The Wright Perspective: Spring/Summer 2021

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A biannual update for employees and friends of the Wright Service Corp. family of companies.









FALL 2020

TABLE OF CONTENTS Wright Service Corp. 2020 Year in Review Annual Awards Banquet Ownership Corner An Outside Perspective

Page 4 Page 4 Page 5 Page 10 Page 13

Wright Tree Service 2020: Lessons Learned From the Treetop Safety, Education & Training: GF School

Page 14 Page 14 Page 16 Page 19

Wright Tree Service of the West

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Wright Tree Service of Canada & ArborCare

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Wright Outdoor Solutions Festival of Tree and Lights Showing Trees Love with Trees Forever... Rewarding Success: Employee Spotlight Award

Page 31 Page 31 Page 32 Page 34

Verdure Elements

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CNUC Transmission from the Top Safety, Education & Training Around the Grid

Page 39 Page 40 Page 42 Page 45

Terra Spectrum Technologies 2020 Year End Review Developer Download 1st FieldNote Users Group Conference

Page 49 Page 49 Page 50 Page 50

Sustainable Environmental Consultants Welcome to the Team... Celebrating 5 Years... How Food and Beverage Retailers Can Ease Their Consumers...

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Spectrum Resource Group What Made 2020, the Year of the Pandemic... From the Roots Up Safety, Education & Training

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Sprouts & Shouts

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2020 YEAR IN REVIEW By Scott D. Packard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Over a year ago, none of us could have imagined the disruption to our daily lives, our work and families the pandemic would cause. As we navigated the early days, management spent many hours planning for the impact this would have on our business and how long it would last. Our initial optimism, that we would recover in a couple of months, was quickly dispelled. As the days turned to weeks to months and now over a year – the manner in which we conducted business and served our customers was turned on its head. In a matter of a few short days, our entire company successfully went virtual – our administrative jobs, payroll, human resources, marketing, training and development, and accounting – began working from home. Teams, Zoom and WebEx became the new normal in the way we communicated and got things done. Operationally, we continued to provide essential services across North America. As we hold safety as our top value, new policies were put in place to ensure our employees’ health and well-being. And we delivered. 2020, for all its challenges, turned in record results for the family of companies. Again, we ranked as the 24th largest employee-owned company in the United States. We continue to execute on our fiveyear strategic plan. While we did not break ground on our new North American headquarters, we took the opportunity to completely remodel and enhance our existing corporate campus to provide a modernized and safe environment. A primary driver in constructing a new headquarters was a lack of space. Quickly, work-from-home became a viable means to effectively serve our customers and meet the needs of our employees. They expressed interest in continuing to work remote to some extent long after this pandemic is a memory. This alone would eliminate our present space constraints for the near long-term. This will allow us to emerge from this period, take advantage of opportunities, preserve capital and protect our employees’ interests as employee owners. Renovations will be complete around the same time you’ll be reading this.

As summer came upon us, our operations continued to add new customers and service territory across North America, and they were busy. We responded to seven named hurricanes – Isaias, Laura, Sally, Delta, Zeta and Eta, and the derecho windstorm that hit the Midwest. For the first time, we sent employees across borders from Canada to the United States to assist in storm restoration and wildfire mitigation. Our Canadian operations planted over 19 million trees in the western provinces without a single case of COVID-19. We verified sustainable farming practices on over 180,000 acres in 28 states, Mexico and Canada. We removed 1,000 diseased Ash trees in central Iowa, many being re-purposed at our headquarters for furnishings as part of our remodeling project. We launched the Wright Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation, committed to forward-thinking solutions to reduce environmental risk to our communities and the planet at large. We published our preliminary corporate social responsibility report, our way of showcasing how we’re delivering the highest level of professional, safe, and environmentally conscious services and solutions to the industry, public and the communities we work and live in. While we did not surpass 2019’s record for return on our stock price, which by the way was 82%, we did achieve a 77% return and recorded our 18th year of consecutive growth. While we have experienced tremendous growth over the last few years and in spite of everything 2020 threw at us, our results were remarkable. But what made it truly remarkable was you. I could not be prouder of what we accomplished as a team. I’ve always believed crisis tests the values you hold dear – safety, integrity, excellence, innovation, teamwork and family. And to that regard, we passed the test.

Mission · 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.

SAFETY AWARDS Wright Tree Service (WTS) of the West and Division 25 were awarded WTS’s most prestigious safety awards for 2020. WTS of the West in California received the most improved incident rate award. Division 25, covering Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia areas, received the lowest improved incident rate award with 0.50! Congratulations on your dedication and commitment to safety!

Wright Tree Service of the West

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.








PERSPECTIVE JOHN WRIGHT MEMORIAL CONTEST AWARDS The John Wright Memorial Contest honors the memory of both John L. and John R. Wright. It is designed to further the understanding of the importance of trees among the children and grandchildren of WSC employees and retirees. Entries are judged on presentation, originality and the overall message conveyed. This year, we had four judges, four who are International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborists. A special thank you to WTS Senior Safety Lead Phillip Kelley, Wright Outdoor Solutions (WOS) Sales Account Manager Jason Brauckman, CNUC Manager of Research and Development Philip Chen, and Terra Spectrum Technologies (TST) Technology Consultant Nathan Jones.

"Trees give homes to animals and plants, and they not only purify the air, but also the water in the lakes and streams they border." Lillian Teeples, daughter of Sheena Bennett, CNUC Division 15 (Washington) Data Management Specialist, was awarded second place. Addison Stigall, daughter of Steven Gregory, CNUC Division 15 (Washington) Lead Consulting Utility Forester (CUF), was awarded third place.

Congratulations and thank you to all who participated in the contest. Both John L. and John R. Wright would be proud!

Kaylee Dillow and family


Kaylee Dillow, daughter of WTS Division 15 (Kansas) Acting General Foreman (GF) Joshua Dillow, was awarded first place and $500 in the Division 3 (Grades 9-12) essay contest.

“Also, trees that have been used as mulch act as a filtering sponge, collecting and filtering water naturally, eventually becoming groundwater supply.” Brynn’s winning drawing

ly Brynn Burlingame and fami


Brynn Burlingame, daughter of WOS Account Manager Ryan Burlingame (Iowa), was awarded first place and $500 in the Division 1 (Grades 3-5) drawing contest.

Olivia Lutz, daughter of Nick Lutz, CNUC Division 15 (Nevada) Lead CUF, was awarded second place. Samantha Salvador, daughter of Darrin Salvador, WTS Division 55 (North Carolina) GF, was awarded third place.

Catie Christenson, daughter of Rose Christenson, WSC Training and Development Manager (Iowa), was awarded second place. Noah Pfantz, son of Michelle Pfantz, WSC Contract Administrator (Iowa), was awarded third place.

DIVISION 2 Maria Larson, daughter of WTS Regional Manager Adam Larson (Minnesota), was awarded first place and $500 in the Division 2 (Grades 6-8) essay contest.

Maria Larson



PERSPECTIVE SERVICE AWARDS 5 YEAR AWARDS CNUC Slaton Ailey Jason Allen Kyle Belcher Timothy Detels Andrew Donnachie Steven Gregory Mike Johnson Timothy Kopp Sarah Lilley Derrick McBride Christopher Millmier Nick Ringer Todd Walker

Sara Lilley, CNUC, 5 yea rs

Spectrum Resource Group Sydney Benson Matthew Drew Trevor Horne Kelly Leary Breanne Truman

Wright Outdoor Solutions Joshua Appletoft Emma Griffiths Kyle Lindahl Dennis Wilson

Wright Service Corp. Taylor Erickson David Gomez Paige Henderson Amanda Huisman Katie Moehn Elisa Mortensen Jeni Rasmussen Maryna Rath Lori Russell-Jones Ethan Rutter Jenn Schenck Krystal Schoen-Helvey Jordan Webb


Wright Tree Service Daniel Aboytes Arredondo Michael Adams Lucas Adkins Ramiro Alcaraz Larry Aldridge Jr. Franz Alvarado Velasquez Leobardo Alvarez Juarez Chad Andrews Troy Arnold Tomas Arriaga Daniel Arvidson Cody Autry John Bailey Jr. Shawn Barrett Bradley Baumgartner John Beal Derrick Beasley Tyler Bechtold Braden Benskin William Benson Lucas Blaszczyk Pedro Bonilla John Brown Kevin Brown Shane Burgess Jeffrey Burwell Aaron Carr Shawn Carroll Tito Castro Jose Cecenas Garcia Michael Cheshire Eduardo Clara Joshua Cloud Dusk Curington Michael Currant Dillon Daoust Charles Davidson Alexis De Los Santos Terrence Dean Rene Diaz Chavez Gerardo Diaz Martinez Derek Dickey Kyle Driggers Robert Dunlap II J Merced Duran Kenneth Eitniear Jr. Frankie Elledge


Charles Emmons Garth Engen Brandon Erwin Celestino Escobar Reyes Erik Estrada Morales Jonathon Ezell Dewey Fare Tyler Farmer Jonathan Feliciano Michael Fournier Kenny Friend Jr. Francisco Fuentes Rusty Fuller Jose Gallardo Vidal Gamez Dubon Robert Garcia Cameron Giroux Felipe Gomez Lopez Thomas Gorman Lance Gould Antonio Guerrero Arturo Gutierrez Timothy Haas Travis Hammons Emilio Hanson Larry Harjo Thomas Harmon Rodney Hartline Tyler Heavener Alejandro Hernandez Luis Herrera Rivas John Hollingsworth Christopher Holmes Antonio Huerta Trent Huisken Robert Hurley Jesse Jones Teodulo Juarez Oliva Cody Keeler Christopher Keller Keary Kerkhof Michael Kosciuszko John Kreitner Jason Lagow Nicholas Lara Merle Large Toby Lindstrom James Linenberger Carlos Loza Mark Lozano Timothy Mann Luis Marrero Troche Raul Martinez Jr. Jorge Martinez Perez Dylan McCarthy Jose Melgar Villatoro Adam Meloche Christopher Membreno Donald Miller Kenneth Mills William Monroe Holden Moore Julio Morales Solis


Antonio Munoz Barco Damon Muscarella Clayton Musson Michael Myers Jeremy Nailer Derrick Nevitt Jason Nibbe Keith Nichols Jose Nieves Gary Norwood Alan Otoole Giovanni Padin Ruiz Juan Palomares Hernande Victor Pantoja Cedillo Jeremy Parish Chad Parker Ricky Parker Clayton Pearce Andre Pearson Martin Perez Donnie Phillips Zachary Porter Robert Potarf Andrez Rangel Felipe Rangel Rios Douglas Raymond Jr. Joel Rendon Todd Ringhausen Yoni Rivera Herrera Nicholas Rohrbaugh Fred Rose Matthew Routson J Ruddock Stephen Rurka Ace Russell Jayson Rutledge Jose Salinas Juan Sanchez Montes Merrill Shelden Jason Showalter Ramon Silva Alvarez Brock Simmons Benjamin Smith Joshua Smith Dakota Snow Carlos Sonera Carire Joseph Sorise Jeffrey Stacey Kyle Stalter Ismael Tadeo-Martinez Brandon Thacker Nelson Turcios Santos Turcios Samuel Tuschhoff John Vandeweghe Cornelio Vanegas Carlos Vicente Castro Kyle Wallace Levi Weishaupt Layn White Willie Wilkerson Douglas Willard Troy Winkler Jared Wright

Jorge Yanes Martir Yanes Wilfredo Yanes Robert Yette Jorge Zamarripa Bernal

Wright Tree Service of Canada Melissa MacDonald Scott Mackeigan Brad Willford

Wright Tree Service of the West Efrain Amador Sanchez Ramon Arvizu Tahn Blake Luis Cisneros Dyrin Deeds Bradley Dobner Patrick Evans Joseph Ferraris Eduardo Garcia Andres Garcia Soria David Gutierrez David Hatton Juan Lopez-Tapia Rafael Martinez Gomez Sergio Martinez Gomez Vasiliy Pristupa Ryan Rhymes Jr. Ricardo Rivera Jose Sanchez Beltran Javan Warren Ismael Yepez Jose Zambrano Contreras





CNUC Roger Dickens Caleb Sisk

Sustainable Environmental Consultants Daniel Berges John Harsch Shannon Lux

Terra Spectrum Technologies Nathan Jones

Wright Outdoor Solutions Brandon Patava

Mario Leal Carmona Mario Leal Loya Matthew Lenhart Brian Maberry Miguel Marquez Christian Mauras Jeremy McKenzie Victor Menchaca Mauricio Navarro Gerardo Nunez Marcelo Olais Walter Palacio Jeff Parkerson Shawn Perry Dorian Rice Walter Robles Jose Rodriguez Felix J Romero Gutierres

Wright Tree Service Christopher Barnes Michael Bennett II Antonio Bernal Jerry Bishop Justin Bittner Sean Blakeney Michael Booth Jason Bryant Francisco Carrazco Wesley Carter Kevin Cramberg Aaron Crawford Ronald Creek Virgil Danforth Luis De Jesus Martinez Daniel Durocher Nathan Flory Jorge Gomez Eleazar Gonzalez Gaudencio Gonzalez Derek Hardy Pedro Hernandez Jose Herrera Meza Alex Higbie Gary Higgins Jack Hinson Jr. Bryon Honea Samuel Hott Bobby Isaacson Michael Jackovich James Johnson John Kinsey Robert Kinsey Daniel Laguna Robert Lawlyes

Mario Leal Loya, WTS, 10 years

Pedro Saavedra Magdiel Salas Filiberto Sanchez Ismael Saucedo Jr. Gregory Siemsen Gerardo Sifuentes Tyler Simmons Thomas Smith Manuel Solorzano Cody Stamper Scott Sweetwood Jeremy Todd John Tracy Steven Trumbly Jose Valladares Hector Vazquez Diaz Brian Walker Travis Wallis Patrick Weston Jeremiah Wildeboer Corey Williams Miguel Zarco

Wright Service Corp. Bonnie Strom Lora Wicker

Wright Tree Service Santos Aguilera Jorge Alcocer Rodriguez Jorge Alfaro Robert Bellew Rick Bonifas Eddie Briley Nicholas Buchholz Michael Cain Ronald Carman Jr. Sean Catron Margarito Cervantes Jose Cruz Randall Dejager Mario Diaz Nick Ditta Jeff East Jaime Flores Rocha Chad Fox Nick Fox Pedro Fuentes Rafael Garcia Roberto Graciano Steven Hale Hernan Hernandez Carlos Hernandez Ventura Jack Hill Jarrod Johns Orlando Juan Mora

Gelacio Lara Ervin McCone Alvaro Mejia German Mendoza Erik Molina Craig Neblett Tony Ohr Corey Olcheske Bernardo Pulgarin Philip Radel Kai Regnier Brian Ricke Efrain Rodriguez Jorge Rodriguez Jose Rodriguez Victor Rodriguez Morales Michael Roll Jose B Romero Jose L Romero Thomas Root Santos Ruiz Jed Schweisthal Brad Shearer James Staubs Jr. Jose Tapia Randall Thomas Hugo Torres Raul Varela Adam Velishek Jose Ventura Milton Ventura Rudis Ventura Jose Violante

Pedro Fuentes, WTS, 15 years

20 YEAR AWARDS Wright Tree Service Chad Berlin Matthew Brown John Clayton Kevin Hough Ernest Johnson

Ronald Jones Jose Ponce Gene Weiss Mark Yahnke

25 YEAR AWARDS Wright Tree Service Benedicto Moran Jeff Rhodes Greg Williams

35 YEAR AWARDS Wright Service Corp. Kevin Fitzpatrick Kelly Pettijohn



PERSPECTIVE New, On The Move & Certified Congratulations to the following WSC corporate office employees who were recently appointed and promoted!


ACCOUNTING & FINANCE Director of Finance · Darin Tebbe Contract Administrator · Leigh Remsburg FLEET Fleet Specialist · Joshua Sims HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) HR Director · Janelle Thomas HR Generalists · Bethany Ruby · Lindsey Van Wyk

Telephony Administrator I · Colin Johnson Help Desk Analyst I · Dylan Shroll-Tews PAYROLL & BILLING Payroll & Billing Data Administrator · Sara Best Payroll & Billing Specialists · Desiree Campbell · Carolina Carr · Amy Lindee-Deever · Brandi Randolph · Thomas Thompson RISK Risk Administrator II · Meghan McCann

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) Core Business Systems (CBS) Applications Developer II · Mallik Tappeta

TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT eLearning Designer/Developer · Brittany Sweers

Business Systems Administrator II · Colleen Beaver

Learning Management System (LMS) Specialist · Sarah Zenti

Hardware Specialist I · Daniel Dinneen


Technical Publication Specialist · Benjamin Evans

RISK Risk Compliance Manager · Codie Anderson

PAYROLL & BILLING Payroll & Billing Supervisor · Sarah McFadden Payroll & Billing Administrators · Lea Bauman · Whitney McAnally Corporate Payroll & Tax Analyst · Denis Bierma Payroll & Billing Specialist · Sarah Kern ACCOUNTING & FINANCE Corporate Controller · Ken Roberts Accounting Supervisor · Chris Engh Fixed Asset Accountant · Kayla Fairlie Staff Accountant · Tanner Goetsch HR Billingual HR Generalist · Jasmin Sarceno-Cortez



Each year, employees are invited to guess the new value of WSC shares in the Guess the Value contest. The person whose guess is closest wins a cash prize of six times the new per-share price! Out of the nearly 500 employees who participated, the 2020 winner was WTS Division 40 (Florida) GF Horace Shelton. Horace’s guess was $1.13 away from the new share price of $488.76 an 76.6% increase from 2019. Way to go, Horace! We encourage everyone to cast their guess next time! Look for information in the fall issue of The Wright Perspective.





We’re excited to announce that Wright Service Corp. was named the Iowa/ Nebraska Chapter’s ESOP Company of the Year.

The ESOP Company of the Year Award is given to an ESOP company that shows a strong commitment to employee ownership through its involvement with The ESOP Association and its programs, its clear communication with employees, and its commitment to The ESOP Association’s vision of endorsing employee participation, wealth creation, and individual dignity and worth. The company should be financially solvent and have had an ESOP in place for more than two years. WSC was honored at a chapter event and is automatically entered in the national competition.

