THE ASPLUNDH TREE
AMAZING TREES WE SEE EVERYDAY
ast November, Supervisor Reggie Charlesworth of the Shawn Shapiro Region was visiting a crew working on the Clatskanie People’s Utility District in northwestern Oregon when he came across the unusual western redcedar pictured at left. He called it a Preacher’s Chair due to the upward bend of its massive limbs. Reggie was not able to ask anyone about the reason for the tree’s unusually-shaped limbs because the home in front of the tree is no longer occupied. However, he has a theory—the Columbus Day Storm of 1962. Hurricane-force winds on October 12th of that year brought down an estimated 11 billion board feet of timber from northern California to Oregon and Washington! This 80-foot-tall tree was much smaller back then p Although western redcedar trees and its flexible young limbs may have been bent (Thuja plicata) are relatively common upwards by damaged trees around it. in the Pacific Northwest, this one in Western redcedar (Thuja plicata) is one of the Clatskanie, Oregon has unusually most widespread trees in the Pacific Northwest, formed limbs. growing in coastal forests, on mountainsides up to 7,500 feet of elevation, along streambanks and in forested swamps. The species can be very large (up to 230 feet tall) and long-lived (some individuals over 1,000 years). Western redcedar wood was extensively used by Native Americans for housing, totem poles, canoes and utensils, and its stringy bark and roots were used in making baskets, rope, blankets and clothing. p The fragrant foliage of western redcedar forms flat sprays with scale-like leaves in opposite pairs, which is why it is called a giant arborvitae. The reddish brown to gray bark is furrowed and fibrous.
Mature western redcedar is valued for its high natural resistance to decay (posts, shingles and siding), and an aroma that deters moths (cedar chests and closets). However amazing and useful western redcedar trees are, they can be a threat to power lines due to the height and size that limbs and trees can attain. Thanks for sharing, Reggie!
55 YEARS OF SERVICE AND GOING STRONG
u On March 30, for the first time in more than 55 years of dedicated service to Asplundh, Foreperson Bob Bruce (center) paid a visit to the company headquarters in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Joined by Manager Don Redden (L) and welcomed by Sponsor/Executive Vice President Matt Asplundh (R), Bob also received a tour of the various departments that support his crew with equipment, tools and of course, paychecks! Many things have changed since he started with the company on December 15, 1960 in his hometown of Lancaster. But Bob’s solid work ethic has not changed, serving PPL Electric Utilities in central southern Pennsylvania for the majority of his career. We wish Bob continued good health and enjoyment of his work with Asplundh!
THE ASPLUNDH TREE Spring 2016
Safety Success Is No Accident ...................1 Pushing Digital Technology To The Ground ..........................................4 Field-Inspired Technology For Safety ........5 Stormy Times ................................................6 Co-op Corner ..............................................7 Management Update ...................................8 Special Retirement Honors ......................10 Orchids ...................................................11 Service Anniversaries ................................15 Crews & News ............................................18 Retirees Honored ......................................24 In Memoriam ...............................................25 ON THE COVER
With new green leaves and puffy white clouds in the background, a fresh spring breeze unfurls the bright orange Asplundh flag on the grounds of the Home Office in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
MANAGING EDITOR CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
Patti Chipman WRITER/EDITOR
Kristin Wild ASSISTANT EDITOR/ GRAPHICS SPECIALIST
Ronnie Gauker The Asplundh TREE is a family magazine, published three times a year for all employees and friends of the Asplundh companies. Asplundh welcomes requests to reprint or otherwise duplicate this magazine, in whole or in part. Please contact the Managing Editor of Corporate Communications at the address below for permission, or call 1-800-248-TREE (in the U.S. or Canada). ©
2016 Asplundh Tree Expert Co.
Asplundh Tree Expert Co. 708 Blair Mill Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090 www.asplundh.com Printed on recycled paper
IS NO ACCIDENT
ack in 2004, Asplundh hired a company called DuPont Safety Resources to take a look at how we could improve our safety processes and ultimately improve our safety record. Now, over a decade later, our injury rate has been reduced by 31% and our severity rate by over 58%. But there is still work to do. Here is a quick look at a couple of the “big rocks” to move for 2016.
Updated LCQS The LCQS—Line Clearance Qualification Standard—is our guide for how we train employees to be tree trimmers. While it has been around for a few years, it was updated in 2015 and rolled out to the field in January of this year. Redundant wording was eliminated and new material has been added covering such topics as chipper operations, rigging, climbing, human performance and leadership. The workflow for how one moves through the LCQS is easier to follow. The new lesson book, called the “white book,” is available in both English and Spanish, as well as in both print and electronic formats. Each trainee receives a proficiency workbook—the p Foreperson Alvin Nogueras “gray book”—for tracking his (R) of the Larry Gauger Region or her lessons completed. We in southeastern Pennsylvania expect to be fully transitioned signs off on a lesson for Trimmer Giovanny Rivera (L) in his LCQS to the new LCQS books by proficiency book. June 1 of this year.
Incident Investigation Training The “red book” outlines the requirements for when and how incidents are to be investigated. An incident is an unplanned event or chain of events that results in losses such as fatalities or injuries, damage to assets, equipment, the environment, business performance or company reputation. A near miss is an event that could have potentially resulted in the above-mentioned losses, but the chain of events stopped in time to prevent this. This book is currently being revised and will be re-released in the summer of 2016. As an addition to the book, we are hosting a number of classes across the county to teach TAPROOT—a form of Root Cause Analysis aimed at finding the root causes of an event. By solving the problems described in the root causes, the
by Bruce Mellott Director of Vegetation Safety
probability of the incident reoccurring is lowered. This helps prevent the incident, and other events that have the same root causes, from happening again.
SafetySuite SafetySuite is an environmental, health and safety (EHS) software application which addresses all aspects of our EHS program and helps ensure the safety of employees, as well as compliance with Federal, State and Local health and safety regulations. It is a web application accessible through any browser and utilizes some offline applications for Apple, Android and Windows. The program was rolled out in December 2015 and we continue to turn on more modules to increase SafetySuite’s capabilities. We are now using the system for incident reporting, audits, inspections, job observations, and corrective or preventative action tracking. Later this year, we will be turning on p Corporate EHS Manager Chris Genell “Dashboards” to help has been leading the implementation of track progress. There SafetySuite and the TAPROOT programs. will be a Chemical Management section where you will be able to find Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and Training Tracking where we can record training completion. Over 25 webinars have been held to train users in how to interact with the system, with more planned for later in the year. Henry Ford said “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Success in today’s hyper-competitive environment requires continuous improvement and innovation. With the addition of these and other safety initiatives, our working together will make us all safer and maintain the company’s leadership in our industry. Stay safe.
Bruce Mellott [email protected]
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
WITH TRAINING AND PRACTICE t In August 2015, two one-day ‘open enrollment’ training sessions were conducted in Tilton, New Hampshire. Six Asplundh management regions sent a total of 12 employees to get in-depth instruction from Corporate Safety Trainers Caesar Bustos and Gary Shaffer (now a regional trainer in the Gary Shelto Region in New Hampshire). In the photo at left, Caesar (center) prepares to demonstrate a 5-to-1 mechanical advantage system used for lowering and raising limbs. u In the photo at right, Gary (center) shows the trainees how effective a 5-to-1 mechanical advantage system is for leveraging heavy wood during one of the rigging kit trainings. Afterwards, the participants in these sessions were tasked with bringing their new knowledge and this technology to their respective regions including the Gene Blount Region in Texas, the Chris Fix Region in Virginia, the Ralph Guadagno Region in Vermont, the Gary Shelto Region in New Hampshire, the Wes Turner Region in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the Bob Ray Region of Asplundh Brush Control based in New York.
p Over a six-week period this past winter, about 250 employees of the Joe Schneider Region received electrical hazard training in the Volts Wagon trailer from RSS Brian Richter (shown above). These folks work on properties of We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, American Transmission Company and other miscellaneous utilities in Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Brian says he will be putting more Schneider Region employees through the program in August when We Energies has their “All Hands” meetings.
t On September 15-16, 2015, Corporate Safety Trainers Caesar Bustos (standing, far R) and Gary Shaffer (standing, far L) came to Wausau, Wisconsin to conduct a tree felling ‘train the trainer’ program for key personnel in the Joe Schneider and Jeff Ness Regions. In the front row (L to R) were: General Foreperson Gary Thom, Foreperson Matt Urbis and General Forepersons Leonel Abrego and John Bablitch. In the back row (L to R) were: Gary Shaffer, General Forepersons Ben Konen, Brian Morin, Cuatemoc Cornejo and Kelly Graham, and Caesar Bustos. Afterwards, the participants shared their tree felling skills with their crews working for We Energies and American Transmission Company in Wisconsin and Michigan, and Commonwealth Edison in Illinois. u RSS Jose Irizarry of the Steve Miller Region, assisted by Training Foreperson Nate Lebron, held a tree felling training and refresher session in Federalsburg, Maryland in May 2015. More than 40 employees participated in the training, most of whom work on the property of Choptank Electric Cooperative under General Forepersons Jasin Stewart and Brian Higdon. A few employees who work on the properties of A&N Electric Cooperative in Virginia and Delaware Electric Cooperative also participated. t After thoroughly reviewing the five steps of tree felling, the trainees practiced their notches and back cuts while Jose and Nate observed and provided feedback to help improve their knowledge and skills. At left, Trimmer Roy Gaskins prepares to make an open-face notch on a practice tree trunk while Jose observes his technique. Many thanks to Forester Brian Hall of Choptank Electric Cooperative who was instrumental in coordinating the training, which will help to improve the crews’ safety and productivity during tree removals.
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
u A new group of skilled tree felling trainers was developed and sent back to their respective regions after a training session conducted by Corporate Safety Trainers Caesar Bustos and Joe Kern in December 2015 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. The participants were (L to R): General Foreperson Rex Miller, Tennessee; RSS Jeff Hughes, Ohio; RSS Chris Hollister, Tennessee; General Foreperson Eduardo Rodriguez, Tennessee; Asplundh Brush Control (ABC) General Foreperson Larry Scroggins, Oklahoma; ABC RSS Tom Mata, Texas; ABC Specialized Operator Michael Mooney, Florida; RSS Bill Johnson, Kentucky; Foreperson Jason Cross, Tennessee; ABC Foreperson Robert Smith, Washington; and Caesar Bustos.
t On March 18, crews from the Shawn Shapiro Region participated in a Safety Training Day in Spokane, Washington, hosted by Avista Utilities. In addition to all of the Asplundh folks who work for Avista, there were crews and supervision from neighboring Idaho and Montana who work on the property of Northern Lights, Inc. The day began with training presentations indoors and then everyone moved outside for the afternoon session which consisted of four different Asplundh training stations. There was one for advanced rigging and roping techniques, one that focused on rigging and roping weight calculations, one for DOT inspections and one for rescue procedures. At left is Corporate EHS Project Manager Shane Vosberg demonstrating tree rescue procedures. Members of the local Spokane fire department heard about the rescue demonstration and decided to stop by to watch as well! u At right is DOT Compliance Manager Joe Zito of the Fleet Services Department who ran the inspection demonstration. After the event, Manager Shawn Shapiro wrote an e-mail to accompany these photos, “Thanks again to Joe Zito and Shane Vosberg, two invaluable resources. I cannot thank them enough for their time.”
