Eight arborists who have influenced the arboriculture industry through innovative community projects, consumer education and professional development have been selected as the 2016 True Professionals of Arboriculture by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).ISA True Professionals 2016

The following “True Professionals” were celebrated during the opening general session of the ISA’s 92nd Annual International Conference & Trade Show on Monday, Aug. 15 in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Carlos Roberto Anaya — (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Mark Duntemann — (South Royalton, Vermont)
  • Kevin Eckert — (Kailua, Hawaii) 
  • Paul Johnson – (Austin, Texas)
  • Robert Reid – (Monterey, California)
  • Dave Scharfenberger – (Merton, Wisconsin)
  • Gregg Staniforth – (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Dave Story – (Northbrook, Illinois)

“A True Professional of Arboriculture is someone who is passionate about the industry and their communities, and has high expectations for themselves as well as those around them,” said de Gourét Litchfield, ISA board president. “This year’s recipients have increased visibility for professional arboriculture while promoting the importance of the urban forest. Each of them typifies the enthusiasm, professionalism and love for trees that is one of the uniting factors of ISA members around the world.”

Examples of achievements from this year’s winners include:

  • Recognized as first ISA-Certified Arborist in Argentina and co-founder of the Argentina Association of Trees (Anaya);
  • Raised awareness of effort to protect trans-generational trees, which residents of a local community have come to revere over generations (Duntemann);
  • Implemented a professional training program at Hawaiian Electric Company to emphasize industry standards and certification to improve arborist performance (Eckert);
  • Created the “Trees are Key” podcast for the Texas Forest Service focusing on tree species of the week and tree-related events (Johnson);
  • Hired as the first urban forester for the City of Monterey, California. Implemented a routine tree maintenance program and other projects, which earned Monterey the Best Urban Forestry Program in California (Reid);
  • Provided company-focused tree education for employees and customers; fostered an early interest in trees among young people through school-based Arbor Day programs (Scharfenberger);
  • Mentored students and early career arborists including hosting an annual student day field trip with a City of Montreal urban forestry specialist (Staniforth);
  • Advanced arboriculture by building relationships with other green industry professionals such as landscape contractors (Story)

ISA launched the “True Professionals of Arboriculture” recognition program in 2009 to increase public understanding of arboriculture and the professional skills of today’s arborists.

Recipients are selected by the ISA Awards Committee. After selection, award recipients are approved by ISA’s Board of Directors.

Read more: 2016 ISA Conference & Trade Show Highlights & Event Schedule