Who We Are

ISA Board of Directors

The ISA Board of Directors is an elected board of 15 Directors, including eight (8) Director positions voted in by a general election; five (5) Director positions filled by an election from within the Council of Representatives; and a President/Chair of the Board and a President/Chair-Elect elected by the Board of Directors from within the current Directors.

Purpose

The Board of Directors will be responsible for strategic direction for the organization and make decisions that are in the best interest of the organization including fiscal oversight and policy development.

Past Presidents

2017–2018 Board of Directors

Paul Ries
Paul Ries
President
Term Expires August 2018
Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Director, Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry, Oregon State University
Paul Ries
Paul Ries
President
Term Expires August 2018
Corvallis, Oregon, USA
Director, Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry, Oregon State University

Paul Ries serves as instructor and director of the Graduate Certificate in Urban Forestry program at Oregon State University, teaching online courses in urban forestry and arboriculture. He also manages the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance program for the Oregon Department of Forestry, directing a statewide program that provides technical, financial, and educational assistance to cities, community groups, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, he serves as a public information officer for wildfires and all hazard incidents.

Paul previously served as an urban forester for the City of Cincinnati, Ohio, and as executive director of ISA’s Pacific Northwest Chapter. He holds a Master of Science degree from The Ohio State University and has been an ISA member and an ISA Certified Arborist® since 1988.

Paul has a great interest in leadership and continuing education, and has served as a project developer for innovative educational efforts, including the Municipal Forestry Institute and Tree Board University. Paul’s ISA experience includes serving as a member and chair of ISA’s Membership Committee and Governance and Bylaws Committee, as a Board member for the Pacific Northwest Chapter, and as a conference chair, program chair, or assistant chair for ISA, the Society of Municipal Arborists, and Pacific Northwest Chapter events.

Beyond his passion for trees, Paul enjoys photography, cooking, hiking, travel, and spending time with his family.

Pedro Mendes Castro
Pedro Mendes Castro
President Elect
Term Expires August 2019
Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil
Utility Arborist, Cemig — Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais
Pedro Mendes Castro
Pedro Mendes Castro
President Elect
Term Expires August 2019
Belo Horizonte, MG Brazil
Utility Arborist, Cemig — Companhia Energetica de Minas Gerais

Pedro Mendes Castro has worked as an environmental manager for the utility industry for the past 28 years. For the last 16 years, he has served as technical coordinator of vegetation management for Cemig, one of the largest Brazilian utilities in the southeastern part of the country.

Pedro served as president of the ISA Brazilian Chapter (SBAU) for four years and since 2010, he has been one of two certification exam proctors for the chapter. He has also served on the ISA Test Committee and as the Brazil Chapter’s representative on the ISA Board of Directors from 2007 through 2009. As fruit of his labor, Portuguese-speaking countries can rely on an ISA Certified Arborist® exam in that language and a recently-published Portuguese version of the Arborists’ Certification Study Guide.

Living in a country with so many trees and limited knowledge of arboriculture, Pedro firmly believes that only through a huge educational effort will it be possible to move forward and provide good tree service to the country’s population. With his will and persistence, Pedro is sure to help ISA make the world better through sound arboricultural practices.

Anne Beard
Anne Beard
Vice President
Term Expires August 2020
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Manager, System Forester; Manager, T&D Asset Management; Public Service Company of New Mexico
Anne Beard
Anne Beard
Vice President
Term Expires August 2020
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Manager, System Forester; Manager, T&D Asset Management; Public Service Company of New Mexico

Anne Beard has worked in the arboriculture field for more than 25 years. She has been a member of ISA/Utility Arborist Association since 1988. She is a Certified Arborist Utility Specialist® and is TRAQ Qualified.

Anne has been actively involved in the tree industry through her position as system forester at Public Service Company of New Mexico, through ISA, and in local communities. She has demonstrated her commitment to educating the public about choosing the right tree for the right place by serving on numerous tree organization boards in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

Anne has, by her efforts, attempted to inform her customers, the general public, and industry professionals about the importance of trees, their benefits to the environment, and their proper care. She has many varied experiences speaking at local, national, and international venues.