RECOGNIZING SAFETY SUCCESSES
p General Foreperson Richard Varner of the Mike Wolford Region in West Virginia is proud of his folks who have now worked more than one full year incident-free. In the Wolford Region, crews are treated to lunch for every three months of working incident-free and are given a hooded sweatshirt or jacket plus lunch after a year incident-free. Modeling their awards are (L to R): Timothy Rosier, Michael Rosier, Thomas Slaubaugh, Joseph Neville, Adam Goss, Michael Bates, Jr. and Eric Hedrick. In addition, the following employees also went one year incident-free, but their awards had not arrived at the time of the photo: Peter Collar, Gary Sisler, Andrew Goss, Edwin Evans, Daniel Leach, Brian Schoonover and Paul Schoonover. They all work for Mon Power out of the Elkins service center.
p At Asplundh’s 2016 Regional Safety Summit in March, the first White Cross for Safety Awards were presented to (L to R): RSS Bill Johnson in Kentucky; RSS Bob Gordon of Asplundh Canada in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba; Supervisor Steve Cypher in parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland; and RSS Paul Snethen in Kansas and parts of Colorado. Safety Manager Mark Foster and Safety Training Manager Tracy Hawks presented the new awards which recognize individuals who advance our safety culture with distinguished service in the areas of safety, leadership, health and human performance. Any employee can nominate any other employee by completing the form found in the SafetySuite master library. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
PUSHING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY TO THE GROUND By Dave Krause, Vegetation Specialist Arborchem Products Division
t Spray crews from the Les Parsons Region in Ohio receive training on the Arborchem/Asplundh digital record keeping app. Simple drop-down menus help them record products used, application rates, GPS locations, etc. as they treat vegetation on a FirstEnergy right-of-way.
echnological innovation has been a powerful driver of efficiency in vegetation management throughout the years with advancements in mechanization, as well as development of new chemistry and application methods. In recent years, the use of computers for data collection, records, mapping and workload management has helped vegetation managers improve efficiency and reliability. Today, the advancements in handheld devices and mobile telecommunications have brought that technology directly to the crews on the ground performing vegetation management activities.
Digital Record Keeping For Herbicide Applications Detailed daily chemical records are required by state regulation and have been typically written on a paper form. Now, data collection for herbicide treatments in the field can easily be done electronically and uploaded in real time to improve accuracy and productivity, not only for the crews, but also for supervision. The ability to pre-populate information into drop-down menus not only helps improve accuracy (no penmanship worries!), but also reduces the time needed to fill out reports during and after field work. It also allows for collection of much more information, such as photos and tracking data on returnable/reusable containers. Starting in 2014, FirstEnergy engaged all of the vegetation management contractors on their transmission system in an initiative to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of their herbicide program. In response, Arborchem implemented one of the utility’s “Closed Chain of Custody” pilot programs with Asplundh crews in Ohio. They used an application (app) developed by Arborchem and Asplundh’s IT Department on tablets to document their activities. For the pilot program, 4
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
to record the quantities and blends received.
t To help document a “Closed Chain of Custody” for returnable/reusable containers, the Arborchem custom blending facility in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania applies a bar code to each container. Once the containers arrive at a field warehouse, a bar code scanner is used
u When a container is taken out to the right-of-way that is to be treated, the applicator also scans the bar code as part of the digital record keeping app. Empty containers are scanned again when they return to the field warehouse and then a final time when they eventually arrive back to Arborchem for refilling, which closes the “chain.”
a bar code scanner was used to scan a bar code on each returnable/reusable container of custom-blended herbicide formulation, creating a digital record to track the container. The digital record was evidence of where and when the returnable/reusable container was shipped from, where it was shipped to for use by Asplundh, and when it was received back at the warehouse for refilling. This assisted with inventory management and helped to ensure crews had the custom-blended products that they needed on time. Collectively, the process proved to reduce labor and costs associated with storing, handling and disposing of containers traditionally used when products were mixed on-site.
Pushing Forward With Digital Technology The digital record keeping app initially created for the pilot program continues to be revised to meet both the applicators’ and utilities’ needs by tracking the product to the location it is applied. At the same time, it is also being designed to integrate into Asplundh’s 4G LTE Wi-Fi Truck-as-a-Hub initiative, which makes it possible to upload information through a secure Wi-Fi “hot spot”. In the field, a 4G LTE connection is much faster and more efficient than through a 3G or 4G device and network. This year, mobile device apps are being implemented by Asplundh to allow
applicators in the field to use a tablet or Android phone to scan bar codes on drums and add photos where desired. In addition, opportunities now exist for integrating a utility system’s maps and adding GPS locations to document exactly where herbicides are applied. Other documents, such as labels, safety data sheets (SDS), job briefings, etc., can also be stored on mobile devices, providing ready access when needed.
The original pilot program continues to evolve and the new technology will be implemented on all Asplundh crews working on FirstEnergy’s transmission system in 2016. Although it requires an investment in IT, mobile devices and training, the benefits of reducing paperwork, improving accuracy and gathering data in real time are undeniable to both the crews in the
field, as well as the utility for whom they work. Digital record keeping is also a way for utilities and contractors to use technology to help measure the efficacy of herbicide applications, all the while generating documentation for reliability and environmental compliance. Technology is not just for the high-rise office anymore. It’s on the ground and operational right now.
FIELD-INSPIRED TECHNOLOGY FOR SAFETY
lear communication is crucial for safe operations, especially with the potential hazards in utility vegetation management. Our people in the field understand this and some of them are using wireless and smartphone technology to improve communication and crew safety.
Wireless Headset System Most of us are probably familiar with the importance of three-way communication while working on a tree. Here’s an example: (1) the climber or bucket operator aloft calls out “stand clear” or “headache” before cutting a limb, (2) the crew on the ground replies with “all clear” once they are out of the drop zone, and (3) the worker aloft confirms the drop zone is clear with “okay” or “roger” before making the final cut. All of this communication becomes much harder to comprehend when working 70 to 100 feet up! Asplundh has a number of 100-foot aerial lifts working in various parts of the northeastern and western United States where towering trees near power lines are not uncommon. Last year, Vice President Larry Gauger in southeastern Pennsylvania was with one of his 100-foot lift crews and the foreperson mentioned how hard it was to communicate with a co-worker up in the bucket at maximum reach. The whistles that are part of his region’s PPE were not up to the job, hand signals were hard to see at that distance, and walkie-talkies only transmit one way at a time. The only solution seemed to be yelling and operating very slowly, making the work more stressful and less productive. Nearby property owners
probably didn’t appreciate all the yelling between crew members either! In researching a safer, more efficient solution, Larry came across a hands-free, battery-powered wireless communication system with four headsets. The headsets are designed to fit under hard hats and can be programmed in a variety of ways to improve crew communication. The ear muffs block almost all external noise and the adjustable microphone produces crystal clear sound quality between the crew members on the ground and the bucket operators. The headsets can be programmed so two, three or four people can be conferenced, or two pairs can communicate separately, which is handy for the flaggers on the crew. There are five volume settings for each headset u The wireless headsets are effective up to 300 yards from the Com-Center box.
t Equipped with their wireless headsets and mics, Crew Member James Huggard easily acts as a spotter for Foreperson Rick Bassler as he navigates a 100-ft. aerial lift amongst numerous PECO lines at an intersection near Philadelphia.
and a mute button, which can reduce the sound of the chainsaw in the other headsets when necessary. The effective range is over 300 yards from the wireless Com-Center, although large obstacles can affect sound quality so it’s important to place it in an open area. While it takes some getting used to, the crews who have used the wireless communication system are able to maintain a much safer work environment with increased productivity—and they go home at the end of the day with less stress and more voice!
Using QR Codes To Link To Safety Videos A little over a year ago, the Asplundh Safety Operations Group started to incorporate QR codes in employee safety letters and training materials, providing an easy way to link employees who own smartphones to information on web sites such as OSHA or the National Safety Council. If you’re not familiar with QR codes, they are those little black and white bit-mapped squares you see on ads and packaging primarily. By downloading a free QR code reader application (app) to your smartphone, you can open the app, point your phone at the QR code and
t Scanning this QR code will take you to a brief amateur video about the importance of inspecting the speed reducer mounting bolts for a side-trimming machine. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
immediately be taken to a web page or online video. Regional Safety Superintendent (RSS) Paul Snethen in Kansas decided to take the QR code a little further last summer. He wanted to reach out and engage our tech-hungry employees with important safety information that had a homegrown, one-on-one feel. With the help of some of his co-workers and a QR code generator app, he made a few simple videos with a smartphone and uploaded them to a shared video web site. For example, one of the videos demonstrated how to inspect the speed reducer mounting bolts on a side-trimmer machine—a safety issue that is not easy to explain with just words. Since Snethen prints and distributes a monthly safety calendar for the region, he simply added the QR codes to the
calendar which linked to the videos. The general forepersons and forepersons show the calendar to the crews for daily safety briefings. Nearly all crew members whip out their smartphones and start watching the videos. The tricky part is to make sure they put their phones away or they can become a distraction on the job! u Planner Corey Gaus (L) uses his smartphone to scan a QR code on one of RSS Paul Snethen’s safety calendars (above) so he can share in watching a safety video with Foreperson Ben Zegarelli and Crew Member Jerome Bergstrom.
Overall, the crews love the QR codes and some employees are getting into the act by suggesting or making their own videos for him to review and consider for publishing in the calendar. Snethen’s manager, Ed Bradshaw, has supported him along the way and he even “got on camera” in January to deliver a safety message to all the employees in his region. Using various means of communication is a great way to improve training and build a strong and engaged safety culture.
STORMYTIMES T he Pacific Northwest was hit several times this past year with near hurricane-force winds and torrential rains, knocking down trees and poles for several utilities served by the Shawn Shapiro Region. A particularly severe wind storm devastated the Spokane-based Avista Utilities system in eastern Washington on November 17, 2015. Within six hours of the storm’s start, approximately 180,000 of Avista’s 369,000 total customer base were without power. Fortunately, weather forecasts had put Avista and its contractors on alert a couple of days in advance. Dozens of line crews were brought in by Avista and since the Shapiro Region operates in five northwestern states, 12 additional tree crews plus supervision were quickly moved in from Montana and coastal Washington. They assisted the local crews under General Forepersons Travis Bottcher and Kipp Dennis. Asplundh crews on Avista’s system have used tablet computers in their trucks for almost four years now, but it was only three weeks before the storm hit that 4G LTE mobile hot spots were activated in each vehicle. The hot spots, installed as part of Asplundh’s Truck-as-a-Hub 6
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
u After the November 17, 2015 storm, Foreperson Matt Nelson of the Shawn Shapiro Region maneuvers a backyard aerial lift into position to carefully remove a pine that pulled down Avista’s primary and secondary power lines.
t Broken poles and sagging lines, often caused by wind-damaged trees, made it difficult to drive in parts of Spokane until Asplundh and Avista could clear roadways.
initiative, helped the crews respond more quickly to the trouble tickets that Avista and its notifiers placed in a web-based mapping program they all shared. The general forepersons would assign a general area of the Avista system to a group of crews (usually a mixture of local and out-of-town crews). Each crew would use their truck’s tablet (or even a smartphone) to sign in to the map program to see the pending ticket locations, marked in yellow. When the crew finished a job, they would change the color to green. If grounds were needed
at a particular location, the color was changed to red and Avista was notified to handle this. The tree crew was then able to move on to other yellow tickets until they were notified that it was safe to return to the red ticket. With a total of almost 30 Asplundh tree crews on storm duty, the task of safely clearing trees from power lines and roadways was completed within 10 days. It would have been a much less efficient process without the flexibility and speed of the mobile hot spots installed as part of Asplundh’s Truck-as-a-Hub program.