A SPECIAL THANKS A special thanks to the entire employee ownership committee. Chairman and CEO Scott Packard awarded each member with a CEO challenge coin for going above and beyond in exhibiting our company’s values. Accounting & Finance Chris Engh Samantha Mintle Aaron Reichter Human Resources Claire Augspurger Dana McGowan Cyndi Pannkuk Jasmin Sarceno-Cortez Krystal Schoen-Helvey Jordan Webb

Information Technology Taylor Erickson

Training & Development Lacy Fitzpatrick

Marketing & Communications Sara Harpenau Amanda Huisman Maryna Rath

Wright Outdoor Solutions Summer Wilkinson

Professional Development Project Management Office Congratulations to WSC Business Analysts Ashley Mefferd and Nathan Salzburg who received their Professional Business Analysis Certificate and Project Analyst I Kyle Kinney who received his Professional Project Management Certificate from Duke University.

Employee Ownership Month October was Employee Ownership Month and the Employee Ownership Committee planned a number of virtual events and activities all month long. Thank you to everyone who participated in any of the activities including spirit week, the cookbook, talent show, pumpkin carving and trivia. A special thank you to TST Front End Web Developer Josh Plowman who submitted the suggestion for this year's music theme! Miss out on the cookbook? You can view it online.

Payroll & Billing Sarah McFadden

Follow us on Social Media Wright Service Corp.



PERSPECTIVE ESOP POSTER COMPETITION Last winter, employees in the WSC family of companies were encouraged to participate in our fourth annual ESOP Poster Competition. The ESOP Poster Competition is a visual way to showcase what employee ownership means at our company and the Employee Ownership Committee believes our employees are the ones to share truly what that is. We first want to thank everyone for participating – whether you submitted an entry or you voted for your favorite poster design, we appreciate your time. We had great participation and hope to continue increasing the participation in future years. Now for the exciting part! First Place: Our future is in our hands. – Entry submitted by Britta Roppe, WSC (GA)

First Place

Runner Up: Building the Foundation of Our Future. – Entry submitted by Taylor Erickson, WSC (IA) Second Runner Up: Family is Our Foundation. – Entry submitted by Chris Millmier, CNUC (OH) The winning submission was made into a large poster and shipped to The ESOP Association where it will be judged alongside posters submitted by other ESOP companies.

Second Runner Up

Runner Up

EMPLOYEE OWNER OF THE YEAR AWARD The WSC Employee Owner of the Year Award recognizes an employee within the WSC family of companies who is an outstanding citizen, exhibits company values, the characteristics of an employee owner and makes contributions in the best interest of the company. Nominations for 2021 will be accepted until September 15. Visit for more information. The 2020 Employee Owner of the Year, Ken Venzke, WTS Division 25 Division Manager, was recognized at the Annual Awards Banquet where he received a custom award and $500. Take a look at how Ken was surprised and what this award means to him in this video.






Facilitating access to opportunities for some of the most productive members of our industry.

By Jesus Vetencourt, VP of Canadian Operations, Wright Canada Holdings Ltd.* When I was offered the opportunity to write this article, my first thought was; an article – how about a book? Being a native Spanish speaker that immigrated to the U.S. from Venezuela, whose first job in this industry was a groundworker in an aerial lift crew in Omaha, Nebraska, and who could barely say a few words in English on my first day at work, an article is certainly not enough real estate to write about my experience in the utility vegetation management industry. My second thought was; I should use this as an opportunity to trigger action rather than just share my experiences. With that second thought in mind, I would like to offer you some reflections based on my experience, hoping they will move you to take action and help remove what I consider to be the most challenging barrier for some of our fellow industry members’ career advancements. I estimate that 40% or more of the total members of our industry in the U.S. are first- or second-generation immigrants, primarily native Spanish speakers from Mexico and Central America. Within this group, a marked majority struggle with what we sometimes call the language barrier, or in plain terms, the lack of English language skills. In most cases, language barriers hinder the employee’s efforts to build relationships that can lead to career development and advancement. It is very difficult to gain access to additional opportunities if you can’t communicate well with your supervisor or clients. I think about this group of people as having a tremendous impact in our industry, but an almost muted voice. So how do we tackle this barrier? Here is a thought that may help you approach this issue from a different angle and trigger action within your organization, vendor/client or partner community; I think employers own the language barrier. If you start thinking about the lack of English language skills in the same way you do with any other gap in your employee’s skillset, the only logical conclusion is to invest in training, tools or systems to bridge the gap. Of the Wright Service Corp. family of companies, Wright Tree Service has the largest percentage of native Spanish speakers. Here are a few actions that we are taking to remove this barrier. We have a Spanish program committee comprised of employees from across our organization working to provide high-quality Spanish translations to employees that struggle with English language skills, ranging from our safety program and operating procedures to group benefits memos. We’ve also made sure employee resources, like our clothing and merchandise store, are available in Spanish. It is simple; if these employees have access

to all relevant information in a format they can consume, you are already helping them get into position for opportunities and advancement and, more importantly, you are leveling the field. We currently have over 400 LinkedIn Learning courses available in Spanish through our learning management system and we’re always expanding. Another initiative is encouraging native English speakers to learn Spanish. For example, every team member of the Wright Tree Service safety department is currently enrolled in a program to learn Spanish language skills. The aim is for them to improve their communication with their fellow Spanish speaking coworkers. At this point you may be wondering; how about learning English? And to that I say, absolutely – that’s ultimately the overarching goal. To that end, there are several options, from partnerships with community colleges or nonprofits to in-house programs, that can help our fellow coworkers build their English language skills. I suggest that initiatives that aim to bridge the communication gap in both directions yield the best results. From my experience, one thing that motivated me to work hard to learn English was seeing my employer doing their part by allowing me access to information with Spanish translations. Once I gained access to the information and I educated myself enough, reading or discussing the information in English became progressively easier. It is a great formula that I challenge you to pilot. Another area that is often overlooked when implementing some of these initiatives and creating an inclusive environment is access to the rich pool of additional talent and skills available within this community. Throughout my career, I have come across areas where I met people who struggled to communicate in English that had degrees, certificates, experience in other trades, entrepreneurship experience and excellent leadership skills that could have been leveraged by bridging the gap. I encourage you to look beyond the language barrier and avoid equating capacity or intelligence with someone’s ability to communicate in English. At the start of my career, I was very fortunate to come across some fantastic people at Wright Tree Service that looked beyond my broken English and provided me with opportunities to show them my potential even if it required additional effort on their part. I will always be thankful to them. Now in my current role, I am happy to be able to work on initiatives that help other employees have better access to trainings and opportunities. In closing, I acknowledge that some of you may need to get outside your comfort zone or set aside preconceived notions about this matter in order to contribute or drive these types of actions, especially in the current social climate. But I choose to believe you will quickly realize it is the right thing to do for business and your fellow industry colleagues. *Wright Canada Holdings Ltd. is a subsidiary company to Wright Service Corp.




2020: Lessons Learned By Will Nutter, President & COO On March 1, 2020, business was running as usual. In the U.S, we started to hear news and concerns about a new virus from other countries and were not sure if it is going to be a big deal for us. Fast forward two weeks and our lives changed forever. What was supposed to be a two-week lockdown turned into more than a year of constant change. When we locked down initially, it reminded me of my experiences around 9/11. I was in a customer’s building in Fort Wayne, Indiana and all the TV stations were tuned into the news. Everyone was escorted out of the building, gas prices doubled that day in some places and there was a quietness in the country that reminds me so much of the past year. All of us were impacted by COVID-19 in some way; many of us know of someone who lost their life or was severely impacted by the pandemic.

crews went on with their daily routines with the addition of sanitizing trucks so they could go to work and perform the essential functions of our business. We required several safety measures including a mask mandate, social distancing, quarantining and lockdowns. As we have all gravitated to wearing masks, I believe it had the greatest impact on the field employees – imagine dragging brush, chipping brush, raking, climbing and other duties while wearing a mask.

Operationally, things were changing – hourly in some cases – with customers and employees reacting to the pandemic. Because of our footprint, we were able to learn the leading safety trends and requirements quickly and, with daily management team calls, we were able to offer solutions to most of our customers before they asked for them. Our team rallied around supplies like masks and sanitizers and Director of Risk Management Rocky Palmer was included on every call to give us cutting-edge CDC recommendations so we could provide a united message to our field team and customers.

Change comes with the most monumental events and hopefully so do lessons-learned and progress. I see COVID-19 as a blessing and a curse. Our team continues to have what began as a bi-weekly COVID-19 update call and has since moved to a weekly call with all division managers and above in the U.S. and Canada. Representatives from the risk, safety and fleet departments are also included in the call. This virtual meeting has gone a long way in bridging the gap of not being able to meet in person and accomplishing huge hurdles over the past year. It has bonded us together and made us a stronger team. Not only were we able to stay on top of an ever-changing environment as COVID-19 evolved, we were able to solve huge challenges moving equipment across the U.S. and into Canada just by having the right people on the call and creating solutions. Everyone stepped up it made a big difference in our effectiveness in 2020.

Although most of our management team, including myself, stopped traveling, our

We successfully moved more employees and equipment in the past year than ever




Esta en nuestra página de internet! Escanee el código QR con su teléfono inteligente o dirijase a in the history of the company responding to events like hurricanes, windstorms and fires as well as the volatility of our customers’ budget ups and downs. We were even able to move crews across borders using resources out of Canada to assist the pacific northwest after devastating fires. As we move into what is next, including vaccines being rolling out, states opening and transportation picking up again, let’s look at some positives. We were able to move our business forward with great strides, we took advantage of technology to improve efficiencies and we learned that not every meeting requires travel or must be face-face. Many of us slowed the pace of life and took stock of what was important, like building that deck, buying that boat and appreciating time with loved ones. As we moved back into the office, we realized how much we missed the people, the interactions and the value of a face-to-face conversation. Although we are never certain what the next challenge will be, 2020 went a long way in growing our employees and positioning us to take on future challenges with greater confidence based on how we responded to this pandemic. Thank you for all that you have done over the past year and the contribution you have made. I appreciate you!



Central Division Operations Specialist •Travis Pagel Central South Division General Foreman (GF) •Christopher Frick Foremen •Rodney Miller •Ignacio Serrato III •Ronald Stallbories North Division Foremen •Alvin Benson •Garry Hartwick •Christopher Maxwell •Adam Pippin •Heath York Division 25 Work Planner •Robert Byers Foremen •Jason Diefendorf •Kyle Forbes •Russell Neal •Leonardo Rodriguez •Sahit Soto •Elvis Vargas Mountain States Division Division Manager •Shane Vosberg Pacific Division GFs •Martin Acevedo •Cole Worrell Work Planners •John Wesley Bomar •John Wesley Bomar II Foremen •David Foy •Jared Garcia •Alejandro Guerrero •Dustin Haberman •Pedro Hernandez Jr. •Yoan Hernandez •Brian Jones •Taylor Kunder •Travis Lanz

•Justin Noble •Joseph Oliver •Richard Peterson Jr. •Omar Tan •Rene Viamonte •Michael Young Southeast Division GF •Camren Fuqua Foremen •Christopher Brown •Donald Brown •Brady Coburn •Salvador Gaytan •Jim Henderson III •Robert Johns •Joseph Morgan •Michael Obrien •Christopher Walker Division 45 Foremen •Oscar Smith •Jerry Winn Southwest Division GFs •Ronald Gilbert •Jeremy Rushing •Foremen •Bradley Bray •David Bray •Christopher Davis •Jack Ingram •Michael Keen •Joseph McCartney Jr. •Dakota Moore •Donald Poleman II •Isaac Rael •Kevin Williams •Christopher Wood Jr. Division 55 GFs •Raymond Ammerman •Todd Dawson •Jairo Diaz •Christopher Evers •Travis Farling •Efren Gutierrez Becarra •Aaron Jones •Yorbi Melendez •James Mitchell •Steven Moore

•Domingo Reyes Jr. Work Planners •Jarrod Daffron •Kellee Edington •Spencer King •Steven Loiselle •Chandler Sain •Bryan Sheppard •Adam White •Christy Wilt Foremen •Johnathan Adkins •Jorge Alonso •Edwin Aponte •Lisandro Arteta •Manuel Ayala •Drew Bretzman •Trevanthony Brown •Vincent Calhoun •Oscar Cantillo •Luis Chauca •Wuillam Chocho •William Coomer Jr. •Gerardo Cruz •Edgar Delgado •Yoel Dominguez •Juan Elias •Ramiro Elias •Randall Fee Jr. •Matthew Finney •Cory Fisher •James Fortney •Jonniel Frometa •Jesus Garcia •Shawn Garrison •Rafael Gonzalez •Kameron Graddy •Christopher Grooms •Todd Hall •Luis Hernandez •Bryan HernandezRivera •William Hugus •Dusty Jenkins •Matthew Jolley •Salvador Lopez •Joshua Lozada •Mario Mannelli II •Adam Martinez •Norman Martinez •Fidel Mejia •Hector Melendez •Victor Melendez •Yasser Mendez •Fausto Mesa Del Sol •Drake Miller

•Shawn Miller •Homero Mollinedo •Miguel Montalvo •Billy Mullins Jr. •Zimri Munoz •Antonio Negron •James Nelson •Abel Obrean •Felix Ocasio •Kyle Ogle •Ronmel Olivera •Luis Ortiz •Joshua Rader •Hector Ramos •Luis Ramos •Joan Reyes •Edwin Rodriguez •Emilio Rodriguez •Reynaldo Rojas •Yoel Rojas •Todd Roseberry •Gerardo Ruiz •Gonzalo Salvat •Jansen Smith •Iraldo Solis •Ryan Storer •Isdel Suri •Lucas Taylor •Jeison Torres •Jonathan Torres •Kenney Torres •Philip Whitten •Brandon Wheeler •David Winterhalter •James Woods •Dirk Vonhollen •Lone Star Division Foremen •Troy Craven •Luis Delgado •Michael Gaona Division 65 GF •James Wilson Work Planners •Crystal Blackburn •Chelsea Cox •Adam Stoll Foremen •Robert Baker •Shawn Berry •Ryan Dierks •James Dovenbarger •Hipolito Escobar •Dane Kopp

•Terry Porter Jr. •Mickey Queen •Keith Rumel •Brandon Washington •Dwayne Washington •James Wilson •Dakota Vorys •William Vorys Minnkota Division GF •Glenn Erickson Work Planner •Andrew Coyne Safety Safety Supervisors •Evan Beck •Megan Bujnowski •Daniel Illg •Elizabeth Long

ON THE MOVE North Division GF •Bradley Masson Division 25 GFs •Jon Hamm •Mike Kosciuszko Mountain States Division GFs •Christopher Keller •Justin Siruta Pacific Division GFs •Caleb Bolda •Desmond Grogan •Jaeger Hernandez •Martin Rivera •Joshua SparksSouthworth Southwest Division GF •Hunter Harwell

•Dan Smith •Thomas Smith •Jason Yost GFs •Jeremy Coomer •Todd Dawson •Robert Dunlap •Adolfo Flores •Ron Gibson •Zephaniah Heath •Chad Hirtzinger •Jorge Velez Division 65 PM •Chris Selover GFs •John Cheeseman •Sean Galbraith •David Strickland Minnkota Division GF •Adam Velishek Division 80 GF •Garth Engen

CERTIFIED New International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist®

Pacific Division Foremen •Clifford King •John Roberts Division 65 Foreman •Ryan Kemplin


•Ines Alonso Rivas •John Hodgden •Stanley Hoerman •Eduardo Orozco •Santos Ruiz •Manuel Torres Perez

Division 55 Project Managers •Juan Hernandez



family tree OUR VISION

» 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.

» EXCELLENCE We continually strive to exceed


Diversification of Service Lines By Greg Williams, Regional Manager When a company reaches a certain point in its evolution, its leadership often looks at planning and implementing growth strategies such as diversification. Although service line diversification can seem scary and a little risky to many, it is necessary to be able to adapt and meet the changing needs of current and potential customers. Companies such as The Walt Disney Company have become extremely successful in large part due to their ability to identify products and markets that are closely related to their core business that they can leverage internal strengths to create business growth while remaining true to their origins. The Walt Disney Company started in 1923 making low budget, handdrawn animated movies and had become quite successful by the 1950s. That was when Walt Disney made the decision to build a theme park featuring Disney movie characters, called Disneyland, in

California. From that point on there was no looking back as each success fostered more success; Pixar Animation Studios, 20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios, several cable networks, resort hotels and cruise lines to name a few. Disney is nearing 100 years as a company and serves as a great example of growth, diversification and market adaptation, starting with hand-drawn animations in the 1920s and staying cutting edge into 2021 with live streaming on-demand entertainment and so much more. Wright Tree Service (WTS) faces the same challenges to stay on the cutting edge as many other organizations and, as such, is continuing to move forward in diversifying and expanding our existing lines of service for new and potential clients. On March 12, 2020, WTS completed an asset acquisition of Flory Backhoe Inc., a Kansas-based excavation Continued on page 17

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 and solutions.

» FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.

Welcoming our newest team members to the Wright Tree family after the acquisition of Flory Backhoe Inc. – Operations Manager Blaine Flory (left) and Project Manager Mark Flory (right).




family tree company. As part of the acquisition, WTS was able to keep the existing management and field employees in place in addition to purchasing equipment, including excavators, dozers, track loaders, dump trucks and various other constructionrelated equipment. With this acquisition, we can add additional services in the Midwest, including rights-of-way (ROW) preparation and restoration, utility installation in housing developments, agricultural conservation, and residential excavation. Since the acquisition, we have also added tracked horizontal grinders and excavator mounted mowers to the current fleet and look to continue building this business unit to become a major part of WTS

going forward. This purchase will provide WTS with the potential to compete for much larger land clearing, ROW clearing and restoration services than we were previously equipped to bid. We also look to continue the Flory company’s traditional lines of business that include new utility installation for commercial and housing developments, agricultural conservation work and land restoration. Another new service line was officially kicked off on April 1, 2020; with the addition of a couple key added personnel, WTS started the development of a Railroad Division. This service line will include on-track railroad bare ground applications, brush control and clearing of vegetation for rail crossings. We believe this a good

fit for a new service line as we currently provide many of these services for our utility customers daily. This is a large market that offers expansive opportunities for growth across all North America for WTS. Keep an eye out for our trucks on railroads near you starting May 1, 2021, and a big thank you to everyone involved in making this vision become a reality! As we roll through our 88th year as a company, we are running full throttle and with, the continued dedication of everyone in this fantastic organization, I believe we can and will continue to build steam going forward.


