City Trees

January/February 2013

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President's Messages Executive Director's Message Nick Kuhn Jerri J. LaHaie A new year means a lot to many people. A fresh start, work piled up after the time off, personal resolutions for the year, a bunch of new work from others put off until after the holiday, planning for Arbor Day! ... and all the other things that we do every year. All of these things may seem fun and overwhelming at the same time-which leads everyone to consider their work at least a little. It is in these times when we really look at what we do and why. I have heard from several city foresters lately that motivation to continue on doing the same old thing with ever decreasing budgets or priority has drained them. Even those of us who have lost or changed jobs for these common municipal reasons that are outside of our control ... many have continued to choose urban trees as the path of work to follow. I chose this work years ago and even through all the budgeting, personnel issues, changes in administration, and all the other problems ... I still go to work every day and choose trees. We all still go to work and choose trees because we hope every day that we can make a difference. I believe all SMA members are willing to help by sharing a story of what works, a new event or idea that can help you refresh your day. SMA is always looking for ways to help you stay motivated, ways to help you keep your job, to gain in recognition locally for your efforts. I believe that all the board members would like to help as we can, to share ideas, and to listen to you and what you think can help this family of tree professionals. 4 T he beginning of a new year is a chance for us to make a fresh start.This month, the SMA Board and I will meet for our annual mid-year board meeting.We will be welcoming vice president Rachel Barker and new board members Tom Hoerth, David Lefcourt, and Lance Davisson. Our new board members will most likely be overwhelmed learning all about SMA and our many programs, partnerships, and practices. At the same time, they will be asked to review and evaluate them, making predictably difficult decisions about the future. There will be tough questions, there will be no right or wrong answers, and there will undoubtedly be some gnashing of teeth as we all struggle to push SMA to be THE association our members turn to for municipal arboriculture related information. We made some bold moves in 2012, most notably with our SMA Annual Conference and Trade Show.We moved it to the Partners in Community Forestry Conference. I vividly recall last year's mid-year board meeting when that vote was taken. To change the way we have always done our conference, to be unable to predict profit/loss, to wonder if our members would support it—believe me, it was not an easy decision. This year we will be evaluating and revising; we intend to get it right one way or the other. The other bold move was to livecast our conference so that members who could not travel to Sacramento could still participate, albeit remotely.We hoped that groups would gather to watch the livecast together and share lunch, conversation, and continue to build the camaraderie for which SMA is known. It was our first try, but participants had glowing comments about this new way of conferencing. Huge thanks to Paul Johnson, who jumped at the chance to be the coordinator of the livecast, even though neither of us knew what we were getting into! As we move into 2013, I can't predict what new opportunities await us. But I do know that this SMA Board, like those whose hard work paved the way in years past, will work diligently on behalf of our members.We know you have many choices when it comes to deciding where to spend your time, talents, and dollars.We aim to make SMA the organization where you will feel like family, where everyone knows your name, and where you can participate in whatever way you want.When you invest in SMA, you are investing in the future of municipal forestry. If it's time for you to make a fresh start, join us as we move boldly into the future. City Trees

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