Member Spotlight For February – Clinton Williams

Community Leader: Introducing Detroit's Youth to Tree Care

Member Spotlight For February – Clinton Williams

Across the world, ISA Members dedicate their efforts to promoting the professional practice of arboriculture and fostering a greater awareness of the benefits of trees. The ISA Member Spotlight gives ISA the opportunity to share our members’ stories and recognize their accomplishments and contributions to the arboriculture industry. This month, ISA is highlighting Clinton Williams.

Clinton Williams has had a robust career in the tree care industry spanning more than 20 years. As an ISA Certified Arborist® and a member of both ISA and the Utility Arborist Association (UAA), Clinton understands the need to invest in his community to have skilled, qualified people working to preserve urban tree canopies. After years of wearing several (hard) hats, many of which in leadership and supervisory roles, he embarked on a new path that provides an opportunity to the people of Detroit who want to start a career working with trees.

Since 2021, Clinton played an integral role in implementing a collaborative program between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 17 and DTE Energy (Detroit’s local energy company), The DTE | IBEW Tree Trim Academy. This strong partnership was created for those seeking a career in Line Clearance Tree Trimming while helping local and diverse talent meet the needs of maintaining safe, reliable energy. When the academy first launched, Clinton designed the curriculum to give the people of Detroit a path to a stable career in skilled trades. Now a lead instructor of the pre-apprenticeship program, Clinton sees the huge impact the program has had on his community. To ensure he can spread the word about the good of the program and the positive changes he has seen, Clinton travels to conferences and connects with other arborists looking for similar programs in their communities.

When not in the trees or the classroom, Clinton can be found traveling, whether for work or pleasure. He has traveled to Sri Lanka, road-tripped in France, and cruised in the Mediterranean. Clinton is an avid reader and enjoys the educational benefits of being a member of ISA. He looks forward to the periodicals and magazines ISA publishes and is always excited to read about our upcoming events and learning opportunities. Additionally, Clinton does volunteer work with Releaf Michigan, a statewide tree planting non-profit organization that works with communities and organizations throughout Michigan to protect and restore urban tree canopies.

When asked about the future of the arboriculture industry, Clinton thinks climate change will result in more emphasis on conservation. “[I am] optimistic about the next generation of arborists and the passion they have for the industry,” Clinton said.


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