City Trees

July/August 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 "Life is about not know- ing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next." —Gilda Radner When thinking on the direction SMA takes in our conference and new programs, I consider how these things have been discussed before by the previous leadership. Knowing that they tried, learned a little, and made adjustments or moved on—I take heart in knowing I have those same options. Indeed, we all have the option of trying new things, knowing that we will learn as we go and having confidence that we can adapt to new situations. Developing the ability to accept or even embrace change is important for both everyday work and life. Trying new things can be fun, challenging, or horrifying depending on many factors. When working, we must be willing to examine our own emotional attachment to the usual way things are done and be able to let that attachment go. We must be aware of the loss that accompanies even good things. For example, we might get a promotion that means more pay and status (the good part) but less direct work with trees (= feelings of loss). For you and others around you to accept change, you must be able to see things from each other's perspective. All parties need to have some feeling of control and ability to give input as the change takes place. You can role model how to accept change and how this makes you more likely to acquire the skills and knowledge to succeed and be competent. Competence as professionals takes many forms, from working the daily routine to being prepared for emergencies or impromptu presentations to city council. All who have read Stephen Covey know the 7th habit is "Sharpen the Saw" (which I always thought was fitting for people in our industry). Covey says, "'Sharpening the Saw' means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset you have—you." This time of year is often referred to as the "dog days of summer," and we all talk (or sing) about those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. You know, those days of soda and pretzels and beer, tra la la ... Hot weather makes us all just want to lay back and keep cool in whatever way we can. Maybe that's what you're doing this summer. Slowing down a bit gives us time to relax and reflect and recharge. At SMA, there's no slowing down, even in the summer. We have 10 interns being hosted by 10 SMA members around the country. Some of them have made the local news; be sure to check on the SMA Online Facebook page for their stories. The education committee is frantically putting the final touches on the SMA Pittsburgh Conference program; look for highlights in this issue. Other conference committees are working on the livecast, sponsors, and exhibitors. The arborist exchange committee is choosing who will get to participate in what has increasingly become an international learning experience. The MFI Cadre is planning MFI 2014. Yet another committee is working on the launch of the municipal specialist workshop. The editorial review and website review committees are searching for interesting content. The nomination committee is looking for a few good men and women to serve on the SMA Board. While there's a lot going on, the reality is that 80% of the work gets done by 20% of our members. That's pretty typical for non-profit organizations, and it's really good news because it means there's room for you to bring your time and talents forward, advancing both your professional network and your professional association. If you're not serving on a committee now, check out the website for a list and short summary of them. Committees are where you get a chance to see how SMA works and where we find future board members. SMA helps us "Sharpen the Saw." Through SMA programs and volunteerism, we all help each other take risks and embrace change so that we can become more compeOh sure, you could just take it easy this summer, tent professionals. The confidence, competence, and but you know SMA needs you and besides, how camaraderie that comes from SMA membership makes many pretzels can you eat, anyway? us better tree managers, better friends, and better people. This requires stretching ourselves beyond what is the usual and the comfortable—for the good of all. 4 City Trees

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