Industry Bias and How if Fails to Protect Us By Wes Tregilgas, Safety Manager During World War II, researchers at the Center for Naval Analysis were trying to solve a critical problem where many bombers were getting shot down over Germany. Following each mission, the surviving bombers were carefully combed over, and all bullet data was recorded to determine where the patterns of vulnerabilities were. As the data was collected, one thing was very clear – most of all bullet hits were in the wings and fuselage of the plane. The plan was to add armor weight just to the most venerable parts of the plane so it could still fly and yet be further protected. The trouble with this plan was that it was based on all the wrong data. A HungarianJewish statistician named Abraham Wald who fled Nazi occupied Germany to New York to help the war effort was the one to point out the data failure. Wald’s requested review pointed out that the only data being looked at were of the planes that had made it back to base safely. The data in the picture was really the areas of a bomber that could Continued on page 18

McGeddon / CC BY-SA 4.0 File: Survivorship-bias.png Created: 12 November 2016.



family tree STEVE PIETZYK RETIREMENT VP of Operations Steve Pietzyk retired on December 31, 2020, after 38 years of service at WTS. Steve began his career on a threeperson bucket climbing crew in southeast Nebraska in 1982. He moved from state to state throughout the Midwest early on in his career, moving up the ranks from foreman to general foreman and then supervisor. In 1998, he was promoted to division manager and moved back to the Des Moines area and by 2003 he became operations manager before his current role as vice president of operations. “Overseeing the growth in WTS has brought me great pride over the past 38 years,” Steve said. “The dedication and cohesion of our team has been the key to our company’s success and is something I’m so proud to have been a part of. I would like to thank everyone in the organization for their ongoing support and continuous commitment to this outstanding company. I will miss working with our incredible management team but have total confidence in the leadership team in place to prosperously guide WTS in its future endeavors." Thank you and best wishes to Steve for his 38 years of service with the WTS family.

sustain the most damage and yet still fly. Nearly all the surviving bombers did not have any damage to the cockpit, engines, and specific parts of the tail. These parts were not heavily armored but rather the most venerable. The bullet hole data the researchers created on the map of the plane was where a bomber could be hit and still survive. Following Wald’s review, the military began to reinforce with armor the cockpit, engines, and tail section. This resulted in fewer fatalities and greater success in all future bombing missions.

work locations. This told me that Foremen weren’t the cause of the falling, nor was the time of day.

This data review story is a clear example of survivorship bias, where only the data from those who succeed is reviewed and those that fail are excluded.

True safety and risk reduction are not just the absence of an injury or claim, but rather the absence of the potential risk of an injury occurring.

Today in the vegetation management industry, we find another commonly used faulty bias where only a few injuries have made it to the OSHA recordable list in a given year. At the close of the year, we meet with our utility customers to review the safety data around the OSHA recordable injuries. Often, someone will bring up a data interpretation, for example, the two OSHA recordable injuries of the previous year both occurred with the Foremen position and before noon. Now looking for similarities isn’t a crime, but it becomes one when we build a whole plan of prevention around just two injuries without looking at the data pool they came from. One of the two injuries was a fall from ground level on unstable and hilly terrain. The suggestion was to see why foremen were falling before noon and create a new rule or policy to prevent foremen from becoming injured again.

Creating a plan around only one fall because it became an OSHA recordable injury targeted at just 30% of the potential fall prone staff is a failed way to prevent the injury from coming back. This is what I call injury bias. We assume all the data necessary to prevent something from happening again is held inside the injuries and claims we have already received. The solution will only be as complete as the data you are working with. In this particular case, a formalized training on how to fall from ground level to prevent injury in a region of unstable and hilly ground for all staff would reduce the risk of potential harm from future injuries of all employees working in this environment. We can’t remove the risk of the terrain on the jobsite, so the next layer of protection available is training and education on how to fall to avoid injury.

The failure in this plan is that over the past year, at least 50 employees of the team lost footing and fell while working. It was just this specific foreman that had become injured to an OSHA recordable level. I visited the area and found myself losing footing or having controlled falling throughout the day just accessing the

Another challenge in analyzing data to prevent injury in this way is that the foreman position only makes up 30% of all the staff that have the potential to fall and become an OSHA recordable injury in this particular area. This meant that the real issue was how they were falling not who was falling or what time of day it was occurring.

Understanding injury bias and how it can occur is essential in interpreting safety data and creating a plan. We must look at the whole story of our data pool, including the information that is hidden, to build truly effective safety mitigation plans. If we do this, we will be able to reinforce the areas where we are most vulnerable, resulting in a safer workplace for all.


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., 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.




family tree


GF School is a weeklong program where WTS employees participate in a variety of trainings and hands-on exercises to build a solid foundation to be more effective at their position. The goal of GF School is to educate and train our GFs to build a strong and productive workforce. In January and February of 2021, 38 WTS employees gathered at the corporate office in West Des Moines, Iowa, for GF School. Congratulations to all participants! Central Division • Scott Dundee • Lance Even • Pat Hardel • Matt Naylor

Pacific Division • Jim Herndon • Avery Pollock • Skyler Rambel • Josh Sparks

Central South Division • Chris Shields

Southeast Division • Damon Allen • Matthew Fearing

North Division • Michael Booth • Toby Lindstrom • Ben Smith Division 25 • Jacob Braude • Chadwick Craver Mountain States Division • Andrew Partipilo

Division 55 • Ben Baker • Zephaniah Heath • Ron Gibson • Efren Gutierez • Mario Smith • Jorge Velez Division 65 • John Cheeseman • Sean Galbraith • Christopher Posten • Chris Selover • Dave Strickland • Harry Wayne Ellison II

Division 45 • Gordon Adams • David Gamble • Jason Pierson • Ryan Peck Southwest Division • Randall DeJager • Isidro Lucas • Guillermo Martinez Ochoa

Division 80 • Jessie Atwell • Allan Olivo

"I had a few jitters and was definitely nervous. But after I was done, I was so grateful the management team thought I was ready and put me through the course. The biggest takeaways for me were to transition into leading 18 team members, learning how to be a better leader by listening because people want to be heard, and Will Nutter stepping in and telling his story of starting from the bottom and making it to the very top." - GF Jesse Roberson, former GF School attendee



family tree RAILROAD SERVICE LINE Central Division Check out our tracked Jarraff unit clearing a ROW for our railroad customer. WTS has trained personnel and specialized equipment to clear any railroad ROW terrain. From land clearing and trimming to on-track and off-track herbicide, we are ready to enter the railroad industry.

NEWS FROM THE BRANCHES Compliments were submitted to the company by various members of the public and we'd like to commend the following individuals. These are organized by division and utility customers.

CENTRAL DIVISION Omaha Public Power District (OPPD)

“I had a great experience with a crew trimming trees on my property working for Wright Tree Service. They were very helpful guys. We need more of these kinds of people.” Foremen Paul Delgado and Justin Tharp

Several crew members

“Your crew was doing such a nice job and being very respectful!” Several crew members

“Although I do not have any trees in the area of power lines, I would like to commend the OPPD staff for notifying me of tree trimming in my neighborhood. I would also like to commend Wright Tree Service for their courteous staff who let me know each time they needed access to mybackyard. The workers were diligent with working consistently without a lot of down time. They were friendly and timely when working near my house and yard. I watched the tree crew in the neighbor’s yard and each one of the WTS staff helped pick up limbs and sticks from my neighbor’s yard as well as a few that fell in my yard. Thank you for taking care of the trees in our neighborhood.”


“I wish to commend the team that topped tree branches touching the power lines in my yard. The team members were very polite, skilled and careful. They cleaned up the cut branches and left my yard clean.”

Foreman Marcos Navarrete Chavez, Trimmer Jeremy Tedford and Groundman Mark Stanley

Several crew members

Several crew members


“I wanted to let you know what a great job your crew did. They were professional and cleaned up nice.”

Foreman Brock Dakin, and Trimmers David Reeves and Colton Schalk

“I have to say how nice the crew members that trimmed my trees are. I am very pleased. Thank you for your excellent service.” Several crew members


“The crew did an excellent job, picked up all the trash and left my yard all cleaned up all in this extremely cold weather! I was very impressed.”



“I was out on the crew doing trimming today. First, thanks for getting out there so quickly. Second, I wanted to let you know the crew did an excellent job with their job brief. One employee noticed me entering the jobsite and stopped me to give me the brief. He was extremely thorough. He memorized the address to the nearest hospital, which was pretty impressive. He understood what the hazards of the job were, informed me of a beehive that was kicked up and identified poison ivy in the area. I had a good conversation with them and performed some work with them. Overall, the crew did a great job. It seems to be a direct reflection of the leadership they have.”

“Mayor Steve Meyers of Pacific, Missouri, called and complimented the tree trimming crew led by Dustin. He wanted to inform Ameren of the wonderful job they are doing cleaning up the vegetation around town. He spoke very highly of the team and felt they should be commended.” Foreman Dustin Hart and Trimmer Dylan Oliver

“A bucket crew had to remove a very large tree from our backyard for Ameren. They did their job with precision and courtesy. They cleaned up afterward and left the yard in great shape. They were a great reflection on your company.” GF Bob Slover, Foremen Raul Morales and Eder Torres, Trimmer Jacob Bingham and Groundman Alex Rensing


family tree “Thank you to the considerate team that worked in my backyard. The whole neighborhood was in awe of such knowledgeable workers and their professionalism. Many thanks.”

Foreman Derek Aubuchon, Trimmer Matt Bingham, and Groundman Alex Rensing

“The men trimming trees on the road where we live were a hard-working bunch of men. They picked up every limb and raked the area clean. They are a good bunch of guys.” Several crew members

“A team has been in my neighborhood for about a week trimming trees around power lines. I have never witnessed a more professional or polite crew.” Several crew members

“Your team was in my backyard doing preventative pruning and I was very impressed. They took down a fair number of limbs and cleaned up the yard nicely, even coming in with a leaf blower. You guys do great work.” Several crew members

City Water, Light & Power (Springfield, Illinois)

“The trees in my yard were trimmed by Aaron and crew members. They did a wonderful job, not just the trimming, but the clean up too. I went out to speak to them and they were true gentlemen: friendly, courteous and helpful. It was such a pleasure meeting them. These are the kind of employees every company wants to have. Good job!” Foreman Aaron Unsicker and several crew members

DIVISION 25 FirstEnergy

“I was very pleased with Adam. He was

very courteous, professional and did a great job taking care of the largest logs that we left behind months ago.” GF Adam Pritts

“In times where everyone is so quick to complain they forget to share the little things in life. I came home to find the crew trimming trees for the power lines. One of the trucks was blocking my driveway. (It was a small street and there really was no other way to park.) One of the guys quickly moved their truck to allow me into the drive. Before he moved the truck I asked how long they were going to be as my wife got off work soon too. He said they shouldn’t be much longer but then after I got in the drive, he approached me asking when my wife would be home so that he could be ready if needed. For that I just wanted to say thank you. Sometimes in life it’s the little things that make things easy.” Several crew members

“For 10 weeks, I had the pleasure of working with two of your men: Armando Garcia and Jesus Lopez-Gutierez. My job was to grind the trees that needed to be trimmed out of the power lines and to keep the men moving. Those two were so efficient and hardworking that I had trouble sometimes keeping ahead of them. I just wanted to say you have two excellent employees in Armando and Jesus.” Foreman Armando Garcia and Trimmer Jesus LopezGutierrez Xcel Energy

“I had a couple of large ash branches hanging over not only my power lines but directly over an irreplaceable historic 130-year-old log cabin. The crew that came to remove them was exceptional! Filipe was very attentive and patient with my concerns, and Jesus and the rest of the crew did an excellent job of making sure the branches were removed while never risking my power or treasured cabin.”

GF James Cooper, Foreman Jesus Sosa and Trimmers Juan Casillaz Vasquez and Felipe Rangel


“Your employees were great! They first came in after my neighbor's tree fell and took out the power to several blocks. They were professional during the night and the next couple of days while finishing the job. Due to the damage done to my tree, they decided my tree needed to be taken down as well. They went above and beyond in doing so. I can't say enough good things about this company. Thanks so much!”

GF Zach Braude, Foremen Ryan Mikrut and Dakota Rapp, Trimmer Zach Mason and Groundman Van Slutz

MOUNTAIN STATES DIVISION Wheatland Rural Electric Association

“Your crew members were so nice and helpful, although you did not do any work for me, I came to the job site and was asking questions. They stopped working to answer my questions and helped her make some decisions about the work needing to be done on my trees. It is not often anymore that anyone would take the time to stop and answer a question and be as pleasant as they were.” GF Jaime Flores, and Foremen Gerardo Gonzalez and Jose Lujan

“The tree trimming crew was very professional and got the job done quickly. I was happy it was taken care of so Continued on page 22

NEW DIVISION Central South Division

The Central Division split into two divisions; Central and Central South in early October 2020. Central Division’s territory is now Iowa and Nebraska, while Central South’s territory is Kansas and part of Missouri. Central South Division territory map highlighted in light green



family tree quickly. They also cleaned up everything once the job was completed.”


In December, GFs Derek Steinseifer (left) and Derek Walker (right) from Peoria, Illinois, volunteered with the Greater Peoria Family YMCA to put new trees in the ground thanks to a grant from Illinois Trees Forever, which will provide educational benefits for the community.

GF Jaime Flores, Foreman Walter Robles, and Trimmers Jose Alvarenga and Leopoldo Flores


“My crew was working near one of your crews, and they were by far, one of the most courteous crews we've ever had the pleasure to work around. They allowed us to get our job done while they were doing theirs. It was awesome. They did a fantastic job and were a great crew to work around. From one essential worker to another, I appreciate it.”

“It feels good to give back to the community. The area will be a part of an outdoor learning center where kids will get the opportunity to learn about the importance of trees,” said Derek Walker. “People normally see us taking trees down, but this is a great way to show them that we care about forestry and the community."

Trimmer Ronald Anderson and several crew members

Great job giving back to our communities!

Foreman Chris Hubsky and Trimmer Parker Patterson

Pacific Power

“The two young men who cut back my tree due to power lines were phenomenal! Not one leaf was left behind when they finished. My yard and tree looked great. They were very friendly, informative and professional. Thank you.”

“I would like to thank Wright Tree Service employees for trimming a tree in my backyard that was in danger of coming down on a power line. They did a great job of getting their equipment into our yard and removing the limbs that were a concern. All of the employees were professional and courteous!” GF Kyle Richardson, Foremen Michael Guerrero and Chad Parker, and Trimmers Ken Mills, John Stutesman, Nathan Weston and Jared Wright

“I work for Scio School District driving the bus in Oregon. I want to let you know that your employees are truly amazing. The flaggers always have a smile on their face and one employee is always dancing from one spot to the next while working. He always waves and makes the kids laugh. It really makes all our days when we pass by. We call him the dancing tree guy. Keep up the amazing work you all are doing.” Foreman Travis Lanz and Trimmer Peyton Woods Portland General Electric

“The crew was professional, safe, secure and did an excellent job. They did an excellent job communicating with me and an excellent, efficient job removing a tree with a picture-perfect job site setup. I



am in construction management and it is rare to encounter crews of that quality.” Trimmers Korey Blake and Chaz Madsen Rocky Mountain Power

“Because of a power line that runs along my back-property line, the power company sends people to trim my trees. This year, your crew that came did a great job. This is the first year that my trees haven't been butchered. I'm usually sick after seeing what they do to my trees and this year they listened to my concerns and tried to do their best while doing their job. I appreciate that. Thanks.” Several crew members Tacoma Power

“Thank you for prompt and professional service trimming trees away from power lines.” Several crew members


“We just had your company working on our street recently and the crew that worked on our property were absolutely awesome! They were just awesome to work with and we could not be more pleased with the work they did. Kudos to both of them.” Several crew members Gulf Power

“I wanted to recognize some of your employees that were hardworking and did a great job on my property. The workers are the most important asset a company could have.”

Project Manager Jeff East, GF Horace Shelton, Foreman Cris Basilio Jr. and Trimmer Roger South Louisville Gas & Electric

“Excellent service. Your company is contracted through Kentucky Utilities in our area to trim trees away from the power lines. The crew was very efficient in trimming my trees. There were no vehicles driven in my yard and all the cut limbs were cleaned up. I'm very satisfied with your crew and your company.” Several crew members

“The tree crew that came out today to clear the trees around our block's power lines saw me struggling to shovel the ice and snow out of our driveway. They had just finished up their work on the trees in our area and offered to shovel the driveway for me, making quick work


family tree of it with larger shovels than mine. I am so thankful for the kindness this crew showed me today, and for their hard work to ensure our community has power through these bitter cold times. Please let them know their hard work and generosity is greatly appreciated, and that we are glad to have them in our community.” Several crew members

“WTS employees were working in my neighborhood in Louisville, Kentucky, near my elderly uncle’s house. He needed to go to a funeral visitation of a dear friend and had 6-7 inches of snow on his driveway. I came over to clear it for him so he could get out. The crew saw me working and one of his men offered to assist me. I tried to decline the offer, but he was politely insistent, so I relented and gave him my shovel. When my uncle came out, he opened the garage door and a few more men grabbed shovels and knocked it out in 5-10 minutes. I was so impressed by the kindness and politeness of all the men. I am still just so grateful, and awestruck by their kindness.” Several crew members Shelby Electric

“I want to compliment the good job, courtesy and professionalism shown by your entire crew. I especially note that Oscar and Derrick were both so helpful and friendly. They went above and beyond and are a credit to your company.” Foremen Gerardo Diaz Martinez, Hector Hinojoza and Gerardo Ventura, and Trimmer Derek Jones

DIVISION 45 Indianapolis Power & Light

“A WTS crew trimmed some trees in our back yard. They were not only professional but very personable and they were very polite. Shout out to these remarkable employees for a job well done!” Several crew members

SOUTHWEST DIVISION Oklahoma Gas & Electric

“The crew who trimmed my trees were some very hard-working fellas. They were polite, friendly, and professional. One of the men told me what they were required to do and then asked for my input. I've never had that happen before! They worked quickly and efficiently and did a fantastic job cleaning up. Thank you for a good experience.” Several crew members

“Thank you so much for having your

crew come back to clean up the tree limbs that they trimmed from the ice storm. It was much appreciated!”

were going to do. When the work was completed you could not even tell they were there. Great job!”



