ISA True Professionals

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance of trees, the necessity for proper tree care, and the role today’s arborists play in tree care service and education. The ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture recognition program allows ISA to spotlight arborists who have achieved notable success in their public relations efforts to educate the public and the arboriculture industry about the importance of trees, the necessity for proper tree care and the role today’s arborist play in tree care service and education.

Click here to nominate someone for the 2024 True Professional of Arboriculture program

Nomination submissions have now closed. Thank you to all who submitted a nomination! 

Latest Winners


Carlos Javier Llamos-Rojas, Mike Gorham, Elden LeBrun, Lola Lewis, Tom Franek

Why is the True Professionals program important?

It is imperative that members be skilled in communicating with and reaching out to the greater public to educate about the environmental health of our communities, neighborhoods and urban forests. By recognizing arborists who go above and beyond, celebrating their efforts, and providing ISA’s membership and certified professionals with opportunities to learn from the successes of their colleagues, ISA True Professionals can inspire others to learn and apply successful techniques in their own practices. ISA will promote these positive aspects of professionalism to its membership through its magazines, newsletters, and websites.

What constitutes a True Professional?

There are a number of qualities that particular arborists may demonstrate to be considered for recognition, such as special achievement in a professional setting, cultivating fruitful relationships with clients, successful initiatives in community education, unique contributions to the betterment of the profession, and the pursuit of professional development. The program in not a lifetime achievement award; however, some winners will have shown the ability for success over a long career. The ISA True Professionals program recognizes arborists in any stage of their careers who show a high aptitude in any specialized area that fosters professionalism in arboriculture. This could pertain to any of the aforementioned categories. but can also reference recent activities, such as the implementation of a specific successful communication or marketing tool (for clients and/or employees), the development of a promising educational program, or a successful collaboration project pertaining to arboriculture. Ultimately, those who receive this recognition will encompass an outstanding achievement or collection of achievements that can be modeled by other arborists and certified professionals.

Who is responsible for selecting the True Professionals?

The ISA Awards Committee reviews and selects the award recipients from a pool of nominations. The nominees are evaluated on a number of criteria including examples of building strong client relationships, inspiring public trust in ISA certified professionals and ISA members, promoting the image of tree care professionals, educating the public on the need for tree care, marketing their services with great success, and fostering professionalism in the workplace.

What benefits do winners receive?

The selected ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture receive recognition in their local newspapers and are featured in various case studies publicized in Arborist News and on the ISA website. Award winners can use this acclaim in their local marketing and recruiting efforts. Winners are announced during the ISA Annual International Conference.

Past Award Recipients

2018 Winner Biographies Winner Videos
2017 Winner Biographies Winner Videos
2016 Winner Biographies Winner Videos
2015 Winner Biographies Winner Videos
2014 Winner Biographies Winner Videos
2013 Winner Biographies Winner Videos
2012 Winner Biographies Winner Videos