that employees working in these areas have the tools and training to identify and mitigate hazards, and to understand that some situations may occur in which there is no way to work safely. Working safely in areas with elevated fire danger begins with understanding the potential for a wildfire ignition to occur, and the potential for spread and growth after and ignition has occurred. Wildfire ignition is based on the wildfire ignition triangle. ď&#x201A;&#x20AC;
sources from fuel sources is the key to preventing accidental wildfire ignitions. It is important to remember that most wildfire ignitions (around 85%) have human-related causes. This can be a carelessly thrown cigarette, a downed power line or dragging trailer safety chains that are throwing off sparks. We must be as alert for wildfire ignitions that have non-WTS related causes, as we are for those that may be started by employees during daily activities! Wildfire spread after ignition is based on the wildfire behavior triangle.
FUEL, WEATHER AND TOPOGRAPHY
These are the elements that determine how a fire will behave after an ignition takes place: Fuels are the same as in the fire ignition triangle. ď ˝
WEATHER; WIND, RELATIVE HUMIDITY AND TEMPERATURE
Wind is the greatest factor affecting wildfire spread. Strong dry winds can push a fire, dry out surrounding fuels and serve as an oxygen supply. Relative humidity and temperature: The hotter and dryer it gets, the easier a fire can start and spread.
HEAT, FUEL AND OXYGEN These are the three elements that are necessary for a fire to occur.
Ignition sources (heat producing items) include things such as hot mufflers, utility power lines and sparks thrown by chainsaws. Fuel sources are normally dry vegetation but can include anything dry enough to catch on fire including trash that has built up on the job site. Identifying and separating ignition
Plan is designed to give managers and employees the tools and understanding to work safely and prevent accidental wildfire ignitions in areas with elevated fire danger. Understanding and documenting the elements that make up the two fire triangles helps give us the necessary situational awareness to work safely in areas with elevated fire danger.
Terrain issues include steep slopes and narrow canyons. A 10 degree increase in slope can lead to a doubling in the rate of spread of a fire. Steep terrain makes it difficult for crews to use escape routes to quickly flee from a fire. Narrow canyons can act like chimneys and channel heat that can lead to rapid fire spread. Identifying and documenting these conditions, identifying and mitigating ignition and fuel sources and having the tools to suppress any accidental wildfire ignitions as quickly as possible are what keeps crews safe while performing any kind of work in areas with elevated fire danger, allowing them to complete their essential roles. The WSC Wildfire Safety and Prevention
THE PROGRAM HAS THREE PARTS: 1. The WSC Wildfire Safety and Prevention Plan The wildfire safety and plan documents the goals of the program, the steps necessary to ensure job site safety and serves as a reference guide for employees and managers.
2. Fire Briefing The fire briefing helps crews stay safe by documenting job site wildfire conditions, ignitions and fuel sources, and the necessary fire tools needed onsite. 3. Wildfire Training Wildfire safety is ultimately based on identifying, documenting and mitigating the job site conditions that can lead to and affect job site wildfires, as well as having the proper tools and training to suppress any accidental wildfire ignitions that may occur. Training managers and crews to understand wildfire hazards helps keeps employees safe while working in areas with elevated fire danger, and allows them to complete their essential tasks.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 23
STORM COMPLIMENTS Compliments were submitted to the company by various members of the public after storm events. Thank you to all the employees that participated in restoration efforts.
DERECHO MidAmerican Energy
"You have the most amazing employees working for you who are helping us out here in Iowa City after the derecho storm. When I saw them show up, I said, "Here are our heroes!" and they said, "No, the linemen are." Well, my husband was a lineman, but in emergency situations the tree crews are the first responders! They made sure we knew what to expect and then did an amazing job at maintaining the integrity of our yard, flowers and peach tree. They were so considerate and personable. Thank you to their humble heroes!"
"I met two of your employees working on derecho storm restoration. My parents had their electricity restored on Friday afternoon but in a bad timing issue, the electricity went out again and your guys were in ear range of my dad! They saw us all standing in the drive and walked down the street to check what was up. We told them the electricity had gone out again and they explained while they couldn't guarantee anything, they’d be happy to call into a supervisor contact and alert them to the issue. 30-50 minutes later, our electricity was back on! If that wasn’t good enough, this morning they stopped to check in and asked my dad if everything turned out okay! You’ve hired some great employees who took the time to check on some older retired residents dealing with the results of crazy weather!"
Foreman Matt McQuilling and Trimmer Evin Lowe
Several crew members
"One of your crews came to help us get our tree removed during Derecho. We had not had power for six days and I want to say how wonderful and nice they were during a difficult time. We wanted to let you know we appreciate their service."
TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS
Foremen Brian Louderback and Michael Spillman, Trimmer Cody Stamper and Groundman Jordan Felix
"I wanted to say a quick thanks for sending your crews out to Connecticut to help with the storm damage. A couple of your trucks took down some dangerous limbs overhanging the lines running to my house and above where my kids play. Very professional and great group of guys. Made my day after a hectic week to get some help and talk football and families with your crew. Was the highlight of a rough week. Thanks very much from Connecticut."
Foremen Brandon Hough and Mike Spillman, and Trimmers Daniel Detwiler, Garrett Sledd and Cody Stamper
Thank you letters from third graders in Calvin, Louisiana
"I am writing on behalf of your terrific team from Kansas. They arrived on my property late this evening to clear a huge tree with live wires blocking access anywhere for five days. I spoke with Sidney, who was kind enough to get permission from the electric company to clear/cut serious handing branches over the power lines at the front of our property – another accident about to happen. They moved with dispatch and great expertise, besides being friendly, upbeat and
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Thank you messages on Facebook from Louisiana residents during Hurricane Laura
extremely polite. They went the extra mile at the end of a long day. Enormous thanks and kudos for the job well done." Foremen Sidney Fish and Nate Flory, and Trimmers Michael Dietrich and Andrew Lickteig
HURRICANE LAURA "Wanted to compliment your crew who shared a hotel with us in Texarkana, Arkansas, en route to responding/ supporting Hurricane Laura. Your employees were professional, courteous, friendly and represented your company well. Not to mention, your trucks looked sharp smartly parked and perfectly aligned in the hotel parking lot. We wish them well in their response. Thank you for what you do." Several crew members
"I just wanted to send a HUGE thank you to all your servicemen who are down in Louisiana helping with storm clean up after Hurricane Laura. I live in Noble, Louisiana, and work at a nursing facility in Many, Louisiana. On my way in to work this morning, I counted 21 of your trucks headed into town. Our state appreciates so very much the help we are getting from across the United States. Laura was devastating to our community, and to see strangers coming in and helping, means so much. Thank you for sending your employees, who have to be away from them families, to help us. The kindness and generosity you are showing will never be able to be repaid. However, it is people like you, who are able to make this difficult time more bearable!" Several crew members
WRIGHT TREE SERVICE OF THE WEST
News from the Branches Compliments sent to Wright Tree Service of the West.
PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC "We recently had some trees cut down. The six WTS crew members were all very professional and worked efficiently. They left the area very clean when they left, and they were a very nice bunch of guys. Thank you." Foremen Jacob Milenewicz and Chad Von Berg, and Trimmers Chance Baker, Travis Gonzalez and Jorge Rodriguez-Gonzalez
NEW, ON THE MOVE & CERTIFIED NEW Foremen
Adam Dixon Allen Mcdonald Arturo Ortiz Administrative Assistant
ON THE MOVE
Field & Administrative Supervisor
Carli Forsythe PM
Julius Uehlein GF
"I don't normally do this, however, am taking the time to acknowledge the work done by WTS in the removal of trees in our and our neighbor's yards. I would like to thank the GF, Martin. He visited twice and maintained phone contact regarding scheduling and the work to be done. It was so nice to have inperson contact. The crew was on time, pleasant and courteous. They followed all safety standards - cones, signs, PPE and face masks due to COVID. They were knowledgeable and efficient in their work and went the extra mile, cutting wood into manageable pieces for me, which was much appreciated. Their cleanup was excellent. The yards looked great when they left." GF Martin Rivera, Foremen Rafael Corrales Diaz and Yoan Hernandez, and Trimmers Rolando Gil Perez, Yiris Rodriguez and Ixce Vidal "Your employees did a great job. They listened, reacted and did the required work, not only to provide the necessary safety requirements but also to help maintain the tree's form. That is not merely a minor concern to me. Plus, they were kind enough to leave me a load of shredding to use as mulch that I have been after for months and months. CNUC's management was also on the job. They listened and helped out as needed. Please keep this crew together and keep them on the job." Foreman Noe Ramirez and several crew members
"A WTS crew was working in our area along the power lines. We showed them a very large branch that was hanging close to the lines. They went out of their way to fix the problem. They even mulched, raked up the area and blew the road clean. Great job!" Several crew members "I recently had an issue with my power line which PG&E promptly fixed. They also called for a tree trimming crew who also showed up very promptly. The crew did an excellent job, were very professional and made everything safer for my family. I appreciate their dedication, professionalism and care. A big thank you on behalf of myself and my family." Several crew members
SMUD "I wanted to let you know what a wonderful job the crew did on my property. Your employees listened to me and did more than the top, so it looks so much better. They even saved a bird’s nest!" Several crew members
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 25
WRIGHT TREE SERVICE OF CANADA & ARBORCARE
News from the Branches Compliments were submitted to ArborCare and Wright Tree Service (WTS) of Canada by various members of the public and we'd like to commend the following individuals. "The pruning crew arrived bright and early this morning and were quick, efficient and considerate of all our gardens. Thank you so much for great service and please convey our thanks to the crew! Great job!" Crew Lead Ben Ruether and crew members Cade Purinton and James Sinclair "Chris and his guys came out, and trimmed and shaped our crabapple tree. Honestly, they did the best job that anybody has ever done on that tree.
NEW & CERTIFIED Congratulations to the following WTS of Canada employees who were appointed and certified since our last issue!
Simon Richards AR Administrators
Marie Siemeufo Tali Wilson
Certified Utility Tree Trimmers
Jim Knowles Kyle Markin Tyler Roland Corey Trotz
CERTIFIED New International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist®
Chris Gamache, Operations Manager
Super friendly, courteous, efficient, and hardworking group. Truly can’t say enough good things about them and the work they did. Kudos to Sebastian in the office who made sure the job was done to our satisfaction and again, super courteous and efficient. We’ve been ArborCare customers for years and this completely pleasant experience reinforces our commitment to them." General Foreman (GF) Chris Paterson, Inside Sales Team Lead Sebastian Maas and several crew members "Very professional. Friendly courteous service while maintaining COVID restrictions. Quick turnaround after very reasonable price quote. Very pleased and would definitely use again!" Crew Lead Brad Ward and crew member Jasper Rhodes "Great service!" Crew Lead Levon Russell and Arborist Leah Gurba "Our adventure with ArborCare has been very pleasant. Terry came by promptly to quote the work we wanted done, and then again to re-quote the work once we had changed our minds about what exactly we wanted to have done. When the day arrived for the trees to come down, the guys came and went and were awesome! We had four Swedish Aspens removed because the trees were being compromised due to canker. ArborCare had to access to the trees via a bucket truck from the back lane, but the drop zone for most of the branches was our established backyard.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Given the height of the work, the guys were as careful as they could be of the surrounding plantings, and cleaned up the yard as well as we could have asked for. They were pleasant to have around, and represented ArborCare very professionally." Crew Lead Levon Russell, Arborist Leah Gurba and Sales Manager Terry Richard "I had some trees pruned by ArborCare and I have to say they did a terrific job. The contractors were very professional, and they listened and provided advice on how our tree could be shaped to our liking. I was amazed at how they rappelled up the trees and used their remote bucket for better access. The job was done quickly, and their rate was very competitive. Exceptional work!" Crew Lead Simon Richards and crew member Ryan Osbourne "I would like to give ArborCare a top rating for their services as well as for being compassionate to stressed out pet owners. Our little kitty managed to climb up a massive tree in our backyard. She had been up there for 12 hours and overnight. She was very scared and wouldn’t stop crying. When I reached out to ArborCare early this morning, they came within an hour. Thank you to Wayne and his climbing skills, and to the other employees involved in our kitty rescue. Truly professional and top-notch individuals at this company. We are very grateful. I will not hesitate to recommend them to anyone not just for animal rescue but any arbor-related issues." Arborist Wayne Fleury and several crew members
family tree "Very impressed with this crew. The city outsourced them to do our boulevard elm trees, and they did a fabulous job. From parking notices in a timely way, to fixing the last crew’s shoddy work, attention to detail and safety, and the best cleanup we've had in over 30 years. I would recommend their work to anyone, and they're going to be my first call in the future. Great job!" Several crew members
"We had some trees cut down and we can’t say enough good things about the crew that did this. They did an amazing job on the clean-up and were very quick and adept at getting the trees down. Great job!" Several crew members
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY In August, ArborCare partnered with Habitat for Humanity Southern Alberta and donated trees for one of their projects. Habitat volunteers and staff planted them under the watchful eye of a master arborist. The process and transformation is always amazing! We love how these trees helped make these houses become a home.
EFFICIENTLY GRINDING AWAY AT STUMPS
ArborCare recently purchased a Fecon Stumpex to work with the City of Edmonton. The Stumpex allows the crew to reach the depth that the city desires for their replanting program with minimum debris in high traffic areas. With thousands of stumps to grind, we have shown tremendous efficiency and safety utilizing the specialized equipment. We successfully completed 800 stumps around the city in July and August and have another 1,000 booked for October. Special thanks to Scott MacKeigan on his expertise in operating the equipment.
TREE TRANSFORMATION CROSS-BORDER STORM RESPONSE
Wow, what a difference! Check out this spruce removal by Arborists Connor Rehberg and Leah Gurba.