“The crews working my property have been so respectful to me and my property! I just wanted to say thank you. They do excellent work!”

“A crew of WTS trimmers worked in our subdivision and I want to compliment them on the job they did. They were the most polite, efficient workers that have cut my trees in the last 50 years. They were knowledgeable and interested in cutting the trees to make them look as good as possible. They carefully explained what they were going to do and cleaned up the debris. No one is ever happy with having their trees trimmed, but this group was as good as it gets.”

Several crew members

Dominion Energy

Several crew members


Foremen Javier Carracedo, Oldrin DelRosario and Jesus Medina Garcia, and Trimmers Jose Acevedo, Manuel Acevedo, Victor Acevedo, Herver Gonzalez, Yorvy Hernandez, Ramon Reyes Montero and Amhet Rodriguez Ferrer Duke Energy

“One of your crews worked in my backyard and I wanted to give them a shout out. They were wonderful. The group was professional and friendly and even concerned about our dogs. You know that makes a dog owner happy. When they left, my husband, who doesn't give many compliments, said, ‘You can't even tell they have been here!’ Thanks for a job well done!”

Foremen Agustas Burdette, James Charette, James Hofmeister and Delbert Pressley, and Trimmers Blake Lindley, Logan Roof and Anthony Vinson

“These employees were very respectful and definitely are ones to keep around.” Several crew members

“Your team has been taking down a tree for Duke Energy in front of my house for the past couple of days. The whole crew has been very professional, communicative and diligent about what they are doing. They have been friendly and kept me informed of what is going on. Well done!” Several crew members


“The tree specialists came out to tree limbs away from electrical wires. They were very professional and left my backyard better than when they started. Their hard work is greatly appreciated!”

Foremen Manuel Garcia, Santos Cantarrero and Carlos Loza, and Trimmers Alberto Alarcon, Efrain Blanco, Diego Cabrera, Dionicio Leiva, Edilio Martinez, Jose Renoj, Marco Tinoco and Cornelio Vanegas

"Your employees were very courteous and professional. They were assigned to remove limbs on a very large tree that was in the power lines. They let me know they were on the property and what they

GF James Newman, Foremen Anthony Beesley and Jason Tillman, Trimmers Jarrett Beesley and Jacklyn Scealf

“Matt and Eric did an awesome job and went above and beyond to do the job right. This was my second experience with WTS and both times your crews have been great.” Foremen Matthew Nichols and Cory Vankuren, and Trimmers Lawrence Blanton, Andrew Fritz and Mike Orebaugh

"Your tree service crew worked on my property. The crew did excellent work and were incredibly careful with clearing large Continued on page 24


GF Keith Craney received a letter from the Washington, Illinois, Chief of Police thanking him and his crew for going above and beyond to help a family in need. He wrote, “The family and I appreciate Wright Tree Service and Ameren taking down the dead tree that was in the front yard of the property and could have possibly interfered with power to their [sic] home and the rest of the block.” Way to be your Brother’s and Sister’s Keeper!



family tree QUICK THINKING Division 25

Foreman Dakota Taylor was driving in the front of a three-truck caravan with Foreman Kevin Vauls, and Trimmers John Miller and James Weasenforth. When he came up over a hill, there was a car stopped in the middle of the road, slightly in his lane. Dakota stopped as quickly as he could, and he and Kevin got out of their truck. Behind them was Foreman Troy Winkler, with Trimmers Austin Hicks and Brandon Snyder. All three trucks got pulled off on the shoulder of the road. Dakota took control of the situation. He sent Austin back up the road to slow traffic. Brandon was sent down the road to warn vehicles coming up the hill. James was instructed to call 911. Dakota and Troy took the driver of the stopped car, a woman who was outside her car, over to the shoulder of the road and had her sit down. Kevin retrieved the first aid kit from their truck to aid the woman. John assessed the car and the deer was on the floorboard of the car on the passenger side. John dragged the deer out of the car and to the side of the road. The car was still running so he pulled it off the side of the road out of the way of traffic. The entire group stayed with the woman until first responders arrived.

BILLBOARD Division 80

GF Matt Nayor is climbing to new heights on this billboard placed in the Austin, Texas, area!

elms limbs from nearby power lines. It was a very difficult situation because the huge elm was in my hummingbird garden with all sorts of vegetation that they needed to be careful around as well as a garage and a newish cedar fence. They did absolutely no damage which is certainly a credit to them. Phil was the crew leader. He was very easy to talk with, listened really well when I told him what was most important to me, and followed through on what I had said. I hope you appreciate what you have in has as an employee and the rest of the crew that was on my property.” GF Chris Fulk, Foreman Phil Proshek and Trimmer Larry Aldridge

“I am writing to compliment the crew leader, Mr. Yoan Espino for his leadership and great customer service in the trimming of our Plymouth property. Mr. Espino did a great job making sure the process went well and I was a part of each segment that took place. There was no damage to my acreage or animals. The cleanup was good and the entire crew were nice gentlemen and polite. You have a very skilled leader with Mr. Espino, so much so that I am confident he will be moving forward in your company and he will be a positive asset.”

GF Yoan Socas Espino, Foreman Anderson Torres, and Trimmers Yasnier Barroso and Yordano Parsons

“Your crew did an excellent and careful job removing a large portion of a tree which was touching a power line. Neither our chain link fence, nor our vegetable garden were damaged at all; both were immediately below the tree. Thank you for your care and excellent work!” Several crew members

“Yesterday, a large tree limb fell down after a storm. It was on power lines, so DTE came, as did your crew, to take care of this situation. This morning your crew and equipment came at 8:00 a.m. to clean up and remove all the branches, limbs and sections of the trunk in my yard. I am very pleased with their work. They were efficient, quick and thorough in this clean up of my backyard. Their professional and efficient work was topnotch. Thank you so very much!” Several crew members

“I wanted to thank your crew for the fantastic job they did at our home. They took great care getting the power lines out of the fallen tree and keeping the



tree from damaging the roof of our pole barn. Thank you so much!” Several crew members


“A WTS crew removed an entire walnut tree in six hours from start to finish. Every single one of them was polite, friendly, respectful and professional. They cut everything into manageable sized pieces and left it neatly stacked for me. They even left my yard much cleaner than when they arrived. I can't say enough nice things about this crew. The teamwork, communication, work ethic, etc. were spot on. Great job!”

GF Chris Selover, Trimmers Cory Caswell and Austin Chambers Durfee, and Groundman James Edwards


“The crew was out yesterday and trimmed trees along the highway. They did a killer job and the whole thing was done in under one hour. I am very happy with their work.”

Foreman Ron Anderson Jr. and Trimmer Kyler Sempel


“The crew members that were working in our yard did a great job and worked all day! They had a lot of work to do. We gave them permission to cut more limbs because of the safety issue.” Several crew members


“I would like to compliment, Jon McCormick and Donald Watson. I am from Division 30, out of Canon City, Colorado. Today, I attended the CPR class. I appreciate the interaction and information that we received. A big shout out to both. Thank you.”

Safety Supervisors Jon McCormick and Donald Watson

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family tree COVID-19 SURVIVAL KITS Division 65

Our team assembled COVID-19 survival kits for crews in Michigan! Thank you to all the individuals working hard to ensure our crew members have the proper items with them while on the job to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.




Here are some of the new tools we use across divisions.

CAT 525C Log Skidder

718 Material Handler Sennebogen ▲ This machine helps to ensure the safe and efficient removal of limbs or whole trees, commonly used in ROW areas.

Versalift Super Arborist 53

Marshmaster Mower

Altec TDA58 Backyard Bucket

There are many benefits to a backyard bucket, the primary being it can go places a regular bucket truck can't.




family tree

STORM COMPLIMENTS Compliments were submitted to the company by various members of the public after storm events complimenting several crew members. Thank you to all the employees that participated in restoration efforts

been an unprecedented year for all of us on a variety of fronts. What’s not unique is our industry coming together on behalf of our customers to help one another and ultimately to help mend communities that lost much more than just their power.


One of the hallmarks of our industry is how rapidly and completely we support one another during challenging times such as these. The collective storm restoration effort this year has been nothing short of amazing.

“I would like to personally thank you and your company for all the hard work they did to help us. We live in a small community in central Louisiana. Your company has worked so hard to help get our electricity back on. We have so many trees down. These men are our heroes.” “I was driving to the gulf coast to help my family after Hurricanes Harry and Sally and passed a bunch of your crews heading the same direction. Thanks for helping!” “I just wanted to say thank you! I live in Gulf Breeze, Florida, which was hit by Hurricane Sally. Wright Tree Service was the first help I saw after the storm. They were in Gulf Breeze as soon as the storm passed, which was crazy considering all of the bridges were out of commission and it’s a long haul to our area when you have to go around the bays. Thankfully, my house had power and internet restored less than 48 hours after it went out, and I’m sure it’s in part to your crew getting trees off the lines so quickly. Please tell the crew we appreciate them making the trip to help out our town.” “We had Hurricane Sally land about 50 miles to our west. Many people have come to our aid. I saw four of your trucks drive down my street. I do not know where they came from, but I thank them for being here and working long hours to help restore our community.” “I would just like to thank all of your employees for the wonderful job that they have done in clearing all of the trees from the power lines in my neighborhood after Hurricane Sally. They spent almost all of yesterday and were back this morning at first light to begin again. I am very grateful for each and every one of them. You have great employees that are very professional and dedicated. Thank you, again!” “A sincere thank you to your team for the storm restoration support in what has

In record-setting fashion, storms brought dangerous flooding and powerful winds to the Gulf Coast region. Once again, your team was by our side to help restore power across our service area in a relatively rapid period of time, made even more impressive when one considers all of the added factors and complications associated with operating in the midst of a global pandemic. The collaboration is beyond impressive and illustrates how mutual assistance across our industry is truly one of the great models for action in the wake of a natural disaster. Please share the appreciation of our employees and customers with your teams. We are grateful for their selfless actions in joining efforts to help all those impacted.” Note from Entergy Chairman & CEO Leo P. Denault “I want to thank Wright Tree for your assistance restoring service in the Alabama Power territory in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally. The willingness of your employees to leave their homes and families to join forces with the more than 4,000 lineworkers and support personnel from 14 states was truly appreciated. Sally was the first Hurricane to make landfall in Alabama since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and brought severe flooding and high winds that knocked down poles and power lines in southern and central Alabama before the slow-moving storm exited the state. Power was disrupted across the state as Sally caused more than 680,000 outages. Within four days, power had been restored to 99% of Alabama customers able to receive service. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our teams as they worked together.” Note from Alabama Power Senior V.P. Scott Moore


“Thank you to showing up in my area after our ice storm. After eight days without power, I almost cried to see your tree service on my road. I know the linemen are going to be here in a day or two. Thank you!” “In reference to the winter storm, our household went without power for six days, the trees on this road were unmanaged and overgrown. Your employees came through and cleaned up the massive downed trees and cleaned out the undergrowth. They came back today and removed the limbs they cut on the easement of my property. Kudos to WTS for being such a great company. Your employees were super friendly and helpful in letting us know what they were doing. Thanks for being here for fellow Texans during this winter crisis, and a company that has heart.” "How many times do we see snow and a palm tree in the background," says GF Juan Espinosa while surveying his truck outside his hotel in Victoria, Texas. ▶ GF Nate Demby and his crew in the Quad Cities work hard to keep the power on during these wintry days. Winter poses a new threat as ice storms weigh down tree limbs with snow and ice, causing the branches to hang low, potentially disrupting or taking down power lines. ▶



family tree


News from the Branches Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)


Administrative Assistants

 Sierra Garrett  Stephanie Thakur

Data Management Specialists

 Tiffany Johnson  Patricia Nichols Foremen

 Richard Ala  Thomas Campbell III  Artemio Cisneros  Cal Crews  Brice Davis  Marco Guerra  Gary Hudson  Trevor McPhillips  Lee Neithercutt  Osiel Nieto  Sebastian Rios  Alejandro Vasquez

ON THE MOVE Project Manager

 Brian Bynum GF

 James Dobson  Michael Powers  Carlos Rodriguez  Todd Wagner


“Your crew did an amazing job! They were very professional.” Several crew members

“We recently had two of your workers on our property doing tree clean up on behalf of PG&E. They were both professional, courteous and a pleasure to deal with. I hope you commend these essential workers. It's rare to encounter people, much less employees, that commit to their work and customers with a smile and respect like they did. Thank you and your company for helping keep my home and community safe. Keep up the great work!” Several crew members

“A crew from Wright Tree Service worked on my property. The job entailed cutting and trimming limbs on a large sugar pine beneath high voltage PG&E transmission lines. Upon entering my yard, I was immediately impressed with how efficient and exacting they set up their equipment with high regard for safety. It was a pleasure to watch them coordinate and utilize the latest of equipment. Clearly, their skill and knowledge are above and beyond industry standards. The work was completed in a very short time and the cleanup that followed exceeded my expectations. Thank you for a job well done.” Several crew members

“My husband and I would like to let you know how pleased we were with the crew that came to our home and property to do some tree trimming work


around our power lines.” Several crew members

“The crew was completely respectful and professional throughout our interaction, calling ahead to set up a time that would work for us to access this tricky spot on our property, with care also taken towards our dog, our privacy and Covid. We were really impressed. The tree trimming service was done quickly, efficiently and to our liking!” Several crew members


family tree


News from the Branches Compliments and reviews submitted to ArborCare and Wright Tree Service of Canada (WTSCA) by various members of the public and we'd like to commend the following individuals.

NEW & CERTIFIED Congratulations to the following WTSCA employees who were appointed and certified since our last issue!


General Foreperson (GF)

 Sherri Perkins


 Ashton Martin  Jessie Wintonyk


“ArborCare is a great place with great people.”

planning to contact them again in the near future!”

“Arron and his team at ArborCare are awesome! I had submitted an estimate request on their website and Arron contacted me within a couple hours. He was very professional and understanding of what work we wanted done. Him and his team were able to start work on our back yard within a couple days. They were very prompt and communicated with me every detail along the way. The entire team was organized and cleaned up as they worked. I am very happy with what Arron and his team did and would highly recommend them. I am already

“The crews and Sherri, Dustin are doing a great job. Overall things are going really well, and we’ve done an awesome job getting ourselves settled into a new relationship. You’ve got a good crew out there and the support from management is definitely a big contributing factor. Please let your team know API is very happy with the work to date. Keep it up!”

Seasonal Services Supervisor Arron Schemenauer and several crew members

Utility Project Manager Dustin Brandon, GF Sherri Perkins and several crew members

New International Society of Arboriculture Tree Risk Assessment Qualification Certification

 Corrine Winfield, Winfield Sales/Consulting Arborist, Board Certified Master Arborist

New Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP)

 Dustin Brandon, Brandon CTSP, COHS, NCSO, RSO, DOTSD, Utility Project Manager

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA ArborCare.Calgary ArborCare


Gone Digital In 2020, we’ve gone to a 100% paperless payroll process, using a single point of data entry. Maintained TCIA Accreditation Status – Continues to hold TCIA Accreditation with high remarks from a 3rd party auditor. Safety Certified – We received an additional certificate of recognition (COR) and are now safety certified from British Columbia to Manitoba.

@arborcaretreeservice Continued on page 30



family tree COMPANY HIGHLIGHTS continued

Expanded Services to Ontario – In November, WTSCA expanded services into Ontario, signing a contract with API until 2022. The contract is for distribution and transmission vegetation management around the Sault Ste. Marie area. The team hired and onboarded one general foreperson, four journeypersons (qualified utility arborists) and four groundpersons with a tight window of two weeks from contract signing to start date. A special thank you to the Fleet Department who successfully moved all the necessary equipment into the area. Specialty equipment such as a tracked chipper and tracked off road bucket are to join the fleet in the spring to aid with access issues in the harsh rocky terrain.

New advertisements in Calgary, Edmonton & Kelowna

Cross Border Work – In late September, WTSCA deployed 10 crews to Oregon to aid in hazard tree removal for PacificCorp. Under the leadership of Project Manager Andy McLellan, the team successfully finished the eight-week project. Special thanks to everyone involved for the first-ever cross border collaboration. Pruning Efforts – A big congratulations to the ArborCare team who pruned over 5,000 elm trees in the cities of Edmonton, Saskatoon and Regina. These projects were done from October to March in all-weather condition such as rain, snow, wind and -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Again, congratulations team on finishing on time and on budget. New Service Offerings at ArborCare - Seasonal Maintenance Cleanup Packages - Firewood Sales

New Magazine Advertisements in British Columbia


In March, WTSCA was a platinum sponsor at the Professional Vegetation Managers Association’s (PVMA) Spring Conference, a two-day event full of educational sessions focusing on expertise for changing times. Fun fact, as of that meeting, Wright Service Corp. Risk Compliance Manager Codie Anderson is now the Past President of the organization.



Partnered with Kids with Cancer Society in Edmonton


Festival of Trees and Lights For the tenth year in a row, Wright Outdoor Solutions sponsored the Blank Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees and Lights. The event, held virtually this year, offered a wide variety of activities to participate in through their app including a holiday tree scavenger hunt, Zoom chats with Santa, holiday crafts and entertainment, cookie decorating and cooking classes for kids, holiday storytelling, silent auction bidding on trees and wreaths and more. The festival is the hospital’s primary fundraising event to raise money in support of Child Life and Advocacy and Outreach programs. As a sponsor, WOS decorated a tree that was on display in the corporate headquarters. Account Manager Anna Saemisch spearheaded the design and installation of the decorated tree. In addition, WOS offered a holiday décor kit and holiday lighting package to the silent auction.



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.

Showing Trees Love with Trees Forever and Des Moines Water Works Through our ongoing partnership WOS also offered participants, both with Trees Forever, we participated in a virtual and in-person, a Native Trees of weeklong event called Fall Flight, a virtual Iowa Guide to help those curious about festival with activities running August what trees are naturally occurring in the 31 through September 7, 2020 in Des state of Iowa. Moines Water Works Park. Fall Flight celebrates the importance of clean water and open spaces OF IOWA designed to safely immerse participants in our natural resources. Native trees are trees that occur naturally in the region they’re in. Which means


Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization nationally headquartered in Iowa, dedicated to planting trees and encouraging volunteer and youth involvement and environmental stewardship. Teaming up with Trees Forever for Fall Flight allowed us to offer festival-goers the opportunity to enjoy a selfled scavenger hunt, which invited them to find five trees tagged with a heart located throughout the park. When participants located a heart, they snapped a photo and tagged Wright Outdoor Solutions and Trees Forever on social media for a chance to win a prize.



long ago, we’d have these same trees growing wildly across the state. Because native trees are adapted to the local environmental conditions they’re a part of, they are lower maintenance, provide a vital habitat for wildlife, require less water, sustain surrounding landscaping, and preserve biodiversity. Learn about six native trees of Iowa featured by our team of International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborists.