CO-OPCORNER H olston Electric Cooperative (HEC), based in Rogersville, Tennessee, is a member-owned distributor of electricity, providing service to more than 30,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. The co-op’s service territory encompasses nearly 2,600 miles of distribution and transmission lines, covering rough terrain that includes mountains, hills and valleys. Overhead right-of-way maintenance can be a challenge for HEC, which is served by the Gene Hayden Region.
Ensuring service reliability and public safety throughout the 525-square-mile area of Hawkins, Hamblen, and Greene Counties in upper East Tennessee is vital to HEC, and partnering with Asplundh has led to long-term benefits for the members. For more than 30 years, Asplundh crews from the region have assisted HEC in tackling the diverse topography.
t Pictured here outside the well-landscaped main office of Holston Electric Cooperative (HEC) in Rogersville, Tennessee are (L to R): Right-of-way Maintenance Coordinator Chuck Hurd, Asplundh General Foreperson Josh Mowell, Director of Operations Arthur Davenport and General Manager Jimmy Sandlin. u HEC’s service territory in beautiful upper East Tennessee has challenging terrain and plenty of trees and brush to manage. Equipped with seven aerial lifts and the versatile skid steer mulching machine shown here, 25 Asplundh employees (including a dedicated flagging crew) perform pruning, removals and mowing on the co-op’s system. Crews also regularly perform high-volume and bare ground herbicide applications to efficiently control unwanted vegetation in HEC rights-of-way and substations. t A lightning-damaged tree in Church Hill, Tennessee was threatening an HEC line running to a member’s garage. Foreperson Gary Matthews and Trimmers Samuel Cobb and Kelvin Gunter worked proactively to safely remove the tree and stay ahead of the game.
“Staying ahead of the game has allowed our members to experience fewer outages for shorter durations,” notes Jimmy Sandlin, HEC General Manager. “Right-of-way maintenance, including the use of bush hogs and foliage spraying, must occur on a strict cycle in our locality.” East Tennessee has four distinct seasons, each contributing its own hurdle. Heavy spring rains saturate the soil, summer brings lightning, strong winds gust through the valleys each fall, and winter often adds snow and ice to the mix. All of these weather conditions create an environment where trees topple. When you cannot look out any window in the region without seeing trees, there has to be an advance plan of action in place for maintenance.
u Last fall, during HEC’s annual appreciation breakfast for the tree crews, Asplundh Manager Gene Hayden presented the plaque at right to HEC General Manager Jimmy Sandlin to commemorate the 30 years of working together to help provide safe, reliable and affordable electric power to the families and businesses the co-op serves in upper East Tennessee.
HEC, through the use of contracted Asplundh crews, has taken a preventative approach for many years to reduce the influence that trees have on the reliability of service. This approach is often positively reflected during inclement weather by fewer downed power lines.
and General Foreperson Josh Mowell. Daily activities include pruning and removal work, as well as herbicide applications to prevent tall-growing trees and invasive plants from establishing themselves in the right-of-way.
Vegetation management is performed by Asplundh on an orderly cycle under the leadership of HEC Right-of-Way Maintenance Coordinator Chuck Hurd
Despite these proactive measures, the weather still occasionally produces downed trees, and when HEC lineman are out working in adverse conditions, Asplundh is right there beside them.
“During storm emergencies, it is all-hands-on-deck, no matter what time of day,” states Arthur Davenport, HEC Director of Operations. “Without Asplundh on site utilizing chain saws and chippers, it would likely take our crews twice as long to get the power back on. There are some really great guys in the Asplundh crews, and they don’t hesitate to jump right in when the going gets tough.”
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Jim Winemiller, manager of Asplundh operations in parts of Missouri and Illinois, was elected vice president in April. Executive Vice President Chris Asplundh, Jr. sponsors the Winemiller Region.
Jim came to work on an Asplundh tree crew in his home state of Missouri in 1985. Prior to joining the company, he served five years in the U.S. Army, performed cable installations and worked for Blume Tree Services, which was later acquired by Asplundh. By 1991, Jim had advanced to general foreperson and eight years later, he was promoted to supervisor. In March 2008, Jim was named manager of his own region, responsible for overseeing Asplundh operations on the properties of several cooperative and municipal accounts in Missouri and southern Illinois. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and has been recognized by the company multiple times for storm response and controlling equipment expenses.
NEWMANAGERSINTHEHOMEOFFICEANDFIELD Jeff Adamo joined the Home Office staff in
Willow Grove as the manager of Internal Audit in November 2015. He reports directly to Corporate Secretary-Treasurer and Controller Brian Bauer. A native of Philadelphia, Jeff has over 15 years of experience in corporate accounting and internal auditing for multi-billion dollar corporations. He is a Certified Public Accountant and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Temple University in Philadelphia. Using his experience in reviewing accounting processes and internal controls, Jeff is responsible for auditing our decentralized subsidiaries, assisting external auditors with field work, recommending process improvements, and assisting with due diligence work on potential acquisitions. He also performs special projects as requested by the company presidents and CEO.
Brian Bauer, controller for Asplundh and all of its subsidiaries, assumed the responsibilities of corporate secretary-treasurer in March. He continues to report directly to Chief Financial Officer Joe Dwyer.
In 2006, Brian joined the Home Office as the manager of Financial Reporting and Field Accounting. He came aboard with seven years of experience with KPMG, a major auditing firm. Two years later, Brian was promoted to controller, responsible for managing Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Field and Financial Reporting, Tax, and Overhead Departments. As corporate secretary-treasurer, he will also be involved in banking and shareholder relations and serve on various corporate committees. A Certified Public Accountant, Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
Damian Jones joined American Lighting
and Signalization, Inc. (ALS), a subsidiary of UtiliCon Solutions, Ltd., as a region manager in Texas in August 2015. He reports to ALS Vice President and Line-of-Business Lead James Hardiman. Damian brings to ALS over nine years of project management experience in the Intelligent Traffic 8
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
System (ITS) industry in his home state of Texas. Damian also served in the U.S. Marine Corps, Combat Engineers from 1998 to 2006. As a region manager for ALS, he is responsible for growing the operation and maintaining safe and efficient roadway lighting and traffic control systems for the Department of Transportation and municipal agencies throughout the state of Texas. Damian holds numerous certificates in traffic control and has studied at the University of North Texas.
Greg Staton joined the Home Office team
in Willow Grove in December 2015 as the manager of Corporate Administration. He reports to Chief Administrative Officer George Licci. Greg brings to Asplundh over 14 years of experience in corporate development and finance for Fortune 500 and privately-owned firms, plus seven years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. His business analysis, finance and strategic planning background provide support for his current responsibilities overseeing the functions of the Payroll, Customer & Field Liaison, Human Resources and Supply Chain Management Departments in the company’s Willow Grove headquarters. Greg holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in history from Duke University in North Carolina.
Sallie Theis, former manager of Personnel Compliance and Reporting, was promoted in November 2015 to director of Human Resources-Personnel. She reports to Manager of Corporate Administration Greg Staton under Chief Administrative Officer George Licci.
In 1991, Sallie joined Asplundh’s Input Operations Department and five years later, transferred into Field Personnel to assist with reporting for personnel issues. In 2002, she advanced to manager of Personnel Compliance and Reporting. In her new position, Sallie is responsible for both Field and Home Office Personnel, including training and development, recruitment, succession planning, compensation analysis and employee grievances. In addition, she retains her duties as an Equal Employment Opportunity Officer, as well as reporting related to Affirmative Action, the Americans with Disabilities Act and technical I-9 compliance.
NEWSUPERVISORSINTHEFIELD Robbie Callis, Jr., former superintendent
Elvis Peacock, Sr., former superintendent
Robbie came to work for Asplundh in 2000 with almost two years of prior tree service experience. By 2008, he was promoted to general foreperson and in 2015, he transferred into the Smith Region as a superintendent. Robbie’s responsibilities as a supervisor now include overseeing Asplundh tree crews working on the property of Duke Energy Progress (distribution and transmission), as well as various municipal and cooperative accounts in central and eastern North Carolina. He is an ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist, a First Aid/CPR instructor and a 2009 graduate of the Asplundh Supervisory Training Program.
With 25 years of experience in sales and service, Elvis made a career change in September 2009 when he joined an Asplundh tree crew in his home state of Michigan. Four years later, he was promoted to general foreperson and in 2014, he advanced to superintendent. Elvis holds licenses for heavy equipment operations and spray work. Now, as a supervisor, he is responsible for overseeing Asplundh crews working on pipeline rights-of-way throughout the state of Michigan. A First Aid/CPR trainer for the Schneider Region, Elvis is also a recent graduate of the General Foreperson Training Program and Management Leadership Academy.
in North Carolina, advanced to supervisor under Vice President Doug Smith in January. The Smith Region is sponsored by Executive Vice President Gregg Asplundh.
Jeff Fizer, former general foreperson in
Ohio, was promoted to supervisor in August 2015 under Manager Keith Confere. Executive Vice President Gregg Asplundh sponsors the Confere Region. Jeff joined an Asplundh tree crew in his home state of Ohio in 1992. He rose through the ranks to become a general foreperson in 2003 and graduated from the Asplundh Supervisory Training Program in December 2004. Jeff also participated in the Asplundh Management Leadership Academy in 2010. Now, as a supervisor, he is responsible for overseeing Asplundh tree crews working in the Columbus and Newark Districts of AEP Ohio, as well as a municipal and cooperative account in central Ohio. Jeff is a member of the Utility Arborist Association.
James Mitchell, former superintendent in western Tennessee, advanced to supervisor in October 2015 under Manager Gene Hayden. Sponsor/Vice President Larry Moore sponsors the Hayden Region.
Born and raised in Tennessee, James first joined the company in October 1993 when Asplundh acquired Blume Tree Services. He came aboard with over seven years of prior line clearance experience and by September 2005, he had advanced to regional safety superintendent. James became a field superintendent in January 2015 and ten months later was promoted to supervisor. He is currently responsible for overseeing Asplundh crews working on the systems of eight major municipal and cooperative accounts in the western part of the state. James is a graduate of the Management Leadership Academy and earned company recognition in 2006 for storm response.
in Michigan, was promoted to supervisor in November 2015 under Vice President Ray Schneider. Executive Vice President Chris Asplundh, Jr. sponsors the Schneider Region.
Derek Sanders, former general
foreperson in Illinois, advanced to supervisor in Iowa in December 2015 under Manager Joe Sterbenz. The Sterbenz Region is sponsored by Executive Vice President Gregg Asplundh. Derek came to work for Asplundh in February 2011 in his native state of Iowa and soon began polishing his natural athletic abilities to compete in ISA tree climbing competitions. By November 2013, he was promoted to general foreperson and his current supervisory responsibilities include overseeing Asplundh’s tree, spray, mowing and special project crews working on the MidAmerican Energy system in Iowa and Illinois. An ISA Certified Arborist, Derek is a June 2015 graduate of the General Foreperson Training Program and is a licensed pesticide applicator. He is working toward his Utility Specialist qualification and has attended Pinnacle Career Institute.
Tim Steele, former general foreperson in
Indiana, advanced to supervisor in October 2015 under Manager Robbie Adkins. Executive Vice President Chris Asplundh, Jr. sponsors the Adkins Region in Indiana and Ohio. Tim joined an Asplundh tree crew in his home state of Indiana in 2006. Within six years he had advanced to general foreperson and in March 2013, he graduated from the General Foreperson Training Program. His responsibilities as a supervisor include overseeing Asplundh tree crews working on the properties of Duke Energy and Vectren Energy Delivery, as well as several rural electric cooperatives in southern and central Indiana.
