City Trees

January/February 2017

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6 City Trees "It takes a village to raise a child." I've always stretched that concept to many other facets of life, and the success of SMA is no excep- tion. Who among us can claim achievements without the work of others that blazed an easier path and guided and assisted us along the way? While the SMA Board of Directors endeavors to guide the organization's growth and success, the real accomplishments are credited to those who preceded us and those who pitch in to help move SMA forward. This is a time of the year to express gratitude for our bless- ings. Our recent conference, in conjunction with the Partners in Community Forestry Conference, was extremely successful. We were fortunate to have strong sponsorships, an engaging tour, highly qualified presenters, and rewarding opportunities to network with our colleagues. On behalf of the SMA Board, I would like to express our gratitude to the people who con - tributed their time, effort, and talent. Sincere thanks go to the Program Committee under Stephen Harris, Sponsorship under Dave Cable, the City of Indianapolis and its urban forestry man- ager Bill Kincius, and the very capable professionals at the Arbor Day Foundation. There are many others who worked behind the scenes, and we are indebted to each one for their selfless energy. The SMA Board conducts an extended meeting at the annual conference. This year your directors focused on several key areas, including programming to include the first Municipal Forestry Institute in Canada, developing subject matter experts as mentors, refining the responsibilities and goals of work groups, increasing membership, and development of a strategic plan to guide SMA through the next decade. Darren Green and Keith Cline were both elected to three-year terms on the board and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. Owen Croy has accepted a one-year interim appointment on the board. Owen is an experienced strategist and will focus on assisting the board's organizational development and strategic plan. The efforts outlined above take time and work to see them through, to best serve our membership and to encourage pro- fessional development. That time and work is accomplished by many faces that believe in the SMA vision. If you are reading this letter, you are part of that "village" I mentioned earlier. I encourage each of us to consider small ways that can contrib- ute to making SMA the most valuable resource in the world for municipal arborists. In Gratitude, The SMA Annual Conference and Trade Show in Indy was yet another great gathering of our tribe. There's something very comforting about reuniting annually and spending time with friends and colleagues. Having our conference in conjunction with the Partners in Community Forestry Conference lets us extend our reach beyond our own choir. The staff at the Arbor Day Foundation take much of the administrative and logistical load of conferencing off our plate, freeing us up to concentrate on the programming. While in Indy, we were able to connect with both the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases and the State Coordinators meet- ings—opportunities to let others know about the great things SMA is doing. If you missed the conference, you missed out on connecting to the sponsors and exhibitors who attend because they support the work you do; on the camaraderie SMA offers to old and new members, where lifelong friendships are formed; in participating in the silent auction and the fun run/walk/ watch, where both dollars and spirits are raised; and in shar- ing in the recognition of those who have earned the respect and admiration of our members by their extraordinary service and contributions. But most of all, we missed you. Please make it your resolution to join us in 2017 when we do it all again in Tulsa, Oklahoma. If you have a college, university, junior college, or technical school near you, please check out the student intern program on SMA's website. We are hoping we have made it easier for you to have an intern in 2017; one way is by letting you con- tact a school and locate an intern directly. Another option is to have a student intern during the year, not just for the summer, to help you with a project you are doing. And you may want to consider an intern who is majoring in a course of study other than urban forestry. Perhaps you could use help with market- ing or communications or public relations; student interns may just be the help you are looking for! Your registration to next year's conference is on us if you have an intern in 2017. We hope to see you in Tulsa, but we love to hear from you all during the year, so contact us anytime you have questions or just want to get more involved in the wonderful world of SMA. President's Message Joe Benassini Executive Director's Message Jerri J. LaHaie

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