White Oak

Quercus alba

Iowa’s white oaks can live to be 400 years old. The white oak is a strong, hardy and durable tree that has rounded, dull green leaves and acorns that drop in the fall. It grows best in moist, well-drained soils. The white oak typically grows between 50 and 75 feet tall, with the ability to reach 100 feet, and 40 to 70 feet wide.

Sugar Maple

Acer saccharum

The sugar maple is one of Iowa’s largest forest trees, which is used as a shade and ornamental tree. It has showy yellow, red and crimson leaves in the fall, and is the best of all maples for production of maple syrup and sugar. The sugar maple is less tolerant of cold or heat than other maples.

Red Oak

Quercus rubra From stream terraces to dry ridges and slopes, the red oak prefers soils which are most, yet well-drained and slightly acidic. The wood of the red oak is hard, strong, and moist but less durable. Its leaves are lobed with pointed tips. It is a slow growing tree, but does grow faster than most oaks, and is fairly easy to transplant.


We believe a successful landscape starts with the right tree planted in the right place. From selecting correct tree, to planting, and everything in between, the we can help you through the process. We love to talk all things outdoors! Give us a call at 515.987.0800 to chat with one of our team members. 515.987.0800

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DIGGING IN Interior Plantscaping Catalog Refresh Helps Promotes Beautiful Spaces Inside And Out A catalog we use to promote our interior plantscaping services was recently refreshed and updated front to back, with new photography of our plant and container options, color rotation options, living and moss walls, orchids, special event plant rental, seasonal containers, holiday décor and more to help showcase the high quality products we offer. While the photography transformed the catalog visually, new verbiage with service line and process explanations bring detail to help shine light on exactly what current and potential clients can expect from our offerings. Going from a 20-page to a 32-page catalog with this refresh, it features the WOS brand along with our sister company Verdure Elements, who provides similar services in our Omaha and Lincoln markets.


WHO WE ARE Wright Outdoor Solutions and Verdure Elements are proud to provide gorgeous interior plant displays, special event and seasonal color and decor to the plant rental, metropolitan areas of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Omaha and Lincoln. Our provides full-service personalized interior talented team plantscaping, including design, installation residential spaces, as well as plant and maintenance for both commercia rental, seasonal container gardens, l and and holiday décor. Each member of respectful of your home or office. We our team is trained and strive to exceed your expectations with unsurpassed customer service. 2 WHO WE ARE

Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute Conference continuing education and learning hours. Our very own Landscape Designer Seth Hansen attended the conference and had this to say about his participation in the conference:

The Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) held a conference over two days in January that featured top-notch education in the hardscape industry. This first ever virtual Hardscape North America Conference featured educational sessions for hardscape professionals with three tracks and 30

“The session called Turning Finished Projects Into Impactful Marketing stood out to me. It really drove home the idea that we should strive to “show the journey” and document landscape projects from design work to installation to unexpected challenges to the finished project, then check back a year or so later to show the spaces as they are lived in.” -Seth Hansen


Erio Castillo, Landscape Construction Laborer Betsy Coy, Interior Maintenance Technician Nicholas Dolan, Exterior Maintenance Crew Member Tyler Ehrp, Landscape Construction Laborer Eduardo Escobedo, Landscape Construction Laborer Jose Ramirez, Landscape Construction Laborer Carissa Ritter, Exterior Maintenance Crew Member Neal Rydberg, Mowing Crew Member


Alyssa James, Mowing Crew Lead


Jim Altwegg, Certified Backflow Tester and 3OT Applicator License Ramy Peters, CDL – Class A License Kim Rieber, ICPI Certified Concrete Paver Installer Jesseca Robertson, 3OT Applicator License


DIGGING IN Rewarding Success: Employee Spotlight Award Congratulations to Exterior Maintenance Team Member Alyssa James for winning the Employee Spotlight Award as part of the Rewarding Success Program! Alyssa was nominated by her peers and selected through a committee. Alyssa has been with the team since September 2019, helping across numerous departments, including Plant Health Care, exterior maintenance, lawn, arbor, exterior holiday and snow, as well as in the shop. She was nominated for this award for her positive attitude, strong work ethic and willingness to help the team across a wide variety of tasks and departments as needed. Many have called her a rockstar for her team spirit and we are glad to have her on the team! The Rewarding Success program rewards and recognizes employees who exhibit WOS values in an exemplary manner. As part of the Gold Star tier of the program, each quarter (March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31), employees and managers may nominate a fellow employee who has gone above and beyond their normal scope of duties, has a positive attitude, is dependable and willing to help the team. Nominations are reviewed by a committee and the selected employee receives a gift card along with recognition on the company digital screens. 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.

SNOW CREW KUDOS With the snowfall, we’ve experienced this past winter – close to 50 inches! – WOS would like to commend and give kudos to the crew members who have helped with snow removal from not only our clients’ properties, but also our own facilities to ensure our fleet can operate and come and go in a safe manner. We worked through 28 different snow events, removing 54.5 inches of snow and applied 248,400 pounds of salt. Both main crew members and crew members who provided relief who all deserve this kudos include: Ramy Abujobarah, Landscape Foreman Jim Altwegg, Landscape/Maintenance Operations Manager Josh Appletoft, Arbor General Foreman Joe Bickel, Arbor Foreman Mike Cook, Arbor Foreman Russell Davis, Arbor Foreman Shane Donegan, PHC Technician Heath Beckman, Heavy Equipment Operator Emma Griffiths, PHC Supervisor Jacob Griffiths, PHC Technician Ethan Kluver, Shop Mechanic Alyssa James, Exterior Maintenance Crew Member Brian Lenning, Arbor Groundman


Brian Lewis, Arbor Foreman Kyle Lindahl, Arbor Foreman Andrew Manning, Landscape Foreman Owen Nutter, Arbor Groundman Brandon Patava, Shop Manager Shaun Reinier, Heavy Equipment Operator Jeff Russo, Exterior Maintenance Crew Member Joe Sanders, Heavy Equipment Operator/Snow Supervisor Colin Sinn, Arbor Groundman Chad Sutherland, Arbor Division Manager Jared Trent, Arbor Groundman Gene Waage, Arbor Foreman


DIGGING IN Seen & Heard Two different crews. Both terrific. Ryan also is pleasant to work with. Everyone has been polite and professional even during challenging times. -Julie Everyone was good to work with and I like the way they could see what needed to be done and offered suggestions. -Steve Russell and Owen came to our property as expected, and promptly, at the time scheduled and even a few minutes early. They are wonderful men regarding their personal qualities and most importantly regarding their work ethic. They did an awesome job for us that day and the shrubs they trimmed look fantastic. Once again, as always, we can 'bank on' getting the highest quality work done as well as always having service excellence from each of your staff which is ALL important to us. Service excellence is critical and equal in importance to us as the job performance itself. Russell and Owen were friendly, and listened well after asking for input about the trimming task, completing it superbly and cleaning it all up better than they found it and even taking the time to take a small dead shrub out from under our front window that was an eyesore. They displayed their physical strength, their strength of personal character and strength of representation of your awesome company. You are our 'goto' outdoor-needs company and we tell everyone, every opportunity that we have! We are always delighted with your staff's work and having anyone on our property! Thank you! -Rich and Jill Staff was prompt and accurate. Knowledgeable and efficient. We had an overall positive experience. -Tim Wright Outdoor Solutions have always been respectful and always quality work. -Tayala Very polite and respectful. -Kenneth Amy does an outstanding job for us every time! -John The crew members were cordial and efficient. -Mark I have been a long-standing tree customer and have appreciated the relationship

with John Griffiths. I always knew who to contact. John's professional knowledge of trees was extensive and he gave his honest opinions. With his guidance, I was able to make informed decisions. I was especially grateful to him a few years ago when straight-line winds brought down our maple onto the roof. John got to us very quickly and the Wright crew was amazing. They managed to get the tree off the roof without any damage. I've always been pleased with Wright's service and the quality of the work. I'd appreciate being assigned another arborist since John retired. His knowledge and professionalism are the reasons I always call Wright. -Courtenay Both crews were great. They both checked to make sure everything was okay with us before they left. -Howard I’m a long-time customer and always happy with your work. -Scott Excellent service, the work men crew, was very polite and professional. They did an amazing job. Very happy with your services! -Holly I have used your service for several years and I couldn't be happier. Thanks! -Jennie Always nice to talk to and cleanup is terrific. -Paul and Dixie Great service and knowledgeable employees. -Mary Have always been happy with the service I receive. Keep up the good work! -Robert Wonderful experience with Wright Outdoor Solutions! This year we've had clean up from the derecho and leaves this fall. Both times everything was done quickly, and our yard was cleaned up perfectly. Highly recommend! -Amanda Dennis has been just fantastic! Thank you for being so prompt and fixing issues correctly and very quickly. So happy to have Christmas lights up early this year! Also love the planters Dennis chose for our front steps. New to the area and very impressed with the service! -Brooke Anna is superb! The teams did a terrific job. Very creative and responsive to needs. -Mollie

Very friendly employees and prompt service! -Diane

I was pleased with the polite conduct, and how they scoped out the area and seemed to discuss between themselves the best plan of attack for the broken limb tangled up over our garage. They did a fantastic job and didn't even dent the gutters getting the limb down. My dad came by to watch the process and asked for some of the wood to use as firewood. The crew was very helpful and nicely stacked a pile of wood for him. The team even raked up the area they were working in better than I had of leaves and other debris. -Tina Anna does a great job. Her helpers were respectful of my house. You guys do a great job. -George and Deb They are a great crew. We have used your service for 10 plus years and always had great service. I rate your workforce a ‘10’ in my book. Thank you again. -Bill Just very, very nice young men! We have told almost all our friends about how good you guys are! I hope they use you in the future, I know we will! -Dave Dennis is a gem in proactively making recommendations for landscaping. My neighbors and family love what he has done on my property in Glen Oaks Country Club. Thank you for assigning Dennis to my account! -DeAnna Very professional. Cleaned up nicely and were very courteous. -Margaret Always a pleasure to work with your company. There has not been one time where I felt that the crew could have done a better job. -Lee The guy who led the crew was great. We looked at everything before they left and they did a little more work. All were very professional and all good guys. -George



We have always been happy with Wright Outdoor Solutions. We have used their services for many years. -Sharon Wonderful hardworking crew! Thank you! -Marilyn The crew did a great job, as always. Keep up the great work! -Stan and Susan They never let us down! The entire crew did an outstanding job. The yard looked fantastic. The team's 'service excellence' never ceases to amaze us and impress us! For your quality work and the pleasant personable ways, including the kindness shown to us, we always recommend you to everyone! Many, many thanks! -Rich and Jill

Very helpful throughout the process. The crew did an excellent job! The lights look amazing. We love them! Everyone that we have experienced from Wright are the


types of people that you would have in your home for dinner. Great service and great experience over all! We love the entire process! Thanks for great customer service! -Stacy Respectful to our property as well as our neighbor’s property. Will definitely use again in the future. -Mary Ann Excellent service - cleaned up the worksite, polite, respectful. I look forward to working with you again in the future! -Scot Very reliable! Pleased with yard work and snow removal. Pleasant staff! -Katy and Robert I get very prompt and courteous service from office staff, my account manager and the onsite crews. Much appreciated! -Carline


Great set up and tear down and fabulous communication from beginning to end. Thank you! -Thomas

Tree Care

I just wanted to say thank you. Your team is really good, fast, and cleaned up the mess! I appreciate it.” -Adam complimenting Arbor Foreman Joshua Appletoft, Arbor Crewman Jared Trent and Arbor Crewman Jesse Cranfield

Both crews did a great job. Thanks for a job well done! -Jane and Cary complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Kyle Lindahl, Arbor Team Member Colin Sinn, Arbor Team Member Eugene Waage and Arbor Team Member (Stump Grinding) Heath Beckman

Heath did a very fine job with the stump grinding. Thank you. -Dale complimenting Arbor Team Member (Stump Grinding) Heath Beckman

Really appreciate the service we are receiving today!! What nice young men! They represent your company extremely well!! I will be contacting you for future

DIGGING IN tree trimming needs! -David complimenting Arbor Foreman Russell Davis and Arbor Foreman Ismael Corona

Thank you for the excellent service on the removal of our large tree. All of the crewmen did a great job and were professional. We were impressed watching them remove the tree and we appreciate their hard work. We are also relieved the tree is no longer a risk of falling down on our home. -Jerry and Holly complimenting Account Manager Jason Brauckman

Thank you so much for taking down the broken limb from the Bradford Pear. It had been there since the derecho. I was concerned if it was not taken out before winter that it would fall on my neighbor’s shed. Having it taken down is a huge sigh of relief. Again, thank you so much. My neighbors recommended you as you had done some work for them. I will certainly keep you in mind if I should need further assistance. -Sandra complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Brian Lewis and Arbor Team Member Brian Lenning

We just wanted you to know how satisfied we are with the team you sent out to do the work. They were amazing and did an awesome job. We are truly impressed with the work done and relieved the tree is gone. -Holly

Your guys make an awesome team. They were great to work with. Thank you! Kindest regards. -Zenta

complimenting Arbor Team Member Austin Sink, Arbor Team Foreman Joe Bickel, Arbor Team Member (Log Pick) Joe Sanders, Arbor General Foreman Josh Appletoft and Arbor Team Member Brandt Jelkin

Landscaping & Maintenance

Thanks so much!! Great job as always!! -Janet complimenting Arbor Team Member Robert Nutter and Landscape Team Lead Andrew Manning

Thank you for your excellent service. The two gentlemen that did the work were outstanding – worked hard all day and cleaned up every “twig.” Please tell them how much I appreciate their expertise and effort. -Jean complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Russell Davis and Arbor Team Foreman Mike Cook

Guys came out to take down the trees. Real pros and gentlemen. Excellent job. -John complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Russell Davis and Arbor Team Member Robert Nutter

The stump job was completed this morning. I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for always being responsive. The guys who came to do both tree clean ups this summer and the stump removal this morning were respectful and friendly, and always answered my questions. AND did a great job and clean up. Please extend a thank you to your teams as well. - Kris. complimenting Arbor Team Member (Track lift Delivery & Log Pick) Joe Sanders, Arbor Team Foreman Kyle Lindahl, Arbor Team Member Colin Sinn and Arbor Team Member (Stump Grind) Heath Beckman

The two young men did an excellent job on our trees. The cleanup was exceptional. -Clara complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Russell Davis and Arbor Team Foreman Kyle Lindahl

complimenting Arbor Team Foreman Kyle Lindahl and Arbor Team Member Colin Sinn

Thank you! Nice work! -Lee and Deb

complimenting Exterior Maintenance Team Member Jeff Russo and Exterior Maintenance Team Member Matthew Mitchell

complimenting Plant Health Care Supervisor (Holiday Lights) Emma Griffiths, Arbor Team Member (Holiday Lights) Jared Trent, Exterior Maintenance Team Member (Holiday Lights) Alyssa James and Plant Health Care Team Member (Holiday Lights) Shane Donegan

Snow & Ice Management

Thanks a million for all your wonderful help! -Ann and David complimenting Senior Accountant Emily Dorothy, Snow Supervisor Joe Sanders, Scheduling Coordinator Manager Melissa Oppenheim, Landscape Team Lead (Snow Team) Andrew Manning and Arbor Team Member (Snow Team) Robert Nutter

Thank you so very much for the absolutely perfect clearing during these record-setting snow events! And thank you so very much for the wonderful care given on the snow removal!! I’m so extremely grateful!! -Janet complimenting Arbor Team Member (Snow Removal) Robert Nutter and Landscape Team Lead (Snow Removal) Andrew Manning

I work for a company that uses your services. We just had a winter arrangement placed outside our door and it looks very nice. A woman who been taking care of our flowers all summer and they looked beautiful. She has been doing a great job and I would appreciate someone passing along the compliment. -Ann complimenting Exterior Maintenance Team Member Amparo Lopez and Exterior Maintenance Team Member Patricia Cristales

I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help! Our first experience with Wright Outdoor Solutions was amazing! Thanks for being part of this! -Stacy complimenting Account Manager Dennis Wilson, Exterior Maintenance Team Member (Holiday Lights) Alyssa James and Plant Health Care Supervisor (Holiday Lights) Emma Griffiths

Holiday Lights & Décor

Alyssa and Emma did a fantastic job! Hardworking ladies! Thank you so much! -Marilyn complimenting Plant Health Care Supervisor (Holiday Lights) Emma Griffiths and Exterior Maintenance Team Member (Holiday Lights) Alyssa James

Thank you so much! The trees were beautiful, and my neighbors called and expressed how they loved the two beacons.” -Nancy complimenting Plant Health Care Supervisor (Holiday Lights) Emma Griffiths and Arbor Team Member (Holiday Lights) Jared Trent

Wonderful job! Loved the people who worked here. Thank you! -Nancy


Wright Outdoor Solutions






NEW AND IMPROVED WAREHOUSE LOCATION The entire leadership and operation team at Verdure Elements (VE) is excited to finally be moved and settled into our new warehouse location, which allows us to better service our client base.

OPERATION WHITE LIGHTS VE was proud to partner with CHI Health on the Operation White Lights project. In recognition of Operation White Lights, our team was honored to provide the lighting on the CHI Bergan Mercy Hospital exterior tree. Each and every employee of the hospital, as well as those across the country, worked diligently to keep us healthy during these unprecedented times. Upon completion, the tree was adorned with 700 warm white LED lights.



Along the Lines CNUC

How to Achieve Excellence: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions! Derek Vannice, President and COO CNUC has seven core values, one of which is excellence. Meaning, we want to exceed the expectation of all our stakeholders – industry, clients and employees alike. We work hard every day to deliver that excellence. How do we know if we have been successful? The only way to know is to ask questions. Sometimes getting answers makes us feel good, other times it can be painful. Ultimately, it is the only way we can truly know if we are achieving excellence.

their expectations. We work diligently to educate our employees on the utility vegetation management (UVM) survey results so they can help address our client’s questions and improve our decisionmaking when working for our clients.


