Presidents Message: From Bill M. Reese II 2019

Wow, this year is rapidly flying by. I can’t believe it is already the middle of October my favorite season. I am realizing with all the rain we have had this year I have no hope of getting caught up on personal out door projects. However looking back to last February we have accomplished so much as an organization.

We started out by the establishment of a few new committees to divide the work load and assigned committee chairs responsible for overseeing their particular projects. These committees are Liaison to ISU for input into The Shade Tree Short Coarse, an Internal Audit Committee for check and balance of expenditures, Advertising and Fund Raising for recognition of those who donate to our organization and insure we have funds to provide for events and educational programs. Our largest committee, The Climbing Committee, seems to work tirelessly to give us an out standing competition every year. They come together from around the state several times during the year to put this event together for us. They already have our next years location approved and to my knowledge at this time only have trees to choose that we will be climbing in. We have a committee chair in charge of our Social Media and another two person committee tasked with Web Input and Management. We have a committee chair in charge of Membership. We have an ISA Liaison and an ISA Component that serves on the Council of Representatives to the ISA. We also established a few short term committees to help with finding proper insurance to cover our events, and a couple of quick need done now types of projects like a rewrite of our By-Laws and the set up of Standard Operational Procedures.

Now that is a lot of organization! All the Board Members have multitask-ed to insure all our bases were covered. This is one of the finest, hardest working, volunteer organizations I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

Why all the hard work? Well it has come with a lot of reward:

  • We have been able to bring more tree related courses to Shade Tree.
  • We have been able to obtain several educational grants and host a number of educational programs. I need to mention that anyone who gets and reads TCI knows that “Guy Gibson is the Guy”. He is our Board Member that has applied for Grants and arranged for most of our Educational Programs.
  • Again we hosted a successful Chapter Climbing Competition. This year we were able to sponsor our men and women champions to the International Competition in Knoxville, Tenn .. Take time to look at the pictures of our Champions; Ashley Whittlesey and Josh Hodson in action and read their stories.
  • We have been able to contribute significantly to the “Tour DE Trees” and the “Tree Fund” as well as a few other causes such as the IBEW Local 55 “Cradling New Life” benefit.
  • We have been able to send representatives to the ISA Annual Conference and to ISA Leadership Training Course.

Most recently the ISA requested an outline of our organization and a list of our accomplishments so that our information could be presented to the ISA Board of Directors and voted on, to move us from an Associate Organization to a Full Status Chapter. They gave us a very short deadline to provide all this information to them. With the help of the Board Members that had different bits of information archived. and the By-Laws committee putting together the new proposed By-Laws acceptable to the ISA, they all scrambled and worked together feeding me and submitting pieces of information. I was able to put together a scenario of our IAA Organization and present it to the ISA on time for their October Board of Directors Meeting.

This week our Board Members received an email from President Elect Jim Rock while attending the Leadership Conference. Jim stated that Jim Flott, an ISA Board Member told him that we have been voted in to become a full status chapter on our third anniversary this December 14th This is GREAT NEWS!

WHAT AN OUTSTANDING YEAR with much more to come!