Arbor Age

Arbor Age Jan/Feb 2013

For more than 30 years, Arbor Age magazine has been covering new and innovative products, services, technology and research vital to tree care companies, municipal arborists and utility right-of-way maintenance companies

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Page 11 of 27

SPECIAL FEATURE Most Influential People in the Green Industry Green Media, a division of M2MEDIA360 — publisher of Arbor Age, Landscape and Irrigation, Outdoor Power Equipment and SportsTurf — is proud to present the 2012 selections for "Most Influential People in the Green Industry." Green Media's "Most Influential People in the Green Industry"were nominated by their peers for their ongoing contributions to the Green Industry. The professionals selected for this honor were chosen from throughout the Green Industry, and exemplify a commitment to the industry and a widespread influence on their peers. Green Media congratulates all of those selected to this year's list of "Most Influential People in the Green Industry." Michael Neal Manager of forestry and special programs at Arizona Public Service Michael Neal has been the manager of forestry and special programs at APS since the mid-1990s. Responsible for managing the vegetation along more than 30,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines statewide, he supervises and coordinates the work of inhouse foresters and contract line-clearance crews.In addition to vegetation management, he oversees the utility's landscape maintenance and wildlife protection programs, and implements safety and education programs to internal and external customers. Neal became the president (now chairman) of the Tree Research and Education Endowment Fund (TREE Fund) in 2011. He is a tireless champion of the TREE Fund, and publicly encourages the support of arboriculture research and education as an alternative to random planting of trees without a plan for their long-term care. Among his many affiliations and accomplishments, Neal is past president of the International Society of Arboriculture, past president of the Utility Arborist Association, and past president of Arizona Community Tree Council. "I have been influenced by all of these organizations," said Neal."I have used what I learned from these groups to improve the importance of professionalism in our industry. I have always promoted the need for quality arborists, continuing education and the need for research." With regard to his involvement with the TREE Fund, Neal said that research has directly contributed to his professional development, and is essential to the development of arborists. "Our industry created the TREE Fund for the purpose of identifying and funding research projects that will advance our profession, and I am committed to supporting its mission in every way possible," he said."There are plenty of opportunities. I've pledged an annual gift and rewritten my estate plan to include the TREE Fund as a beneficiary. 12 Arbor Age / January/February 2013 I've championed the TREE Fund to my friends and colleagues who are considering philanthropic giving, and petitioned my employer to include the foundation in its charitable giving program and marketing strategy. I also found opportunities for in-kind support; APS prints brochures for the TREE Fund and the Tour des Trees free of charge. I've served on committees and the Board of Trustees, and helped to construct and promote campaigns for the Utility Arborist Research Fund and the Power Source Alliance. "We have an obligation to support the research that sustains our industry, ensuring that the same opportunities that advanced our careers are available for the next generation. Every dollar we invest in research and education comes back to us, and, yet, compared to other industries, arboriculture research is significantly under-funded. It is within our power to address that shortfall." Neal has also been heavily involved in the area of utility arboriculture and vegetation management, including serving on committees such as NERC's FAC-003 standard drafting team and other initiatives. His efforts were essential to the implementation of an ANSI standard for Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), and led to a Best Management Practice being published for IVM. He said he would like to see utility vegetation management programs get the respect they deserve. "Utilities manage more trees and ecosystems than any other Green Industry," said Neal."Utilities have done more to improve the way of doing proper arboriculture and vegetation management practices compared to our peers over the last 20 years.We need to do a better job of communicating our success to our peers, communities and governmental agencies. Those utilities that are not following best practices should be educated on the advantages of following sound science." Neal credits much of his success to listening to people who are leaders in the industry and learning from their successes and failures. "I had a college professor, Dr. Kenneth Carvel at WVU, who challenged me to be better than just an average forestry student.This carried over into my professional career," said Neal."In my first job after college, I was a forest ranger for the Florida Division of Forestry. New foresters

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