2019 Texas Chapter ISA Elections
Slate for Board of Directors Election: TEXAS CHAPTER ISA
The following candidates have been nominated for election to the Board of Directors of the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. Each candidate meets all requirements for holding office, as outlined in Chapter bylaws, and has agreed to serve, if elected. Five officer positions and two director positions will be filled. ISAT Members will be sent a link for online voting. Deadline to vote is by midnight September 13, 2019 to be counted.
Newly elected officers and directors will take office at the close of the ISAT Members/Business Meeting on Friday September 27, 2019.
President (One-year term): Jason Alfaro
Jason currently serves as President-elect on the ISAT Board and has consistently supported the efforts of improving service to our members. Jason is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional, a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, and is an ISA Certified Arborist. Jason is employed as the Director for Parks and Recreation for the City of Jersey Village. He previously worked for the Town of Bastrop, where he provided valuable support to the historic community recovery efforts following the wildfires of 2011. Jason loves working with communities and enhancing the quality of life of residents through professional management of parks and natural resources. Jason has been married to his wife, Amanda, for 6 years and has one son, Brayden, that is 4 years old.
President-Elect (One-year term): A.J. Thibodeaux
A.J. currently serves as Vice President and is a veteran to the tree care industry with more than 30 years of experience. He has been certified as an Arborist by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) since 1993, the first year it was made available in Texas. He has held a Texas Oak Wilt Certification (TOWC-0113) since 2007. He spent 12 years working as a utility arborist for different utility line clearance tree trimming companies before advancing to working for several residential and commercial tree care companies. A.J. was a charter member of the Texas Vegetation Management Association in 1992. He also served 8 years on the board of directors for the Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. A.J. is the CEO and CO-Owner of Preservation Tree Service, Inc. based in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
Vice President (One-year term): Mark Bird
Mark was the 2018 Texas Chapter ISA Arborist of the Year and is an active member of ISAT and the San Antonio Arborist Association. Mark co-led the 2019 TTCC Kids’ Climb at the Texas Tree Climbing Championship and was the leader of the 2017 ISAT Hurricane Harvey Recovery Day of Service in Rockport. Mark is the City Arborist of San Antonio and works to preserve the great tree heritage of the city.
Editor (One-year term): Rebecca Johnson
Rebecca Johnson is the current editor of the ISAT In the Shade and enjoys sharing the great work we are all doing with our members. Rebecca’s network and connections in arboriculture help her bring new and interesting information to each edition of the newsletter. Her efforts to initiate and continue the Women’s’ Tree Climbing Workshop are important for our efforts to be a more diverse and inclusive organization.
Treasurer (One-year term): Greg David
Greg David is the owner of TreeConsult, LLC, a full-service arboricultural consulting firm and it a Registered Consulting Arborist and a Board-Certified Master Arborist. Greg is on the Texas Regional Plant Appraisal Review Committee and sits on the ASCA A3G Tree Appraisal Committee. Greg has a long history of service to ISAT as both a Director and Officer. If re-elected as Treasurer, he will continue to provide the experience and stewardship required to help maintain the Chapter’s financial health.
Board of Directors (2 Categories – 3-yr terms)
Commercial Arboriculture (Select one in this category)
Wes is the owner of Horticare and is a Board-Certified Master Arborist. He is the author of several tree publications and is a historic tree buff who has four Famous Trees of Texas and 24 Fort Worth Heritage Tree designations. He has also located one State Champion and five regional Big Trees. He is also the winner of the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council’s Bronze Leaf Award. Wes is a tree artist whose motto is ‘It just takes an acorn!’.
Chris is currently a serving Board member and he brings insights from the nursery and new install side of the arboricultural industry. He is passionate about establishing growing practices to provide a healthier tree and root ball. As TNLA liaison, he is bridging the gap between architect, contractor, grower and arborist. He looks forward to being active in ISAT for many years. Top Notch Tree Farm is 33 acres of landscape and shade trees located west of Houston and is family owned. Started in 2006, it specializes in native and drought tolerant trees.
Ronny Nelson has been in the landscape and tree care industry since 1998. He is a Board-Certified Master Arborist and has spent his career studying soil and plant sciences. During his career he has built two tree care firms for large companies and is now building his own company. Ronny is passionate about proper arboriculture and research. He serves as the ISA Texas Chapter Student Liaison and Research Committee Chair. Last year he helped build a new Student Mentoring Program at the Texas Tree Conference. This program is engaging our students and connecting them with professionals in our industry.
State/Local Government Arboriculture (Select one in this category)
Justin has been a Certified Arborist since 2012 and holds various accreditations including TRAQ, Oak Wilt Qualification, TDA Applicators License and holds multiple parks and project management certifications. For the past eight years his passion for the environment has enabled him to continue improving the quality of life in various cities throughout Texas. Justin is currently the Mission Reach Superintendent for the San Antonio River Authority. He is responsible for the operations and natural resource management for the largest urban ecosystem river restoration project in the United States. The Mission Reach project reintroduced native habitats and wildlife to an eight-mile section of the river. Most recently, Justin has been involved with this year’s Texas Tree Conference as the Tree Academy Chair. Justin has enjoyed nature, more specifically trees, since he was a child. With his background in natural resource management Justin feels that his experiences can help continue the growth of ISAT and help bring tree awareness to people across Texas. He looks forward to serving on the board and helping people connect with our Texas trees.
Rachel is an oak wilt specialist with the Texas A&M Forest Service in Granbury. She serves on several committees within TFS and is Chair of the Employee Advisory Council (EAC). She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council. Rachel is dedicated and passionate about tree health and care and has excellent leadership skills. She is committed to ISAT’s goal of educating and serving the needs particular to professional arborists and tree care consumers in Texas.
Travis has more than 30 years managing and caring for urban trees in the City of Mesquite, ultimately leading the City’s Park Department as Assistant Director. After retiring from the City of Mesquite, Travis now serves as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Rockwall. He is a Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist, a professional/licensed irrigator, certified turf manager, and golf course maintenance professional. Travis has strong Board experience and is a founding member of the Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council in Dallas and has also served as Past-President of the Texas Turfgrass Association.
John Giedraitis, ISAT Executive Director
2013 Oakwood Trail, College Station, Texas 77845, 979.324.1929, JPG@isatexas.com
*All ballots must be received by midnight on September 13, 2019