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
NEWSUPERVISORSINTHEFIELD Darrin Wilson, former regional safety
superintendent in parts of Indiana and Michigan, was promoted to supervisor in May 2015 under Manager Stephen Williams and Sponsor/Executive Vice President Gregg Asplundh. Darrin first came to work for Asplundh in Indiana in 1990 and then gained line clearance experience with a variety of contractors, rising to the level of general foreperson. In 2001, he came back to Asplundh when the company acquired Bartlett Tree Expert Co.’s line clearance operations, where he was a general foreperson at the time. Darrin completed the Asplundh Supervisory Training Program in May 2003 and in 2013, he was promoted to regional safety superintendent based in the Ft. Wayne / Muncie region of Indiana. Now, as a supervisor, he is responsible for overseeing tree crews working for AEP / Indiana Michigan Power and Heartland REMC in northeastern Indiana.
Mike Wohnus, former general foreperson in New Jersey, advanced to supervisor in November 2015 under Manager Ryan Swier. Executive Vice President Gregg Asplundh sponsors the Swier Region.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Mike got his start in the line clearance industry there in 1999. He gained experience with various vegetation management contractors and in 2010, Mike joined Asplundh as a foreperson. Four years later, he advanced to general foreperson and his current responsibilities as a supervisor include overseeing Asplundh transmission and distribution crews working for Public Service Electric and Gas, and distribution crews on the Jersey Central Power and Light system, both in New Jersey. Mike is an ISA Certified Arborist / Utility Specialist.
SPECIALRETIREMENTHONORS Doug Gober, sponsor / vice president
and 45-year Asplundh veteran, joined the honorable ranks of the retired in March. Chief Executive Officer Scott Asplundh paid tribute to Doug’s career and loyal service during the Managers’ Meeting in April. Doug started out as a brush cutter in February 1971 in his native state of Missouri. He entered the management ranks 11 years later with a promotion to general foreperson. In 1985, Doug transferred to Southern California as a supervisor and three years later, he came to the Willow Grove area with a promotion to manager of Asplundh operations in southeastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York. In 1991, Doug was elected vice president and in September 2004, he was one of three vice presidents chosen to join the headquarters’ executive team as a sponsor. For over 11 years, he oversaw several management regions in the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Doug and his wife, Linda, are enjoying golf and an active life around their “new” home in the Naples, Florida area, but maintain their ties to the Philadelphia area where their daughter, Nicole, lives and works.
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Kevin Dove, former vice president of
Asplundh operations in five northwestern states and Alaska, took up a new position as an Asplundh retiree in January. His sponsor for over 11 years, Vice President Doug Gober (newly retired), recognized Kevin for a total of 36 years of service to the company during the Managers’ Meeting in April. Kevin first joined an Asplundh tree crew in 1976 in Minnesota. He left the company in 1980 to work in Canada, but returned three years later. In 1994, Kevin advanced to general foreperson and five years later, he transferred to the Florida Panhandle with a promotion to supervisor. In 2004, Kevin was named manager over Asplundh operations in Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Nebraska. Seven years later, he was transferred to Oregon and in 2013, he moved to the Seattle area to oversee operations in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and parts of Oregon. Kevin and his wife, Grace, have moved back to his home town of Hudson, Wisconsin and they enjoy traveling to visit their three married sons and three grandchildren. He also has more time now to ride his Harley, fish and play golf.
Letters and telephone calls were received complimenting the following forepersons and their crews working on the property of the utility or organization listed below the employees’ names. This listing covers all Orchids that were received in the Corporate Communications Department between August 19, 2015 and January 27, 2016. For their outstanding job performance or special volunteer efforts, we say ... Thank you and congratulations! ARIZONA Tomas Ortiz and Crew, Salt River Project General Foreperson Branden Peters, Foreperson Fermin Lopez and Trimmer Esteban Perez, for safely removing a palm tree from the property of a historically difficult home owner, Salt River Project Supervisor Alex Teran, General Foreperson Branden Peters and Forepersons Francisco Covarrubias, Dominique Garcia, Julian Gutierrez, Guillermo Herrera, Eric Juedes and Fidel Ramirez, for removing and pruning storm damaged trees to make the playground and buildings safe at the Sojourner Center, a shelter supporting victims of domestic abuse, Salt River Project
ARKANSAS General Foreperson James Booher, Forepersons Soloman Meza and Holden Sanders, and Crews, Entergy Anthony Hoyt and Groundperson Bailey Breger, Entergy
BRITISH COLUMBIA Tahani George, Trimmer Dustin Oldham and Crew
Members Makwa George, Kurtis Larose and Weston Shupe, FortisBC Jamie Hicks, Saw Operator Curtis Damon and Climber Jho Bassett, Orca Sand & Gravel General Foreperson Ed Schroeder and Crews, for their continued support and hard work during the summertime forest fire season, FortisBC Craig Simpson and Crew, BC Hydro
COLORADO Daniel Alderman and Mike Warnock, Trimmer Marshall Evans and Groundperson Eric Cooper, City of Loveland Cesar Alvarado, Trimmer Luke Duran and Work Planner Justin DeBerry, Intermountain Rural Electric Association James Benton and Brian Skyberg, and Trimmer Daniel Leger, Grand Valley Power General Foreperson Frank Calhoun, Foreperson Craig Wheatley and Crew, City of Longmont (two letters were received)
Rogelio Gomez and Jose Reyes-Adame, and Crews, United Power General Foreperson Shaun Rapp, Foreperson Hayden Staggs, Trimmer Frederico Rivas and Work Planner Jeff Trent, United Power Jose Reyes-Adame and Trimmer Rogelio Solis, United Power Zac Sirignano and Trimmer Zach Smith, United Power Brian Skyberg and Trimmer Dan Leger, Grand Valley Power
CONNECTICUT ACC Small Job Foreperson Doug Evers and Journeyman Lineman Craig Smatulski, for coming to the aid of two elderly women by securing their vehicle that had rolled down an embankment with a sling and steel chain hoist until emergency responders arrived on the scene, Eversource Energy
DELAWARE ULCS Forepersons David Brantley and Thomas Moore, Equipment Operators Mike Campbell and Erick Lockwood, and Groundperson Glen Fitzcharles, Delmarva Power
FLORIDA Supervisors Jermaine Bennett, Gregory Pearson and Kenneth Wyatt, Compliance Specialist Erwin Hawley, RSS Stephen Iachetta, Administrative Assistant Stacie Stonesifer and Crews, for providing the STIHL Tour des Trees riders with a refreshing rest stop in Parrish on October 26 and Ft. Lauderdale on October 31, Volunteer Work Anacleto Castellon and Trimmer Santos Castellon, Florida Power & Light Supervisor Angel Garza, General Foreperson Chris Reid, Foreperson Hiram Montijo and Crews, for providing the STIHL Tour des Trees riders with a great rest stop in Polk City on October 25, Volunteer Work General Foreperson Ramon Velazquez-Rodriguez, Foreperson Adalberto Garcia and Trimmers Nelson Bolanos, Reiniel Marin, Sr. and Jorge Yuniel, Florida Power & Light
HAWAII General Foreperson Kali Finch, Forepersons Cy Andrade and Keola Decosta, and Trimmer Joel Same, Kauai Island Utility Co-op.
From a letter to Asplundh Canada ULC Vice President Remo Maddalozzo regarding the support of General Foreperson Ed Schroeder and crews during the summer forest fires in British Columbia:
From a letter to Manager John Hutchinson in Hawaii regarding the work of General Foreperson Kali Finch and crews for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative:
“This summer was one of the worst fire seasons I have seen in my career and the devastation in many B.C. communities was significant. ... I would like to extend thanks to you and your employees who put their best work forward to support FortisBC and the communities we serve during this stressful and potentially risky time. Your high quality of work and focus on safety was exemplary, especially given such challenging conditions.” Becky Douglas, Senior Manager - Supply Chain, FortisBC
“... I am writing to thank your crew for the truly well-done job they have done and are doing on our road. They’ve been so thorough in their trimming, clean-up and courtesy. ... They are quick to respond to local traffic needing to get by on this narrow muddy road of ours. I have told them how much the quality of their work is appreciated. ... No more sparks and fires in the tree tops, no more interrupted power.” Karla J. Rowan The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Orchids – August 19, 2015 through January 27, 2016 IDAHO Chris Henning and Trimmer Mat Eby, Avista Utilities
ILLINOIS General Foreperson Miguel Alvarez, Crew Leaders Kurtis Main and Don Matthews, and Trimmers Josh Demars, William Morgan and Roy Sullivan, ComEd General Foreperson Troy Rentfrow and Crew, MidAmerican Energy
INDIANA Travis Farling and Shawn McCune, Trimmer Charles Williamson, II, Journeyman Chris Couch and Groundperson Clayton McKinney, Duke Energy
IOWA General Foreperson Rob Benda and Trimmers Nathan Dailey and Joe Perez, MidAmerican Energy Chris Brown and Groundperson Kyle Chapman, MidAmerican Energy Ben Colbenson and Trimmers Elliott Glamm, Craig Hameister and John Webster, Allamakee-Clayton Electric Co-op. Trimmers Nathan Dailey and Joe Perez, MidAmerican Energy
KANSAS Brad George and Trimmer
Hugo Castillo, Westar Energy Jon Thompson and Crew, Westar Energy
KENTUCKY RSS Bill Johnson, for providing a variety of outstanding safety presentations to OMU employees, Owensboro Municipal Utilities
MARYLAND Journeyman Jim Haller and Crew, Baltimore Gas & Electric Crew Leader Richard Stotler and General Foreperson Kaleb Trail, for rescuing a cat that had been stuck in a tree for four days, Potomac Edison General Foreperson Holly Widener, Foreperson Pedro Ramos, Trimmer Robert Rosa-Furcal and Groundperson Jose Galicia, Pepco
MASSACHUSETTS Shon Erskine of Region 44 in Maine, for trying to prevent a truck driver from catching and pulling down two poles and a three-phase line, then convincing the truck driver to remain in his vehicle to avoid being shocked by the power lines, National Grid Mike Raczynski and Trimmer Matt Gould, National Grid
MICHIGAN Jon Harwood, Eric Leversee and Steve Nolan, Trimmer Richard Hodges and
From a letter to the Jeff Ness Region in Illinois about the crews under General Foreperson Miguel Alvarez, who work on ComEd property:
“... A very large branch from one of the trees in our backyard was rubbing on the ComEd power lines, causing sparks and small fires. From the first crew showing up to inspect the issue, to the crews that cut, sawed and neatly stacked the wood for us, we were very impressed. ... The crews were knowledgeable, helpful and highly professional. They went above and beyond their normal duties, even helping my husband stack some of the wood. ... He suffers from a bad back and is usually home all day with nothing much that he can do.” Tiffany and Anthony Gurske