Anne has served ISA in many ways, including ISA Midwest Chapter Board, Rocky Mountain Chapter representative (UAA), ISA Certification Test Committee, and Utility Arborist Association president. She received the UAA President’s Award for her contributions to Utility Arboriculture. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry-Administration and an MBA, which have served her well in her chosen occupation and from which she will draw during her service on the ISA Board. She will continue to participate in the green industry and assist in advancing the mission of ISA and enhancing the professional development of those involved in the tree care industry.

Chris Walsh
Chris Walsh
Treasurer
Term Expires August 2019
Christchurch, New Zealand
Managing Director, Treetech Specialist Treecare, Ltd.
Chris Walsh
Chris Walsh
Treasurer
Term Expires August 2019
Christchurch, New Zealand
Managing Director, Treetech Specialist Treecare, Ltd.

Chris Walsh is the founder and managing director of Treetech Specialist Treecare Ltd in New Zealand, a multi-faceted greenspace management company employing over 100 staff members in Christchurch and Wellington. The client base of the company is wide-ranging from residential, council, and commercial sectors. Treetech has always been an industry leader and has embraced technological advances, which have provided the company with a competitive edge in the procurement of contracts. The company is committed to the highest quality of service and the conservation of trees. This approach is focused on adding value by using hands-on, experienced professionals to provide insight in developing projects within agreed budgets that are in tune with client objectives and the environment.

Chris holds a Certificate in Arboriculture (Merrist Wood, UK), National Certificate in Arboriculture, Trade Certificate in Horticulture and Amenity Turf Management, and a National Certificate in Horticulture. He holds an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification gained in New Zealand in April 2014 and is a licenced Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) practitioner. He has worked in the arboricultural and horticultural industries for 25 years.

Chris has served on the New Zealand Arboricultural Association Executive Committee, the ISA New Zealand Chapter since 2009, and was the 2014-15 president. In his role with ISA, he has attended two ISA Leadership Workshops at ISA Headquarters in Champaign, Illinois, USA.

Dennis Swartzell
Dennis Swartzell
Secretary
Term Expires August 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Horticulture Consultants, Inc.
Dennis Swartzell
Dennis Swartzell
Secretary
Term Expires August 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Horticulture Consultants, Inc.

Dennis Swartzell has worked for 35 years in the tree care profession and has been an active member of ISA since 1985. Dennis is a Board Certified Master Arborist™ and consulting arborist.

Dennis’s background includes director of landscape and grounds at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas where he was appointed as the first arboretum director in 1986 and adjunct faculty member at the College of Southern Nevada where he developed and taught courses in arboriculture in addition to other horticulture curricula.

Dennis is a past president of the Western Chapter and the current secretary-treasurer of The Britton Fund. He is a founding member, past president, and treasurer of the Southern Nevada Arborist Group. He has taught pruning and nursery practices for the Master Gardener program in southern Nevada since 1993 and was named an honorary Master Gardener in 2013.

Dennis received an ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture award in 2009 and the Western Chapter Award of Commendation in 2000. Dennis feels that training and education should be a primary focus of ISA.

Dennis is excited about utilizing his experience and passion for teaching as well as his leadership skills to further the goals of ISA.

Caitlyn Pollihan
Caitlyn Pollihan
Executive Director
Ex-Officio, Non-Voting
Champaign, Illinois, USA
International Society of Arboriculture
Caitlyn Pollihan
Caitlyn Pollihan
Executive Director
Ex-Officio, Non-Voting
Champaign, Illinois, USA
International Society of Arboriculture

Caitlyn Pollihan has served as the executive director of the Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF) and the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) since 2009. In this role, she facilitated the development of the organization’s strategic goals and agendas and worked with members and CWSF/WFLC staff to ensure the organization’s success. Prior to this role, Caitlyn was the CWSF/WFLC governmental affairs director where she was instrumental in the passage of key legislation and educating CWSF and WFLC members on legislative proposals and national policy with western implications. 

Caitlyn previously served as the staff vice president for government and environment affairs for the Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri. In this role, she worked on state and local legislative initiatives, green building programs, and helped create and implement a ground‐breaking approach to building site safety inspections with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  

Caitlyn serves on several national coalitions and committees, such as the USDA Planning Rule Implementation Federal Advisory Committee and the American Society of Association Executives’ Public Policy Committee. She also participates in the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry Board.

Caitlyn holds a bachelor’s degree in contemporary media and journalism/public relations from the University of South Dakota and a master’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Missouri‐St. Louis. She has a Certificate in Nonprofit Organization Management from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Institute for Organization Management and has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential, the highest professional credential in the association industry. 

Russ Carlson
Russ Carlson
Term Expires August 2020
Bear, Delaware, USA
Senior Consultant, Tree Tech Consulting
Russ Carlson
Russ Carlson
Term Expires August 2020
Bear, Delaware, USA
Senior Consultant, Tree Tech Consulting

Russ Carlson has worked in the field of arboriculture for more than 38 years as a commercial arborist and an independent consulting arborist. Throughout his career, Russ has taken a multidisciplinary approach to arboriculture with a broad knowledge of trees, the environment, and the associations of trees and people.

Since 1983, Russ has been an ISA Certified Arborist® with the ISA Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter, and with ISA when the program became international in 1993. In 2004, he earned the ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® credential. He has been a member and Registered Consulting Arborist of the American Society of Consulting Arborists since 1994. In 2010, he became a Certified Tree Risk Assessor and achieved the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification when the program was initiated.

Russ has presented workshops, seminars, and lectures at various venues and served as an instructor at the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) Consulting Academy from 1997 through 2010, developing and teaching the Report Writing and the Forensic Investigations training modules.

He has been active in the arboriculture industry, serving on ISA, Penn-Del Chapter, and ASCA committees and boards, including strategic planning committees and the governance committee. Russ also represented ISA on the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers for eight years.

Russ has been an active volunteer at the Tri-State Bird Rescue Clinic for 13 years. He enjoys birding, hiking, photography, and travel.

Jim Flott
Jim Flott
Term Expires August 2018
Spokane, Washington, USA
President, Community Forestry Consultants, Inc.
Jim Flott
Jim Flott
Term Expires August 2018
Spokane, Washington, USA
President, Community Forestry Consultants, Inc.

Jim Flott is an ISA Certified Arborist®, an ISA Certified Municipal Specialist®, an American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA) Registered Consulting Arborist, and an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification instructor/assessor. He has more than forty years of work experience managing and supervising commercial and municipal arboriculture, urban forestry, and horticulture programs and projects.

Jim is a former board member of the ISA Pacific Northwest Chapter (PNW), serving as education director, president-elect, and president of the chapter. In recognition of service, Jim has received the PNW Municipal Arborist and Volunteer of the Year awards.

Jim is passionate about education and sharing information with green industry colleagues and the public. He is also the primary author of the education plan for the PNW Chapter. He served on the Washington Community Forestry Council for more than 10 years promoting and fostering municipal arboriculture and urban forestry statewide.

Jim has many years of experience serving on industry boards and conference committees including roles in leadership. He has attended ISA Leadership Workshops and understands that ISA is the governing trade association for our industry. As an ISA Board member, he brings experience to ISA in the areas of strategic planning to help set and review the organization’s mission and goals, plan for the organization’s future, assist in ISA programming and projects, and evaluate ISA’s progress. ISA is a member-driven organization, and Jim continues to foster that ideal while working to improve the trade association for all members. He looks forward to serving the membership.

Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
Term Expires August 2018
Austin, Texas, USA
Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator, Texas A&M Forest Service
Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson
Term Expires August 2018
Austin, Texas, USA
Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator, Texas A&M Forest Service

Paul Johnson is the urban and community forestry coordinator for the Texas A&M Forest Service. Paul is an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Board Certified Master Arborist®, an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®, and is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. He is past chair of the Southern Group of State Foresters’ Urban and Community Forestry Committee and is a member of the ISA Board of Directors.

Paul is a Municipal Forestry Institute alumni, graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in forestry, and has been a radio talk show host, newspaper columnist, extension horticulturist, university adjunct instructor, and plant health care specialist.

Paul believes that “Trees Are Key” to healthier and happier communities.

Dana Karcher
Dana Karcher
Term Expires August 2019
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Program Manager, Arbor Day Foundation
Dana Karcher
Dana Karcher
Term Expires August 2019
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Program Manager, Arbor Day Foundation

Dana Karcher manages the Alliance for Community Trees program at the Arbor Day Foundation in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA. She is an ISA Certified Arborist® with experience working with non-profits, municipalities, and utilities for more than 15 years. She is a member of both the Utility Arborist Association and the Society of Municipal Arborists.

Dana’s years of service to the industry include board president and board member of the Western Chapter ISA. Other leadership service includes board member and president of the California Urban Forests Council and member of the California Community Forestry Advisory Committee. She recently retired as chair of the ISA Nominating and Elections Committee. Additionally, Dana has been a member of ISA’s Governance and By-Laws Committee and chaired a number of Women in Arboriculture networking breakfasts at the ISA Annual International Conference.

Having worked extensively with the Governance and By-Laws Committee, Dana understands the model in which ISA is governed. Additionally, her experience in many facets of arboriculture practice brings a unique viewpoint to the ISA Board of Directors. She believes that the board should be dedicated to supporting the needs of the membership and endeavors to serve with that in mind.

Skip Kincaid
Skip Kincaid
Term expires August 2019
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Director of Urban Forestry, Hansen's Tree Service
Skip Kincaid
Skip Kincaid
Term expires August 2019
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Director of Urban Forestry, Hansen's Tree Service

Skip Kincaid is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist® (MW- 0155BM), an ISA Certified Arborist Municipal Specialist®, an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification instructor/assessor, and a Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters (#1516). He has more than 35 years of work experience in the profession and currently serves as the director of urban forestry with Hansen's Tree Service in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. He was previously commissioner of forestry for the City of St. Louis, managing a staff of more than 200 and an annual budget exceeding $10 million, and before that was a senior consulting urban forester and ran a successful urban forestry consulting firm for 18 years.

Skip is a founding member of an urban forestry non-profit that recently provided its 100,000th tree to local communities. He served as a member of the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council and also served as chair of the Missouri Community Forestry Council and the Missouri Chapter of the Society of American Foresters.

Skip has served the Midwest Chapter of ISA as program chair for several annual conferences. At the international level, he served ISA as chair of the Certification Test Committee and is currently the Credentialing Council chair. Skip also spent four years with the Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) Committee developing the new credential and now serves as mentor for new instructors. He has taught TRAQ more than 40 times in the US and Canada and has travelled to Taiwan and New Zealand to introduce the concept of certification and the new Tree Risk Assessment Qualification.

Skip is committed to spreading the word about the science of arboriculture within the ISA structure and is passionate about the ISA mission of utilizing research, technology, and education to promote proper tree care around the world.

Cecil Konijnendijk
Cecil Konijnendijk
Term Expires August 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Professor of Urban Forestry, University of British Columbia
Cecil Konijnendijk
Cecil Konijnendijk
Term Expires August 2020
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Professor of Urban Forestry, University of British Columbia

Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk joined the Department of Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, as a professor of urban forestry in July 2016. Cecil is a Dutch national who moved to Canada from Sweden, where he headed the landscape department at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

He obtained his MSc in forestry from Wageningen University, Netherlands, and did his doctoral work at the University of Joensuu (now the University of Eastern Finland). Cecil has also previously held professorships at the University of Copenhagen and the University of Hong Kong.

His research and teaching focus on urban forestry, urban green space governance, green infrastructure planning, cultural ecosystem services, and relations between people, nature, and trees in an urban context. Projects have taken him across the globe with emphasis on Europe, Southeast Asia, and now North America. Cecil has published widely on these topics and authored several textbooks. He is editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening and book series editor for Springer’s Future City series. Cecil’s research is often closely connected to practice, building on his past experiences as an urban forestry consultant.

Cecil has been a long-standing member of ISA’s Science and Research Committee and a past president of the Arboricultural Research and Education Academy (AREA). When moving to Vancouver, he joined the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Chapter of ISA and is involved in organizing the 2018 PNW conference in Vancouver.

Gordon Mann
Gordon Mann
Term Expires August 2018
Auburn, California, USA
Consulting Arborist and Urban Forrester, Mann Made Resources
Gordon Mann
Gordon Mann
Term Expires August 2018
Auburn, California, USA
Consulting Arborist and Urban Forrester, Mann Made Resources

Gordon Mann has 39 years of experience managing trees where people live from the municipal, non-profit, and private tree care perspectives. He is a past president of the Western Chapter ISA, California Arborists Association, and the American Society of Consulting Arborists. He currently serves on the California Urban Forest Council as a director and is chair of the California Urban Forest Advisory Committee (California’s NUCFAC). He is a past director on the board of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA). He is a past chair of the ISA International Tree Climbing Competition and served on the Awards Committee. He also served as the Society of Municipal Arborist’s representative to the ANSI A300 Committee.

Gordon believes that the messages we share on the importance and value of trees have to get outside of the ISA membership and raise the awareness of all the people who own and impact trees. He points out that the publicly-managed trees are usually less than half of the community’s urban forest, and it’s important for the public to understand our industry standards in regard to managing the trees. As a member of the ISA Board, Gordon works to help ISA deliver better messages to more audiences to support the proper care and management of trees.

Scott Prophett
Scott Prophett
Term Expires August 2020
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Safety Director, Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories
Scott Prophett
Scott Prophett
Term Expires August 2020
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Safety Director, Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories

Scott Prophett is corporate safety director for the F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company. He has served in the field of arboriculture for more than 30 years, working in positions from new-hire ground worker to president and owner.

As a business person, Scott is experienced in strategic planning, budgeting, financial management, operations, and the oversight of all to create successful teams. As a volunteer, he has experience and understanding of ISA from both the chapter and the international levels. Scott has served on ISA chapter committees for more than 25 years and on ISA committees for more than 20 years. He has experience in marketing ISA membership, programs, mission, and products through training courses and committees in several countries and has volunteered his expertise for publications and videos produced and marketed by ISA. Scott’s main interest in serving on the ISA Board of Directors is to ensure ISA’s strategic planning, programs, and policies fit the current and future needs of both members and the organization.

Scott is the recipient of ISA’s Award of Achievement, the ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture recognition, ISA Southern Chapter Excellence in Arboriculture Award, TCIA’s Award for Operational Safety, and the Army Corp of Engineers’ Award of Excellence for Occupational Safety and Health.

Nicolaas Verloop
Nicolaas Verloop
Term expires August 2019
Harmelen, The Netherlands
Commercial Director, TFI Vital Green
Nicolaas Verloop
Nicolaas Verloop
Term expires August 2019
Harmelen, The Netherlands
Commercial Director, TFI Vital Green

Nicolaas Verloop has worked in arboriculture for the last 30 years. After school, he worked for three years in England, France, and the United States, after which he started his own landscape gardening company. After selling his company, he served as the director for several leading green industry companies. During that time, Nicolaas and three associates founded GreenGuard, a company which develops and produces biological products especially for landscapers, tree care companies, and councils. Currently, Nicolaas is working as a partner of TFI, a specialized company that is creating optimal tree-growth opportunities for trees in the urban environment.

Nicolaas has a great interest in business strategies, marketing, and education for our profession. For the last eight years he has served on the KPB-ISA Dutch Chapter Board and has served the Dutch Employers’ Association for the last four years as a board member of the tree department. Both associations wish to stimulate the arboriculture profession and opportunities for good education.

Nicolaas has served ISA as a chapter executive and as a member of the Student Subcommittee and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Committee. He was a member of the ISA Council of Representatives (CoR) for three years before being named the CoR Chair from 2014 to 2016.

Tom Wolf
Tom Wolf
Term Expires August 2019
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Vice President, Business Development, Davey Tree
Tom Wolf
Tom Wolf
Term Expires August 2019
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Vice President, Business Development, Davey Tree

As a third generation arborist, Tom Wolf has life-long experience in arboriculture and a lasting passion for the tree industry. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Tom previously served as president of Wolf Tree Experts before it became a division of the Davey Tree Expert Company, and he is currently vice president of national business development for Davey Utility.

Tom has been an ISA member for 33 years and an ISA Certified Arborist® since 1992. A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, he has served in a variety of leadership roles, including president of the Southern Chapter ISA, vice chair of the ISA Council of Representatives, judge for the ITCC, member of the ISA Membership Committee, trustee for the Tree Fund, and chair of the City of Knoxville Tree Board.