In September, we sent employees and equipment to Oregon to aid WTS as they responded to the unprecedented wildfires, a new milestone for our Canadian operations as this mobilization represents our first-ever cross-border storm response. WTS of Canada’s Andy McLellan served as the project manager and Spectrum Resource Group’s Jesse Bazergui was the GF on the crew.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA ArborCare.Calgary
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 27
DIGGING IN WRIGHT OUTDOOR SOLUTIONS
Retaining Wall Transformation SERVICE: Landscape Design & Installation LOCATION: West Des Moines, Iowa It might be hard to believe that a retaining wall could transform the entire look of a property, but a recent residential project completed by Wright Outdoor Solutions (WOS) did just that. Landscape Designer Seth Hansen was the lead on the project, which featured landscape design and installation services, including a hardscaping installation with a retaining wall and boulder wall, along with planting beds with plant material, grading, and new sod. The final result created a polished yet informal look for the homeowners, with curved lines and traditional-style plant material. Seth enjoyed the challenge of working within certain parameters while also creating an eye-catching design.
A mix of coniferous and broadleaf evergreens were used within the retaining wall landscaping, along with deciduous shrubs of varying heights, and perennials with a focus on color interest throughout the four seasons of the year. For Seth, this project was unique because he had to come up with a creative way to replace the original timber wall along the driveway to avoid having to go above heights where structural engineering would be necessary. He came up with a solution to do so that saved the client time and money in the process. He determined that by moving the original wall out further from the garage and into the lawn would save the crew from building higher, and reduced the amount of soil that needed to be excavated for the reinforcement area and drainage excavation.
FUN FACTS: • The project took approximately one month from start to end. • 58 individual plants were used. • 546 square feet of Rosetta Kodah walls blocks were used in the front and back, along with 420 granite edgers. • 241.5 square feet of wall blocks were used in front, 304.5 square feed of wall blocks were used in the back, and approximately 420 granite edgers were used.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
DIGGING IN VISION
Wright Outdoor Solutions will be recognized as the most reputable, reliable, knowledgeable and environmentally sensitive company in the markets we serve.
· To provide comprehensive solutions for our clients’ outdoor and indoor spaces. · To provide attractive value appreciation to our employee owners. · To provide team members with an environment that enables them to achieve their personal and professional goals. · To make outdoor and indoor spaces more beautiful and sustainable.
SAFETY It is everyone’s responsibility – we each own it. INTEGRITY We abide by the highest ethical standards. EXCELLENCE We continually strive to exceed our customer’s expectations – and our own expectations. RESPECT We earn it from our customers and from each other. TEAMWORK It is how we operate and we hold each other accountable. INNOVATION We anticipate our clients’ needs and we deliver creative services & solutions.
FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.
Chad Sutherland, Arbor Division Manager Growing Opportunities When I started with the company in 2003, I worked on various tree crews. The equipment was old, and some pieces had to be shared among the crews. A year or two later, we started to purchase newer equipment, which allowed us to expand our services and receive new contracts and projects. The company continued to innovate. In 2007, we combined forces with another company in a merger that drastically changed the services we were able to provide clients. Then the recession hit. Sales were low because people were not spending money. The next few years were slow.
But as a team, we used this time to make changes. We purchased even better equipment and tools that helped us change the way we did tree work, which allowed us to become more efficient. With change and challenge brings new ideas which fosters growth and opportunities. A change in thinking allowed us to work safer, add crews, and be more productive. Now, a decade or more later, so much has changed. We used the foundation we built long ago to position ourselves for expansion and use this model for success in new cities to conduct our business. As a team, we’re confident in our ability to innovate and adapt to changes. At WOS, we are growing opportunities for our employees. We are all eager to see what the next decade brings.
NEW, ON THE MOVE & CERTIFIED NEW
Trina Ives, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Sean Eklund, Interior Maintenance Team Member (Verdure) Kolby Weatherman, Landscape Team Member Joseph Bickel, Arbor Team Foreman Austin Sink, Arbor Team Member Ramy Abujobarah, Landscape Team Lead Mike Schatzke, Staff Accountant Alicia Chipp, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Jacob Griffiths, Plant Health Care Team Member Tristen Festervand, Arbor Team Member Cameron Stark, Landscape Team Lead Melonie Chipp, Exterior Maintenance Team Member
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 29
DIGGING IN Seen & Heard "AWESOME. Honest. Excellent teacher. Keeps their word. Loves trees." - Sparkie "The team is always professional, polite, and does a great job. It's reassuring that they know what they are doing and have all the equipment to do it safely. I also appreciate how they do a nice job cleaning up as well. I have occasionally used other tree services but I have always gravitated back to Wright Outdoor. They are to be commended." - Rita "John Griffiths set us up with a fantastic crew. They knew exactly what to do and where. Now we want to schedule and contract for trimming of our front lawn tree. Its branches are hanging over the garage and the shingles." - Daryl "Excellent job!" - Jim "Always very friendly and does a great job!" - Kathy "Your crew has always done a great job
and when I asked questions they always responded in a knowledgeable and respectful manner." - Gary "Always friendly and helpful." - Ruth "They were great! Friendly and very professional. They were on time, did the job, cleaned up and gone." - Susan "Wright hires excellent help!" - Cindy "The gal we have doing plants now, is great. Feel she checks on plants and she take the time needed to tend to them." - Denise "Amy Lenning is the best person to work with. She has great customer service skills." - Jim "Overall our experience was quite positive. The tree crew did a good job removing our tree and grinding the stump, they also did well to respect the neighbor's property while doing so. We are very happy with the landscaping work." - Steven "Couldn’t have had a nicer crew or a more efficient one. Thanks for your service." - Kay
A MIDWEST DERECHO /dā rā CHō/ a line of intense, widespread,
and fast-moving windstorms and sometimes thunderstorms that moves across a great distance and is characterized by damaging winds In August, the Midwest experienced a derecho, which included winds upwards of 70 miles per hour. The severe weather event impacted millions of people to widespread utility disruptions, property damage, and agriculture damage. During this time, WOS responded to homeowners and business owners across the metro in need of emergency services, and continues to provide storm work services caused by the derecho to this day, and we anticipate working on storm related work for months to come. By the numbers: • 7-9 crews • 5 log loaders • 3 knuckle boom trucks • 3 chip trucks • 4 bucket trucks • 3 mini skid streers
"Whether it's help with landscaping and plant care, weekly lawn maintenance or winter snow removal, Wright is helpful, dependable and friendly. While the price of services is on the high side, I think the service level makes me willing to pay the price." - Carline "The crew was timely and extremely knowledgeable in their field. When they left everything was cleaned up in the area of their work. I have used Wright Outdoor Solutions for many years and have always been pleased with the employees and their work. Ryan Burlingame is a wonderful person and I enjoy working with him." - Sharon "The tech was very knowledgeable and efficient. He was helpful explaining the injection process to me as well as bring courteous. I would recommend your service." - Chuck "Would recommend and will use again." -Amy "Thank you for the great work."-JP "Estimating and billing process very professional." - Ron "Quick. Good communication." - John
"Great job by the crew." - John "Our experience is that Wright employees can be counted on to consistently respond to all inquiries and requests in a very timely manner. We appreciate their recommendations and they take great care of our on-site plants." - Toyota of Des Moines "The crew worked hard and was very skillful." - John "Of course, Ryan Burlingame was wonderful, as always. The crew was great. They were very attuned to my needs and what I wanted done. They did an outstanding job. Very thoughtful and cautious. Wright has done lots of work for me over the years. They never disappoint." - Rick and Peggy "We have had very satisfactory service from Wright." - Joseph "I have done business with Wright Outdoor Solutions for years and would never consider another company. They are the best." - Margie "Prompt, courteous and good follow up."- Scott
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
"Was SO impressed with the quickness of the response to my email AND the fact you came the very next day to take care of the storm damage! What a relief to not worry about a large broken branch hitting my roof, gutter and front porch!!! THANK YOU!!" - Chris "Always very professional with quality work." - Sam "Russell and Owen were a great team! They were organized, efficient and did the job with very little 'mess' to my garden plants. Their cleanup was great too and Russell explained costing to me again. All was very good. I did recommend your service to my son-in-law." - Steve The young man that treated our trees was personable, stayed on task, and was knowledgeable and efficient about his work. - Ed "We had a great experience with Wright Outdoor Solutions! They took the time to answer all of my (many) questions, and when they came to our home to complete the service they again took the time to explain the process. We will use this service again!" - Ashley
DIGGING IN "Nicely done. Very satisfied." - Daniel
"We have several large pots to be filled each year. They are by far the best with Wright." - Toby
amount of debris hauled away. The technician operated that pick up claw like a surgeon. Excellent job." - Judy
SEASONAL CONTAINER GARDENS
"They were fast and friendly." - Kirk
"I’ve been using Wright Outdoor Solutions for years. Ryan B. is always my first call because he takes such good care of me." - Eric
"They have been very easy to work with and have been flexible in following our access protocols." - Scott
"Very professional in performing the services and respectful of the customer. Will definitely use again." - James
"We have used your services for a number of years and have always had great service." Home State Bank
"They came out and promptly took care of any concerns we may have had. Our planters look great. " - Trisha
"My interactions with Deb via phone and Danny at the plant were very positive. Deb did a tremendous job assisting me with my mulch project and Danny was very pleasant when I showed up to get loaded with mulch I'd purchased. I will surely reach out to Deb again with any other mulch or yard projects we have." - Nicholas
"They are always on time and do very professional work and CLEAN UP after themselves!"- Josh
"The crew worked hard on cutting down scrub trees and bushes. Very professional and courteous." - Iris
"They arrived on time and did a great job! Thank you!" - Joan "WOS has been assisting us with our lawn maintenance for many years. As we get older, this has taken a huge burden off our shoulders. This past year, we contracted for a new brick patio and outdoor fireplace. It is another beautiful retreat for us! Much planning and discussion went into our landscape work. The end product is beyond our expectations and has fulfilled a long-time hope and dream!"- Scott and Amy "Very sweet lady who came. Seemed to know exactly what was needed and worked around some vehicles in the drive way. Very efficient too." - Barbara "Hard working crews!! Are always open to questions, etc. Appreciate their professionalism and great work" - The Gardens at Prairie Trail Owner's Association "You are very prompt in responding to our needs!" - The Gardens at Prairie Trail Owner's Association "The crew was very professional. They worked hard while cutting down two trees and cleaned up the brush. We have used them in the past and will use them in the future." - Stan and Betty "Great job. Always quick to address any issues or concerns we may have."- Robert "Very professional and explained the process to me." - Larry
"I could not have been more impressed with the work ethic and professionalism of both the tree removal staff or the stump removal person. Both times they were here they on time, organized and discussed things with us. The stump removal guy even raked some small branches and twigs up that weren't part of his responsibilities, leaving our lawn looking great. Many thanks to everyone!" - Tim "Heath did an excellent job removing the 100 year-old mulberry stump and putting top soil around all the holes the tree crew left with their big machines. We have used Wright for 20 plus years. Would recommend them."- Francis "Great job. Wright employees attention to our plants and flowers on-site keeps them healthy and beautiful. Response time to our requests and inquiries is quick. Greatly appreciated. Highly recommend."- Toyota of Des Moines "The team was friendly. They completed the job in an efficient manner and did a great job of cleaning up." - Josh "I never have had a service call responded to so quickly. Your rep answered my questions and was very helpful in considering options for my landscape issues. I will definitely call Wright Outdoor Solutions when I need services that you provide. Thanks for your good service. " - Peter "Always great to work with WOS."- John "Wright employees are always prompt and do an excellent job!"- Penny "Have used this service for many years. Amy Lenning is great to work with!"- Tricia "Due to a storm, I had to have a large
"Our front planters look so beautiful, Amy! The mums aren't even blooming yet and they already look stunning. Please pass along to whoever planted them for us. They’re just lovely! Thank you so much." - Debbie complimenting Account Manager Amy Lenning
TREE CARE "I wanted to pass along kudos to the squad doing tree work on Boulder Drive. After an extensive investigation I was able to identify the crew on that road. I wanted to praise the crew for their usage of hard hats and hi visibility materials. I come from a background in safety operations, and wanted to pass along some words of praise and positivity during this time that is often burdened with bad news and negativity." -Driveby motorist complimenting Arbor Foreman Brian Lewis and Arbor Crewman Colin Sinn "Your crew didn’t even disturb my late mother’s flowers that were around the tree during the removal. I was very impressed with the crew’s safety consciousness, communication and professionalism during our interactions. "- Tony complimenting Arbor Team Member Eugene Waage and Arbor General Foreman Joshua Appletoft "Your crew was terrific today. I just wanted you to know. They were pleasant, had a good attitude, and easy to work with. Pass this email on to anyone who needs to know."- Tom complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Ismael Corona, Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders and Account Manager Ryan Burlingame "The guys today were amazing. They are just now leaving! They worked like dogs! Such nice guys. Such quality work and clean up! Thanks for providing such quality employees. We can always count on Wright! Seriously! We appreciate that."- Susan complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Ismael Corona and Arbor Team Member Heath Beckman "Just wanted to say ‘wow’. Your guys did a great job. Very efficient and fast. Cleaned up all yard debris. Looks great!"- Susan complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Eugene Waage and Arbor Team Member Brandt Jelken "Thank you so much for your advice and assistance with regard to the removal of our two, storm-damaged trees. The crew did an excellent job; expertly, swiftly and safely removing the trees and debris. We also appreciate your prompt attention to this matter, especially given the widespread tree damage throughout the area. My husband and I will be sure to call on Wright again (probably this fall) Continued on page 32
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 31
DIGGING IN for more tree work." - Rebecca complimenting Sales Manager Seth Balvanz, Arbor Team Foreman Brain Lewis and Arbor Team Member Brian Lenning
to work with." - Carol complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Russell Davis, Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders, Arbor Team Member Joe Sanders
"Very professional. I’m impressed." - Ronald complimenting Account Manager Ryan Burlingame
"Mike did an outstanding job. Such a great, polite guy!" - Phil complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Mike Cook and Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders
"I wanted to thank you and your crew for the great job they did taking down our latest dead tree. The tree was safely removed and the area was left in good condition. Except for the tree being gone, we could hardly tell you were even there! Please thank everyone for the great job and for working on a Saturday to get it done in a timely manner!" - Stuart complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Russell Davis, Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders, Arbor Team Member Tristen Festervand and Arbor Team Member Joe Sanders "I contacted Wright Outdoor Solutions late on a Wednesday afternoon because we had a branch that started cracking, was sitting over the power line, and looked like it would go at any moment. They called me back first thing on Thursday and within an hour, someone was out to assess the situation and provided a quote. Even though their schedule was quite busy, they squeezed us in and were out Friday. It was such a relief to have the branch taken care of instead of falling and taking out our power and possibly other’s along the line. Thank you, Ryan and team. I would definitely recommend Wright Outdoor Solutions." complimenting Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders, Arbor Team Foreman Mike Cook and Account Manager Ryan Burlingame "Many thanks for stopping by to check on the ash tree downed limb removals to include grinding up the fallen branches and haul away! The two man crew was very professional and did an exceptional job. We really appreciate Wright Outdoor Solutions for all your company has done for our lawn fertilizations, fall leaf pickups and winter snow removal. Thanks again for your many efforts!" - Paul and Dixie complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Ismael Corona and Arbor Team Lead Kaleb Sanders "I am very pleased with the job Heath did. And Jason did a great job as well. I know he’s a busy guy and I appreciate all that was done by him. " - Ann complimenting Arbor Team Member Heath Beckman and Account Manager Jason Brauckman "What a wonderful and incredible job Kyle and Kaleb are doing with my tree. "- Peggy complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Kyle Lindahl and Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders "I'd like to start by telling you what a great crew that Jeremiah sent out to our house. They did a great job and so polite and easy
"I wanted to write and let Wright Outdoor Solutions know how pleased I am with the technician who treated our ash trees. She came this morning in the rain, let me know she would be injecting the trees, asked for clarification about the exact trees to treat, answered all my questions and was very professional. Please convey my thanks and appreciation." - Annette complimenting Plant Health Care Team Member Alyssa James "If everyone that works at Wright Outdoor Solutions is like Ryan Burlingame and Justin Bowers, then you have a great company!" - Bill complimenting Account Manager Ryan Burlingame and Plant Health Care Team Member Justin Bowers "The crew that did my tree removal worked so well together and did a marvelous job. I would love to request they be scheduled for all my future pruning and removal needs." - Carol complimenting Arbor Foreman Russell Davis and Arbor Crew Member Kaleb Sanders "Thanks for a good job, as usual. " - Charles complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Kyle Lindahl, Arbor Team Member Brian Lenning, Arbor Team Member Joseph Sanders "Thanks for doing such excellent work as always at my mom’s house! Your workers are so nice and very professional! Great job!" Sandee and Dolores complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Mike Cook and Arbor Team Member Owen Nutter "The guys did great work pruning my trees. I have a huge ornamental garden that they didn’t touch or hit once and I was very impressed about how well they did and how clean and precise they were. " - Glenn (retired WOS employee) complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Ismael Corona and Arbor Team Member Robert Nutter "The guys are doing a great job over here. They are working out in the heavy rain with all their gear working hard and doing a good job. They’re doing well and I just wanted to let you know." - Commercial client complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Mike Cook and Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders "Super job! Well pleased! Thank you!" - Harold
complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Mike Cook, Arbor Team Member Kaleb Sanders, Arbor Team Member Joe Sanders and Arbor Team Member Dominic Merritt
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
"The crew did a great job and my wife was extremely happy as well. " - James complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Brian Lewis and Arbor Team Member Brian Lenning "Just want to thank you for the awesome work on our back lot. Really appreciate it." - Jason complimenting Arbor Team Member Danny Kraft, Arbor Team Foreman Brian Lewis, Arbor Team Member Brian Lenning, Arbor Team Member Joe Sanders, Arbor Team Member Heath Beckman "Thank you for your great service. " - Jennie complimenting Plant Health Care Team Member Meghan Bissen "I’d like to compliment Jason on getting out to the site to provide a bid right away on the spot, as well as the excellent crew you had on site to get to job so fast after approval. " - Jim complimenting Arbor Team Member Gene Waage, Arbor Team Member Brandt Jelken and Account Manager Jason Brauckman
LAWN CARE "Just wanted to say "thank you" to the associate that provided our lawn application this morning. She was pleasant, thorough, and conscientious. Very much appreciated." - Tom complimenting Plant Health Care Team Member Meghan Bissen
LANDSCAPING & MAINTENANCE "Your team finished up today and the work is great. Fabulous job! Thank you so much." - Brenda complimenting Exterior Maintenance Team Member David McGillivray, Exterior Maintenance Supervisor Jesseca Roberson, Exterior Maintenance Team Lead Kristin O’Meara, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Sean McPhee, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Patricia Allen, Lawn Team Member Donovan Van Gundy, Exterior Maintenance Team Lead JR Rivera, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Courtney Remetch "We can't find enough words to express our sincere thanks to you and to our team for your ever-dependable 'service excellence'. Somehow, our team silently got away, leaving only the vast traces of their excellent work for us to appreciate and savor! You all are number ONE! Everything looks sooooooooooooo much better when you guys have been here each and every time! Many, many thanks. Stay safe and stay well." - Jill and Rich complimenting Account Manager Dennis Wilson, Exterior Maintenance Supervisor Jesseca Robertson, Exterior Maintenance Team Lead Kristin O’Meara, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Sean McPhee, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Patricia Allen, and Scheduling Coordinator Kelly Moffitt "Just wanted to say that our burning bushes that were trimmed in March are leafing out real nicely, even on top where most of the cuts were made. The crew did a great job. It's nice to have these bushes at four feet rather than reaching to the gutter." - Harley complimenting Exterior Maintenance Supervisor Jesseca Robertson and Exterior Maintenance Team Member Sean McPhee
DIGGING IN "We are writing to highly recommend you for the incredible work that has now transformed the foundation of our backyard garden literally breathing new life into the area! It is difficult to put into words actually how beautiful it all looks to us. We received the utmost professional courtesy, we were kept up to date about the status of our project and what/when to expect the work. All of your work makes us so extremely pleased time and time and time and time again -- now for YEARS -- and to always call on Wright Outdoor Solutions each and every time for our continuing outdoor/landscaping needs. We recommend you to EVERYONE, just as you were recommended to us years ago by a very happy and wise consumer of yours at that time. She was incredibly CORRECT! A special thanks to you Dennis, for all the consistent and patient help over the years with your gentle recommendations that have all proven true in developing and transforming our garden/yard into
something we can be proud of. You all are off the charts. On a scale of one to 10, you are 100! Every person that comes to our house is top of the line in service excellence! Please accept our heartfelt appreciation! You are all the best! " - Jill and Rich complimenting Account Manager Dennis Wilson, Head Accountant Emily Dorothy, Scheduling Coordinator Kelly Moffitt, Landscape & Maintenance Operations Manager Jim Altwegg, Landscape Team Lead Andrew Manning and Landscape Team Member Antoine Louis "As always, we trust that our yard/garden will always look so much better each and every time one of your crews are here. We recommend your company to everyone we know. Thanks for getting our projects done so very quickly this spring season -- we are enjoying the fresh beauty so very much in this early time of the spring growing season. Thanks for allowing us the indulgence of praises for Wright Outdoor Solutions! Keep up the great awesome work -- we need you!
We can't give enough praises for Wright Outdoor Solutions always. " - Jill and Rich complimenting Exterior Maintenance Team Lead Patricia Allen, Exterior Maintenance Team Member Jeff Russo, Maintenance Supervisor Jesseca Robertson, Scheduling Coordinator Melissa Oppenheim, Account Manager Dennis Wilson
INTERIOR PLANTSCAPING "Nicely done. Beautiful plants and great people." - Pat complimenting Interior Plant Maintenance Supervisor Amy Bittle and Interior Plant Maintenance Team Member Cera Olson
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @wrightoutdoor
Wright Outdoor Solutions
Master Arborist John Griffiths Retires After 21 Years 1999, starting at Wright Tree Care and helping the staff transition when it merged with Heard Gardens to form Wright Outdoor Solutions.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;I have worked with thousands of great clients through the years. I consider many to be friends. I plan to continue working in the industry on a part time basis, along with some travel. A motorcycle trip to Alaska is in the plans once COVID-19 is safely behind us. I will continue to ski, hunt, and fish as much as possible. Wright has been such a great plant to spend the last half of my working career. Thank you for hiring me!â&#x20AC;?
An International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist since 2008, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified since 2015, certified by the American Society of Consulting Arborists since 2009, and an ISA Certified Arborist since 2001, John Griffiths has the heart of a teacher and the passion of a true outdoorsman. John has been working in the green industry since 1981 and has been an integral member of the company since
In his time with the company, John has been responsible for everything from tree and shrub applications to holiday light installation, leaf removal, tree planting and snow removal. His longevity in the industry, passion for tree science, and rapport with clients help him to find practical solutions to both common and bizarre problems. John is also an Iowa Certified Nursery Professional and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture business from Iowa State University (ISU).
When he graduated from ISU in 1981, he never thought that a career in the green industry was ahead of him. At that time, the farm economy was in a downturn and opportunities were limited. He went to work with a regional lawn service before then spending the next 15 years working for a fertilizer and chemical manufacturer selling products for the golf course market, where he travelled throughout the U.S. John decided to join the company, despite his then limited knowledge of tree science, but his strong understand of plant science stood out, and he understood the pesticides that were used in the industry. Thinking that the job might be a couple year stint turned into 21. Pests that we have now were unheard of back then, like EAB, Japanese beetles and bagworms. The equipment has radically changed the way tree work is performed, being able to take down an entire front yard tree without ever having to climb it, making the work we do safer and faster than ever before. Thank you for your service, dedication and impact on the company and industry at large! You will be greatly missed, John!
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 33
DIGGING IN Our Partnership with Iowa Orchid
The WOS website recently underwent a redesign to give visitors a better user experience and position our service line more prominently so our consumers can quickly and easily access information they’re looking for. The homepage features movement and photography to shine light on our portfolio of work, including seasonal containers, landscape design, interior plantscaping, and more. A top navigation and secondary navigation were incorporated to allow users to visually navigate the site and get where they want to go on the site more efficiently. Our service line was revamped in tandem with the website redesign to help streamline the services that are most important to our consumers and simplify our areas of expertise so that our consumers know exactly what we can provide them. Take a look and browse the site by heading to wrightoutdoorsolutions.com!
For the past 45 years, Dr. Robert Bannister For the past 45 years, Dr. Robert Bannister has been growing orchids here in Des Moines, Iowa. Eventually, he joined the local chapter of the Orchid Society and started Iowa Orchid, brokering and selling orchids he lovingly grew to customers locally in Iowa and as far away as Texas and Pennsylvania. Not a Ph.D. in plants but an M.D., Dr. Bannister’s career was first and foremost as a surgeon. When asked if there was a connection between his day job and his orchid hobby, he denied any link – although one could say seemingly patience and precision were needed for both. One thing is clear, Dr. Bannister has the passion and know-how for growing orchids. The network of those that grow and sell orchids ranges across North America but does not have a lot of members. Outside of Iowa Orchid, the next closest brokers are in Denver and Chicago. The orchids he grows are sourced from Thailand by way of San Diego, and he travels out there every two months for a new crop, selecting nearly 1,000 young plants each trip. Recently, Iowa Orchid partnered with Wright Outdoor Solutions, and it is a perfect partnership. Several years back,
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Wright Outdoor started procuring orchids for their clients from Iowa Orchid, and in 2019 the two joined forces. Dr. Bannister hand selects the orchid specimens in San Diego on his bi-monthly trips and has them delivered to Wright Outdoor Solutions, where the team grows the orchids from young plants into the beautiful blooming orchids clients have come to know and love. These orchids are available for purchase, as well as a variety of other services, including in interior plantscaping designs, plant rental and custom arrangements. Dr. Bannister and our team raise phalaenopsis orchids in colors that range from purple, pink, and coral to white. Known for their beautiful arc of blooms, the phalaenopsis varietal is second to none when it comes to beauty and decorative use. Fun fact about that infamous arched shape, or waterfall as it is known in the trade, it does not happen without help. The orchids are structured when they first bud. As for the question most commonly asked – how to rebloom an orchid – putting an orchid in a cooler temperature (60 degrees Fahrenheit) for two months triggers reblooming. “It’s a long process to rebloom orchids” says Dr. Bannister, “and requires the proper temperature”.
DIGGING IN PROJECT SPOTLIGHT
Natural, Modern Landscape Renovation SERVICE: Landscape Design & Installation LOCATION: West Des Moines, Iowa The Wright Outdoor Solutions team worked on a landscape design and installation job for a member of our Board of Directors. We were excited to work on a project for someone who has such a strong impact on our company. We sat down with Account Manager and Design Team Lead Kim Rieber to answer a few questions about the project. Q: Explain the project and client history. A: We’ve been providing services for this client for a very long time. In the past, we’ve provided spring and fall clean-up services, turf management, plant health care, tree care, landscape maintenance, and landscape design and installation. We were excited to start on another project for them – this time being a landscape renovation facelift. Q: What challenges did WOS face before, during and after this project? A: The property had sloped back and front yards, and we had to keep the dog’s play habits within the fence backyard in mind. We also had to remove and relocate very large boulders from an existing retaining wall that was disassembled. The home also had water issues that resulted in mud being left on the driveway. We addressed this by widening the dry creek bed and adding a catch basin. The overall goal of the backyard was to make it as “dog-proof” as possible as well as minimizing the amount of landscape bed space. Due to overhead trees, shade was making it difficult for grass to grow and there was too much mud, making puppy bath time a daily routine! First order of business was to get our arborists in there and prune and remove trees that were hazardous and open up the canopy. They had an existing boulder wall that was starting to fail as well as a concrete patio that was cracking. We then built
a new limestone wall and paver patio for extended outside lounging area and secure the slope below the enclosed porch. We addressed the muddy flagstone path by adding a solid paver path with raised beds so the client has a clean, safe, beautiful walkway from the fence gate to the back deck. Garden beds were minimized and planted with shade tolerant sturdy plants such as Rhododendron, Green tower boxwoods, Oakleaf Hydrangea and barberrys. We used their existing boulders from the wall we disassembled and located them along a steep slope to help slow water and minimize erosion. Q: What made this project unique and fun? A: The property had dense shade with several elevation changes. The client wanted low maintenance garden choices. We also had to keep their dog in mind in all decisions. Due to the dense shade and pet access, we worked with a plant pallet that was fun and challenging. This project was especially fun because the clients were wonderful to work with. They were available to answer questions as we worked through the project, were kind, and very appreciative of everyone’s hard work. Q: How did this project help with the curb appeal? A: It’s a beautiful home. What this project did was refresh and restore its already great foundation. They had very nice existing plants when we started, including wonderful spring color and amazing mature hostas, but we helped to add a broader plant pallet, while keeping some existing ones, relocating some, and removing some to complement the overall design. By adding low maintenance, deer resistant, clay soil tolerant trees, shrubs and perennials, we brought bring year-round color and texture for long lived curb appeal without all the trouble. We changed out several perennials and added shrubs such as orange rocket barberry, ruby slippers oakleaf hydrangea and a merlot redbud for foliage color, along with easy
REWARDING SUCCESS: EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT AWARD Congratulations, Interior Plant Supervisor Amy Bittle for winning the Employee Spotlight Award, as part of the Rewarding Success Program! Amy was nominated by her peers, and selected through a committee. Amy has been with the team since February 2016 and works as an interior maintenance supervisor. She was nominated for this award for going above and beyond to get the job done, including working outside of normal business hours. Amy is always willing to help out where needed, keeping her crews motivated, organized and ready with supplies. She gives superb customer service and her positive attitude and constant smile make her a pleasure to be around. Thank you, Amy, for going above and beyond! Thank you also to those who took the time to nominate a fellow team member. Please continue to be on the lookout for Gold Star worthy behavior and nominate your fellow co-workers. Nomination forms can be found in the barn break room, at the main office, printed off from SharePoint or by contacting Summer Wilkinson.
SAGES OVER 70 EVENT
We are honored to be a part of dsmMagazine’s annual Sages Over 70 event, which honor a group of six individuals for their contribution to the city over the years. This year, it was a virtual gathering where our team designed and built a beautiful backdrop for the speakers. Account Manager Ginger Meadows was the lead on the project and worked closely with event staff to ensure the backdrop would complement the event perfectly!
Continued on page 36
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 35
long blooming perennials to extend the seasons. We added boxwoods and lilacs around the utilities to help camouflage. The icing on the entire cake was adding fresh new sod to the backyard. Any time you can add deep green grass to a property helps to make it look polished and well taken care of. Q: How many crew members were involved and how long did it take to do the work? A: A daily crew of two to three crew members, with the help of others for sod and
planting. The project from tear out to sod took approximately eight weeks to complete.
ladyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mantle. There was also one tree planted in the landscape.
Q: How many plants were used and which plant material was chosen? A: We used about 46 shrubs, including boxwoods, hydrangeas, barberrys, fothergilla, deutzia, rhododendrons, junipers, forsynthia and yews. There were 47 perennials for the front, back and side yards, including Japanese painted ferns, foam flowers, heuchera, sedum, baptisia, lily of the valley, epimedium, hardy geraniums and
Q: What hardscaping materials were used? A: We used a combination of wallstone and flagstone. We actually repurposed some materials from their existing landscaping as an environmentally conscious choice and to be more cost effective in the end. Approximately 330 square feet pavers, 227 square feet of retaining wall, many boulders, both to hold grade in the steep portions of the back yard and for decorative purposes.
Oakdale Cemetery Commemoration SERVICE: Landscape Design & Installation LOCATION: Adel, Iowa
PROJECT SCOPE: A longstanding resident of Adel, Iowa, Dennis Leininger has worked with Account Manager and Design Team Lead Kim Rieber for several years, completing many landscaping projects for him at his home, at his office, for his friends and family, and for the City
of Adel. The Oakdale Cemetery, located in Adel, was beginning to undergo an overall rejuvenation, and they wanted to create something to honor veterans at their Memorial Day ceremonies. Dennis was a major participant and donor in the rejuvenation, and came to Kim to see if her and WOS would be able to help bring their vision for the project to life. And WOS is no stranger to working with the cemetery, having previously worked on
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
DIGGING IN and rabbit tolerant, as well as draught tolerant. There would be minimal plant care once installed. We also wanted the most bloom and color during the Memorial Day services, so bloom time of perennials was taken into consideration. Prairie dropseed, Karl Foerster grasses, Barberry ‘Admiration’, creeping phlox, and sedum were used in the final installation.
Pavers: there were two different pavers used in this project, including engraved pavers that were purchased as memorials and used in the fundraising of the project, as well as repurposing the old street pavers from the City of Adel that had been removed as streets were being repaired. The pavers were different sizes so the base material had to be adjusted with each paver installation.
the Mausoleum, adding retaining walls to hold grade and plantings to dress it up. We also planted a living screen on the north end of the cemetery to screen a utility area. “For this project, I helped Dennis pick out a large stone that would become the home to a veterans memorial plaque,” said Kim. “This plaque honored the branches of the military and designated the area as Veterans Plaza-Oakdale Cemetery. Then, we designed the space for the memorial services to be held on Memorial Day. We installed the plaza memorial stone, and we graded, installed the patio, seat walls, steps, a flagstone path, an area for the flagpole, edging and plants.” One sure thing on the project was to ensure functionality for the ceremony and future use and maintenance, while paying homage to those that contributed to the project to solidify community impact.
CHALLENGES FACED “Being a public place, we had several considerations to take into account from start to finish,” said Kim. “It was especially cool to be involved in a project that incorporated new elements and historical elements that blended nicely together to create a beautiful end result for a great cause.” Slope: the slope and drainage in the area of the platform was complex and had many elements we had to play around with to ensure it all worked together.
Accessibility: it was important to create assess for disabled persons, including wheelchair accessibility. We installed a ramp at the drives side, and then incorporated steps on the lower end of the slope. Space: we needed to ensure that we had adequate room for the Color Guard during the flag ceremony, as well as a place for the podium and speak to be able to face the majority of the audience in attendance. Maintenance: one precaution was ensuring that there would be room for a lawn mowing crew to mow the cemetery and be able to get in between the existing monuments and our new plaza.
Hardscape Material: Seat walls around the pavers were built with a freestanding wall stone. A flagstone was used for pathways, which matched the Veterans Memorial stone plaque. Newly engraved brick that was purchased as a portion of the fundraising for the project was used. The City of Adel street pavers were repurposed as a soldier course around the patio area and also used as bed edging around planting beds.
RESULTS “The entire project was unique and a total group effort,” said Kim. “it was an honor to be involved in a project that represented all branches of the military. So many people and organizations contributed to make it happen. I had to keep in mind the opinions of many. It was great working with Dennis – we make a good team!”
FUN FACTS • A crew of 2-3 members were on the job through the project • 320 square feet of paver area • 65 square feet of retaining walls
Existing elements: there was an existing flagpole that was used, that dictated where the paver grade had to be installed. Sand: Normally when a paver patio is installed, you put the polymeric sand down, sweep it into the joints and water it in to harden the product. In this case, we had engraved brick with black lettering, so each engraved paver had to be brushed out to make sure not one granular of polymeric sand landed in the engraved names. This was done with a soft brush for every single letter of every single engraved brick.
PROJECT SPECIFICS Plant Material: Plants had to be deer
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 37
LEADERSHIP CORNER Dean Anderson, Area Manager The story of Verdure Elements can’t be told without explaining our history and how we came to be. Branching Out, Inc was established by Terry Whitney in 1981. The services that they provided were interior plant installations and with maintenance programs. They eventually expanded into holiday décor installations and seasonal color rotations. They served the two cities in Nebraska, including the Omaha metro area and Lincoln.
I was hired in November 2009 for holiday installations and Tom was hired in October 2009 as the general manager. Branching Out prided itself on strong customer service which separated them from their competition. Fast-forward to 2019, Wright Outdoor Solutions purchased Branching Out, at which time, we also reintroduced the company under the name Verdure Elements. Jennifer Anderson felt strongly about keeping the staff in place for the new company, which we all very much appreciated! Over the past year, under the leadership of WOS, there have been many changes. Most notably, the updated equipment that we have received. It has really help to increase
SEEN & HEARD "Where do I begin? Tom is a complete life saver. I met him just a few years ago and I’m so glad I did! As a commercial real estate manager, it is my job to create strong, positive first impression of our managed buildings. I can tell you there is no better way to do this than with a beautiful arrangement, or multiple at an entrance or in a lobby installed and cared for by Verdure Elements. I have hired them when I need an existing planter brought back to life, or when I just need to jazz up an entrance to create a WOW factor. Our clients expect no less than extraordinary and I know I can count on Verdure to deliver. Not only is their creativity second to none – their diligence in maintaining the arrangements speaks for itself. I am delighted to pass on that if you like being constantly complimented by your peers, clients, family or friends, give Tom with Verdure a call – he’ll knock it out of the park." - Makayla
complimenting Area Manager Tom Knight
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
our visibility in the community, and it has also increased morale for our employees. We have also updated our computer system, website, uniforms, and marketing presence. I feel confident that with all these positive changes, and know that it has set us up to become more successful. For 2020 and into next year, we are looking for a new facility, which will consolidate everything into one place. This will increase our efficiency, while also reducing our labor costs. Currently we have two warehouse locations in addition to our office space, so we spend unneeded time traveling between multiple locations. We are very anxious for this move, and even more so, we’re excited about the future of the company and everything we have planned.
DIGGING IN OUT & ABOUT:
SEASONAL COLOR ROTATION
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @VerdureElements
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 39
Along the Lines CNUC
A New CNUC Utility Vegetation Management Survey Randall H. Miller, Director of Research and Development This summer, CNUC finished its most recent in a long line of utility vegetation management (UVM) surveys. A first, this version was done in cooperation with Dr. Richard Hauer of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Dr. Hauer is the principal investigator of a seminal 2014 survey of urban and community forestry that involved over 7,000 cities (Hauer and Peterson 2016). This UVM survey was developed in November 2019 and followed the outline of Utility Vegetation Management: The Utility Specialist Certification Study Guide (Miller and Kempter 2018). The questions were designed to quantify responding company characteristics and their approach to UVM safety, program management, pruning, integrated vegetation management (IVM), electrical operations, storm response and communications. The results document 2019 as a base year, with the idea of describing what utilities were undertaking and accomplishing in UVM at that time.
over 52 million customers, 107,000 miles of transmission, nearly 80,000 miles of sub transmission and 1.1 million miles of distribution lines.
The questionnaire was mailed to 210 utilities using a combined list from CNUC and the Arbor Day Foundation Tree Line USA database, with a return deadline of early March 2020. Sixteen questionnaires had either invalid addresses or were returned blank, making the distribution list total 194 potential participants. 71 utilities responded, including six from Canada and 65 from the U.S., for a 36.6% return rate. Responding utilities involved
The results of the survey will be published in a comprehensive report later this year. However, here are a few results you might find interesting.
The responses were statistically analyzed by Dr. Hauer. In the results, the mean is defined as the arithmetic mean which is the sum of values divided by the total responses. The range is the value from the lowest to highest reported values for a question. The standard error of the mean (SE) was used to denote an estimate of how far the sample mean is likely to be from the population mean. For example, if the current length of the vegetation management cycle has a mean of 4.5 years with a standard error of 0.18 years, any cycle length longer than 4.68 years or shorter than 4.32 years would be statistically outside of the average length. In many cases the survey used a five-point Likert scale. An example of its application could be: one for strongly disagree, three for neither agree nor disagree and five for strongly agree.
UTILITY CHARACTERISTICS 38% of responding utilities were investorowned, 31% were municipal or public utility districts and 20% were cooperatives (the remainder answered other). Nearly all (97%)
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
operated distribution systems, although only 28% were distribution only. 41% were distribution, transmission and generation companies. The average customer base of responding utilities was 756,000 with a range of 350 to 7.8 million. The average distribution system covered 16,523 miles with a standard error of 3,514 miles.
Nearly all responding utilities (97%) sought to learn from safety incidents and close calls by communicating them throughout the organization. Only 30% of responding utilities used a third-party safety administrator (like ISNetworld), although 60% of utilities with over 10,000 miles of distribution line and 71% of investor-owned utilities (IOUs) did. Responding utilities were largely ambivalent about Utility Arborist Association (UAA) safety summits, rating them as 3.1 (neutral) on a fivepoint scale (IOUs rated them at 3.2). Fewer than half (44.4%) of responding utilities subjected employees who committed unintentional safety errors to discipline, although 95.2% reported that they subjected intentional safety rule violations to progressive discipline.
PROGRAM MANAGEMENT All responding utilities had centralized programs. Nearly 80% were centralized as a single department, 17.4% were centralized by program (distribution or transmission for example) and the remainder were centralized by other
Along the Lines structures. Nearly all (92.9%) had a department head. Almost 90% of responding utilities pre-planned or inspected work ahead of tree crews. 52% used contract workers, 39.1% used company employees, and 5.3% used tree crews. All the utilities conducted some type of quality assurance or quality control. Responding utilities spent an average of $27 million a year (plus or minus $7 million) on UVM in 2018. Over half (52.9%) indicated their UVM budget was inadequate.
The returned surveys indicated that an average of 21.3% of trees were in contact with distribution lines at the time of work. The average side and under distribution clearance after work was 10.9 and 10.6 feet for three and singlephase lines respectively with overhang being three feet more. The most important reasons utilities expressed for clearing trees from distribution lines were reliability (4.47 out of 5) and risk reduction (4.45). Further, they considered ANSI A300, Part 1 (4.5) and the ISA Utility Pruning BMP (Kempter 2004) (4.44) as the most important authorities for developing specifications.
INTEGRATED VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
Safety and service reliability (both at 3.34) were the most important reasons given for IVM programs. Environmental stewardship was the least important (2.33). Responding utilities indicated that the most important method for conducting workload evaluations were ground surveys (4.69). LiDAR (2.62) and unmanned aerial systems (2.62) were considered least important. ANSI A300 Part 7 was ranked as the most important reference to incorporate into IVM programs (4.12), followed by the ISA best management practice for IVM (3.99) (Miller 2014). Nearly 80% of responding utilities said that the ISA tree risk assessment best management practice (Smiley, Matheny and Lilly 2011) was unimportant to their UVM programs. This was before the UAA and ISA produced a tree risk assessment specifically for utilities (Goodfellow 2020).
64% had the same UVM strategy for single and three-phase lines. Responding utilities reported an average of 23.2% of distribution outages were caused by vegetation.
60% of vegetation-caused outages on distribution lines were from off right-ofway trees and whole tree failure. Utilities valued greater action thresholds on three-phase lines (4.13) and shorter cycle lengths (4.13) as the most important methods to decrease vegetation-related outages.
Responding utilities ranked an emergency response center (4.31) as the most important storm-response strategy, followed by pre-storm communication checks (4.17) and an incident command system (4.16). They ranked safety (4.96), electric hazard communication protocol (4.57), supervision (4.56) and fatigue (4.55) all as very important considerations in storm response.
Most utilities use multiple approaches to communicate with customers. 57% used inhouse employees and 55.7% used contractors. 50% also used tree crew members to communicate with customers. Mail (14.3%), phone messages (14.3%) and door hangers (8.6%) were less important. Apart from face-toface communications, brochures (3.57) and social media (3.45) were the most important communication strategies.
The 2020 Utilities & Vegetation Management in North America survey is a collaboration between CNUC and the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. It describes the current state of utility forestry tree activities and operations. This study drew from a list of 196 utilities from a historical CNUC list and Tree Line USA recipients from the Arbor Day Foundation. Of them, 71 or 36.6% returned surveys. Responding utilities covered over 52 million customers, along with 107,000 miles of transmission, nearly 80,000 miles of sub transmission and 1.1 million miles of distribution lines. Important findings included 97% of responding UVM programs learn from safety incidents, but they were not enthusiastic on UAA Safety Summits. Nearly 80% of responding utilities had centralized UVM programs. Over 21% of trees were in contact with distribution lines at the time of work. Safety and service reliability were the prominent reasons responding utilities used for UVM,
CNUC is the premiere company in providing innovative, economically sensible and environmentally sustainable vegetation management services.
>> To assist our clients in achieving compliant, effective, efficient, and defensible utility vegetation management programs. >> To provide attractive value appreciation to our employee owners. >> To provide team members with an environment that enables them to achieve their personal and professional goals. >> To make a positive contribution in the communities we serve. >> To provide appropriate strategic support to our parent and sister companies. >> To drive the industry in the areas of technology and knowledge.
SAFETY – It is everyone’s responsibility – we each own it. INTEGRITY – We abide by the highest ethical standards. KNOWLEDGE – We maintain a peerless understanding of our industry. EXCELLENCE– We continually strive to exceed our customer’s EXPECTATIONS – and our own expectations. INNOVATION – We anticipate our clients’ needs and we deliver creative services and solutions. FAMILY – It is our foundation; it is who we are. TEAMWORK – It is how we operate and we hold each other accountable.
Continued on page 42
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 41
Along the Lines while 23.2% of outages were attributable to vegetation. Emergency response centers were a prominent storm response strategy and safety was the most important consideration. UVM programs use inhouse employees to communicate with customers with brochures and social media common in non-face-to-face communication. The study is a contribution to a body of CNUC surveys that date back nearly 20 years. It sets the stage for future UVM industry collaborations between CNUC and the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
Goodfellow, J.W. 2020. Utility Tree Risk Assessment: Best Management Companion publication to ANSI A300 Part 9: Tree, Shrub, and Other Woody Plant Management – Standards Practices (Tree Risk Assessment a. Tree Failure). International Society of Arboriculture. Atlanta, GA. 95 pp. Hauer, R.J. and Peterson, W.D. 2016. Municipal Tree Care and Management in the United States: A 2014 Urban & Community Forestry Census of Tree Activities. Special Publication 16-1, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. 71 pp.
Kempter, G. 2004. Best Management Practices: Utility Pruning of Trees. International Society of Arboriculture. Champaign, IL.22 pp. Miller, R.H. 2014. Best Management Practices: Integrated Vegetation Management. International Society of Arboriculture. Champaign, IL. Miller, R.H. and Kempter, G. 2018. Utility Vegetation Management: The Utility Specialist Certification Study Guide. International Society of Arboriculture. Champaign, IL. 266. pp Smiley, T. Matheny, N., Lilly, S. 2011. Best Management Practices: Tree Risk Assessment. International Society of Arboriculture. Champaign, IL. 81. Pp.
TRANSMISSION FROM THE TOP In April of this year, Division 10 Regional Coordinator Sarah Lilley started the CNUC Book Club! Each month, CNUC team members read books on professional development, nonfiction books about trees, and fiction books with trees and plants at the forefront. Most recently, participants read The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth by Amy Edmondson and Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kaye. The Book Club has been a great way to combat disconnectedness during these times of social distancing and proven a fun way to engage fellow employees on another level.
From Crisis and Challenge Comes Innovation Derek Vannice, President and COO Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve tuned in as today’s management experts discuss the opportunities and innovations that have come from the adaptions we’ve had to make. I’m reminded of my college days, when I took an ecology class that looked at species survival over time as observed by Charles Darwin. While many would say that it is the strong who survive, Darwin realized the species best at adapting to change in their environment are most likely to survive. The CNUC management team realized early on that we could look at this in two ways. We could hit the pause button and just try to survive by maintaining the status quo or we could look at it as a new challenge and an opportunity to improve our company. We chose the latter.
they needed to thrive. We listened to their challenges and their concerns. We created simple buttons they could wear in the field that enforces recommended social distancing requirements. This was an important moment in which we demonstrated we were listening to our employees and we were ready to act on their feedback. The second item we provided for employee safety was masks. We looked at various type of masks with our marketing and communications team along with our clothing vendor, and we ordered two for every employee. Based on employee feedback, we are now looking to supply masks that better fit their needs. The bottom line is we listened to employee needs, acted on them, and are adapting to continued change. We are actively using the process of continual improvement to get better. That is who we are as a company.
The first item on our list was to protect our employees and give them the tools
Next, we used this crisis as an opportunity to improve employee
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Along the Lines engagement. We hosted our first state of the company meeting through our digital internal communication platform. We also developed additional employee committees for recruiting and diversity and inclusion. The recruiting committee is looking at ways to recruit new employees through virtual job fairs. The diversity and inclusion committee is taking this opportunity to make recommendations to management on how we can improve our hiring and management practices to recognize diversity and instill a culture of inclusion for all.
The CNUC management team realized early on that we could look at this in two ways. We could hit the pause button and just try to survive by maintaining the status quo or we could look at it as a new challenge and an opportunity to improve our company. We chose the latter. We have taken advantage of technology so that part to all of the hiring and onboarding procedures can be done virtually. We can now screen candidates with quick videos and adapted our online learning management system for a larger portion of the onboarding training. Our management team has taken this time of change to improve as well. We have hosted a series of webinars for our entire management team through our digital internal communications platform, including follow up discussions to apply what we learned. Speakers have included notable
business authors and consultants like Patrick Lencioni, Jim Collins and John Maxwell on topics like the benefits of uncertainty and resiliency. One of our favorite times of the year is our annual planning meeting. Usually, the entire management team meets at the corporate office in West Des Moines, Iowa. Due to the pandemic, travel restrictions and to keep our team safe, we adapted the meeting so it could be held online. We prepared by attended trainings on how to better use virtual platforms to conduct our planning meeting. We conducted that meeting in the beginning of September and it went very well. While not the same as being in person, we were able to accomplish all our objectives and we still left the meeting with the same buzz of excitement for the new fiscal year. As a management team, we feel it is extremely important to spend time in the field with our clients and our employees and we're dedicated to traveling to all our contracts on a regular basis to make sure that happens. While we do plan on getting back to that once we feel it is safe to do so, we will be looking at it a little differently. We believe we can be more strategic and use technology to get face-to-face with our employees through video chats and virtual meetings. We can also use money saved from less travel to create more opportunities for our employees. It has been a challenging year for CNUC, but I am very proud of everyone in our company. Instead of focusing on just surviving, we are thriving. The pandemic is still with us and we will continue to face challenges, but we have learned so much this past year and will continue to learn going forward. We will take advantage of opportunities that come our way and continue to grow our company. That is what adaptability is all about.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @CNUtility
CN Utility Consulting
In February 2020, CNUC kicked off a Photo Club. The goal of the club is not only a fun way to interact with fellow employees, but to understand our daily activities through photography. These photos are used as learning tools and to note the similarities and differences we encounter in our nationwide company. Over the past months, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve seen some inventive ways teams are getting together while being safety stewards and maintaining social distance.
Members of the Southern California Edison team played a team building game where they had to ask questions of the group to determine what type of tree they are. Pictured is Lead Consulting Utility Forester (LCUF) Kristina Baker, who, FYI was a Mexican fan palm.
In August, members of the Indianapolis Power & Light team got together for a Safety Stand Down. From left to right: Kelly Saylor, Jacob Krasinski, Bill Hunt, Jennifer Thompson, Scott Chrysler, Lauren Godfrey, Thomas Ordway, Blair Morton and Jeremy Nofsinger
In June, the IPL team held a socially distanced team building. Pictured are team members and Regional Supervisor Jason Allen handing out 360 walkaround magnets for their vehicles.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 43
Along the Lines SAFETY EDUCATION & TRAINING
Making the Most of Your Safety Program Todd Walker, Regional Supervisor Long gone are my days of unknowingly working unsafely and imprudently in the drop-zone as a groundman. After working in the private side of the tree care industry for eight years, I transitioned to the utility side as a lead consulting utility forester for CNUC. With the transition, I bought into our safety culture in a way I hadn’t in previous positions. I started making sure I was fully equipped with sturdy hiking boots, a safety vest, a hard hat, safety glasses/ sunglasses, plenty of water, food and a first-aid kit. Our weekly safety text messages and calls, safety audit program and the encouragement from my superiors convinced me that safety was not just another program or set of rules. I had embraced CNUC’s safety culture, not because I had to, but because I wanted to. Over the years, I’ve found myself in situations that could have been much worse if I hadn’t bought in to safety accountability. One such time was the day I found myself patrolling a transmission circuit in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It was a beautiful, sunny spring day as my patrol partner and I made our way up to a steep rock cropping. There was no way around, as the conductors were high enough to pose a difficult view in relationship to the top of the cropping but low enough to possibly strike vegetation on maximum blowout that could not be seen at ground level. Working together with safety at our forefront, we made our way upward. When we were near the top, I grabbed ahold of a rock to pull myself up, scanning the terrain as I did so. Peaking above a small ledge, I came directly in line with a rattle snake not even a few feet away, tucked back in the rocky crag just above the rest of my body. Without thinking, I stealthily and quickly lowered myself below the ledge averting the near
disaster before the rattler could even make a move. As close as it was to my face, it would have been an easy strike. I did not wake up that morning with plans of greeting a rattle snake in such close quarters, but I’m fairly convinced that being a part of a safety culture that engages the whole person and creates buy-in played, and still plays a large role in the way I engage and implement our safety program. As managers, we often focus on a safety program’s wording, structure or execution but do we stop and think about how to create a program that engages the mind and the heart so that it becomes part of who we are? That is to say, do our safety programs simply present a safer way to behave or do they internally motivate us to act safely without having to think much about it because we truly believe it is in our best interest and the interest of those around us? Here are a few considerations that could help create a more effective, comprehensive safety program:
SAFETY STARTS AT THE TOP If leadership does not promote safety culture buy-in, it will likely be an uphill battle for everyone else.
BE GENUINE & PERSONAL
Personalize aspects of your safety program to show regard for your employees as people rather than just a workforce. This means crafting your safety program and presentations with your specific audience in mind as opposed to simply throwing information against the wall in hopes that it sticks. Get to know your people and show them that you care about their safety more than you tell them.
Simply listening and allowing exchange of ideas between leadership and subordinates creates an open
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
IT IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY— WE EACH OWN IT.
atmosphere of trust and the ability to learn from shared experiences without retribution. Mistakes happen. If we punish or chastise employees for close calls or near misses, it only instills fear for those who might have otherwise shared them. Instead, use the information employees share as a training opportunity for them and others in the company.
BETTER BUY-IN SAVES TIME & BETTERS YOUR BOTTOM LINE When employees buy-in to safety programs, they become internally motivated to live out the principles that comprise your program and no longer need such rigorous supervision and follow-up to ensure compliance. This does not mean further training or auditing is dispensed with, but it does mean that employees have successfully internalized your core safety principles so that they hold themselves accountable to work more safely and efficiently. This in turn saves time and reduces down-time by more effectively preventing incidents before they ever occur.
Along the Lines NEW, ON THE MOVE & CERTIFIED Congratulations to the following CNUC employees who were recently appointed, promoted and certified!
LCUF >> Jeffrey Aker
The Rewarding Success Program recognizes employees who exhibit the values of CNUC in an exemplary manner. Twenty-six CNUC employees have been recognized through this program since April 2020. Congratulations to all recipients!
Regional Supervisor >> Mike Lewis
Consulting Utility Foresters (CUF) >> Travis Acrey >> Max Babcock >> William Calderon Gomez >> Gary Candelas >> Thomas Cramer >> Eric Dean >> Jessica Doporto >> Joseph Fornaciari >> Mark Grubbs >> Jarod Guidotti >> Jesse Hall >> Hannah Hroblak >> Darian Huerta >> James McNeill >> Jack Mensinger >> Emma Minahan >> Kyle Page >> Steven Romero >> Richard Soss >> Nicoletta Thibeault
CUFs >> Jonathan Evans >> Jonathan Poblano
CUFs >> Stephen Arey >> Joshua Baker >> Scott Chrysler >> Jacob Coddington >> Christian Deviney >> Lauren Godfrey >> James Holtzman >> Benjamin Kirse >> Kenneth Lee >> Anna Martz >> Whitney Merrill >> Blair Morton >> Fredricke Morgan >> Thomas Ordway >> Matthew Pinco >> Willem Reynolds >> Jack Rowell >> Theresa Smith >> Duane Thomas >> Thomas Walters >> Jayshon Wilson >> Michael Woolum
ON THE MOVE DIVISION 10
Regional Supervisor >> Patrick Birkimer Project Managers >> Dean Leonard >> Dylan Roberts LCUFs >> Kristin Baker >> Jonathan Brody >> Aida Castro >> Dennis Cueva >> Russel Evans >> Martin Villasenor SCUF >> Nichole Snorteland
Regional Coordinator >> Kevin Baggett On-Site Supervisor >> Lorenzo Villanueva
Regional Manager >> Jay Manganaro
DIVISION 20 Doug Baker Gregory Bemis Jose Jimenez Daniel Williams Gregory Zeman
>> >> >> >> >>
>> Tyler Meroney >> Steele Napoleon
>> Ted Catechi >> Nathan Gibson
>> Kerry Washinko
>> Justin Cox >> Janice Larsen >> Andrew Pederson
DIVISION 20 >> >> >> >>
Christina Cunningham Heather Griffith Russ Maxwell Michelle Whitney
>> Abram Arias >> Kyle Belcher
EXCELLENCE DIVISION 10 >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Adonis Clawson Eric Comacho Escobedo Joseph Fornaciari Braeden Rossich Tim Sheehy Sterling Welsh Jennifer Young
Safety Manager >> Bill Spencer
ISA Certified Arborist
DIVISION 10 >> >> >> >>
Devon Sharp Helen Kelley Jennifer Kim John Lynde
ISA Utility Specialist
>> Michelle Chaffee
DIVISION 20 >> Doug Oakley
>> Eric Lochary >> Michael DeSarro
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 45
Along the Lines
Around the Grid Division 10
Division 10 CUF Richard Baker delivered extra N-95 masks they had on hand from the last fire season to a local hospital for medical professionals that needed them most.
In late spring, Division 30 conducted a tree inventory in Freemont. Supervisor of R+D Bill Spencer and Division 10 Contract Coordinators Mike Johnson and Aaron Goodpasture completed the work. Pictured are Mike Johnson and Aaron Goodpasture.
Division 10 CUF Norma Gomez received a compliment from a customer saying she came out to her property and was “very knowledgeable and very good at her job”.
CUFs working on tornado restoration efforts on the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga contract received the following compliments from Vegetation Manager George Morgan, “Jason Benton and his team were a huge help. They helped bird dog tree crews, scouted storm damage, did service drop assessment on one of the most damaged subdivisions and are still running service requests. We are thankful for CNUC!” In May, members of our Division 10 team attended career fairs for CalPoly SLO, Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University. Top left: Pictured are Contract Coordinator Jennifer Kim, Regional Coordinator Sarah Lilley and student Emma Minihan. Middle left: Pictured
are Contract Coordinator Jose Bautista and Regional Supervisor Patrick Birkimer
Division 20 Division 20 SCUF Pete Burkett celebrated his son Joshua’s accomplishment of passing the Eagle Board of review and becoming an eagle scout. Congrats, Joshua!
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Company STATE OF THE COMPANY In June, President and COO Derek Vannice and Vice President Josh Beaver held the first state of the company call for all of CNUC. They covered company updates and expressed their gratitude for every team member’s adaptability and contributions during the early stages of the pandemic.
Along the Lines
This is My Office Employee/Project Spotlight This year we started a CNUC Employee Spotlight campaign. The campaign increases the CNUC team's awareness of fellow employees and current projects. Each employee or project spotlight will help us have a better understanding of the goings on of the company as a whole and serve as a get to know you for all of our employees across North America. So far this year we highlighted the following people and projects.
Through the photo club we get a glimpse into the varied places our CUFs can call their office. CUF Karen Jenkins in Division 15 sent in this photo of her team doing post-fire assessments.
Division 20 CUF Mike DeSarro got a bird’s eye view of Pennsylvania in a helicopter while working aerial patrol.
This photo was snapped by Division 10 CUF Dennis Cueva in San Bernardino on the Rim of the World Highway. Division 20 CUF Jared Beaver caught this incredible lightning strike photo in Durham, California.
This photo comes from Division 15 CUF Thomas Houck patrolling in eastern Washington after recent fires. Our thoughts are with all that have been affected in this record-breaking fire season. Division 10 Regional Supervisor Todd Walker submitted this serene sunrise photo from Jackson State Forest, California.
EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT > The R+D team (Division 30): Director of R+D Randall H. Miller, Manager of R+D Philip Chen, Supervisor of R+D William Spencer > Division 10 Project Manager Eric Austin > Division 15 Contract Supervisor Andrew Donnachie > Division 10 Project Manager Dean Leonard
PROJECT SPOTLIGHT > Division 20 Transmission, Distribution Storage Improvement (TDSIC) Project > Safety Task Force
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 47
Along the Lines FIELD FACTS
Urban Forestry at CNUC Philip Chen, Manager of Research and Development CNUC's Division 30 is otherwise known as our research and development (R+D) department. As part of the D in R+D, we examine how we can leverage our assets to find growth opportunities within our industry and new markets. A natural first step in our progression was expanding upon our primary skillset – arboriculture. Many of our staff have a background in forestry and all eventually gain arboriculture knowledge and the relevant certifications. You can't draw much more of a direct link to the practice of arboriculture than urban forestry, which is the planting, maintenance, care and protection of individual trees and tree populations in urban settings. As a result of this revelation, CNUC's D30 began our debut into Urban Forestry in 2017. We, however, did not achieve meaningful ingress into urban forestry until the summer of 2020. Throughout our journey so far, we have uncovered many things.
BARRIERS TO ENTRY
In 2017, we began pursuing the urban forestry market and found it was easier said than done. As we reviewed requests for proposals (RFPs), we kept confronting hefty requirements for proof of experience. On RFPs that didn't have such requirements, we faced the similar challenge of bidding against firms with extensive experience. It was a frustrating time. We continued to submit bids as often as possible, but each time we received notice that another firm was awarded. Each time it was the same story. Our proposal was great, and our pricing was reasonable but we didn't have the experience the other firms presented. We decided to pivot to pursuing projects that were small enough that the large players in the market weren't bidding and had some successes. We started with a small ash tree inventory and risk assessment for the City of Chattanooga in Tennessee, inspecting and documenting all ash trees in
Chattanooga's downtown and the Chattanooga Zoo. Next, a golf course in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Then at the Trees and Utilities Conference in 2019, we had a game changing conversation with a company called PlanIT Geo.
PlanIT Geo specializes in urban forestry software, tree canopy assessments using satellite imagery and creating management plans. They explained that cities often put out bids for a bundle of these services– this was their bread and butter. Their small team of arborists completed these services for smaller projects well, however, when it came to larger cities they were not well equipped to scale up. PlanIT Geo offered experience in urban forestry, software and services outside of CNUC’s scope. We on the other hand, have a large, distributed staff of arborists. It was a perfect fit and we formed a partnership. In our first few months together, we had some significant successes. First, a large tree inventory in Fremont, CA, followed by an inventory for Apple, Inc.
When we began large-scale tree inventory work, several contrasts with utility vegetation management (UVM) forestry became evident. First, in urban tree inventories, species identification is critical and the suite of species you may encounter is more wide reaching than in UVM work. Often, we encountered obscure species that were planted for their aesthetics, and our arborists had to dive deep into their college dendrology course memories or leverage reference materials for identification. Not only is a high quantity of species met, but smaller species which we can typically overlook in UVM applications. Generally, there is a lot of individual tree attention in urban forestry compared to UVM. Tree risk assessment is one aspect of UVM forestry in which we pay close attention to an individual specimen. Our experience in tree risk assessment
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
was a decisive advantage in our urban forestry work. However, even in this familiar activity, we found contrasts. For example, in UVM, our target is almost always a static line when evaluating tree risk potential. In urban forestry, by comparison, you must consider hardscapes, structures, vehicles and pedestrians. Much more thought must be given to the likelihood of impact in tree risk equations: what is the frequency and duration of targets within the impact zone?
This leads me to some recent unforeseen challenges we all have faced and their impact on our tree inventory work. As we are all too aware, COVID-19 has made quite an impact. As with our normal operations, it caused logistical challenges for fieldwork. It also influenced tree risk assessments and the considerations around the likelihood of impact. It can be challenging to determine frequency and duration of pedestrians and cars when working in empty streets in an unfamiliar location. Additionally, with our assessments covering a year's timeframe, how will COVID-19 impact those frequencies and durations for that. Were trees with a risk of failure in areas that were bustling with people pre-COVID now less of a concern as fewer people were near them less often? The second environmental challenge we encountered was the California fires. All our tree inventory work this season was in the San Francisco Bay area. With fires burning in surrounding regions, we had significant impacts from smoke. On occasion the air quality index was at unhealthy levels, shutting down fieldwork for days at a time. For our Apple, Inc. project, photos were integral to our scope of work and the smoke prevented us from taking high-quality photos. For that reason, we had to return to trees we had already inventoried to retake photos on clear days. This was a substantial issue as all our pricing is on a per tree basis and we had little wiggle room for more than one mobilization.
Along the Lines LOOKING FORWARD
We've learned a lot and leveraged our model of continuous improvement to adapt along the way. We have reached the end of our 2020 urban forestry field season with lessons learned, a lot more experience and a strategy to expand this service offering even further. When it comes to tree inventories, we have ambitious goals for this next year. With our new partnership, drive for excellence,
insights from 2020 and our fantastic team, I feel confident we will exceed our expectations. I want to give kudos to Michael Johnson, Aaron Goodpasture and Bill Spencer for all the hard work they put in to get us where we are today. The three of them have continually impressed our partner PlanIT Geo, our clients and me, turning our goal of expanding into the urban forestry market into a reality.
SUBMIT A FIELD FACT!
If you would like to submit a field fact, please email email@example.com.
CNUC COMMUNITY CORNER
CNUC team members are encouraged to participate in building our culture of inclusion and continual improvement by joining our committees. Made up of field employees and management, these committees give employees the opportunity to impact CNUC on a different level than their day to day and allows them to work with team members across the company they may not otherwise work with. What have the committees been up to recently?
RECRUITING The purpose of the recruitment committee is to facilitate open communication regarding the programming, initiatives and policies and procedures affecting employee recruitment, to propose, plan and coordinate initiatives and material to engage CNUC team members in creating and participating in recruitment activities and promote recruiting initiatives to CNUC employees and candidates. In the year the committee has been active, they have focused on a standard catalogue of recruiting materials to be used at job fairs and elsewhere. They are also making connections with colleges across the country and are currently hard at work on an enhanced internship program.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION The purpose of the Diversity and Inclusion committee is to facilitate open communication regarding diversity and inclusion; to review CNUC policies; procedures and communications to ensure diversity and inclusion in all areas; to provide recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion and propose; plan support and coordinate new initiatives and engage team members in creating and cultivating diversity and inclusion within CNUC. The Diversity and Inclusion committee is the newest of the three, founded in July of this year. The committee wants to make sure we continue to create a culture of inclusivity, where all voices and experiences are important to every aspect of CNUC and are looking at ways to do so in the short and long term. Slogan: You are CNUC.
SAFETY TASK FORCE The purpose of the Safety Task Force (STF) is to improve and promote CNUCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s safety culture and facilitate open communication about policies, procedures and initiatives that pertain to the safety and well-being of our team members and the public. The STF will propose, plan and coordinate new safety practices and initiatives that engage the CNUC team in actively creating a safer work environment, minimizing exposure to hazards and lowering risk. The Safety Task Force has been around since 2017. It is currently led by Mike Johnson, D10 contract coordinator, and rounded out by 12 CNUC team members. The SFT is currently reviewing and will make recommendations to refresh the team weekly safety calls. Slogan: Safety doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happen by accident.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 49
SPECTRUM STANDARD TERRA SPECTRUM TECHNOLOGIES
Growing, Changing, and Adapting Travis Yordi, Director We are living in the age of information, or as some would call it, the age of information overload. We’re bombarded by ads tailored to us based on every website we’ve been on, every link we’ve clicked, and every item we’ve bought online. Facts and opinions are delivered ad nauseum and up to the minute from social media and blog posts. Data drives all of our business decisions, and yet that data can be so vast, so minute in detail, that we lose sight of the forest through the trees.
“Data is not useful until it becomes information.” - Seth Godin
Data points are particularly useful when combined to paint an entire picture. One could look at the productivity of two tree crews, A and B. You could strictly compare their productivity and see that crew A averages one hour per tree, while crew B averages two hours per tree. It would be easy to assume that crew A is twice as productive as crew B, right? Well, what if crew B is assigned the more difficult trees
because of their greater combined skill level? What if crew B has half of the rework or failed audits as crew A? What if crew B leaves yards immaculate and improves your relationship with your customers? That one data point may become less important when other data points are added to the mix. FieldNote wasn’t designed to provide you with just the select data points that we pre-determined you need. It gives you a canvas in which you can paint a picture of your operation. It allows you to capture all the data points you need to connect the dots without overloading you – or the crews entering the data. And speaking of the crews, we should be cautious that we don’t overlook the way we’re asking them to collect all of these data points. FieldNote was designed for them – and all the other users in the field. It’s a tool to help them do their jobs, not just collect data. It can provide them with useful information, photos and maps without requiring them to use a complicated GIS application or enter data line by line in a spreadsheet. Whatever platform you rely on, it should provide value to everyone who uses it. Implementing a software platform that only feeds data into a system to spit out numbers leaves a lot of useful information on the table. If it requires continual involvement from IT or GIS teams, then it better provide enough quality information and impart enough value on the users entering the information to offset those costs.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
When you look at your operation, are you collecting data or are you interacting with information? Are your employees, crews, and/or contractors just entering data or are they provided with a tool to manage their work and use information to make informed decisions? We all take time to look at trees every day, but let’s make sure we step back and see the beauty of the forest.
Dave Reed, Senior Product Manager Choosing the right vegetation management software can mean a world of difference. Just like many other aspects of our industry, there is competition in the area of software used on a contract. Here are a few ways TST has positioned the FieldNote® application to be successful in this arena.
Often software can be very rigid and inflexible, and you may be required to wait perhaps weeks for seemingly simple change requests to be implemented. Especially toward the beginning of a contract, changes are inevitable and quick turn-around is imperative to getting the project going in a timely fashion. FieldNote was built to be extremely flexible. Need to add to a list, add a new field, or even an entirely new form? We can have this accomplished in mere minutes, and contract admins can even make these changes themselves via the FieldNote website, which will reflect in the field tablet upon their next sync.
The FieldNote app is a visual experience that is driven by collected data. At a glance, a field person can get a birds-eye view of where they’ve been and what’s ahead in their workflow as graphics are drawn out
for them on the map – which can change color and/or the icon itself based on the most recent data from their last sync. The FieldNote website takes all that collected data and provides tools for rich, detailed reports and charts for management and administration to see the current state of their projects and make decisions based on their present situation.
Terra Spectrum Technologies is a leader in providing innovative, high quality software specializing in geospatial data collection and workflow management.
// Provide simple, streamlined and scalable software that exceed our clients’ expectations // Have comprehensive knowledge of the clients and industries that we serve
For active projects, datasets are guaranteed to do one thing: grow. Lots of data is a great thing for analytics but can easily get overwhelming for a field person who just wants to see what’s on their plate. With FieldNote Perspectives, you only see what you want to see. If you’re a general foreman and want to get a birds-eye view of your project, you can do that. If you’re a tree climber and want to only see the outstanding work that’s assigned to your crew, you can do that. Perspectives is a powerful tool that helps you filter out all the noise so it’s clear that what’s on your map is a picture of your current tasks.
// Have a positive influence on the communities we serve
These are just a few of the things that set TST’s FieldNote apart from the competition. The continued positive feedback from our customers and their glowing word-of-mouth reviews are building our reputation as an industry leader in vegetation management software.
Security: We protect our customers’ data as if it were our own.
// Deliver attractive value appreciation to our employee owners // Give team members the training and opportunities needed to enhance their professional development and technical knowledge // Provide knowledge and technical support to clients with only in-house staff
Innovation: We anticipate our clients’ needs and we deliver creative services and solutions. Knowledge: We understand and adopt the latest technology trends. Excellence: We continually strive to exceed our customer’s expectations – and our own expectations. Integrity: We abide by the highest ethical standards. Teamwork: It is how we operate and we hold each other accountable. Family: It is our foundation; it is who we are.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 51
The New Normal Nathan Jones, Technology Consultant Without a doubt, COVID-19 is the biggest disruption that a lot of us have seen in our lifetimes. It has reshaped what we do, how we do it, and why we do it to a level never seen before. Simple things that we previously took for granted, like eating at restaurants, going to ballgames, or chatting with coworkers around the water cooler, may not look the same anytime soon (or maybe ever). Inperson meetings around a conference table have been replaced with Zoom meetings from our home offices. While the vast majority of businesses have had difficulty adapting to this new normal, we at TST are fortunate to operate in a landscape that does not require a high degree of change – we are still developing intelligent software that allows users to collect and exchange information while physically separated from each other by a few hundred feet or a few hundred miles. While the playing field has changed (distance is now a requirement instead of merely an inconvenience), the players
remain the same. Planners inspecting lines and generating work orders, crew leaders methodically finishing the day’s work, general foremen overseeing the crews, and the utility watching it all. Rarely do all of these people occupy the same place at the same time, even before the pandemic. There has always been a need to link all of the parties together with robust, yet easy to use technology that allows them to share information without any consideration of distance. Thanks to FieldNote, a system is already in place that allows a utility to manage vegetation on its system while adhering to social distancing guidelines, without sacrificing the attention to detail that comes with face-to-face interaction. One of the great strengths of FieldNote is that the workflow is easily adjusted to accommodate any necessary changes, greatly reducing the need for frequent in-person meetings and crew gatherings. Users simply make necessary changes to the workflow based on the needs of the group, and the changes are instantly pushed to the individual team members no matter where they are.
"I am often reminded of a quote from Charles Darwin that says, 'It is not the strongest of a species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.' While I would like to think that we are also the strongest and most intelligent, we are certainly the most adaptable. Although, I doubt that Charles Darwin ever had to lead a Zoom meeting while his kids were fighting in the background over who gets to be Mario and who has to be Luigi."
Adapting to difficult circumstances can be taxing, with today’s climate being no exception. As I interact internally with Wright Service Corp. and externally with clients, however, I am consistently amazed by the flexibility and resiliency of the people I work with. I am often reminded of a quote from Charles Darwin that says, “It is not the strongest of a species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” While I would like to think that we are also the strongest and most intelligent, we are certainly the most adaptable. Although, I doubt that Charles Darwin ever had to lead a Zoom meeting while his kids were fighting in the background over who gets to be Mario and who has to be Luigi.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Terra Spectrum Technologies
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
GreeNews SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANTS
The Pandemic of 2020 – Food System Change Drivers and Lessons Learned So Far Rick Shanks, Chief Sustainability Advisor
Global Systems Not Prepared for a Pandemic Event The COVID-19 pandemic has created a worldwide health and economic crisis. As the virus has progressed, we have become aware of at least three key lessons learned. 1. Healthcare Workers & First Responders are Critical Healthcare workers and first responders are critical under normal situations, but a deadly health event highlights how important they are, putting themselves at risk every day to care for the sick. They must be protected. 2. Crisis Management Plan Must Be Built and Implemented Crisis management plans are important but must be implemented and maintained for all operations. In evaluation of our preparedness for the current pandemic event, we have learned in many cases that crisis plans were in place but not followed. The 2015 pre-pandemic plan for New York State is such an example. The plan called for a stockpile of 16,000 ventilators and other personal protection equipment (PPE) in the event of a possible terrorist or pandemic event. The New York Post reported that equipment was not purchased, however, leaving state and federal authorities scrambling to provide critical equipment and facilities during the current event. Will there be another pandemic? The short answer is yes!
Take a look at the last 7 major events. These events are usually designated as “black swan” events, which are random, unexpected and have significant catastrophic ramifications if they occur.
How many food companies have risk management plans in place for their supply chains, which include a crisis management component for a pandemic or terrorism event? My guess – not many!
3. Our Global Food System is Vulnerable Disruptions from the current pandemic have awakened us to the fact that our global food system is far more vulnerable than we imagined and emerging negative impacts like food insecurity and malnutrition are major concerns. We now know that our food supply is essential to surviving and recovering from the current pandemic. In fact, the protection of our food system from a terrorist attack or other catastrophic event has been designated as a critical infrastructure under Homeland Security Presidential Directive #9 (HSPD9).
Consumer Sustainability Concerns Emerge from the Pandemic In a post COVID-19 world, moving to a sustainable, regenerative and resilient global food supply system will be critical. The novel coronavirus pandemic has made us realize that “business-as-usual” is no longer an option. It is estimated that we need to increase our food supply by 60% by 2050 to provide enough food to meet the needs of a global population that will Continued on page 54
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 53
The Pandemic of 2020 VISION
Sustainable Environmental Consultants is a leader in providing innovative solutions to better the planet.
Recognize the responsibility of organizations and individuals to be leaders in protecting our environment. We desire to provide transformative sustainability solutions that minimize risk for our customers, our communities, and our planet.
SAFETY It is everyone’s responsibility – we each own it. INTEGRITY We abide by the highest ethical standards. TRANSPARENCY We take pride in our independent authentication process of reliable traceability. SUSTAINABILITY We value action over definition when it comes to sustainability because it’s our passion. RESPECT We exhibit it toward our team, our customers and the environment. COLLABORATION We recognize we will move the needle on sustainability only through partnership and cooperation by many. INNOVATION We anticipate our clients’ needs and we deliver creative services & solutions. FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.
have grown to an estimated 10 billion people. Current mass production agricultural practices, in many cases are not sustainable. We should transition to regenerative practices that support the health of people, animals and the environment. A new survey by Kearney, a global independent consulting firm, showed that nearly 50% of consumers say the pandemic has made them even more concerned about the environment. Transitioning to a regenerative agriculture solution will be critical to meet the global food security and nutritional requirements of the future. Resilient, regenerative agriculture systems of the future will increase biodiversity, restore soil health, effectively use energy and water, and respect social and community issues, among other things. By implementing sustainable agricultural practices, more is restored and returned to the environment and communities than is removed.
Consumer Food Habits Change Consumers are reacting to the crisis in several ways. An increase in panic buying for critical food and hygiene products led to empty shelves for others as most grocery stores operate on a 3-day inventory basis, causing a ripple effect for demand on our food system. A recent survey by the International Food and Information Council found that 85% of food consumers have changed their food habits, driving them to cook, eat, shop and think about food differently. About 60% said they are cooking at home more. Consumers want to trust that their food is safe, available, how it was made and where it comes from.
What are a few key problems to scaling regenerative agriculture? 1. Current Public Agriculture Policy Current public agriculture policy supports intensive farming systems over regenerative options. 2. Lack of Awareness In most cases, food companies are not aware of the environmental impact of the farming practices being used to produce their food products all the way back to the farm. 3. Consumer Demand In the past, consumer demand for regeneratively produced food products has not been sufficient to generate a move to regenerative agriculture. 4. Financing Financing the transition from current farming systems to regenerative agriculture has not been supported. All of these are transforming and will drive change to a more resilient food system.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
Consumer expectations are even more important today and they are evolving. Consumers want their food to be safe and free from contaminants. The current pandemic has proved that a strong immunity is critical to surviving the virus. Food should not only taste good and be nutritious, but, if possible, help boost the resiliency of the immune system. They want “sustainably sourced” claims supported by independent third-party verification back to the farm showing the environmental impact of their products. Finally, the companies they buy from should be purpose driven and do more for the environment, people and community.
> How much carbon was emitted and sequestered in creating our products through their full life cycle (farm to fork)? > Do our farmer-partners use regenerative farming practices? > Have we had a third party develop the on-farm environmental impact metrics for our products? > Were our farmer-partners able to make a living wage?
What Now? There will be more catastrophic events, both large and small. Food companies have an opportunity to reduce business interruption and damage to their brand identity by assessing their current risk and creating continuous improvement plans that ensure effective strategies are in place for their entire agricultural supply network - from farm to fork! The graphic at right shows how our food system is interconnected. Food product life cycle assessments (LCA) should be used to identify where resiliency of the system is in question. Once supply network vulnerabilities have been identified; corrective plans can be developed and implemented. Food and agriculture companies have a unique opportunity to lead the change to a more regenerative, resilient and sustainable food system.
Many companies have developed environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals for their owned and controlled assets but have neglected to look at the environmental impact of their products on a farm to fork basis. What to do? It starts with an honest transparent assessment of the current farming practices employed to produce their products.
> How do we help our farmer-partners transition to regenerative agriculture practices?
Senior food company managers should be asking questions like: > Have we set goals that are independently verified by a third party for water, energy, biodiversity, soil health, animal welfare, social, etc.? > How much water did it take to produce a million dollars of our sales last year?
Welcome To The Team SEC Welcomes Myla Meyer to the Team Myla Meyer, Agriculture Communications Specialist Myla Meyer has joined the SEC team as our agriculture communications specialist in our sustainability risk management division. In her role, she is responsible for communicating the outcomes from our EcoPractices platform in different formats such as reports, graphics, and presentation materials. She creatively combines expertise and innovation to provide transparency and integrity from producer to consumer, communicating the science behind sustainability projects to multiple audiences. Myla holds a bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in agriculture and life sciences education with a minor in agronomy from Iowa State University (ISU). During her time at ISU, she completed a dual internship, working part-time for both the Iowa Egg Council in Urbandale, Iowa, and the Egg Industry Center in Ames, Iowa. She was awarded an Iowa FFA State Degree in 2013 and an American FFA Degree in 2016. Myla continues to work at her home farm in Charles City, Iowa when she is able during planting and harvest season.
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 55
PROJECT SPOTLIGHT Sustainable Agronomy Conference Two of our agronomists participated in the Sustainable Agronomy Conference that went virtual this year. They were impressed by the content, most specifically current research about soil health and understanding practices that are successful in different areas of the country. American Society of Agronomy did a great job organizing the conference and ensuring it ran smoothly!
An Update on Bioreactors & Innovations in Water Quality Daniel Berges, Agricultural Engineer In 2016, SEC began looking to expand their agricultural compliance and engineering division portfolio with denitrifying bioreactor design services. Used to treat subsurface drainage water from agricultural fields, bioreactors are an edge-of-field practice that help to reduce nitrate loading to nearby streams. They are essentially underground wood chip “filters” designed to route subsurface drainage water through a buried trench. Natural bacteria in the bioreactor use the carbon from the wood chips as their food source and convert nitrates in the water to nitrogen gas during the respiration process, also known as denitrification. The nitrogen gas is then freely released into the atmosphere while the water is discharged with a reduced nitrate concentration. Iowa is one of 12 states that comprises the Mississippi River Basin, which has generated a Nutrient Reduction Strategy to improve water quality and combat the hypoxia zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Iowa’s goal is to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loading by 45%. According to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, bioreactors are an effective land management practice, estimated to reduce 43% of nitrate loads annually to local streams. In the summer of 2019, SEC signed a contract with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) to design bioreactors throughout central Iowa. Each bioreactor will be developed in three phases.
Phase 1 – Design & Layout Phase 1 is the design and layout phase. During this phase, IDALS completes an initial field investigation to acquire site specific survey data and information needed to facilitate the design process. This typically includes a map of the
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
existing subsurface drainage system, identifying the location and diameter of subsurface pipes and their outlet locations. SEC utilizes this information to design and place the bioreactor. To maintain productivity and soil quality of the field, bioreactors are generally built on the edge of the field. An initial water sample is also collected during this phase for a pre-bioreactor and postbioreactor analysis and comparison.
Phase 2 – Landowner Operation & Management Plan Phase 2 involves providing the landowner with an operation and management plan. The plan outlines site-specific maintenance for the bioreactor, including items such as managing the water level in the bioreactor, inspection and maintenance requirements, and monitoring the wood chips for replacement. To reach the estimated lifespan of 20 years for feeding the microbes, the wood chips require a consistent flow of water, which is controlled within the drainage structure by way of stoplogs that are moved up and down seasonally and for rain events.
Phase 3 - Construction Phase 3 is the construction phase. This includes coordinating a preconstruction meeting with the contractor and providing subsequent oversight for critical aspects of the bioreactor. A post-installation inspection is also completed to ensure the bioreactor was constructed as designed and functioning properly. SEC completed Phase 1 for bioreactors in NE Iowa through the IDALS contract this past spring, Phase 2 & 3 will be completed this fall after harvest.
Training Takeaways In August, Environmental Technician Samantha Bretz attended a four-day virtual training hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The workshop trained livestock producers and service providers how to use the Revised University Soil Loss Equation, known as RUSLE2, as well as the Iowa Phosphorus Index in nutrient management and manure management plans. Participants were divided into virtual breakout rooms where they worked in small groups on real field examples, and they used those examples to help determine risk calculations of the Iowa Phosphorus Index and how to incorporate these numbers into manure and nutrient management planning requirements. “It was great that we got real life examples to do as ‘homework’ and then review in class the next day,” said Samantha. “It was a lot better than just a big lecture. We also got a lot of great resources.” Also discussed in the workshop was manure management planning, soil
sampling requirements, as well as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources's review process. Samantha uses the RUSLE2 program with every nutrient management plan and all of the annual reports that SEC provides to clients, along with any time they’re calculating allowable manure applications for a field. “Understanding the RUSLE2 program better will help me to more accurately plan how much manure can be safely applied to a field,” said Samantha. “For me, the biggest takeaway from the course was learning about the new way to determine the Dominant Critical Area of a field, meaning
which soil type to use when predicting erosion.” Participants also got to review the new program that will replace the RUSLE2 program in the near future. “That will be a huge help to me when they do make the switch,” said Samantha.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC)
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 57
North of 49 0 SPECTRUM RESOURCE GROUP INC.
From the Heart: LEAD Program Experience Eric Nijboer, RPBio, P.Biol, Division Manager – Fire Management and ISM
Over the last two years, I have learned too many leadership concepts, developed too many skillsets, and have been introduced to, and have shared memorable moments, with far too many people to cite. In an attempt to make my capstone article more captivating to you, the reader, I have opted to go about this in a roundabout way. It is the people, both my fellow prospective graduates and Wright Service Corp. (WSC) support staff, that I have learned the most from. It is the people that I will never forget. The moment I walked into the room on the first day of class, I felt a connection to the people around me. This connection wasn’t based on the happenstance that these were my colleagues, or that these fellow, now graduates, were put together in a room and asked to share ideas, experiences and learn together as a group. The connection I felt was deeper than this. These are the future leaders of the WSC family of companies. These are the future leaders of the ranks upon ranks of employees who, for many, will dedicate the majority of their adult waking lives to their respective companies, and who
will ultimately dictate the success of the organization as a whole. These people are accountable, ambitious and driven to succeed. These people are like me. It is in this notion that I felt an instant connection and sense of inclusivity to these people whom I had never met before. An anecdote to convey my point. During my visit to Des Moines for the second in-person LEAD session in the spring of 2019, a number of the graduates, including myself, explored the city after our second day of classes had ended. We first met for dinner, and then proceeded onto a local establishment to network and get to know each other. I learned how to play a Des Moines favorite, ‘cornhole’ (yes – this is actually the name of the game for those of you who are not familiar with it – so I’ve been told), and conversed with my fellow classmates as if I had known them for years. As I boarded the plane the next morning to fly 1,500 miles home to Prince George, Canada, I remember thinking to myself, it is these moments, the moments you share with other people, that really matter. It is these moments that you’ll never forget, and it is these moments that make you realize that it’s the people that matter more than anything else. This was by no means an epiphany; I’ve always recognized that it’s the people that matter most, yet it’s easy to let
this recognition drift to the wayside as one navigates the upstream rapids of their day-to-day responsibilities and duties. This appreciation and acknowledgment were simply trampled upon and buried just below the surface of my consciousness as I found myself focused on numbers and names, and not the people that ultimately drove my success as a manger and the success of the company. In saying this, this is the single most important thing that I’ve learned to remember throughout my time in the LEAD Program. Understanding personality types and knowing how to structurally lead your team is only the start. You need to be able to genuinely connect with the people you interact with, whether that be clients, peers, or the people that follow you and look to you for leadership. The relationships and experiences that you share with the people around you enable you to apply and develop the leadership concepts learned in the classroom in an organic and spontaneous way. It’s the people that matter most. The success of the company rides entirely upon them. As a leader, you need to recognize that there is nothing without them but empty trucks and vacant offices. I am humbled by the effort, logistical feat and sheer monetary investment that the company has devoted to my graduating class over the last two years. Continued on page 59
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
I am especially thankful to members of the corporate office, including Jacqueline Mitchell from the Training and Development Department and Maryna Rath from the Marketing and Communications Department, and to all of the other support staff that have made my experience truly special and memorable. I’d also like to thank
Randall Miller, my LEAD mentor, for an unforgettable job-shadow experience. I could easily spend another 1,000 plus words recounting the experience. Lastly, I’d like to sincerely thank the WSC executives for allowing me to participate in the LEAD Program. This investment has, and will continue, to pay dividends.
Spectrum Resource Group aims to be the leading integrated vegetation management provider in Canada.
To deliver the highest level of professional, safe and environmentally conscious integrated vegetation management solutions to the industry, public and our communities.
FROM THE ROOTS UP
Spectrum Rises to the COVID-19 Lockdown Challenge Dean Marshall, Vice President & General Manager We are happy to report a successful 2020 tree planting season at Spectrum. Our planting activities commenced in mid-April, at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown. Given the fact that our tree planting workforce is housed in remote camps of 90 persons who must live and work in very close quarters, our COVID-19 pandemic posed some unique logistical challenges that our management and support teams
completely took in stride.
All first aid training, driver training, ATV training and general onboarding was moved to various alternative platforms. We recruited additional cooking, cleaning and logistics personnel for each camp in order to comply with the new regulations. Continued on page 60
To invest in employee development to provide new and innovative services adding mutual value to our clients and vendors.
SAFETY It is everyone’s responsibility – we each own it. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY We support activities that benefit our employees and add value to their communities. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY We strive to protect and improve all ecosystems. INNOVATION We anticipate our clients’ needs and we deliver creative services and solutions. INSPIRATION We provide a safe, healthy, caring and productive work environment to energize, engage and inspire our employees. FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.
NEW, ON THE MOVE & CERTIFIED
Congratulations to the following Spectrum Resource Group employee who was recently appointed!
- Corey Faucher, Mechanic
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 59
↓ Photo Caption: Reforestation crew leader Kerry Gibson against the backdrop of the MLIB Treaty 8 Lands at Kerry Lake, BC.
A SUCCESSFUL SEASON • 19 million trees planted • 14,000 acres covered • Record breaking 457,000 trees planted in a single day • Lineal distance of 33,400 miles covered (this equates to 1.3 times around the earth!) • 3 of our top 5 planters were women • Zero positive COVID-19 cases reported
Congratulations to Division Managers Mike Kozak, Kyle Robillard and Eric Nijboer who graduated from the WSC LEAD Program in June. This two-year company-sponsored program provides a comprehensive perspective of WSC’s family of companies, a platform for crosscompany networking, and the tools to enhance leadership potential.
WORLD HUNGER DAY FOOD DRIVE
On May 28, we took part in the tree planting & silviculture food drive in honor of World Hunger Day. We pledged to donate 1 cent for every tree planted by our workers that day. We're happy to announce that 375,000 trees were planted! According to Food Banks Canada, every dollar donated can provide up to three meals, meaning more than 10,000 meals will be provided to those in need at the Vanderhoof, Prince George and Hinton community food banks.
Our camps were outfitted with additional amenities, including more kitchen, meal and shower facilities. In addition, Spectrum invested in amenities not previously utilized during non-pandemic times – these included: laundry facilities, additional Wi-Fi capability, recreational items such as pool tables, projectors and games.
Camp life was a bit different this past year. Once our workers had arrived on site, they were assigned their respective pods of six – which were deemed to be their “work family.” As a worker, you spent most of your time with your pod. After the first 14 days in camp, with no positive cases, we were able to declare that our camp was COVID-free. Workers were permitted a bit more freedom to move around inside the camps. Access to camps from the outside was still restricted in order to limit the chance of virus entry. Workers were not permitted to go to town on days off – to limit the possibility of bringing back the virus. All supplies were shipped into camp – our logistics personnel were running a commissary / pharmacy / grocery store on wheels to supply the 350+ workers with what they needed.
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
A SAFE & SUCCESSFUL SEASON
In summary, this was one of the hardest seasons that our management staff and workers have been through. The pandemic did teach us that we can deliver a better camp experience for our workers. Many of the measures that were taken will most certainly become industry standard practices that will ensure that we keep our workers health and job satisfaction at the forefront.
SAFETY EDUCATION & TRAINING
SiteDocs – Implementing a Paperless Documentation System Simon Hall, Safety Manager
SiteDocs is a paperless documentation system that was developed in 2012 with the construction and civil engineering industry in mind. It provides a platform for digital forms and resource documents for compliance reviews and confirmation via signature. Once signed the document arrives at a desktop platform, in a similar way that an email would. All data is stored on a cloud-based server as part of the service package. Spectrum was a relatively late adopter of the technology. Starting in 2017 there was an industry initiative to collaborate safety data digitally, between reforestation companies, to better target safety issues. This initiative is still underway, with a free platform through EHS Analytics. The drawbacks with this system include the shared data with competitors as well as the need to align the Spectrum reporting process with that of other silviculture companies. In spring 2019, after several months of researching paperless systems, I proposed a trial run with SiteDocs. There were several core goals and considerations behind that decision: • Remove barriers to reporting by using a device that the majority of workers have access to. • Reduce bulky files and manuals. • Reduce costs associated with paper files, printing and preparation and the waste associated with obsolete documents. • Increase document and version control.
• Meet regulatory requirements for access to manuals, Safety Data Sheets and forms. • Increase accuracy of reporting, such as required fields and consistency of names. • Improve data entry and storage systems. • Modernize systems in line with other companies and clients. Initially I rolled the system out to select departments but still had a great deal of work to do to digitize all of our forms and populate the resources section to enable access to manuals and regulations that are required to be on site. Job locations had to be created, employee details entered, passwords set and contact information collated. The system offers some analytics data, so after three months I assessed the usage and pushed forward with expanded access across the company. Integration goals were set over the remainder of 2019 and after 12 months we had approximately half of safety documentation in a paperless format. The SiteDocs system has presented some challenges for a seasonal company with fluctuating staffing requirements. We also have some strict privacy of information laws in British Columbia that impact our data access decisions. Overall, paperless systems are a great tool for meeting regulatory requirements and managing data. Crews now have several binders’ worth of safety information and the ability to document their required tasks without the bulk of binders in a work truck.
CROSS-BORDER STORM RESPONSE
In September, we sent employees and equipment to Oregon to aid Wright Tree Service as they responded to the unprecedented wildfires, a new milestone for our Canadian operations as this mobilization represents our first-ever cross-border storm response. Wright Tree Service of Canada’s Andy McLellan served as the project manager and Spectrum’s Jesse Bazergui was the general foreman on the crew.
GOOD SAMARITANS A special recognition to Invasive Plant Technicians Myia Stauber and David Rogers for their role in a recent highway rescue. While surveying a site, they came across a vehicle at the bottom of an embankment and discovered that the occupant was in severe distress. One worker, a trained level 3 first aid attendant (approximately 80 hours of training) conducted an initial patient assessment and raised an alarm by blowing three times on their whistle – all crews are equipped with Fox 40 pealess whistles. The other worker retrieved the first aid kit and called emergency services. The patient, who had been trapped in the vehicle for three days, was stabilized and aided until help arrived to transport her to the hospital. Both employees received a safety coin and certificates of appreciation from WSC Director of Risk Management Rocky Palmer.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @SRGBC Spectrum Resource Group Inc. @spectrum_resource_group
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 61
SPROUTS & SHOUTS BABIES
Hazel Grace Webb Clayton Wade Bretz
Wright Service Corp. (WSC) Senior Human Resources Generalist Jordan Webb and husband Harrison welcomed Hazel Grace on September 1. Hazel was 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 19.75 inches long. Congratulations to Wright Outdoor Solutions Scheduling Coordinator Melissa Oppenheim who welcomed Cora Mae on April 13. Cora was 6 pounds, 4.5 ounces and 19.5 inches long. Wright Tree Service (WTS) General Foreman Wesley Williams welcomed Hudson Eli to the world on April 10. Hudson was 8 pounds and 11 ounces.
Cora Mae Oppenheim
Sustainable Environmental Consultants Environmental Technician Samantha Bretz and husband Kaler got to meet their son, Clayton Wade, on April 20. He was 10 pounds and 3 ounces. Let’s welcome Spectrum Resource Group’s newest and youngest team member, Ethan! Ethan was born on July 1 and is the son of our Accounting Clerk, Janeen Li. Congratulations, Janeen!
Hudson Eli Williams
THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE FALL 2020
PERSPECTIVE WEDDING BELLS
Kevin and Sonja Congratulations to WSC Digital and Social Marketing Specialist Kaari Devens who married Danny Jones on August 22 at Country Lane Lodge in Adel, Iowa. Congratulations to CNUC Regional Coordinator Kevin Baggett who married Sonja in Chattanooga, Tennessee on July 12. WTS Payroll & Billing Administrator Whitney Dostal and Tyler McAnally got married on October 3 in Newton, Iowa. Congratulations, Whitney and Tyler! After nearly nine years, WTS Accounts Payable Lead Nicole Barth and James Jeffries finally made it official and wed on September 5 at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ames, Iowa. Congratulations, Nicole and James!
Danny and Kaari
Tyler and Whitney
Congratulations to WTS Payroll and Billing Supervisor Brandy Blakeney and Payroll and Billing Specialist Reece Kriener who got married on September 12 in Ankeny, Iowa.
Nicole and James
ArborCare Estimator Samantha Richard got married to Jarod Lacasse on July 25 at The Lake House in Calgary, Alberta. Congratulations, Samantha and Jarod!
Reece and Brandy
Jarod and Samantha
FALL 2020 THE WRIGHT PERSPECTIVE 63
LOOK INSIDE FOR MORE Pg. 7
Now taking 2021 Employee Owner of the Year nominations!
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
If you have news to share, please send your name, title, news and digital photo by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to: Wright Service Corp. Newsletter, 5930 Grand Avenue, West Des Moines, IA, 50266. If you'd like to receive a paper copy please email marketing@wrightservicecorpcom.
Sustainability The corporate office staff sent back their first TerraCycle box – 18lbs of plastic that'll be recycled rather than going into the landfill! TerraCycle offers a range of national, easy-to-use recycling platforms allowing everyone to recycle just about anything. We're excited to expand our sustainability initiatives at our corporate office. Keep an eye out in 2021 when WSC will release our first-ever corporate social responsibility report where we’ll go into detail on these initiatives.