ISA Names five True Professionals of Arboriculture™ for 2017

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Leaders spotlighted for best practices and inspiration honored at International Society of Arboriculture's annual conference.

True Professionals

True Professionals are eager to share their knowledge with those around them," says Michelle Mitchell, ISA board president. "They inspire public trust, and give freely of their time and resources to promote the importance of trees and proper tree care.

Five industry professionals who have influenced the arboriculture industry through innovative community projects, consumer education, and professional development, have been selected as the 2017 True Professionals of Arboriculture™ by the International Society of Arboriculture.

The following “True Professionals” were celebrated during the opening general session of the ISA 93rd Annual International Conference on Monday, July 31 in Washington, D.C.

  • Ken Almstead — (New Rochelle, New York)
  • Scott Altenhoff — (Eugene, Oregon)
  • Jim Barborinas — (Mount Vernon, Washington)
  • Terry Flanagan – (Lake Oswego, Oregon)
  • Joel Greifenberger – (Long Beach, New York)

“The individuals recognized as ISA True Professionals are passionate about our industry and the communities in which they live and work,” says Michelle Mitchell, ISA board president. “True Professionals are eager to share their knowledge with those around them. They inspire public trust, and give freely of their time and resources to promote the importance of trees and proper tree care.”

Examples of achievements from this year’s winners include:

  • Celebrated the 50th Anniversary of his family business by donating 50 trees to communities, schools, and non-profits (Almstead)
  • Promotes arboriculture by providing information about trees through local media, assisting with training sessions, and volunteering for tree planting events (Altenhoff)
  • Established the Barborinas Fund, a TREE Fund Endowment, to fund research focused on tree planting and the improvement of tree varieties for nurseries. (Barborinas)
  • Assisted in the development of a new arboriculture degree program at Clackamas Community College and chaired the panel of experts who created the ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification program. (Flanagan)
  • Donated his time and resources helping his neighbors recover from massive tree and property destruction following Hurricane Sandy (Greifenberger)

ISA has been recognizing “True Professionals of Arboriculture” since 2009 in an effort to increase public understanding of arboriculture and the professional skills of today’s arborists. Since the program’s inception, hundreds of nominations have been collected worldwide from consumers, arborists, educators, and others testifying to the positive impact that those they nominate have had in and around their communities.

Recipients are selected by the ISA Awards Committee, a diverse group of experts in arboriculture including university professors, commercial and utility arborists, company owners, and trainers. After selection, award recipients are approved by ISA’s Board of Directors.

Case studies about the “True Professionals” will be featured on the ISA website at and highlighted in future ISA publications such as Arborist News.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), headquartered in Champaign, Ill., U.S., is a nonprofit organization of more than 30,000 members and credential holders worldwide, supporting tree care research and education. To promote the importance of arboriculture, ISA manages the consumer education web site,, which fulfills the association’s mission to help educate the public about the importance and value of proper tree care. Also, as part of ISA’s dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry. For more information on ISA and Certified Arborists, visit

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Julie Gaier
The Ritterbusch Group
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