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Groundperson Jacob Darda, Consumers Energy
MINNESOTA General Foreperson Cliff Larson, Foreperson Bill Higgins and Trimmers Chad Pasch and Corey Pietrzak, Connexus Energy General Foreperson Cliff Larson, Foreperson Doug Olsen and Trimmer Luke Brackee, Connexus Energy General Foreperson Randy Lehmann, Foreperson Jeremy Rollins and Groundperson Payton Smith, Centerpoint Energy General Foreperson Mike Palmer, Foreperson Adam Repp and Trimmer Tyler Serena, Xcel Energy General Foreperson Bob Turner, for his outstanding patience and customer service skills, Xcel Energy
NEBRASKA Wade Bliss and Jose Castillo, for assisting a woman who fell twice while walking until someone came to help her the rest of the way home, Omaha Public Power District Gerardo Lopez-Torres and Trimmer Jovanny Flores, Omaha Public Power District
NEW HAMPSHIRE Eric Barrow and Matt
Spinney, and Crews, Eversource Energy Nick Bishop and Crew, Eversource Energy Terry Cooper, Travis Goodfield and Shayne Townsend, Trimmers Jake Averill, Shawn Baker, Dylan Burke and Josh Stilwell, and Groundpersons Nathan Beaulier, Mike Prewitt, David Richardson and Tyler Tillberg, Eversource Energy Bradley Demo and Eric Prescott, and Crews, Unitil Chris Eisold, Trimmer Lee Elwood and Groundperson Chris Boivin, Eversource Energy Trimmer Kevin Erickson, Eversource Energy Jason Freeman and Mike Weston, and Crews, Unitil Ryan Hildreth, Jesse Kempf and Rodney Parrott, and Crews, Eversource Energy Trimmer Mikhial Melendy and Groundperson Jacob Curtis, Eversource Energy Brian Norris and Trimmer Jay Nault, Eversource Energy
NEW YORK Adam Briggs and Kim Denman, and Trimmers Louis Condes, Wesley Forshee and Tyler Jordan NYSEG
From a letter to Supervisor Jeff Holder of the Bobby King Region in Kentucky, regarding safety demonstrations conducted for Owensboro Municipal Utilities (OMU):
“... Over the years, we have enjoyed more of a working partnership. ... OMU has benefitted from this relationship by using the expertise of Asplundh’s safety team to assist OMU in training our employees. ... On several occasions, Bill Johnson has brought in a trailer and provided electrical hazard demonstrations. ... His willingness to share his knowledge and experience is appreciated and reflects positively on Asplundh.” Mark Miller, System Clearance Coordinator, Owensboro Municipal Utilities
Orchids – August 19, 2015 through January 27, 2016 James Morgan and Rick Vonbergen, and Trimmers Chris Thomson, Jr. and Jerome Whitaker, PSEG Long Island
Jose Melgar and Mark Staton, Foreperson Rudy Argueta and Journeyman Reynaldo Espinal, Duke Energy
Eric Thoman and Crew, Oneida-Madison Electric Co-op. (two letters were received)
General Foreperson Roger Jenkins, Foreperson Charles Cummings and Trimmer Chris Owens, Duke Energy Progress
NORTH CAROLINA Permissions Persons Cliff Billings and Josh Latham, for spotting a cracked distribution pole while re-clearing a right-of-way in August, EnergyUnited General Foreperson Jeremy Chambers, Foreperson Jeremy Worley, Trimmers Miles Gibson, Corey Morgan and Bobby Seitler, and Groundperson Jesse Gibson, Duke Energy General Foreperson Paul Coe and Crew, Duke Energy Devan Cunningham, Josh Epps, Detmar Exner, Chase Hembree, Travis Mason and Julius Mims, Work Planner Bobby Manning, and Apprentices Bruce Hollifield, Benny Queen, Jimmy Queen and Jonathon Robbs, Duke Energy General Foreperson Randolph Emanuel and Crews, Duke Energy Progress General Foreperson Ronnie Guin and Crews, Duke Energy General Foreperson Keith Hondik, Work Planners
Aaron Palmer, William Stafford, Floyd Tate and William Toney, III, Trimmers Joseph Byrd, Tommy Moore and Dylan Towery, Apprentices Jordan Gorman, Edwin Henderson, Tim McPeters and Derrick Woods Brown, Duke Energy General Foreperson Mike Pennington and Crew, Duke Energy General Foreperson Steven Brian Ricks, for helping emergency responders get to the scene where an elderly woman fell down some steps and broke her leg, but the husband was confused and couldn’t remember their address, Duke Energy General Foreperson Mike Somers, Forepersons Danny Holman and George “Marty” Sumner, Trimmer Kyle Davis, Journeyman Chris Evans and Work Planner Mike Silver, Duke Energy General Foreperson Blake Wood and Permissions Person Justin Hayes, Duke Energy
OHIO James Blake, Jr. and Dennis Scaggs, and Crews, South Central Power Moises Calderon and David Carrizales, and Trimmers Josepiel Gonzalez and Alberto Guzman, Duke Energy Ben Coppola and Andy Rutter, Trimmers Joel Coppola, Robert Gerren and Eric Phelps, and Groundperson Mike Clark, AEP Ohio James Jackson and Crew, Duke Energy
OREGON Jeff Fritz, Trimmer Gary Holmes and Apprentice Levi Creswell, Private Work Tim Smith and Trimmer Rebecca Yanosko, Portland General Electric
PENNSYLVANIA General Foreperson Carlos Bonilla, Foreperson Jose Reyes and Trimmers Jerry Doyle and Julio Espinosa, PECO Jeffrey Compton, Jr. and Kevin Wernett, Journeymen Erin Long and Kier Stenger, Groundperson Chad Zeruth and Flagger Victor Rivera, PPL Electric Utilities Sean Cowan and Chris Wood, and Crews, PECO
Rob Hackenberger and Randy Weiland, Trimmers Kevin Kline and Bob Pannebaker, and Work Planner Shane Cherry, PPL Electric Utilities Fleet Services Remarketing Supervisor Jacky Foley, for her excellent communication skills while helping a vendor over the phone, Quick Attach Attachments General Foreperson Elwood Hess, Forepersons Domingo Gonzalez, Josh Santiago, Nick Thompson and Angel Velazquez, Trimmer Danial Pavon, Journeyman David McShaw and Apprentices Scott Petrie and Shon Scipio, PPL Electric Utilities Crew Leader Tony Major and Crew, Penn Power Sean Pickar and Crew, PECO Dave Sliwinski, Sr. and Dave Sliwinski, Jr. and Crews, PECO Crew Leaders Jim Spargur and Tim Wiltrout, and Trimmers Rob Kraft, Bill Miller and Nathan Wilt, Sr., West Penn Power General Foreperson Jason Warner, Forepersons Larry Beegle, Gregorio Chala-Castillo and Tim Taylor, and Trimmers Juan Negron and Chad Williams, PPL Electric Utilities
General Foreperson Koby Cutchall, Forepersons
From a phone call to the Barry Suddreth Region in North Carolina regarding the work of General Foreperson Jeremy Chambers and crew for Duke Energy in Fletcher, North Carolina:
From an e-mail to the Home Office in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania about Forepersons James Blake, Jr., Dennis Scaggs and their crews from the Mike Wolford area working for South Central Power in Ohio:
“... These guys were very knowledgeable of their job and of their safety. They worked very hard all day long and never complained about anything. Customer stated that her yard looks 10 [times] better than before we came out. She was just so impressed. ... She also stated the things that the guys did to ensure their safety while cutting down trees was so amazing.” Linda Moratto
“... We recently had two crews at our cabin in the Hocking Hills area. The crews were very courteous and professional. It is good to see that there are still some outfits out there that value customers. The crews were here to clear power lines, and the foreperson made sure that we knew at all times when they were working in relation to our cabin. They cleaned up the debris and any mess that they made. Awesome job, guys!” Jeff Ostrander and Brenda Mohney The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Orchids – August 19, 2015 through January 27, 2016 SOUTH CAROLINA General Foreperson Anthony Wieland and Crews, Berkeley Electric Cooperative
TEXAS Supervisor George Delgado, Forepersons Patrick Cooper and Miguel Solis, and Groundpersons Deandre Davis and Cody Rosscup, Entergy General Foreperson Alberto Torres, Jr., for his excellent customer service skills, Oncor Electric Delivery General Foreperson Tony Vail, Forepersons Chris Vega and Johnny Ybanez, Trimmers Leonard Green and Tony Mata, and Groundperson Jacques Roberson, AEP Texas
VERMONT Jason Messier and Trimmer Josh Pike, for rescuing a cat that had been stuck in a tree for two days, Green Mountain Power
VIRGINIA Gustavo Bolanos, Luis Castro and James Loving, and Trimmer Jose Benavidez, Dominion Virginia Power Mike Johns and Trimmers Daniel McGuire and Mike Nash, Appalachian Power Co. David McFall and Journeyman Billy Agee, Appalachian Power Co.
General Foreperson Lee Robertson, Foreperson Curtis Jones, Trimmer Shawn Wade, Journeymen Dewitt Baldwin and Thomas Whitehead, and Groundperson Rebecca Franceschina, Virginia DOT Roy Vega and Crew, Dominion Virginia Power
WASHINGTON Jeremy Barriault and Crew, Puget Sound Energy General Foreperson Steve Blum, Forepersons Jerold Langley and Dave Wilson, and Crews, Puget Sound Energy John Elliott and Spray Helper Roland Pfulmann, Puget Sound Energy Tom Espey and Trimmer Derek Bedford, Puget Sound Energy Lonny Poling and Crew, Puget Sound Energy Manager Shawn Shapiro, Supervisors Reggie Charlesworth and Mike Roosendaal, General Forepersons Steve Blum, Randy Clark, Jamie Culp, Ken Dillinger, Rob Fly, Kris Hanson, Lonny Poling, Matt Trowbridge and Roger Winans, Forepersons Marc Geoffrion, Mike Kelly and Wayne Spoelstra, Trimmers Evan Aaltonen, Shane Hale, Mike Maybin and Sean Reavy, Mower Operator Larry Auld and Groundpersons Eric
From an e-mail to AEP Texas about General Foreperson Tony Vail and his crews from the Allen LeBlanc Region in Corpus Christi:
“Two days ago, Asplundh completed a dead tree removal in the easement in my backyard. ... After completion, the crew left before I could thank them for a job well done. In effect, they did an excellent job of tree removal, took extreme care not to damage surrounding landscape and heavy debris clean-up was very thorough. Asplundh appears to be a valuable asset to AEP’s workforce.” Andy Cayce
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Baker and Teri Kannor, for volunteering their time to chip Christmas trees and greenery to support the Boy Scouts of America Troop 572 in the Kirkland area, Volunteer Work
WEST VIRGINIA General Foreperson Allen Bradley, Foreperson Brandon Adkins and Groundpersons Clyde Bartram and Billy Jack Ellis, Appalachian Power Co. Robert Hershberger and Jamie Stowell, Trimmer Ryan Colmer and Groundperson William Croft, Potomac Edison
WISCONSIN Justin Strobel and Trimmer Rick Carlson, We Energies
STORM WORK August 2015 — Thunderstorm
General Foreperson Jimmy Fallin, Foreperson Cecil Elgin and Trimmers Tyler Brumfield and Derrick Ross, for their excellent work cleaning up downed limbs and debris following a strong thunderstorm in the Ridgeway area, Appalachian Power Co. (VA) September 2015 — Windstorm
General Forepersons Adam Hildebrand, John Hildebrand and Steve Later, and Crews, for clearing trees and limbs downed onto power lines by a windstorm, allowing power to be safely restored to
over 700,000 customers in the Lower Mainland and parts of Vancouver Island in 72 hours, BC Hydro (Canada) (two letters were received) October 2015
Trimmer Nichols Baruso and Crew, for taking down a tree that had caught fire following a storm in Syosset, PSEG Long Island (NY) ULCS General Foreperson Whit Stilwell, Foreperson Lineman William “Bubba” Shields and Crews, for their communication, attention to safety and tireless work to restore power following a wind and rain storm in the Matthews area, Duke Energy (NC) November 2015
Jose Villa and Trimmer Francisco Arambula, for removing a high-risk tree that could have contacted the power lines during a snowstorm, NV Energy (NV) General Foreperson Kipp Dennis, Foreperson Larry Whitney and Crews, for quickly and safely removing a 110-foot ponderosa pine that was leaning toward a home in the Spokane area after being buffeted by heavy winds and rain, Avista Utilities (WA) January 2016 — Winter Storm Jonas
