City Trees

May/ June 2012

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 31 of 39

Partners Updates Utility Arborists Association Utility Arborist Profile: Peggy Jelen, Arizona Public Service, UAA Vice-President by Mike Neal, Manager of Forestry and Special Programs, Arizona Public Service and UAA Past-President President Peggy Jelen. One of the many reasons I respect Peggy is that she started col- lege as a single parent and sole financial provider of a teenage daughter. While going to school full-time, Peggy would work four or five part-time jobs at the same time. I After graduating from the University of Montana in 1993 with a degree in Resource Conservation with an emphasis in Forest Management, Peggy was introduced to Will Nutter of Wright Tree Service. Will, one of Peggy's early mentors, sug- gested she consider a career in utility forestry. I met Peggy in 1996 when she was working for consulting group ECI as a notification forester for Jim Downie at Xcel Energy in Colorado. That same year she moved to Phoenix to fill that same role with ECI at Arizona Public Service. In 1997, Bob Bell, who was the system forester at Public Service of New Mexico (PNM), contacted me about Peggy, who had applied for an assistant forester position. He wanted to know what kind of worker she was. I told him he couldn't have her. The next thing I knew Peggy was moving to New Mexico to work at PNM. 32 t is my pleasure to write a profile about some- one I admire, UAA Vice- "Mike encourages me to take risks and set challenging goals to improve my leader- ship skills," Peggy says. She also considers Jim Downie and Bob Bell to be men- tors who influenced and guid- ed her through the years. "Jim Downie taught me to respect the people who work for you. He also had a lot of enthusiasm for the UAA. Bob Bell taught me the impor- tance of customer service and educating the public about UVM (Utility Vegetation Management)." However, I wasn't done with Peggy. In 2003, when APS was moving to an in-house program, I needed a forestry and special programs section leader for the southern part of APS service territory. It was an easy deci- sion to hire Peggy to fill this role. As a section leader she is responsible for 12 tree work- ers, two planners, a coordinator, contract crews, and an adminis- trative assistant. She also over- sees the APS Avian Protection Program and works closely with Liberty Wildlife, a nonprofit orga- nization that assists APS with avian issues. Because of her leadership in the industry, she is currently the chair of the Edison Electric Institute's Avian Power Line Interaction Committee. She was recently elected vice president of the UAA. Peggy recommends getting involved in the UAA because it is the leading organization for UVM. The ability to interact with people within the industry has benefited Peggy in many ways and can do the same for you. Peggy faces some challenges in the future. These include the federal land approval pro- cess, which affects getting work approved and done; complet- ing goals when funding is cut; and management of day-to-day operations of crews over a large geographic area. A little-known fact about this grandmother of five is that Peggy was raised on an Idaho cattle ranch. In her spare time she enjoys riding her Harley Davidson, hiking, golfing and running. She hopes to travel internationally. City Trees

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