To get answers, we have conducted three main surveys over the last several years. Annually, we conduct an employee engagement survey and a client satisfaction survey. Thanks to our Director of Research + Development (R+D) Randy Miller and the rest of the R+D team, in 2019 we launched our latest industry survey and published results in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. We anticipate conducting this survey on an ongoing basis with a focus on specific areas within our industry.

The client satisfaction survey is critical to our success. Acting on the results helps maintain our focus on continual improvement. Overall, this year’s results were positive with a net promoter score in the good to excellent range, but we also found we have some work to do. We believed that we have a very strong training and development program for our employees – some of our clients did not fully agree. Their responses were not negative, but they were neutral. A few of our clients commented on work quality, again not strongly negative but room for improvement. Our goal is to exceed expectations – not just meet them. So, we have some work to do. We are developing steps to review our training and training delivery, and re-focusing our management team efforts to work closely with employees on work quality.



The industry survey gives us an unprecedented look at the trends in our profession and helps us gain an understanding of vegetation management practices across the U.S. and Canada. This knowledge can help us better serve our clients, provide more value and exceed

The employee engagement survey focuses on how our employees feel we, as a company, are living our core values: safety, excellence, teamwork, integrity, family, innovation and knowledge.The most critical actions when conducting a survey with your team are communicating

the results and actions to be taken and following through on those actions. This is the essence of our continual improvement process. Determine the plan, act, review the results and take additional actions as necessary. This process never ends at CNUC. Three main takeaways from the employee survey are: SAFETY Our number one value is safety. We want to make sure we are doing everything in our power to provide a safe work environment and make sure our employees have all the necessary equipment and training to work safely. Questions regarding safety were some of the highest scoring on the survey. This is an area where we will not cut corners or take unnecessary risks. Our expectation is that all our employees feel the same way. We continued this commitment by putting a safety manager in place, and we fully believe we will take the next positive steps in our safety program in 2021. TRAINING + DEVELOPMENT Second, is how our employees feel about our training and development programs. Knowledge, teamwork, innovation and excellence are all core values of CNUC. Our ability to live by these core values is tied to how well we train and develop each employee. We are continuously reviewing our training programs, looking for ways to develop each member of our team professionally. Based on survey results, our staff agree that we are doing a pretty good job in this area. That said, we will continue Continued on page 40


Along the Lines to look for ways to train and develop each team member as they move forward in their careers.


CNUC is the premier 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.

COMMUNICATION Finally, and maybe most importantly, we have an enormous opportunity to improve communication and face-to-face conversations. The pandemic has created challenges in improving our face-toface communication. In the survey, our employees told us they would like to see more face-to-face communication with the management team. This used to be a real strength of our company and we are victims of our own success. Our growth has created challenges in communication. We listened to these concerns and will find ways to communicate more often.

all team members on an ongoing basis, face-to-face where possible, and virtuall, with cameras on otherwise. We will work to increase meetings in the field as soon as it is safely possible to do so and focus on ways to get the teams together with management for more opportunities for dialog. We’ve learned that asking questions and not being afraid of the answers is an important part of our success. We know that we must take action in areas where we need to improve. It is this commitment to continual improvement that leads to our pursuit of excellence in service to our clients and our employees.

To start, we will hold our CNUC State of the Company call once per quarter. We are increasing commitment from the management team to reach out to

>> 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. 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.


What’s Going on in Research + Development: An Overview Sarah Lilley, Supervisor of Research and Development While CNUC has divisions that cover the East (D20), West (D15), California (D10), and now Canada, Research + Development (D30) is a little harder to peg down. Territory-wise, D30 covers the largest area, with contracts from Alaska to Florida and Canada. Staff-wise, with five full-time employees, D30 is the smallest division of CNUC. And while most CNUC divisions manage relatively steady, multiyear contracts with utilities, D30 projects are usually more strike team in nature.


To understand D30, you need to first understand a little CNUC history. The company was founded in 1999 by Stephen Cieslewicz and Robert Novembri to provide consulting services to utilities and regulators, playing off their decades of experience at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) in California, putting them at the forefront of state and industry regulations. CNUC published the first industry benchmark survey in 2002 and was heavily involved in industry regulations after the Northeast blackout of 2003. Over the next 20 years, CNUC’s services Continued on page 41



Along the Lines decades of UVM experience to the roving utility forester position. D30 oversees a long-term contract at a geothermal plant in California, where we have been busy planning distribution and transmission inspections, as well as this year's vegetation work for their tree, herbicide and goat contractors. Alex Newfield of D10 is currently assisting with inspections of their overhead circuits.

grew to include UVM program operations. In fact, as mentioned above, the majority of CNUC employees provide operations support, work planning and consulting utility forester services to utilities across North America. R+D carries the original torch of CNUC’s mission, providing consulting services for vegetation management projects and expanding industry knowledge both internally and externally.


The UVM industry survey, traditionally known as the benchmark survey, is a cornerstone of CNUC consulting services. Randall H. Miller, our director of research + development, spearheaded the latest industry survey in 2020 along with Dr. Rich Hauer of the University of WisconsinStevens Point. Results were published this spring and presented company-wide and will be presented to universities and industry associations. Additionally, Randall has been tirelessly revamping the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) integrated vegetation management (IVM) best management practices manual that will be published this fall. On the operations side of D30, numerous projects are in the works, keeping us busy both in and out of the office. We are in progress on a program review for a Colorado electric cooperative in which we are reviewing their UVM documents and conducting a field inspection of 1% of their overhead circuits with the end goal of finding opportunities to improve their program. Helping with the field review are Andrew Pederson from D15 and Blair Morton from D20. D30 is also coordinating upcoming field inspections for electric utilities in Alaska and Connecticut; assisting in these inspections is Darryl McIntyre. He brings

On the urban forestry front, D30 just wrapped up a tree inventory at a large corporation in the Bay Area of California, including more than 100 office sites and 20,000 trees overall. By the time this article is published, we will also have finished an inventory for the city of Los Banos, California. On both of these inventory projects, we partnered with PlanIT Geo, the creators of TreePlotter™ software. A team of D10 employees took a break from their regular positions to assist on these tree inventories.


The CNUC Photo Club is not only a fun way to interact with fellow employees, but to understand our daily activities through photography. These photos can be used as learning tools and to note the similarities and differences we encounter throughout North America.

Animal Crossing Over the past months, we’ve encountered animals big and small, some friendly and some to look out for. Here are some photos of animals from the field. ◀ Wild turkey sighting on a snowy day. Photo from D20 Contract Supervisor Larin McCulley in Missouri.

While all of these projects are going on, D30 is also planning ahead for future work. We are currently bidding on work for a tree inventory in the city of Cleveland and transmission line inspection serving a particle accelerator in California. There’s never a dull moment, and the variety keeps it interesting. D30 embodies CNUC’s core values of knowledge, innovation, and excellence and looking at our current and future endeavors, it’s obvious that teamwork is hugely important. While Randall, Manager of R+D Philip Chen and myself work in the background to pull a project together, we rely on team members from all CNUC divisions to collect information needed and to ensure that fieldwork goes smoothly. Thank you to everyone who has and continues to make D30 projects happen. Keep an eye out for future D30 updates!

▲ Good eye for safety! D20 CUF Morgan Arthur spotted this cottonmouth snake ▲ D10 Regional Supervisor in Whiteville, NC. Todd Walker made the acquaintance of this adorable highland steer in Elk, California.

▲ A majestic early morning shot of spans in Orick, California, from D10 CUF Nathaniel Matteson.

▲ D20 Regional Coordinator Kevin Baggett makes friends everywhere he goes, including a cow pasture!



Managing Driving Hazards Bill Spencer, Safety Manager I’d venture to say the most dangerous activity each of us performs on a regular basis is operating a motor vehicle. Driving, as it’s more commonly known, has been one of America's favorite pastimes for over a century. It’s something that's part of our lives from the time we’re placed into a child seat as a baby, to when we anxiously walk into the Department of Motor Vehicles as a teenager to take the driving test. Because driving has become such a regular part of everyday life, sometimes even the dangers associated with it have become normalized.

ourselves into a false sense of security while behind the wheel.


This may seem obvious, but reducing speed is perhaps the most effective way to lower risk. Not only does traveling at a slower speed provide more reaction time, it often eliminates the need for such reaction time in the first place. Even if a collision is unavoidable, less speed always means less damage done. In the long run, driving at a slower speed reduces maintenance costs, improves fuel efficiency and extends the life of the vehicle. On the flip side, not only is the act of speeding illegal and unsafe, it isn’t the time saving measure we think it is due to the very structure of the rules of the road. We’ve all witnessed someone speed past us in a hurry, only to be delayed by traffic a few minutes later (usually to our delight). The risk of even just a little bit of speed simply isn’t worth the reward.


According to the United States Department of Labor, every five seconds a motor vehicle crash occurs and every 12 minutes someone dies as a result of a crash. Can you think of another day-to-day activity that causes death and injury so frequently? Driving a vehicle is a complex task that involves dynamic situations, changing environments and conditions, and hazards of every kind. Whether you drive for work, convenience or leisure, it’s crucial to know how to manage risk when you’re out on the open road. Accepting the risk associated with this essential activity is inevitable, yet we as responsible drivers should take full consideration of the risk and not lull


Whether it’s your cell phone, discussion with passengers or the general desire to multitask, distracted driving is a serious safety hazard in the modern age. With so many ways to break our focus, it’s critical to keep distractions to a minimum and give your full attention to the task of driving. With respect to cell phones, the best advice here is to avoid looking at your phone and taking calls while driving altogether. Keep your phone silent and out of sight until you arrive at your destination. Take every opportunity to eliminate distractions inside your vehicle, because many distractions will still occur outside your vehicle that are seldom within your control.


Backing incidents account for more than one-fourth of all vehicle-related incidents, even though backing occupies less than 1% of a driver’s time behind the wheel. Driving in reverse should be avoided whenever possible. That said, backing is inevitable and practice is the


only way to get better at it. When backing is unavoidable, perform a 360° walkaround the vehicle to identify any potential hazards. Use a passenger as a spotter when available. Make full use of mirrors and rear-vision camera systems to ensure the task is performed safely.

KEEP A HEALTHY DRIVING MINDSET Maintaining a positive headspace while driving is a key component to minimizing exposure to hazards that often gets overlooked. Operating a motor vehicle requires coordination with fellow drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s important to be alert, clear-headed and empathetic with others while out on the road. As we all know, this is much easier said than done. Yes, it can be easy to get irritated when someone else commits an error in traffic, but most of us have made a mistake or two behind the wheel ourselves and tend to expect forgiveness when the shoe is on the other foot. Do your best to be polite and charitable towards others and always remember driving is a cooperative activity, not a competitive one. The next time you get behind the wheel, keep in mind that you're not just “going for a drive” – you’re operating a piece of heavy machinery that has the power to cause very serious harm if misused. Driving a vehicle has become ingrained in our day-to-day lives, but this doesn't mean that it’s inherently free of risk. Driving is a task that can only be done safely by a commitment from everyone on the road to take the job seriously each and every time they step into a vehicle.

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Along the Lines


At CNUC, we like to say safety doesn’t happen by accident, in fact, it’s our safety slogan. It helps keep us accountable for our own safety and that of others, or as we call it — being a safety steward. The following employees recently ran into situations in which they exemplified being a safety steward. Nathanial Matteson, D10 CUF on the PG&E contract was driving home and pulled over to put out a small fire. EMS was notified and Nate stayed on site until they arrived. Here is Nate’s account of the event: “I was driving home for the day when I saw a truck on the side of the road and smoke coming out of the trees nearby. I safely parked my vehicle and asked the individual in the truck if he needed assistance, to which he replied there was a brushfire. I immediately grabbed my fire rake and water pack and got to work putting the flames out and instructed the truck driver to call 911. I put out the fire and stayed on the scene until the local fire department showed up and took my statement.” Great job, Nate! This is what going above and beyond and being a safety steward is all about. Andrew Donnachie, D15 contract supervisor on the BPA contract, had a day full of close calls in which he exemplified safety steward as a state of mind. Here is Andrew’s retelling of the events: “I was at a hardware store looking at replacement chainsaw options for our team and noticed straight away that the chain was installed backwards with the chisel teeth facing the wrong direction. An unknowing customer could have been seriously injured trying to use it with the chain installed like that. I notified a staff member and they removed the chainsaw from the shelf to address the issue. This is by no means a jaw-dropping story, but it was a fitting end to an afternoon in which I evaded a vehicle that did not stop at a stop sign, helped traffic detour around a stalled vehicle and unfortunately witnessed an oversized truck back into a powerline causing a flashover. My takeaway from all this is to always expect the unexpected.” D30 Lead Consulting Utility Forester (LCUF) Jessica Bulik and D10 Contract Coordinator Jennifer Kim were driving home from work and came upon a small grass fire burning on the side of the highway. There weren’t any emergency personnel on the scene yet; just another passerby attempting to shovel dirt on the flames. They pulled over to assist him using their fire tools to help contain the flames until the fire department could arrive. Great job on staying prepared and taking decisive action to help secure the scene!

The Rewarding Success Program recognizes employees who exhibit the values of CNUC in an exemplary manner. 26 CNUC employees have been recognized through this program since April 2020. Congratulations to all recipients!


DIVISION 10 >> Jennifer Kim DIVISION 20 >> Scott Chrysler >> Thomas Ordway

INTEGRITY DIVISION 10 >> Larrissa Forney >> Sterling Welsh

DIVISION 20 >> Pamela Schumann DIVISION 30 >> Darryl McIntyre

KNOWLEDGE DIVISION 20 >> Meghan Graney

EXCELLENCE DIVISION 10 >> David Newfield

>> Emily Seba >> John Lynde >> Tim Sheehy DIVISION 15 >> Kevin Terlep DIVISION 20 >> Douglas Baker >> Jacob Marfin >> Jennifer Young >> Justin Miller >> Lorenzo Villanueva

>> Michael DeSarro

TEAMWORK DIVISION 10 >> Adonis Clawson

DIVISION 15 >> Miles Schneider DIVISION 20 >> Duane Thomas >> Jack Rowell >> Kelly Saylor


Along the Lines

NEW, ON THE MOVE & CERTIFIED Congratulations to the following CNUC employees who were recently appointed, promoted and certified!



Consulting Utility Foresters (CUF) >> Alyssa Avila >> Jess Benbrook >> Kona Bilancia >> Dustin Brooks >> Joey Camacho >> Luke Clouse >> Nathan Collins >> Paul Corker III >> Canyon Evans >> Christopher Ferguson >> Priscilla Figueroa >> Hunter Frasier >> America Garcia >> Casey Genthner >> Kevin Hunter >> Adam Johnson >> Forrest Jusasz-Adams >> Kristopher Kane >> Bowen Kehn >> Robert Keleher >> Richard Kerr >> Lillian Kleban >> Hayden Klein >> Dustin Leroux >> Jeanie Lowe >> Jordan Lowe >> Juan Macias >> Ally Madole >> Roberto Martinez >> Nathaniel Matteson >> Ruby Mendoza >> Eduardo Meza >> Serenna Morefield >> Alex Morrison >> Steven Muha >> Breanna O’Dea >> Ana Pfleeger >> Britany Pickering >> Holli Prushmeier >> Daniel Quintero >> Sabrina Rahgozar >> Andrew Reit >> Mason Rogers >> Gregory Senchyna >> Vivienne Sheen


>> Alex Shepherd >> Carly Simon >> Joseph Skaggs >> Preston Spendley >> Sara Stone >> Melanie Torres >> Carlos Vazquez Balderas >> John Vichi >> Adrian Vivanco >> Kurt Walde >> Jessica York LCUF >> Matthew Delgado


CUFs >> Trevor Armijo >> David Baker >> Sheena Bennett >> Jacob Clark


CUFs >> James Aaserud Jr. >> Morgan Arthur >> Darren Atkins >> Joseph Ballew Jr. >> Robert Beazley III >> Kenneth Brown >> Shawn Burns >> Cassandra Carpenter >> Steven Chacon >> Jordan Chinchilla >> Cameron Dunford >> Daniel Foley II >> Megan Graney >> Rick Groce >> Mittchell Hansen >> John Heinen II >> Zachary King >> Austin Kinney >> Christian Lee >> Julianne Lee >> Madeline Miles >> Justin Miller >> Andrew Mourglea >> Michael Mullins >> Paul Myers Jr. >> Nicholas Nesti


>> Aaron Richcreek >> Douglas Royal >> Pamela Schumann >> Brandon Scott >> Donn Shoultes >> Abigail Slater >> Joel Smith >> Shawnee Smith >> Konner Standley >> Katelyn Tomaszewski >> Mark Vannortwick >> Donald Veverka >> Jalen Ward >> Johnathan Weibley >> Andrew Wheeling >> Bowen Williams >> Luke Wohltmann >> Tammy Wright >> Emily Yeend >> Brianna Ypema LCUF >> Andrzej Kurosz >> Mitchell Pierce

ON THE MOVE Safety Manager >> Bill Spencer


Regional Supervisor >> Dean Leonard Regional Coordinator >> Mike Johnson Project Managers >> Donald Bird LCUF/SCUF >> Justin Cox >> Matt Delgado >> Ben Kegel >> August Ramirez >> Brittany Rodriguez >> Sterling Welsh >> Matt Wyatt


Regional Coordinator >> Christina Cribbs


Supervisor of R+D >> Sarah Lilley



>> Parker Graham >> Noah Kapono >> John Lynde >> Brett Palmer


>> Kenneth Doles >> Jacob Marfin >> Duane Thomas ISA Utility Specialist

DIVISION 20 >> Doug Oakley TRAQ


>> Jose Bautista


>> John Bennett >> Karen Jenkins

Along the Lines

Around the Grid Division 10

more than the scope of work we usually did. Avista stepped up to help as much as

Over the winter we opened a brick and mortar office in Anderson, California, to support operations in North California. 

we could and more!"