Trimmer Steve Collazo, for efficiently assigning crews and dispatching jobs during the Winter Storm Jonas restoration efforts in the Long Island area, PSEG Long Island (NY)
From an e-mail to the Wes Turner Region office regarding the work of Forepersons Robert Hershberger and Jamie Stowell, and their crews on the property of Potomac Edison in West Virginia:
“... Thank you for cutting around my pets’ graves and not tearing them up. It is very much appreciated. It warms my heart to know that there are such kind people like you all, who took the time to go out of your way so their resting places wouldn’t be messed up. Thank you all so much. You guys have earned all my respect and gratitude. It really means a lot.” Ginger Seibel
SERVICE ANNIVERSARIES 45YEARS
January – June 1971, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991 and 1996
Larry Beegle Foreperson Pennsylvania
Larry Moore Sponsor/Vice President Willow Grove
Ronald Dehart Crew Leader Pennsylvania
Samuel Williamson Foreperson Kentucky
Joe Schneider Vice President Wisconsin
Gerry Blase Sr. Project Manager Railroad Florida
Danny Terwilliger, Sr. Crew Leader Pennsylvania
Frank Devine Foreperson Pennsylvania
David Fox, Sr. Foreperson Virginia
Kenneth Miller Foreperson Ohio
Jerry Montague Foreperson North Carolina
Curtis Bain Foreperson North Carolina
James McQuown Crew Leader Pennsylvania
Randy Schwindemann Foreperson New York
Michael Smith Foreperson Tennessee The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
30YEARS Andrew Anthony Supervisor Louisiana
Steven Asplundh President UtiliCon Solutions, Ltd. Willow Grove
Kevin Booher Supervisor Ohio
Bill Curran General Foreperson Pennsylvania
Joe Dwyer CFO Willow Grove
Greg Hallstein RSS New York
Daniel Hernandez Foreperson Missouri
Elwood “Chuck” Hess General Foreperson Pennsylvania
Charles Higdon, Jr. General Foreperson Maryland
David Karikas Foreperson New York
Glen Koski Trimmer Michigan
Edwin Martinez Foreperson Florida
David Morland Spray Foreperson Pennsylvania
Benny Newton Foreperson Asplundh Brush Control New York
Robert Newton Foreperson Asplundh Brush Control New York
Mark Perisho Trimmer Kansas
Susan Potter Administrative Coordinator Asplundh Brush Control New York
George Roe General Foreperson New York
Rois Thompsen Supervisor Virginia
Douglas Brooks Foreperson Arkansas
Rodney Busch Foreperson Washington
Jerry Cerna General Foreperson Oklahoma
Geoffrey Eads Foreperson Missouri
Ralph Edwards Foreperson West Virginia
Oscar Gonzalez Foreperson Virginia
Ralph Guadagno Vice President Massachusetts
Nick Hansen General Foreperson Oregon
Laurence Harris General Foreperson Massachusetts
David Kelley General Foreperson Mississippi
Gene Kopacz Foreperson Wisconsin
Edward Matysik Equipment Operator Asplundh Construction Pennsylvania
Charles McGee, Jr. Foreperson Alabama
Daniel McGuire General Foreperson Florida
Oscar Medina Trimmer Florida
Mark Meister Foreperson Washington
Troy Norwood Foreperson Arkansas
Michael Ray General Foreperson Asplundh Brush Control New York
Robert Reimer Trimmer Washington
Ernie Riddle, Jr. Supervisor Delaware
John Rountree, Jr. Foreperson Missouri
Mark Turner Supervisor Asplundh Brush Control New Hampshire
Gary Willard Foreperson Massachusetts
Michael Wolford Manager West Virginia
Ted Adamson Groundperson Kentucky
Randy Baker Foreperson Kentucky
James Blevins General Foreperson Tennessee
Robert Boivin, Jr. General Foreperson Maine
Jared Brateng Foreperson Wisconsin
Matthew Carlson Foreperson Kansas
Johnny Carter Foreperson Georgia
Kevin Combs Foreperson Kentucky
George Cunningham General Foreperson Georgia
Charles Esler, Jr. Foreperson Pennsylvania
Vencil Foxworthy Foreperson Missouri
Jason Grant Trimmer Asplundh Brush Control New York
Jesse Griffin Shop Manager Musgrove Construction Florida
Daniel Griffiths General Foreperson New York
Timothy Groce Trimmer Pennsylvania
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
20YEARS Robert Hackenberger Foreperson Pennsylvania
Richard Hilliard General Foreperson Florida
Jeffery Hughes RSS Ohio
Robert Johns Journeyman Pennsylvania
Arcadio Juvier Foreperson Florida
Scott Kemna General Foreperson North Carolina
Jimmy King Foreperson Oklahoma
Curtis Kio Groundperson Pennsylvania
Jon Kissel Foreperson Wisconsin
Betsy Kosyla Group Leader Accounts Payable Willow Grove
Bill Lewis, Sr. Foreperson Delaware
Ryan McCarty Foreperson Pennsylvania
Thomas McGahan Foreperson Asplundh Brush Control New York
Randy McGinnis Crew Leader Pennsylvania
Jason Mims General Foreperson Alabama
Neil Mooers Foreperson New Hampshire
William Owens Trimmer Pennsylvania
Scott Pohl Journeyman Lineman Asplundh Construction New York
Pedro Ramos Foreperson Maryland
Kevin Redditt Trimmer Virginia
William Reed Groundperson North Carolina
Ellen Reeves Data Entry Clerk Billing Input Willow Grove
Robert Runyan Crew Leader Pennsylvania
Willie Salgado Work Planner Florida
Jeremy Satterfield Foreperson West Virginia
Craig Scott Foreperson Asplundh Construction New York
James Stuettgen Trimmer Wisconsin
Gerald Tabor Trimmer Washington
Harry Thaxton Trimmer North Carolina
Craig Vickers Trimmer Illinois
Jack Watson Work Planner Florida
Randy Weiand Foreperson Pennsylvania
u Correction—The storm work in this photo was wrongly attributed to BC Hydro in the Holiday 2015 issue of The Asplundh TREE magazine. The work was performed for FortisBC. Here is the corrected caption: p Fleet Services And Kirk Region Aid Local Football Team—When the Jefferson Forest Cavalier Club in Forest, Virginia needed help installing the new sponsor signboard at the high school’s stadium last August, one of their coaches had an idea of who to call for help. That coach was none other than Asplundh Fleet Technical Response Center Supervisor Tony Taylor, who contacted the Larry Kirk Region to see if some of his employees, aided by aerial lift trucks, would help finish the job. Supervisor Mike Meador, Superintendent William “Duck” Ailstock and General Forepersons Chuck McMaster and Lee Robertson donated three evenings after work to raise, install and bolt the crossbars. Their efforts kept the project on-time and without added cost to the club.
FortisBC Operations Manager, R/W Maintenance Mike MacDonald snapped this dramatic shot of Foreperson Kevin Major pruning storm-damaged limbs out of a massive willow tree. The work was required after a localized thunderstorm with high winds plowed into the Remo Maddalozzo Region in Kelowna, British Columbia on May 23. If you look closely, you can see the front license plate of a car that had the misfortune to be under the limbs of the willow that failed. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
CREWS & NEWS
HOMEOFFICEHONORS u Home Office Employee Of The Year—Senior Accountant Valerie Grasso of the Field Accounting Department is the 2015 Home Office Employee of the Year. She was presented with the award on December 10 at the Holiday Assembly by Manager of Financial Reporting and Vegetation Management Field Accounting Joe McCall and Senior Accountant Kevin Fitzpatrick. Along with a specially-engraved plaque, Valerie received a $1,000 cash prize for her outstanding efforts.
p Vining Region Comes To Shelter’s Aid—Several trees at the Sojourner Center, a domestic violence shelter in Phoenix, Arizona, were severely damaged after the remnants of Hurricane Patricia passed through the area. When the non-profit organization contacted the Jeff Vining Region for help, Supervisor Alex Teran, General Foreperson Branden Peters and Forepersons Francisco Covarrubias, Dominique Garcia, Julian Gutierrez, Guillermo Herrera, Eric Juedes and Fidel Ramirez stepped up to lend a hand. The group volunteered their time on October 31 to remove five trees and prune two others to make the center’s playground and property safe for the folks who rely on these facilities.
pu Asplundh Regions Chip In To Support Local Tree Recycling Programs—Every year, Asplundh crews across North America assist Christmas tree and greenery recycling programs in their local communities. These programs keep trees out of landfills and provide a variety of benefits to local residents. p Employees from the David Fulford Region of Colorado spent four days in January at the Garden of the Gods parking lot of Rockledge Ranch helping Colorado Springs Utilities and the City of Colorado Springs with their annual Christmas tree recycling program. Trimmers Cody Gallagher and Garrett Payton and Journeyman Abraham Villegas were just a few of the folks from the Fulford Region who chipped up trees and greenery into mulch that residents could use on their properties. 18
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
p Home Office Employees Of The Month—Meet the latest group of hard-working employees recognized as an Employee of the Month for providing superior support to our field and internal operations. They are (L to R): Lucy Lowney of Human Resources-Compliance, who was recognized during the Holiday Assembly in December 2015; Colleen Isabella of Field Accounting, who received the award in January 2016; Lee Sheppleman of Risk Management, who was named in February; and Jared Mason of the Customer & Field Liaison Department, who was honored in March. Congratulations to all of our winners! u The Shawn Shapiro Region in Washington state continued their long-standing support of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 572’s annual Christmas tree collection. For a donation that helps pay for BSA summer camp, the scouts pick up Christmas trees from residents in the Kirkland, Washington area, then have the trees chipped to create mulch for the local park system. Shown above are the folks at the Kirkland chipping station, and the bottom photo is of the employees at the Snoqualmie chipping station. These kind-hearted volunteers managed to chip over 700 trees, ensuring a bounty of mulch for the parks that need it.
p September 2015 GFTP—The General Foreperson Training Program was held on September 14-18 at the Home Office in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. The graduates were (front row, L to R): Anthony Martinez, Colorado; Chris Mason, Ohio; Harvey Nicholas, West Virginia; Dave Wheeler, New York; Andrew Peaster, Oklahoma; Kevin Runt, Wisconsin; and Izzy Martinez, Florida. Standing in the back row were (L to R): Danny Parker, West Virginia; Blake Wood, North Carolina; Judd Miller, Illinois; Lewis Williams, Maryland; Chris Gaston, Pennsylvania; Matt Hutcherson, Kentucky; Darrell Thomas, Pennsylvania; Donnie Wright, Oklahoma; Rich Haas, New York; Phil Jackson, Pennsylvania; and Mike Carroll, Indiana.
p October 2015 AATP—Director of Human Resources-Personnel Sallie Theis led the Administrative Assistant Training Program on October 12-16. Held at the Home Office in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, the attendees were (back row, L to R): Scott Parham, Alabama; Chrissy Bowers, Willow Grove; Lori Cottrell, West Virginia; Jessica Williams, Oklahoma; Robert Bonadies, ACC, Connecticut; Brooke Nodtvedt, ALS, Pennsylvania; Doreen Cruz, ACC, California; and Rachel Smith, North Carolina. Seated in the front row were (L to R): Stacie Stonesifer, Florida; Mary Elston, New York; Cara Trail, Maryland; Ashleigh Abbott, ULCS, Delaware; Amy Verbeten, ULCS, Maryland; Debra Forehan, Pennsylvania; Christy Skorupski, Mississippi; and Anne Frazier, Indiana.
