City Trees

May/June 2013

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

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Page 3 of 39

President's Message Executive Director's Message Nick Kuhn Jerri J. LaHaie Confidence, Competence, and Camaraderie. I remember when I first heard those words as the three main benefits of SMA membership. I thought of camaraderie as friendship, but it also covers mutual trust, support, and a rapport between friends. This specific aspect of being an SMA member has recently been especially important to me. Life problems happen whether you are all caught up at work, have other things planned, or just want more time with your kids. Stresses add up and can negatively affect your attitude personally and professionally. Recently, I have been in one of those times. I felt behind with everything and upset that I couldn't do everything I'd promised (or even exceed expectations, as is my intention.) Please join me in wishing "Happy Birthday" to the cell phone! Forty years ago, Motorola produced the first handheld mobile phone, which weighed 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg) and was 9 inches (23 cm) long, 5 inches (13 cm) deep, and 1.75 inches (4 cm) wide. We've come a long way in those 40 years—cell phones keep getting smarter and smaller, new technologies are created long before we understand how to use them, and jobs are lost to machines that can work faster and cheaper than humans, oh my! This makes me think about how technology is affecting professional membership associations like SMA. There are obvious examples, like livecasting our conference, which we did last year for the first time, to the delight of many who were unable to travel to Sacramento. Over the last few weeks, several SMAers told me they appreciated the organization and what it does for them. They cheered on my efforts on behalf of the membership and for community forestry generally. This unsolicited support at the right time made all the difference to me. It took these friends I have known for years, and several others I just recently met, to help me push past seemingly intractable problems and re-energize my attitude. I want to say "Thank you" to those that have helped me lately and to all those who have said something supportive to any city forester! But there are less obvious changes occurring, some which we need to think about as we chart our future course. It seems clear that the job market is changing from commodity-based to intellectual-based capital. Computers and robots will do day-to-day tasks, but no matter how smart our phones get, they don't have human qualities like creativity, experience, judgment, and intuition. Surely associations have a vital role to play in providing professional development opportunities for our members in their pursuit of the lifelong skill development that today's jobs demand. We all support each other in our thoughts, but don't be reluctant to tell that friend, that regional colleague, or that local advocacy group that you appreciate what they do. Be sure to appreciate your fellow SMA members as well. Talk to each other about how you handled an issue, whether minor or vast, to help each other be prepared for common challenges. We have a common mission in our urban forestry work, so we should support each other in realizing that mission. SMA has developed the Municipal Forestry Institute, a week-long leadership workshop, and is currently developing the Municipal Specialist Workshop for those who want to prepare themselves for taking the Municipal Specialist Certification exam. Our annual conference and trade show keeps our members up to date on current science and technology, products, and services. If you're not able to make it to Pittsburgh in November, we plan to livecast our conference again this year, building on what we learned about this technology in Sacramento. Let's grow the roots that connect us, believing in and supporting each other, looking for ways we are alike (different ends of the world and different trees, but same issues), and leading by example. I will do what I can to help cultivate SMA as the group whose members help each other. That is a member benefit we all need at some time. It helped me today; it's natural for me to want to help you. 4 Certainly the cell phone has changed the way we all interact, keeping us in contact with one another and putting information at our fingertips. Happy 40th, cell phone, you've become quite the slim and trim device. Just be glad you're not human, or you'd be getting eyeglasses. City Trees

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