2021 Annual Conference Rundown!

2021 Annual ConferenceOctober 3-5, 2021 Manchester, NH - More than 280 New England arborists convened in beautiful, Manchester, New Hampshire, 2021 New England Chapter ISA Conference & Trade Show. Twenty exhibitors displayed their wares in the amazing Armory area of the Hilton Doubletree.

The Conference weekend kicked off with the annual CPR, First Aid, and AED training for those that needed to get certified or renew. The class was taught by New England Timber Services' Tim Emporer. Attendee and ISA Certified Arborist, Dave Hopkins of Colrain, MA stated, "The CPR course was a HOOT! Tim Emperor had us in stitches most of the time - and before we knew it, 4 hours flew by".

Sunday afternoon featured a Utility Arboretum Tree Tour. Participants were shuttled by school bus from the hotel to the Eversouce facility in Hooksett, NH. Bob Allen of Eversource lead a two-hour tour of the Utility Arboretum created by Eversource to teach the importance of the right tree in the right place as well as proper pruning techniques when it comes to trees and power lines. 

Bob Allen - Utility Arboretum Tour
Bob Allen Leads the Utility Arboretum Tour

Sunday night participants began to check-in for the conference during the President's reception. Attendees enjoyed some delicious snacks and had their first opportunity to talk with exhibitors and check out the Silent Auction items. Speaking of the Silent Auction, the chapter raised $1,675 to support arboriculture education in New England and the TREE Fund! Funds for research in the field were raised at our Heads or Tails Raffle that earned $789 for the TREE Fund. Sara Sankowich had her bandana in the right place and was the lucky winner of an awesome tailgating grill and accessories donated by New England Chapter Tree Fund Liaison, Kristina Bezanson!

Sara Sankowich and Jason Magoon get photo-bombed by Paul Sellers
Sara Sankowich and Jason Magoon get photo-bombed by Paul Sellers

An additional $150 to support the TREE Fund was raised from the New England Chapter ISA annual educational tree walk, the Trek des Trees. This self-guided walk created each year by Trek des Trees committee teaches participants about the local trees and earns three CEUs. You can participate on your own or as a team of up to four people. Points are earned with each correct answer and the team with the most points wins a FREE New England Chapter conference registration. Congratulations to Howard Gaffin for earning the most points overall and a free 2022 Annual Conference Registration!

The awards luncheon on Monday is our opportunity to thank the people and organizations that make our yearly conference and trade show possible and to recognize the people in our industry that go above and beyond to spread the word of arboriculture, to ensure trees are safely and professionally maintained, and our members are safe when doing their jobs. Chapter President, Sara Sankowich, presided over the ceremony.

Sean Redding, New England Chapter Secretary kicked off the awards by presenting our three scholarship winners.  Jake McGrath was the winner of our high school level scholarship awarded to a high-school senior after they complete one college-level semester in an arboriculture program or related field. Myles Barnes received the undergraduate student scholarship and A.J. Elton received the graduate student scholarship. All recipients are students at UMASS Amherst.

The ISA Harry J. Banker Gold Leaf Award was presented to Stephen Driscoll at Eversource for their efforts to educate arborists, municipalities, students, and the public about planting the right tree in the right place.  In addition to providing information on the correct trees to plant around power lines, Eversource has taken it one giant step further by building four Utility Arboreta.

The final award presented was for the highest honor bestowed by the New England Chapter. The Dr. H. Dennis P. Ryan III award is given in recognition of outstanding service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of arboriculture. The award is granted to a dedicated and active member of the Chapter who has made important contributions to arboriculture, either through work in the organization, research, education, field practice, or in promoting the chapter. This year's award was presented to Julie Coop, Massachusetts Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator and New England Chapter ISA Certification Liaison.

Julie Coop Received Ryan Award
Juiie Coop Receives the Ryan Award

Also at the luncheon,  Sara Sankowich presented President's awards to a couple of recent retirees who have been influential to her in her career, John Parry (formerly of the U.S. Forest Service) and Anne-Marie Moran (formerly of National Grid). To conclude the ceremony, the gavel was passed to incoming Chapter president, Doak Marasco. Thank you, Sara, for a great year! In a moving and motivational introduction, Doak asked everyone to reflect on "Why Trees". 

Of course, our conference would not be possible without the support of our generous sponsors and exhibitors. New England Chapter ISA Vice President and conference Master of Ceremonies, Scott Wheeler, took every opportunity to thank our sponsors and encourage attendees to visit our exhibitors.  HUGE THANK YOU to the Davey Tree Expert Company for being a conference-level sponsor! In addition, the luncheon was sponsored by Unitil and our breakfasts and breaks were sponsored by Lucas Tree Experts, Asplundh, and Arborjet. A full list of conference sponsors and exhibitors is available on our website.

Monday and Tuesday were packed with education featuring a keynote by Eduardo Medina. Participants had lots of CEU opportunities; in fact, seven pesticide credits were offered over the one-and-a-half days of education.

All in all, it was a fantastic conference! Thank you to all that helped to make it happen. We are looking forward to seeing everyone in 2022 at the Framingham Sheraton, in Framingham Massachusetts October 1-3. Save the date!!