President's Perspective - Winter 2022

By Daniel Goyette on Saturday, December 31, 2022

Earlier this year, my wife Kristiina and I made a bold decision to pack up our Pasadena, California home and move to Laveen, Arizona. After living in  the Pasadena area for most of my life (my family came west when I was five years old), this Cal Poly alum (Pomona, that is - Go Broncos!) decided it was time for a change of scenery. All our children are adults: one still at home, one in Stockton, CA, one in Las Vegas, NV, and the eldest, his wife, and extended family have been living in Arizona for several years. Being close to family was a large part of our decision. We are slowly settling in and loving the desert!

As a new Arizona resident, I wanted to start this off with a thank you and an apology to Beverly Babb, the board, and all members of the Arizona Community Tree Council. I was graciously invited as a guest to their annual conference, which unfortunately conflicted with me being at the ISA Annual Conference this past September. The part I'd like to apologize for is that I did not return Beverly’s email invite in a timely fashion and that was an oversight on my part. I just wanted it to be known that I did appreciate the invitation that was extended, thank you, and regrettably, I could not attend.

This past November, while attending the ISA Leadership Conference, we were presented with the ISA’s needs assessment survey results. The survey launched mid-December 2021 and ended mid-January 2022. There were just over 106,000 individual invitations emailed and 9651 surveys were collected for a 9% response rate. I am happy to say that of the 9651 surveys collected, the WCISA accounted for 9% of that total. It was the highest percentage of any single ISA component organization.

Some highlights of survey’s Executive Summary:

  1. Being affiliated with a professional organization that serves the arboriculture industry and promotes greater awareness of the benefits of trees is the top driver of ISA membership.
  2. Biggest challenges respondents faced:
    1. Hiring qualified staff and managing workforce turnover (35%)
    2. Finding time to focus on professional development (32%)
    3. Dealing with public misperceptions of their work and the arboriculture industry (31%)
  3. Respondents are most in need of:
    1. Salary information for benchmarking against peers in the industry (28%)
    2. Information on new techniques and approaches in the arboriculture industry (28%)
  4. Among those that currently hold/maintain an ISA credential:
    1. ISA Certified Arborist credential (89%)
    2. ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (31%)
  5. Two-thirds of respondents think it’s very important for ISA to focus on promoting the value of proper tree care to consumers.

One of the most important mechanisms we have at the WCISA to make this the best organization we can be for its members is the feedback from that membership.

Please continue to be a magnificent chapter, IMHO the best chapter. I’m a tad biased, but through your continued support, communication and participation we can, and will, be a driving force in the direction & future of arboriculture.

I look forward to meeting many of you next spring for Digging In: an exploration of arboriculture. It’s our 89th Annual conference and I am excited about the programing being planned. Don’t forget to dig out your wooden nickels . The first drink is on me.