Executive Arborist Workshop Helps Tree Care Professionals Grow Their Business

in Milwaukee, WI from March 23-25, 2022

In March, TCIA members gathered in Milwaukee for the Executive Arborist Workshop, a peer-to-peer event designed to help tree care professionals scale up their business. An expert panel of tree care business owners, consultants, and lawyers shared their expertise on a broad array of topics around leadership, staffing, creating a culture to retain employees, sales and commission and, plant health care.

The sold-out event also featured a tour of the Urban Wood Lab from August Hoppe, CTSP, Co-Owner, President & General Manager of Hoppe Tree Service and Urban Wood Lab & Senior Director of the TCIA Board of Directors.

Here are a few highlights from the speakers…

“The tree industry is the hardest industry I’ve ever worked in. You must be willing to stretch outside of your comfort zone. Give yourself permission to stretch your mind, open your heart, and take risks with your beliefs and assumptions. Leadership is a holistic and systematic process, not simply a cognitive process – emotions are an essential part of growth.”
Cyrus DeVere, CTSP, Chief Executive Officer, A Plus Tree

"The pandemic has struck a blow to interpersonal connections. People are lonely. It is really important for me to know that my team is connected at work. I expect my guys to be at work at 7:00 am, but then we sit and visit on the clock for 30 minutes every morning. I have done the math, I know it costs me $40,000 a year to allow the time, but it develops brotherhood and greatly improves my employee retention. It is a perk that is not offered at very many companies, and I am glad to offer something different."

"Also, when the crew has one of those weeks when everyone has given 110% and we all know it, we have a tradition called F*%# Yeah Fridays. I meet them at the shop and give each employee a couple hundred dollars cash and reward them for their effort. It is an unexpected bonus, not tied to any data, and helps them remember that we recognize when they are killing it."
Noel Boyer, CTSP, ISA-BCMA, Owner, All About Trees LLC, Director, TCIA Board of Directors

“There is an urban wood movement happening now. Many people have a connection to their own trees and we can really set ourselves apart from other companies when we tell the tree-to-table story.

We want to maximize the potential of the urban log. We can cut it, mill it, dry and sell it locally. It’s sustainable because these are trees are coming down anyway for a reason other than their timber value. These become one-of-a-kind pieces that local craftsmen, designers, and homeowners love.”
August Hoppe, CTSP, Co-Owner, President & General Manager of Hoppe Tree Service and Urban Wood Lab & Senior Director of the TCIA Board of Directors

“If you want to grow, you need additional salespeople. You only have a certain capacity. If you want to expand that, you need additional people. Provide the necessary training and continue to improve the process along the way. Growth includes developing others.”
Ron Gumz, President of Wachtel Tree Science

“Sales can be tough for the first few years, but after a few years, you can have a comfortable living. As the business owner, you must show your salespeople that you are able to support them and give them the tools and incentives they need to be successful.”
Bob Mead, CTSP, QCL, Co-Owner of Mead Tree & Turf Care

“In EOS, we say the core values are the characteristics of the people you want on your bus. To determine your company’s unique values, name your three favorite employees of all time and identify their characteristics. Once you define them you never let anyone get on your bus if they don’t possess them.”
Are you Running Your Own Business or Is it Running You? Lisa Manning, Certified EOS Implementer

Here’s what some of the participants had to say about the event…

“The TCIA Executive Arborist Workshop is one of our favorite industry events to attend. We have now been twice and we find the content very interesting and applicable for business owners and the networking opportunities 2nd to none. Thank you TCIA for another great event!”
Jake Finlay & Shane Vanden Tillaart, CTSP, Co-Owners,Van Till Tree Care, Hastings, Ontario

“The EAW has been one of the primary vehicles of positive development for our company. I love the connection with other owners about company culture and leadership at EAW.”
Charity and Nathan Herford, Owner, Herford’s Tree Care, Inc, Estacada, OR

"This is our second EAW and we gained just as much as we did from the first. EAW provides us with actionable advice and knowledge we can immediately implement to grow and improve our company. We also love meeting with like-minded owners and operators, and thought leaders in networking and workshop formats. This event helps us elevate our business and the industry. Well done, TCIA!"
Megan & Hunter, Owner, Townsend, Altitude Arborist, LLC, Broomfield, CO