p November 2015 GFTP—On November 9-13, Personnel Supervisor Chad Kinney led the General Foreperson Training Program at the Home Office in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. The attendees were (back row, L to R): Justin Ebbinghaus, Missouri; Jeff Lindsey, Jr., Ohio; Chris Brockway, Oregon; Josh Merrill, North Carolina; Nate Roski, Ohio; Henry Ramey, Railroad Division, West Virginia; and Rey Arroyo, Oklahoma. Seated in the front row were (L to R): Ronnie Cruz, Pennsylvania; Ramsey Bacon, Georgia; Jorge Vasquez, Maryland; Delmer Harris, West Virginia; Jose Abrego, Florida; Omar Martinez, Texas; and Jim Sallie, Tennessee.
p Pepco Annual Worker Training—Asplundh crews from the Steve Miller Region in Maryland and the District of Columbia were invited to participate in Pepco’s annual worker training on November 3, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. Pepco is a Tree Line USA utility due to their commitment to best practices in utility arboriculture. To maintain their Tree Line USA standing, Pepco holds annual worker training so their employees and contractors continue to deliver reliable power service while protecting the urban forest. Asplundh Technical Services Manager Geoff Kempter conducted a talk about proper pruning practices, while General Forepersons Luis Bonilla and Holly Widener discussed job briefing. Pepco took the lead on desired species and electrical equipment identification, then electrified the crowd (figuratively speaking) with a live-line demonstration (shown above). t November 2015 AATP—On November 2-6, Director of Human Resources-Personnel Sallie Theis coordinated the Administrative Assistant Training Program in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. The participants were (front row, L to R): Courtney Callahan, ALS, Florida; Diane Francis, Railroad Division, Ontario, Canada; Whitney Narup, Missouri; Jackie Tobben, Missouri; Lorie Davis, Wisconsin; and Dee McDaniel, Illinois. Standing in the back row were (L to R): Stephanie Gallo, Pennsylvania; Scott Parham, Alabama; Rena Parente, Virginia; Melinda Simmonds, ACC, Connecticut; Angel Smith, Indiana; and Mae Sobataka, Virginia. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
p Manager Mike Wolford (R) shook hands with General Foreperson Johnny Singleton (center, January 1985) as Supervisor John Belton (L) joined in to present Johnny with a specially-engraved watch in appreciation of 30 years of service. Johnny oversees crews in the Gassaway, West Virginia area on Mon Power property.
p Foreperson Roy Fite (R, January 1985) was taken out to lunch by Manager Bobby King (L) and Owen Electric Cooperative (OEC) Manager of Right-of-Way Services Daryl Satchwell (center), where he was presented with a specially-engraved watch for 30 years of loyal service. Roy runs a crew on OEC property in Kentucky.
p Bobby (L) and Daryl (center) had the privilege of recognizing another 30-year veteran at that luncheon. This time, General Foreperson Jerry Beverly (R, February 1985), who also oversees crews on OEC property in Kentucky, was the deserving recipient of a specially-engraved watch to mark his dedicated service to Asplundh.
p Supervisor Matt Hinman (L, March 1985) received a hearty handshake of gratitude from Vice President Jim Winemiller (R) along with a specially-engraved watch to mark his 30 th anniversary with Asplundh. Matt supervises crews on the City Utilities of Springfield, Missouri system and several rural electric cooperatives in southern Missouri and southern Illinois.
p Foreperson Dave Moats (center, May 1985) was honored for his 30 th anniversary at Asplundh with the presentation of a specially-engraved watch by Manager Mike Wolford (L) and Supervisor John Belton (R). Dave and his crew work on Mon Power property in West Virginia.
p Manager Keith Confere (L) and General Foreperson Tom Lacy (R) treated Foreperson William E. Gallimore (center, June 1985) to lunch, then presented him with a speciallyengraved watch as a thank you for 30 years of service to Asplundh. William works on the property of AEP Ohio.
p Foreperson Steve Anderson (center, July 1985) was presented with a specially-engraved watch for 30 years of outstanding service by Supervisor Don Behling (R) and General Foreperson Bill Stanley (L). Steve works in the Mike Zehler Region of New York, overseeing a crew on Central Hudson Gas & Electric property.
p (From L) Trimmer Paul Merrill, General Foreperson Scott Alger and (from R) National Grid Forester Bob Baker joined Supervisor Don Behling in the presentation of a specially-engraved watch to Foreperson Keith Langdon (center, August 1985) for 30 years of loyal service to Asplundh. Keith works in the Mike Zehler Region on National Grid / Niagara Mohawk property in New York.
p At the July 2015 Board Meeting, Executive Vice President Gregg Asplundh (second from L, June 1985) was recognized for 30 years of dedicated service to the corporation. He received a handshake of appreciation and a specially-engraved watch from Chairman of the Board Chris Asplundh (second from R), along with congratulations from CEO Scott Asplundh (far L) and President George Graham (far R). 20
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
p General Foreperson Heath York (L, September 1985) received a specially-engraved watch and a handshake of appreciation from Vice President Jim Winemiller (R) in recognition of his 30 th service anniversary with Asplundh. Heath oversees crews working on Crawford Electric Cooperative property in Missouri.
p Foreperson Angel Reyes (center, August 1985) received a specially-engraved watch for 30 years of loyal service to Asplundh along with a handshake of appreciation from Manager Brian Walters (L) and congratulations from Supervisor Andrew Anthony (R). Angel has worked his entire career on the property of Entergy Transmission in Louisiana.
p Vice President Joe Lentz (L, September 1985) was recognized by Executive Vice President Brent Asplundh (R) for 30 years of dedicated service with the presentation of a specially-engraved watch during a visit to the Home Office last October. Joe oversees the Arborchem Products Division, responsible for marketing herbicide products and equipment nationwide.
p Supervisor Greg Pearson (R) had the pleasure of treating Trimmer Saphete Noel (center, October 1985) to lunch to mark his 30 th anniversary with Asplundh. Following the meal, Manager Tim Jessup (L) presented him with a specially-engraved watch as a small token of appreciation. Saphete has worked his entire career on the property of Florida Power & Light.
p At his Region’s Annual General Foreperson Meeting, Manager Mike Wolford (second from R) proudly presented General Foreperson Richard Varner (center, October 1985) with a specially-engraved watch for 30 years of loyal service to Asplundh. Also on hand to offer their congratulations were (L to R): Supervisor John Belton, Corporate Safety Consultant Chuck Combs and RSS Sammy Roy. Richard oversees crews on Mon Power property in West Virginia.
p Customer & Field Liaison (CFL) Senior Regional Administrator Frencine Strother (L) and Manager of Special Projects Lisa Lamberton (R) both joined Asplundh in October 1985, so it was fitting for them to be feted together at a special celebration held in their honor. CFL Manager Angelo Mattioli (center) had the pleasure of presenting the duo with specially-engraved watches.
p The IT Department held a special luncheon on October 9, 2015 to celebrate the 30 th anniversaries of Technical Assistant Liz Pellicone (R) and Manager of Financial Systems Pete Pellicone (L). Liz and Pete, who both joined the company in October 1985, were all smiles as VP/CIO George Gunther (center) gave them each their own specially-engraved watch.
p Cake, flowers and festive decorations in the Accounts Payable Department in the Home Office helped set the scene of AP Specialist Debbie Schultz’s (R, October 1985) 30 th anniversary with Asplundh. As a token of appreciation, AP Manager Sue Mann (L) presented Debbie with a specially-engraved watch for her dedicated service.
p Executive Vice President Brent Asplundh (R) presented Manager Ed Bradshaw (L, November 1985) with a specially-engraved watch in honor of his 30 th anniversary with the company. Ed currently manages Asplundh crews working in parts of Kansas, Missouri and Colorado for Kansas City Power & Light, Westar Energy and various municipal, cooperative and pipeline accounts. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
p Asplundh Is A Hit At Touch-A-Truck Event—Last August, the City of Eden, North Carolina held it’s first annual Touch-A-Truck event. For the admission price of a non-perishable food item to support the Kids Backpack Food Program, children had the opportunity get up close and explore a variety of big vehicles, including fire trucks, tractors, rescue vehicles and an Asplundh aerial lift truck and chipper, of course. General Foreperson Mike Somers of the Barry Suddreth Region volunteered his time to bring these equipment pieces to the event and answer questions about Asplundh posed by curious kids young and old alike. The Touch-A-Truck was such a success the second annual event has been scheduled for August 20, 2016.
p Wolford Crew Recognized For Aiding Lost Toddler—(L to R) Mon Power Forester Matt Cummons joined Supervisor John Belton in presenting Trimmer Brandon Knotts, Forepersons Carl Vest and Russell Bolyard and General Foreperson Greg Jones with Cabela’s gift cards, hats and a pair of gloves for safely reuniting a lost child with its mother. On a chilly, rainy day last October, the crew was performing manual work for Mon Power in a back lot area of a trailer park in Morgantown, West Virginia. The crew saw the toddler walk into their work area, carrying a ball and wearing only a diaper. They immediately stopped all work, and Russell took the child through the park until he found its mother, who had no idea that her toddler had wondered away. We are very glad that the crew was aware of their surroundings and took appropriate action. u Last October, Work Planner Mitchell Moore from the Larry Kirk Region spotted this albino doe while planning work along an AEP/ Appalachian Power distribution line in Clendenin, West Virginia. Mitchell continues to see the pure white deer while conducting his work, which is surprising. It’s white fur really stands out and should make it an easy target for hunters. However, Mitchell says that the doe frequents a no-hunting zone area, and that has probably helped it avoid being harvested. 22
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
WILDLIFECORNER u Williams Region Re-nests Owlet—In April 2016, the Moraine Ridge Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (MRWRC) in Valparaiso, Indiana took custody of a nestling Great Horned Owl that had fallen out of a tree after its nest broke off from a 50-foot high branch. They knew how to care for the nestling, but not how to get it back into the tree. The MRWRC thought an aerial lift would be ideal to install a new nest for the owlet, so they contacted Nipsco. One call to the Stephen Williams Region of Asplundh and Forepersons Cesar Calderon and Chris Rettker and Trimmer Andri Diaz-Carrillo were on board to help. With direction from the MRWRC, the crew installed the new nest and replaced the nestling in it. The mother owl soon found the owlet in its new nest and began caring for it again. t Why Did The Bear Cross The Road?—No one knows why, but it gave Foreperson Kevin Brown of the Shawn Shapiro Region the opportunity to capture this amazing photo. Last fall, Kevin and his crew were performing ROW mowing and high-risk tree removals in Yellowstone National Park in Montana for NorthWestern Energy. That’s when Kevin saw the 25-year-old grizzly bear known to locals and visitors as “Scarface”. Sadly, Scarface was shot by a hunter just outside the park shortly after this photo was taken, but at least Kevin has a fantastic memento of this great beast. u Supervisor Mike King harvested this impressive 12-point buck last November while bow hunting in Nicholas County, Kentucky. Even field dressed, this buck still weighed in at 200 lbs. and scored 170 on the Pope & Young scale. When not stalking his prey, Mike oversees crews working in central and eastern Kentucky on investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utility accounts in the Bobby King Region.