Division 20 Meet the team at AES Ohio! What used to be known as Dayton Power and Light is now AES Ohio. Here is a picture of the team, taken in early March.  From left: CUF Fred Rodgers, LCUF Travis Brugler and CUF Jack Rowell

Photo of Pend-Orielle River near Sandpoint, Idaho

Division 15 CUF Thomas Houck was highlighted by the recruiting committee for his oneyear anniversary working with CNUC. Here is what Thomas had to say about his journey to CNUC: "In 2019 I came to CNUC after careers in several areas. I worked in sales and as a commercial photographer, something I still do — I shoot for weddings, food, scenics, etc. I started in vegetation management in 2011 working on the Pacific Power contract with Trees Inc. Davey and Wright Tree Service and now am blessed to be at CNUC with Avista as a certified utility forester. My skills are varied— everything I’ve done in my life helps me every day at work. The class that has helped me the most has been the School of Life and the experience every day brings me!"

CUFs Tim Sheehy and John Lynde received a Rewarding Success for excellence.

Team members on our AES Indiana (formerly Indiana Power and Light) contract met up to discuss new specifications on distribution planning and notification for their upcoming cycle work. 

I usually spend my days on the outskirts, inspecting both distribution and transmission lines north of Spokane and enjoy the remote, beautiful areas I visit daily. Recently, I was assigned to inspect an area affected by a devastating fire. 80% of the town was destroyed. I felt like more of an ambassador, as those people needed


Along the Lines

AES Ohio and AES Indiana team up! There were plenty of opportunities to learn as the teams got together to help with a transmission line upgrade project.

first state of the company broadcast. Seeing a positive response and a want and need to communicate more often, we increased the frequency of the state of the company calls to quarterly at the beginning of 2021. Each call is comprised of company, divisional and committee updates, as well as topical information and employee recognition. 

LCUF Travis Brugler and CUFs Thomas Walters and Scott Chrysler LCUF Travis Brugler and CUF Jack Rowell measure for a system upgrade

 Photos of the Year Throughout 2020, we enjoyed seeing the places our team members work, the animals and sights they encounter in the field and the ways their teams have worked together. To culminate our year of photos, four winning photos were picked from the following categories: landscapes, people, tree identification and cars and equipment. The winners of the first annual photos of the year are: > Michelle Castellon, D10 CUF with her submission of her working in the comfort of an oak.

Division 30

> Kristin Baker, D10 CUF with her submission of transmission towers in La Habra Heights, CA.

Quarterly Webinars Our R+D team took over these allemployee quarterly trainings in 2020. They are delivered via live broadcast, allowing for participants to ask questions! The most recent topics include: UVM Laws and Regulations Results and Insights from the 2019 UVM Survey presented by Director of R+D Randall H. Miller and Emergency Response experiences and protocols, presented by Safety Manager Bill Spencer.

> Dennis Cueva, D10 CUF with his submission from his transmission inspection in Hesperia, CA. > Todd Walker, D10 regional supervisor with his submission of a Monterey cypress in Elk, CA.

Canada Jay Manganaro, regional manager of Canada has touched down in Calgary to oversee operations. Here are some pictures from Jay as he gets the lay of the land. 

Company State of the Company Last year, shortly after remote work became the status quo, we held our


Photo of Athabasca Glacier, located in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta.


Photo taken in Canmore, Alberta, outside of Calgary.

Along the Lines FIELD FACTS

Aerial Saw Operations Mike Lewis, Regional Supervisor For the past four years, CNUC has partnered with Aerial Solutions, Inc. (ASI) to assist Duke Energy Progress in North and South Carolina with routine transmission maintenance. Duke uses an aerial saw, a large saw flown by helicopter, to address areas on its work plan that are inaccessible to all-terrain tree pruners and bucket trucks and impractical for climbing crews to address. Many transmission lines on the Duke system run through swamps and marshes, making it very difficult to work with standard equipment. In addition to routine maintenance, Duke uses the air saw during hurricane response and toward the end of the year to address aerial patrol and LiDAR reactive findings. Here is an overview of the process and the coordination that goes into maintaining lines by aerial saw.


Before the project begins, Duke asks CNUC’s Project Coordinator Jennifer Miller to work with the vegetation management specialist (VMS) from each

of the five regions of Duke’s service territory to identify lines that need to be cut. Jennifer then compiles the lists and begins to map out the route and the pre-planning process. Duke also asks that CNUC provide a dedicated team to support the air saw while in operation. This year we temporarily brought on Don Veverka and Jon Weibley to work on the air saw project. Before the helicopter gets off the ground our team walks the spans to identify anything along the rights-of-way (ROW) that could interfere with the pilot’s ability to cut, pose a hazard to the pilot or the transmission lines. Some of the most common hazards are intersecting distribution lines (lines that cross each other); guy wires extending into the wood line; deer stands; fences; access roads and old transmission poles along the edge of the ROW. It’s critical that all these hazards are properly identified and flagged from the ground as they are extremely difficult to see from above. The crew records each of these hazards as they go, keeping a log so they can notify the pilot. Jennifer is also responsible for locating landing zones (LZs) near transmission lines used for refueling, helicopter/ saw maintenance and as meeting locations. Areas being cut must reach no further than three miles from an LZ. Once a potential LZ is determined, Jennifer contacts the landowner to gain permission, identify any potential hazards for the fuel truck such as access and underground tanks (septic, gas, etc.) and availability of overnight storage.


After hazards are identified and mitigated and LZs have been located, ASI shows up with the helicopter and fuel truck to begin cutting. Every morning, the CNUC and ASI crews meet for a pre-job briefing and discuss the plan for the day. This includes the location of each of the lines to be cut and each of the LZs they will use that day. CNUC’s ground support must be on site within visual range of the helicopter and the spans being cut to provide spotting

for the pilot. The spotter at each location must communicate all hazards to the pilot before he begins cutting and again when he is approaching them. Our spotter team leapfrogs one another jumping around to new spans while the helicopter cuts. The air saw crew is an integral part of the routine maintenance plan. They cut approximately 90 miles of transmission line that could not otherwise be maintained. Our air saw team provides the oversight and planning necessary to keep the transmission lines up and running and to ensure the safety of the pilot while performing the work. This is a unique experience within the industry we are excited to continue to gain knowledge of and participate in. We are enthusiastic about our partnership with ASI and Duke Energy to ensure success of the program.


If you would like to submit a field fact, please email


Along the Lines


CNUC team members are encouraged to participate in building our culture of inclusion and continual improvement by joining our various 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 Congrats to the recruiting committee, who just surpassed the one-year mark since its formation! Over the past year, they’ve focused on developing a job shadow program, a more robust and interactive career fair and class presentation program and materials, setting divisional goals to support the internship program, and broadening CNUC’s relationships among technical schools and university professors. For the upcoming quarter, they are going to temporarily shift focus from long-term tactics to concentrate on enhancing the current candidate pool for immediate opportunities. Currently, they are investigating and experimenting with alternative forms of advertising such as targeted social media approaches or advertisements on Pandora radio.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Since it was formed, the Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) committee has been focused on small changes they can make to set the stage for more long-term goals. They took a look at our current job postings and proposed an updated equal opportunity employer statement going beyond a compliant statement to include the value CNUC holds in each employee and their diverse experiences. The committee determined D+I trainings for employees and hiring managers that cover basic diversity and inclusion themes, and how to think differently about implicit biases and put together a holiday calendar to celebrate tried and true holidays as well as more inclusive dates of note that will be used internally and externally to show CNUC’s commitment to increasing awareness for diversity and inclusion. The D+I committee also coauthored an article on the so-far lessons of creating a D+I committee, which was featured in the March/ April issue of the Utility Arborist Newsline. For the next couple of quarters, they will be looking into further D+I initiatives in employee engagement and more inclusive personal protective equipment.

SAFETY TASK FORCE The Safety Task Force (STF) has hit the ground running this year with a renewed focus on training and education. CNUC has made some big changes to our safety calls and the STF members have done an outstanding job in researching, creating and presenting the trainings each week for the company-wide meeting. This year’s STF includes a diverse range of employees from managers, supervisors, coordinators, team leaders and field personnel with representation from all CNUC divisions: Sarah Lilley Jeremy Nofsinger Pete Burkett Mike Johnson

Jennifer Kim Darryl McIntyre Tyler Meroney Jacob Thompson

Dennis Cueva Alek Mendoza

Additionally, the STF will start meeting monthly to better manage the risks and challenges we face in the field and encourage continual discussion on goals and new ideas more frequently. Topics discussed will include everything from motor vehicle safety, improving training and communication and exploring industry advances in personal protective equipment. There’s a lot on the committee’s plate, but the team is excited, has a lot of fresh ideas and is ready to get to work!





2020 Year End Review Nate Jones, Technology Consultant

2020 was a year of growth for Terra Spectrum Technologies (TST). Despite the pandemic, we were able to increase our contribution to the WSC family of companies significantly. Our dynamic team was able to continue producing a high quality, reliable product for our clients despite a shift to working from home. Our

team was also able to expand, adding more horsepower to an already high-performing unit and individually our team members were growing their skillsets to handle both routine daily tasks as well as unseen challenges that are inherent to the software business. To top it all off, FieldNote® added a great deal of functionality to the platform allowing users to control their VM programs like never before. Make no mistake, these are all admirable achievements that we are proud of, but there is something greater happening at TST that goes beyond financial growth and tangible improvement. There has been a

galvanization of the group that is the result of a small company with big aspirations and having the courage to fill the shoes in front of them. That type of hard-won confidence comes not only from enjoying the fruits of our triumphs, but also from applying any lessons learned moving forward. There is a special camaraderie on the team knowing that we have built something from the ground up that has gained traction and a loyal following in the vegetation management (VM) industry. Clients are now approaching us because our reputation, track record, and customer service have all made waves in the industry that are becoming harder and harder to ignore. Combined with the invaluable partnerships at the WSC family of companies, TST is in an excellent position to forge ahead and prove that 2020 was not an exception, but an unbreakable foundation that all future success will be built upon.

Preliminary 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Report TST is hard at work preparing a preliminary 2021 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The report will focus on safety, employee well-being, environmental sustainability, and community engagement. "We are excited to not only see how our FieldNote app contributes to sustainability efforts, but also focusing on providing opportunities for our employees to volunteer and participate in environmental organizations that positively impact our communities."

WELCOME! New Client: Delta-Montrose Electric Association located in Colorado

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Terra Spectrum Technologies


Developer Download Travis Yordi, Director


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 // Have a positive influence on the communities we serve // 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


Security: We protect our customers’ data as if it were our own. 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.

Continuous improvement is a topic of discussion for every software company but at TST, it’s part of our DNA. FieldNote was built based on the wants and needs of current and future clients across the country, from contractors and utilities alike. We’ve made a conscious decision to design software with the users in the field in mind, rather than IT or GIS departments, and are responsive to their requests. We’ve always felt that software should help you do your job, not get in the way of it – and when a guy who’s been in the field for 20 years says “he doesn’t want to go back to the old

We’ve rolled out a number of new features this year that came from our clients and we’re excited to develop new features based on the feedback we received from our clients at our 1st FieldNote User Group Conference, which took place on March 24 and 25. We plan on letting our clients do most of the talking as we all guide the future of the platform together – because at the end of the day, we don’t tell people what software they need, we ask them what they need their software to do. So, if you’re a current user with ideas on how we can make your job easier, don’t hesitate to reach out and share your ideas with us.


1st FieldNote Users Group Conference Travis Yordi, Director As a culmination of three years of hard work designing, creating, and implementing the FieldNote platform, the TST team hosted the 1st FieldNote User Group Conference virtually this March. We have the incredible fortune of getting to work with some amazing clients across North America and this was the first time we were able to gather a group of them together to share how they are using the platform and learn from each other.

Family: It is our foundation; it is who we are.


way of doing things,” then we’re doing something right.


When we were designing FieldNote, we wanted to build a platform that would allow users to design their own data collection forms and workflows. It’s been exciting watching our clients build on the platform to collect their data, their way, and now watch them show off what they built. This conference was a great way for us to talk about the future of the platform and give our clients a voice in where we go from here.


Welcome to the Team, Austin Knight and Melissa Quaethem! Austin Knight Austin Knight joined the Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC) team in 2020 as an agronomy support specialist intern. Upon completion of his internship, he transitioned into the role of agronomist in 2021. In his role, Austin sees his job as supporting farmers whose life work is to provide food in a sustainable and ethical way. He tracks data and accuracy and how that drives how farmers can make better decisions and receive funding for their work in sustainability. Austin enjoys bringing together technology and production to enhance practices to conserve natural resources. Austin’s passion for his job comes from working with the farmers who come together and choose to make decisions that create a better environment for future generations. He farms row crops and hogs with his grandfather and uncle on his family century farm in Iowa. His pursuit of a career in agriculture stemmed from his love of everything about the way a farmer lives their life. He enjoys working on the SEC team with other like-minded and hard-working people who are caring and put their hearts into what they do. Austin is a graduate of Iowa State University (ISU) and earned his bachelor’s degree in agronomy and agricultural

business. He is an active member of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America. In his spare time, Austin keeps busy by gardening, hunting, building furniture, and working on the family century farm. “I live the SEC values every day. I work to provide our clients with knowledge and expertise that drives profitability to their operation and the environment, all while ensuring that everything I do is helping them make their operation successful for the next generation of farmers."

Melissa Quaethem Melissa Quaethem joined the SEC team in September 2020 as a Manufacturing Associate. In her position, Melissa supports SEC’s Erosion Control division through inventory management of Filtrexx® erosion control products. She enjoys helping clients find products that work efficiently to meet their needs and benefit their operation, while supporting the environment. Before joining SEC, Melissa worked in various positions that used her strength in operational intelligence, including logistics, inventory management and production. Outside of work, Melissa loves watching sports and enjoys being outdoors where she camps, fishes and hunts.

“I enjoy helping clients find products that work efficiently to meet their needs and benefit their operation, while supporting the environment.”

In the News: Upholding Sustainability Efforts Rick Shanks, SEC’s chief sustainability advisor, wrote an article that was published online on Industry Today’s website on December 22, 2020 about upholding sustainability efforts and how consumer demand calls for food and beverage retailers to ensure brands they carry are sustainability sourced. “In the past, it was sufficient for products to be labeled as “sustainable” or “ecologically-friendly,” but a study from global independent consulting firm, Kearney, found that 78 percent of respondents show consumers have shown an increased interest in knowing more about the environmental measures producers have taken to minimize their impact.” -Rick


Celebrating Five Years Helping Organizations Quantify their Sustainability Impact With State-of-the-Art Technology This article is adapted from a press release originally released on November 17, 2020 which was published in Markets Insider, MarketWatch, Morningstar and RFD-TV. SEC celebrated the five year anniversary of EcoPractices®, an independent, third-party verification and validation platform that blends science with stateof-the-art technology to assess supply chain sustainability risk and quantify key sustainability performance indicators. EcoPractices provides food organizations, their agricultural supply systems, and investment management corporations with data-driven solutions to reach their sustainability and regenerative goals.

farmers and food companies who want to draw focus to the good they do for the environment and their communities,” said John Harsch, SEC’s president and COO. “Being perceived by consumers as not sustainable can severely damage a food company’s reputation. From food safety, to social environmental and governance standpoints, all the way back to the farm, consumers hold food companies responsible for their products and the processes behind them.”

EcoPractices is a one-stop shop for independent verification of environmental interventions providing effective, quantifiable actions tailored specifically to an organization’s needs, no matter the industry or business size. Unlike other cookie-cutter platforms that pull in data and spit out numerical results, EcoPractices flexible framework grows with each company and can integrate with industry tools like Cool Farm Tool and Nori. The EcoPractices process is scope 3 emission reporting ready per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and is voluntary carbon market ready. The EcoPractices safe and secure database, EcoProducer™, houses over 150 unique customizable data points through an electronic audit at the operation, field & farm level for aggregation across a variety of agriculture projects including row crop, specialty crop, dairy, poultry, and more.

An overview of EcoPractices includes:

“Sustainability risk management planning and developing risk reduction solutions are important practices as they support


Discovery – Works directly with a company’s team to identify specific concerns, develop key performance indicators (KPIs) and create a custom plan to reduce risk. Collect – By collecting, organizing, and storing quality in-field data in SEC’s cloud-based platform, raw data can be merged with KPIs, putting the science behind the environmental impact. Verify – EcoPractices was built with verification and transparency at the forefront. A team of agronomists, scientists and engineers dive deep into the data, verifying and confirming for accuracy. Quantify – SEC provides environmental indicators tailored to each specific industry and cropping system. Data drives our platform and relaying the metrics is how you tell your story.


Share – Each plan is customized and companies may want their metrics in dashboard form, through executive summaries, field maps, etc. – as part of Sustainable Continuous Improvement Plans™, or in all forms, this can be provided at any time. EcoPractices has been involved in projects in over 21 states from California to Maine, as well as Canada and Mexico, with over 20 cash crop species from row crop to specialty crops. The data generated from in-field records, coupled with models, balances supply chain scaling needs and delivers quality data in support of a company’s climate commitments. A holistic approach is key to the success of sustainability strategies, as food companies today are under tremendous pressure from consumers and investors. “Many things we do on the farm are highly complex, and EcoPractices is one of the original third-party holistic sustainability platforms that helps us put our science-based environmental practices into relatable terms that are easier for consumers to understand", says Ken McCarty, owner of McCarty Family Farms, a supplier for Danone North America. “It allows us to be more strategic and efficient and enables us to tell the story from the soil that feeds our cows all the way to the consumers’ kitchen tables. In turn, they can make more informed and responsible buying decisions.”

How Food and Beverage Retailers Can Ease Their Consumers' Sustainability Concerns John Harsch, President and COO This article was originally published online as a Guest Column on Retail IT Insights on November 25, 2020. Today’s consumers demand to know the “farm to fork” journey of their food choices. They expect safe and affordable foods that are marketed with transparent claims about environmental impacts and sustainability. The pandemic accelerated the consumer demand for sustainably sourced food and beverage products because they’re focused on personal wellness and the need for better regenerative food production practices. A survey from global independent consulting firm Kearney found nearly 50 percent of consumers reported more concern about the environment due to the pandemic. They’re also cooking from home more and paying closer attention to the products they purchase. The Kearney survey noted 78 percent of respondents thought food companies could do more to explain the environmental impacts of their products. This sustainability and transparency concern furthers drives the need for retailers to respond with an array of food and beverage products that are sustainability sourced from their raw ingredients, to transport, to packaging. Since consumer preferences guide the entire supply chain, food and beverage producers and retailers must work together to ensure every supplier follows and can prove sustainable practices.