FAMILYALBUM t When Foreperson David Leverett from the Wilmer McWhirter Region went to pick up a new truck for work, his son, Carson, 6, was excited to join his dad for the ride. Donning a hard hat and work gloves, Carson was ready for anything the trip might throw his way. His preparedness could be inherited as his grandfather, Mike Leverett, also works in the McWhirter Region as a general foreperson. Both David and Mike oversee crews on Georgia Power property in the Middle Georgia area.
u It’s never too early to teach children the importance of proper PPE. Four-year-old Olivia Kenzie loves wearing PPE and helping her dad, Foreperson Rickey Pierce, Jr., and “Papaw,” General Foreperson Rickey Pierce, Sr., with tree work on their property. Both Rickey, Sr. and Rickey, Jr. work in the Bobby King Region on Kentucky Power property in the Pikeville area.
t ArborMetrics Solutions Utility Forester Andy Laub not only works on NIPSCO property, but he’s also a customer. Last year, Andy was asked to plan line clearance work along distribution lines that run through his property in Lowell, Indiana. It required the removal of one of his trees, so Andy saw the opportunity to create a unique family portrait using sections of the tree as props. Andy (standing, center) is shown here with (counterclockwise from L) son Jude, 4, wife Heidi, and daughters Josephine, 7, and Elysia, 8. u General Foreperson Corey Parsons received an Asplundh beanie as a holiday gift from his region office. Later on, he popped the hat on his two-year-old son, Bayne, and took this great photo. It’s no surprise that Bayne looks good in the hat, as “orange blood” runs in his family. His grandfather is Manager Les Parsons, who oversees crews in northern Ohio and parts of western Pennsylvania. His uncle, Dustin, is a GF like Bayne’s dad. Corey looks after crews on Ohio Edison transmission property in the Akron area.
u Ernesto and Rosa Castanon are proud to announce the birth of their second child, daughter Jimea. Born on July 8, 2015, weighing 7 lbs., 4 oz, she was also welcomed into the family by her proud older brother, Alexander, 4. Ernesto works in the Joe Sterbenz Region as a trimmer on Lincoln Electric System property in Nebraska.
t The Sterbenz Family sent an update to their photo (far L), which ran in the Spring 2003 issue of The Asplundh TREE magazine. The 2003 photo was taken on Cheynne’s (center) first day of kindergarten. Dad (and Asplundh Manager) Joe asked Cheynne, who is now 18, to recreate the shot with her siblings Kateari (far L), 25, and Marcus (far R), 15, on the first day of her senior year of high school. Joe manages operations on investor-owned, cooperative, municipal and pipeline accounts in Iowa, Nebraska and parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. u If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, then Curtis Draeger of the Joe Schneider Region in Wisconsin is the bee’s knees in the eyes of his five-year-old stepson, Deegan. Dressed in a hard hat with ear protection and a “hi-vis” t-shirt made with duct tape, Deegan gives a thumbs up to his stepdad and all of the other Asplundh folks out there who work safe everyday. Curtis is a trimmer on Wisconsin Public Service property in the north central area. t The “orange and black” theme goes beyond the Asplundh work truck in the Perdue home, all the way to their favorite football team. Work Planner Steve Perdue, Jr. (center) from the Robbie Adkins Region in Ohio, is shown here sporting his Cincinnati Bengals pride with his daughters, Presley Breanne (L), 4, and Mallory Grace (R), 7 months. Steve, Jr. works in the northern greater Cincinnati area on Duke Energy property. His father and grandpa to these two ladies, Steve Perdue, Sr., is a general foreperson in the Adkins Region on City of Hamilton property. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Congratulations and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement to all the retirees listed here!
Foreperson, Texas First employed April 1999 Retired October 2015
Trimmer, Michigan First employed February 1997 Retired November 2015
General Foreperson, Texas Foreperson, Oregon First employed November 1976 First employed August 1980 Retired January 2016 Retired December 2015
Trimmer, Pennsylvania First employed January 1977 Retired January 2016
Utility Lines Construction Services General Foreperson, South Carolina Foreperson, Colorado General Foreperson, Michigan First employed September 1985 First employed February 2000 Retired August 2015 First employed June 2003 Retired August 2015 Retired December 2015
Asplundh Construction Corp. Foreperson, Indiana First employed February 2010 Retired October 2015
Foreperson, Pennsylvania First employed January 1976 Retired January 2016
Trimmer, Wisconsin First employed March 2005 Retired October 2015
American Electrical Testing Commissioning Engineer, Connecticut First employed July 2013 Retired December 2015
Utility Lines Construction Services William Livezey, Jr. Equipment Specialist, Ohio American Electrical Testing Foreperson, Kansas First employed August 2009 Commissioning Engineer, First employed November 1979 Retired January 2016 Tennessee Retired August 2015 First employed March 2013 Theodore Haines Retired December 2015 Kevin Dove Utility Lines Construction Services Vice President, Washington Operator / EMJ Tech, Michigan George Loubier First employed August 1983 First employed March 2007 Work Planner, Connecticut Retired January 2016 Retired January 2016 First employed January 2011
Trimmer, Kansas First employed October 2009 Retired October 2015
Journeyman, Alabama First employed July 1994 Retired August 2015
General Foreperson, Virginia First employed March 2001 Retired September 2015
Foreperson, Virginia First employed February 2001 Retired October 2015
Grid One Solutions Meter Reader, North Carolina First employed May 2012 Retired December 2015
The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
Foreperson, Florida First employed June 2011 Retired January 2016 Trimmer, Illinois First employed November 1999 Retired July 2015 Foreperson, Ohio First employed May 1977 Retired October 2015
Foreperson, Virginia First employed October 1993 (plus one year with Wilson Tree Co.) Retired November 2015
Foreperson, Florida First employed February 1972 Retired December 2015
Retired December 2015
Utility Lines Construction Services Trainer, Iowa First employed June 2008 Retired January 2016
Grid One Solutions Project Supervisor, North Carolina First employed July 2001 Retired July 2015
Foreperson, Oklahoma First employed June 1989 Retired October 2015
Foreperson, Wisconsin First employed July 1996 Retired January 2016
Foreperson, Washington First employed March 1991 Retired July 2015
Foreperson, Pennsylvania First employed January 2010 Retired October 2015
Foreperson, Virginia First employed January 1995 Retired September 2015
William Huempfner, Jr. Foreperson, Wisconsin First employed May 1999 Retired October 2015
Utility Lines Construction Services General Foreperson, Michigan First employed January 2007 Retired January 2016
Foreperson, Alabama First employed February 1976 Retired July 2015
Crew Leader, Illinois First employed October 1999 Retired December 2015
General Foreperson, Virginia First employed May 1983 Retired August 2015
Foreperson, South Carolina First employed October 1993 (plus seven months with Wilson Tree Co.) Retired October 2015
Asplundh Construction Corp. Underground Foreperson, New York First employed August 2002 Retired January 2016
Apprentice, North Carolina First employed July 2006 Retired July 2015
MORERETIREESHONORED t On December 18, 2015, Chairman of the Board Chris Asplundh, Sr. (L) joined with more than 50 co-workers, friends and family at a special luncheon to honor Executive Assistant Elaine Stepanski (R) who was retiring after 32 years of loyal service to the company. She joined Asplundh’s Home Office staff in 1983 as an input operator in the Payroll Department, but soon advanced to administrative assistant for various divisions. In 1987, Elaine was promoted to executive assistant, providing support to Hyland Johns, Bob Asplundh, Gregg Asplundh and Carl Asplundh, III before becoming Chris Sr.’s executive assistant in 1996. She will long be remembered for her sense of humor, creativity (especially in poetry) and overall friendliness. We wish Elaine all the best in her retirement!
t Following a big Kansas City BBQ lunch on August 5, 2015, Manager Ed Bradshaw (L) presented Foreperson Warren Day (R) with his 30-year watch, thanking him for his service and wishing him well before he retired just a few weeks later. Warren came to work for Asplundh in 1985 with six years of prior experience and worked the majority of his career on the properties of Kansas City Board of Public Utilities and Kansas City Power and Light. RSS Paul Snethen, who took the photo, noted that in addition to leading very productive crews, Warren worked incident-free his entire 30 years with Asplundh. Paul wrote, “he was a true asset and will be missed.”
t After sharing so many years together at Asplundh, these three retirees from the Keith Confere Region in Ohio still enjoy staying in touch with each other and meeting now and then for a meal out. Pictured here (L to R) at a restaurant in October 2015 are retired RSS Robert Jernigan, retired Mechanic and Lift Inspector Roger Smart, and retired General Foreperson Dave Tuttle who oversaw crews on AEP Ohio property. The Confere Region Office Manager Debbie Cooper in Millersport, Ohio sent in the photo along with this message, “We love these guys and are glad they all stay in touch, proving we are all family!”
INMEMORIAM Marlyn Beck, retired supervisor of Electronic
Billing in the Willow Grove, Pennsylvania Home Office, passed away on February 2 at the age of 74. Marlyn came to work for Asplundh in 1979 and eight years later, she was promoted to supervisor of Billing Input. In 2000, she became the supervisor of Electronic Billing and then retired six years later. Marlyn is survived by her husband of 54 years, Paul, two daughters, six grandchildren, three sisters and two brothers. Her sister, June Nelson, and daughter, Kristi Beck-Kasko, were also long-term employees of the company. Marlyn is sadly missed by family, friends and co-workers in the Home Office.
Ed Bushner, retired general foreperson and
41-year Asplundh veteran, passed away in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on December 26, 2015 at the age of 79. Ed joined Asplundh in 1954 and over his long career, he oversaw tree crews working on the properties of PPL Electric Utilities, Met-Ed, Orange & Rockland Utilities and PECO in eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New York. Ed is survived by a son, two daughters, two brothers, one sister, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, as well as four brothers and two sisters. We extend our sincere sympathy to Ed’s family and all who knew him.
Barb Ganderton, a supervisor in the
Customer & Field Liaison Department (CFL) in the Willow Grove Home Office, died January 10 at home. She started as a file clerk in CFL in 1987 and rose through the ranks to supervisor in 2006. Barb made numerous friends during her career due to her many years of support for large Asplundh regions and customers, especially on storm billings. She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Jeff, a daughter, Kristin, and a son, Jeffery, Jr. Barb is happily remembered by all whose lives she touched.
Dave Johnson, a manager in Technical
Services in the Willow Grove headquarters, passed away on February 19 in Collingswood, New Jersey at the age of 60. He joined Asplundh in 2013 with over 30 years of experience in urban forestry programs, using his expertise in presentations and outreach to the government sector. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Gail, two daughters, Jennifer and Kate, his parents, a brother and a sister. Dave will not be forgotten by the family, friends and communities he supported through his love of trees. The Asplundh TREE Spring 2016
PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE PAID BELLMAWR, NJ PERMIT # 1081
International Headquarters 708 Blair Mill Road Willow Grove, PA 19090 www.asplundh.com
WALL CALENDAR PHOTOS DUE JULY 29, 2016 SHOOT OUT DEADLINE OCTOBER 28, 2016
Get out there and take your best shots—with a camera, of course—and enter them in the Nature and/or Work Related categories. You may enter up to 10 photos total combined.
along with a brief description of each picture. If you send in prints or a disc, please package them carefully. Entries will not be returned unless you specifically request it.
High-resolution digital images (either e-mailed or on disc) are acceptable, as well as color or black and white prints. No negatives, please. If your photo is selected for the 2017 wall calendar, you will be sent three complimentary copies. Shoot Out winners will receive a VISA gift card, ranging from $75 for Honorable Mention to $200 for first place. Please be sure to include your name, address, phone number and the categories you wish to enter,
Please e-mail your top-notch entries to: [email protected]
or snail mail them to:
p RSS Chris Hall of the Larry Gauger Region in Pennsylvania snaps a photo of Trimmer Pablo Guzman working aloft for a possible entry in the Work Related category.
Asplundh Corporate Communications 708 Blair Mill Road Willow Grove, PA 19090 Thank you!