Consumers Speak With Their Wallets The Millennial generation is not as young as it used to be. A simple-sounding statement, but one that food and beverage retail managers should take to heart. By 2025, this group will represent 75% of the U.S. workforce. Their purchasing power and demand for sustainability and good corporate practices mean food and beverage companies and the retailers that sell their products must take notice. This generation is willing to switch their

brand allegiance to more sustainable products and will buy them at a premium if necessary. They lean toward products that embrace sustainability as a core practice, from the packaging materials to the farm supplier’s environmental stewardships. And the generations younger than Millennials also demand sustainability. According to a survey from Impossible Foods, 62 percent of Generation Z members were willing to spend more money on sustainable food options. Organic food product sales reached over $55 billion in 2019, a massive market figure underscoring consumers’ desire to spend for products they believe are safer for them and the environment. Along with this growth is more awareness among consumers about what “sustainability” means when it comes to their food. They’re looking deeper at the supply chain and brand’s claims, moving beyond just “organic” to focus on holistic sustainability. Retailers need to stay ahead of this trend by not only procuring and offering sustainable products but providing proof to back up sustainability claims.

Challenges At The Source Consider a family-owned dairy farm in Nebraska that produces dairy for a leading cheese company. The cheesemaker might have a “sustainability pledge” in place that mandates its suppliers follow best practices. This might include water usage and recycling, soil health, and overall carbon reduction in terms of improved transportation or processing operations. But how does the farm ensure its practices fit within this pledge, and how do they communicate their commitment? How can they show their farm is a worthy partner with a sustainability ethos that can make its way from the fields to the retail shelves and ultimately the consumer’s hand? For the food and beverage retail company creating a sustainability-focused brand, there’s a challenge in proving the

products they are sourcing back to the farm are indeed sustainably produced. The farms providing the lettuce, beef, or milk for cheese often lack verifiable data about their sustainability practices. They might know they’re using less water and improving their farm’s biodiversity, but they don’t have the metrics on hand to “tell their story.” So instead they’re often stuck with generalities and vague promises, as opposed to data that can stand up to scrutiny by their partners, retailers, and the end customers.

Using Verified Metrics To Prove The Sustainability Case With consumers demanding transparency and sustainability throughout a product’s life cycle, food and beverage suppliers and retailers desperately need more information. They require data from their farming partners to answer key questions including: >> Do our farmers employ regenerative farming practices? >> Have we used a third-party to evaluate various environmental metrics? >> Do our suppliers track carbon emissions and efforts to sequester or reduce emissions? >> Are our goals for water, energy, biodiversity, and animal welfare verified and transparently available? >> Do we have data on the sustainability practices our consumers care about the most? >> Do our suppliers have a continuous improvement plan? An impactful way to quantify and prove sustainability at the farm level and answer these key questions is through a third-party verification platform like EcoPractices. This platform, available through SEC, gives farms and their brand partners verified metrics. Continued on page 53



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.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA Sustainable Environmental Consultants


These data points not only provide concrete evidence for sustainability claims, but they also give food and beverage retailers and marketers impactful messages. For example, perhaps the dairy farm supplier is recapturing and reusing 115 million gallons of water a year or removing the equivalent of 600 cars off the road due to carbon offsetting actions. Whatever the specifics, the data points allow food and beverage retailers to back up their product’s sustainability claims with hard evidence, which can reassure customers and improve their brand/retailer loyalty.

Moving Forward The pandemic accelerated the transition to a customer-centric economy. These customers demand sustainable actions from their chosen companies. With food products, this means transparency about what’s contained in the food they eat and the broader impacts of that food’s production.

Food and beverage retailers and their supplier partners that want to thrive in this customer-focused dynamic can use third-party sustainability verification to validate practices and environmental impacts. Increased usage of this data provides financial opportunities for those retailers. They can, for example, support farms and other providers that boast the most impressive sustainability gains, which creates a further cyclical focus on sustainability for the entire supply chain. With better data, food and beverage retailers also can market high-value items like produce, seafood, and dairy with concrete and impactful sustainability stories on their signage, social media, and marketing campaigns. The retailers reduce their reputation risk by providing verified environmental metrics to support their sustainability benefits, to be authentic, and build longlasting competitive advantages to help them stand out.

In the News: Farming 4.0 Is Here Long-time client McCarty Family Farms was a farmer featured in an article published on February 1, 2021 on The Food Technology (Farming 4.0) website. SEC was mentioned and quoted in the article alongside McCarty Family Farms. The article focused on what the latest agricultural technology innovations mean for food production, the environment, CPG companies, and consumers. “It’s a delicate balance,” says McCarty. “We still need highly productive crops and still must have highly productive, well-cared-for animals, but we have to try to balance that with the need to be good stewards. Sustainability may not necessarily result in a higher price per unit of finished goods, but we’re finding it can drive down the costs of production and increase your competitiveness.” What’s more, McCarty Farms’ efforts align it with the sensibilities of modern consumers. The company hired Sustainable Environmental Consultants to certify its environmental steps for both CPG customers (which include Danone North America) and consumers, and to translate its achievements into easily understandable metrics such as equating McCarty Family Farms’ carbon reductions with removing a certain number of cars from the road. “Food and beverage companies are becoming very aggressive in the supply chain and looking at ways they can provide the verification to tell the story, so they can capture that information,” says John Harsch, president and chief operating officer of the consultancy.



What Made 2020, the Year of the Pandemic, Even More Interesting? Nathan O’Reilley, Project Manager

The world watched in collective horror last year as massive wildfires grew out of control around the globe – bigger, hotter and faster than ever recorded. The Amazon, Australia, Siberia, California, Oregon, Washington, to name a few, were the hardest hit. British Columbia had a quieter fire season than anticipated last year, with over 637 wildfires that burned 15,000 hectares of land compared to much more in other years. Wildfires were recorded in all Fire Centre regions of the province with the Okanagan region most impacted in 2020. If your community was not directly impacted by wildfire, the heavy smoke that swept through the country from around

the world was a constant reminder. Wildfires in 2020 alone were some of the largest ever in recorded history, causing more property damage, loss of life, displaced wildlife and burned landscapes than ever before. During the 2020 fire season, in the United States alone, over 4.2 million hectares of land were burned destroying over 17,800 buildings, evacuating people in the millions from their homes with a loss of life of at least 35 people. This trend seems to be continuing for the worse year after year. Why is this happening? Climate change has been a major factor in this new trend. Rising temperatures, early snow melt, drier soils, forests, and plants create conditions for more fuel to burn and increase fire intensity. Droughts, forest health (pests and pathogens), and unusual and unpredictable rain patterns have added to this. In addition, ignition sources are on the rise (both natural and humancaused) and poor management in some of the hardest hit areas (California) have been creating a perfect storm year after year. Canada is no exception to these changing environmental conditions as some of us experienced firsthand the devasting effects of wildfire throughout the western provinces. The Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016 and the massive Cariboo regional fires of 2017 brought these problems close to home. Spectrum Resource Group Inc., based out

Completed area – Cut, pruned, piled and burning - 150 Mile House, BC

of Prince George, British Columbia, has been one of Canada’s leading companies in wildfire management, often referred to as fire mitigation. Spectrum has worked on projects in various capacities from fall and burn of Mountain Pine Beetle infested trees in northern Alberta, to FireSmart programs throughout the province of Alberta, and urban interface fuel management projects throughout British Columbia for the last 10 years. I have personally worked on many of these projects since I started with Spectrum in the summer of 2012. What started as a three-man crew in Cold Lake, Alberta, spacing and thinning from below, grew into a department of nearly 50 field staff working on various fire mitigation projects throughout western Canada in our 2020/2021 winter season. These projects include manual treatments that combine chainsaw work, piling and burning to small machine work that uses grinding, chipping and mulching to full scale logging operations that create fire breaks and “islands” of trees that are then manually worked on by field crews. Fire mitigation helps reduce wildfire risks by removing surface fuels throughout the forest, creating fire “breaks” in the landscape to slow the speed of fires, crown separation of mature trees, pruning branches to a height of at least 3 meters and by removing all dead standing trees, blowdown and understory vegetation. Continued on page 55



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. To invest in employee development to provide new and innovative services adding mutual value to our clients and vendors.

Spectrum’s experience and knowledge throughout all aspects of forestry from planting, brushing, silviculture, invasive plant management to name a few with the combination of regional managers that have local knowledge of the areas we work in, stellar on-the-ground training from experienced supervisors, fallers and wildfire experienced staff is what separates us from the competition. This season, Spectrum has been working on fire mitigation projects throughout British Columbia in regions and municipalities that have a high potential wildfire risk such as North Vancouver, Squamish, Pemberton, Clearwater, Vernon, Kamloops, Penticton, Williams Lake and Mackenzie. As Spectrum’s current projects come to

an end this spring, we can only hope that our hard work will contribute in some part to helping reduce wildfire risk in the years ahead for the communities, wildlife and people that we have met along the way. Climate change is real and will always be a part of our lives going forward. Wildfires will become a more frequent occurrence as we move into the future. If homeowners, local and federal governments can start planning for these events by acknowledging these environmental changes and take steps to mitigate the risks, the hope is that one day all of us will never have to experience the destruction and loss that we have become accustomed to in recent history.


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.

Cleared area, cut and piled in Squamish, BC

FAMILY It is our foundation; it is who we are.

Rewarding Success

The Rewarding Success Program recognizes employees who exhibit Spectrum’s values in an exemplary manner. Twelve employees are the first to be recognized through this new program. Congratulations to all recipients!

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA @SRGBC Spectrum Resource Group Inc. @spectrum_resource_group


SAFETY - Simon Hall


- Carolann Daigle Young - Jennifer Davy - Jeff Edwards - Rene Jarosch - Niki Rosenthal - Jeremy Thompson


- Eric Torres - Breanne Truman - Tamara Williams

INSPIRATION - Rachel Arsenault


- Joshua Quaite


Embracing New Technology Niki Rosenthal, GIS Coordinator

When I started with Spectrum, the forest was my office, trees were my currency and, in those days, the only numbers I tracked were the number of trees I put in the ground each day. In those forests I found my friends, I found my husband, and I found myself. I planted my last tree in 2008, and decided it was time to come out of the bush and plant some roots in the community that I would call my home. Entering the office environment, I found my calling in the world of maps. I took a break from Spectrum to return to school and complete my education in the field that I knew I was meant for, geographic information system (GIS). Fast forward over a decade later, to the age of information. I now work as the GIS coordinator for the very company that saw me through my early adulthood, behind a computer screen and relying on technology to get my job done. In the fast-paced field of STEM, keeping up with advancements in technology is crucial. It’s easy to be left behind and you must stay on your game, in the know and relevant. That's what makes my job so interesting; I create through problem solving and transforming vision into innovation. When I was offered the opportunity to help Spectrum integrate our systems into the Wright Service Corp. (WSC) environment, I was thrilled. I had no doubt that it would be challenging, but also rewarding, to bring opportunities to our company, in the form of change.


Spectrum is a dynamic organization of entrepreneurs, creators and innovators. Much of our success has been born of creative solutions for ever-changing problems. We have had many early adopters of technology, some of whom introduced new apps to the forestry and invasive plant management sectors, which are now considered industry standard. Our clients

are often impressed by our big ideas and how we’ve integrated new tools into the work we do.


For some, change is as good as rest. For others, change is disruptive. For our company, change has been constant over the last couple of years. From staff changes, to pandemics, to a full overhaul of our systems and network. Our team has had to learn how to thrive and transform through times of adversity. It is important to acknowledge the challenges that come with rapid advancement and unforeseeable circumstances. Change management is tricky at the best of times and that is not where we are living. We are in a time of uncertainty, many of us are learning how to live in a disconnected world. Face-toface training and opportunities to spend time together have been replaced with video communication and in-person, distanced, mask-wearing meetings. The loss of human connection is not unique to our organization, but we cannot minimize its effects. I think it’s worth noting that Spectrum is pulling through brilliantly as we get ready for the busy season to begin; implementing new processes, learning the difference between OneDrive and SharePoint, and getting familiar with a whole new set of apps that will help us get our jobs done. These tools will provide an added layer of connectivity for our team, and they will keep us current with industry partners and stakeholders who, like us, are relying more and more on technology to connect.

MOVING FORWARD AS A TEAM As we slowly loosen our grip on all the brilliant workarounds our team has created throughout the years, we are realizing the full potential of our new software. We have embraced Teams, which has been a survival tool for employees to connect with team members and managers, and

to access support on an as needed basis. I know that Spectrum will be contributing to the pool of knowledge and innovation at WSC. As we become more comfortable working in our new environment, the team will do as they always do – bring fresh ideas and perspectives on how we can do our work better. I want to say “hats off” to the Spectrum team. Thanks for your patience and perseverance through the migration and integration. And finally, a huge thanks to the WSC IT team for supporting us through these transitions.

NEW & ON THE MOVE Congratulations to the following Spectrum Resource Group employee who was recently appointed!


- Jordan Pack, Assistant Controller

ON THE MOVE Camp Supervisors - Boyd Cameron - Kelly Leary

Project Managers - Ashley Oe - Nathan O'Reilly - Eric Torres - Breanne Truman


In 2020, timber development established over 6000ha, specializing in steep slope winchassist layout, helicopterflyin camping, and working in insect and wind damaged stands.



Vice President and General Manager Dean Marshall was interviewed by Radio-Canada to discuss the British Columbia Invasive Species Council’s Invasives Virtual Forum.

FIRE MANAGEMENT SERVICES IN THE NEWS Our team’s wildfire mitigation efforts in the key wildland-urban interface zones in Penticton were highlighted in a news story by PentictonNow.

Photo Credit: NowMedia

MACKENZIE TREE PLANTING SPONSOR Every fall, the high school in Mackenzie, British Columbia, gets the students out for a day of planting. Spectrum sponsors the School Ecology Program, the McLeod Lake Mackenzie Community Forest and Wildlife Infometrics’ efforts by donating planting equipment.


Bug Season is Coming Simon Hall, Safety Manager

Winter weather brings us relief from the biting and stinging insects in the north. It seems like we forget the clouds of mosquitos, the swarms of black flies and the stinging wasp encounters as soon as the temperature dips, but soon they will be out again and become a daily annoyance. Unless you have an allergy or a previous bad experience, you probably don’t view them as a hazard or danger. And so, over time, the word “bug” has come to be used for all kinds of minor annoyances. Similarly, controls for these annoyances are based on brushing them aside or swatting at them, with a “quit bugging me” or attempts to “iron out the bugs” in a new process. Most people have bugs and annoyances in their daily lives, from traffic lights that never seem to be in our favour, a buckle in a harness that takes longer to engage, or a toolbox that doesn’t close quite right. We swat these things away for the most part, take a deep breath, try again, apply a little more pressure, because it’s just a minor irritation. Bugs are small, nearly insignificant, and nearly weightless. Yet biologists come up with fantastic facts on how many pounds of mosquitos a bat may eat in its lifetime. All those minor, near weightless bugs add up to numbers we can relate to. Similarly, we have bug bites or stings that start to really add up, where workers have been swarmed, or experienced an allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock. Those minor annoyances are now a serious issue when someone is sensitive to the bite or sting, or overwhelmed by the sheer number of bites or stings. As we go into the bug season in the north, we have controls in place, from covering exposed skin, using bug nets


or insect repellants, and stocking first aid supplies with antihistamines and EpiPens®. Work near standing water may take place earlier in the shift to tune in with bugs’ cycle and avoid the worst biting times. What about the other “bugs” in our day? Put together, they all magnify, from minor annoyances to issues that could be a serious hazard. Just as noting bees flying to and from a certain area may alert us to the hazards of a hive, approaching a junction notorious for sudden lane changes or a lack of signaling, should also cause us to hold back and be in a heightened state of alertness. The guard on a tool that always comes loose, the truck tailgate that only latches when it’s slammed, these minor annoyances can be addressed before they become the source of a more serious problem. Attention to the bugs in our daily lives is a part of situational awareness and having our heads in the game. They are the small reminders to act before they become bigger issues. We managed to iron out so many bugs in 2020 and we optimistically head out, once again, to be small scale blood donors in the bug rich forests.





Congratulations to Wright Service Corp. (WSC) Core Business Systems - Applications Developer II Pavan Raghavendra who earned his Master of Business Administration, Leadership Certificate with Distinction from the University of Iowa in December 2020.

WSC Payroll & Billing Manager Melissa Swanson and Jack Ganzel got engaged on December 7. The couple will have an intimate wedding in her parent’s backyard with immediate family on June 30. Congratulations to WSC Director of Payroll Shelley Beck and Jim Bailey who got engaged on December 12. The couple is planning to have a small wedding with immediate family on May 8 followed by a honeymoon and 50th birthday celebration for Shelley the next day!

Melissa and Jack

Jim and Shelley

BABIES WSC Payroll & Billing Specialist Christy Klobnak welcomed Ezekiel James Cook to the world on November 9. He is baby brother to Chase and Ethan. Ezekiel was 8 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 inches long.

Ezekiel James Cook

As if you thought the Payroll & Billing Department was done there, WSC Payroll & Billing Manager Jeni Rasmussen and Loran Matt got married on January 16 in Des Moines, Iowa, at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. Congratulations, Jeni and Loran! CNUC Division 20 Regional Coordinator Christina Cribbs wed James Cribbs in October at Cooper’s Rock near Morgantown, West Virginia. Congratulations, Christina and James!

Loran and Jeni

Christina and James



If you have news to share, please send your name, title, news and digital photo by email to

Wright Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation

With great enthusiasm, we are proud to announce the Wright Foundation for Sustainability and Innovation. The foundation, launched in December 2020, is a nonprofit organization focused on fostering innovative solutions in renewable agriculture and forestry management. Each year the foundation will offer grants for which organizations working on projects that reduce carbon footprints and promote carbon positive practices can apply. Our grants are funded by organizations and individuals, including Wright Service Corp., that feel passionate about our mission. We are excited to make a lasting impact on our communities and the environment for the future.


The Wright Foundation for Sustainability and innovation exists to foster innovative

sustainable initiatives that make a positive impact on our planet. We want to find solutions to the complex challenges facing our world today.


Facilitate positive action toward sustainable and innovative solutions in agricultural and environmental sectors that reduce carbon footprints and minimize risk for our communities.

This spring, we announced our first competitive grant. The focus of the grant was to improve the tree canopy in Iowa and the surrounding states through projects such as replanting and replacing trees lost in the August 2020 derecho, increasing the number of trees in public areas and diversifying the types of trees planted. To learn more about the foundation, visit our website: