At our 2020 Winter Management Conference in Puerto Vallarta, I said these things in my Chair’s speech:
“All of us [in the business of tree care] need to embrace the challenge of managing the risk of our profession with the right equipment, the right training and the right mindset … by doing the right things, from the top to the bottom and from side to side in our organizations … by what we say, by how we say it and, most important, by our actions and behaviors.
“TCIA has been, is and will continue to be right there beside us, nimble and adaptable, open to change and innovation. Having an association with a growth mindset is essential to keeping us all on our continuous-improvement toes.”
Little did I know then how the ability of TCIA to adapt, adjust and pivot would soon thereafter be put to the ultimate test in 2020! But when faced with the realities of COVID-19, turn on a dime we did, with kindness, strength, deliberation and determination to keep our stay safe while supporting TCIA’s mission to continue serving our members.
When we realized in June 2020 that we could not realistically hold TCI EXPO this past fall, we also knew the profound and immediate financial impact of that decision, since 30% of the organization’s revenue is derived from that event. I am especially proud of the work that the stay, Finance Committee and Board did to develop a budget that was fiscally prudent while also allowing TCIA to continue with its mission of advancing tree care businesses. Your Board is a group of Committed Team Players who have Strategic Open Minds as Stewards of our Industry. I have 100% confidence that they will continue to Keep Calm and Carry On in service to the association for the common good of our members.
James Lane Allen said, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” It has been my great honor to serve as the chair of the TCIA Board of Directors this past year and witness the revelation of character in our stay, leadership and Board members. While this year has been fraught with tragedy, upheaval and unrest, it has also seen remarkable growth, innovation and positive change in the tree care industry and at TCIA, as you will see in the contents of this report.
Mundy Wilson Piper
TCIA Board Chair, 2020-2021
Chippers Inc., President & CEO
The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is a trade association of 2,000 tree care firms and affiliated companies that was established in 1938 as the National Arborist Association.
The following pages of this Annual Report chronicle the accomplishments and journey of TCIA during our Fiscal Year (FY’19-’20) September 2019 – August 2020.
Our core focus is to advance tree care businesses.
What we’re good at: Providing connections, resources and training to the tree care business community.
3-year goals (8/31/2023):
2,500 Active Members (1,500 Engaged)
500 Corporate Members (300 Engaged)
750 Accredited Facilities
4,000 TCI EXPO Attendees
10-year goal (2029):
To be the essential resource for successful tree care businesses, as defined by them and measured by having 75% of members with an engaged score over 300 by 2029.
TCIA STAFF CORE VALUES
Be of Service
Be Team Players
TCIA BOARD CORE VALUES
Be Team Players
Be Stewards of the Industry
TREE CARE COMPANY MEMBERSHIP
212 first-time new member tree care companies.
968 tree care companies renewed their memberships.
502 tree care companies rejoined TCIA.
1,666 tree care companies members.
Hired 4 full-time membership engagement coordinators to provide full-time member support for all 50 U.S. states. Covering these regions: Northeast, Midwest, South and West.
Less than 5% of incoming calls to TCIA go to voicemail during open hours.
Launched new Dialpad phone system June 2020. Trained staff and built a strategy for staffing needs based on analytics with the goal of increasing member satisfaction and department success.
Developed real-time assist cards in Dialpad based on keywords. This provided the Membership Experience team with pertinent information on topics within TCIA from publications, to membership, to events and beyond.
More than 5500 tree care industry professionals descended on Pittsburgh, PA for TCI EXPO’19. A record 3911 attendees plus 1629 exhibitor-booth personnel representing 253 exhibitors!
As of August 2020, TCIA had 277 corporate members (manufacturers, distributors and service providers for the tree care industry).
For the first time, corporate members have 4 fully dedicated TCIA staff actively working on their behalf within the organization.
TCIA introduced new ways for corporate members to engage and provide value to tree care companies, including:
Robust digital advertising on new platforms
Product highlights, such as Cutting Edge/Product Reviews/ Arborist Skills
Content opportunities with webinars/blogging/articles
New TCI Magazine website
Launched early August 2020
200+ feature articles Enhanced search & navigation Premium video content Audio versions of articles Ability to translate to 9 languages
The website has experienced a 30% increase month over month in users and sessions, and 14% monthly increase in pageviews, highlighting TCI Magazine’s growth beyond print.
This provides our corporate members the opportunity to expand thier marketing and branding efforts in the digital world.
TCIA had 8 “small-entity representative member companies” participate in informative strategy meetings virtually to help prepare them to participate in OSHA/SBA-led small-industry panels concerning an OSHA arborist standard.
Winter Management Conference in Puerto Vallarta was a huge success and one of our last in-person meetings for 2020 due to COVID-19
312 CTSPs graduated from 8 in-person classroom workshops.
Sept 2019 – March 2020
In March 2020, as COVID-19 forced most states to issue “stay-at-home” orders, TCIA and ISA acted quickly to advocate for our industry to be considered “essential” and exempt from these orders. Those in the industry know that the work they do is both essential and carries low risk for COVID transmission, but policymakers had to be convinced. Key to this advocacy was the TCIA/ISA Joint Statement of Essential Services that was used to educate policymakers and the public on the essential services our industry provides. As a result, the safety-sensitive work in our industry was recognized as essential in all jurisdictions across the entire country.
COVID-19 education and guidance for our members:
12 COVID-19 related webinars
16 COVID-specific breaking news alerts
COVID-19 resource center on TCIA.ORG including training and discounts from corporate members
TCI Magazine articles on COVID-19 public policy
Advocated at the state level in 8 states for clarification on “essential services”
Member engagement coordinators conducted weekly virtual COVID roundtable meetings with members in each of their regionsMar. – Apr. 2020
TCIA’s advocacy, industry expertise and marketing staff collaborated on a robust web presence to help members navigate COVID-19.
Pivoting to a virtual world and expanding our reach:
new webinar series:
Best practices and timely topics for business operations
Created and offered virtual CTSP courses, so members could keep learning and growing!
87 CTSPs graduated from 6 virtual workshops May – Aug 2020
Streamlined membership integrations in our database to help with processes for reinstatements, renewals, new joins, automatic member-type profile changes and member communications.
MEMBERSHIP EXPERIENCE TEAM
This new department focuses on helping our members solve business and safety problems so that they can advance their tree care business. This department is dedicated to delivering excellent experiences through every interaction our members and customers have with our products, services, events and people.
Developed and produced a new
section on tcia.org
“Navigate your TCIA Membership”
showcasing short consumable videos for members to navigate through their TCIA profile to encourage online renewals, registrations and retrieval of resources.
Switched to virtual site visits for TCIA Accreditation & loss control to offer continued member support.
TCIA Podcast was launched July 2020. The podcasts include a variety of expert guests and innovators from all corners of the tree care industry sharing their stories and extensive knowledge.
6 episodes were published between launch and Sept 1 with 1,000+ downloads!
Set up and tested on-site consulting visits (on hold until April 2021 due to COVID.)
Rolled out an online employee-engagement tool for TCIA members.
Researched and vetted an industry 401(k) program for TCIA members (to be rolled out in 2021).
Created and offered free Crew Leader refresher webinars based on the Qualified Crew Leader program.
Installed a learning-management system (LMS) for creating online courses.
Created our first online course – English EHAP.
Moved all tests from our training programs to the tcia.org online test center to support a faster and more streamlined turnaround time.
Set up an industry standard method for translating tree care training materials into Spanish.
Translated EHAP and Crew Leader into Spanish.
Designed a new all-in-one EHAP card mailer based on the membership cards to save the credentialing team hours of work printing/laminating/mailing, etc. …
Completed Year 1 and Year 2 of the Arborist Apprenticeship Training Program, including four manuals:
Year 1 Journeyworker
Year 1 Apprentice
Year 2 Journeyworker
Year 2 Apprentice
Supported the use of the Arborist Apprenticeship Year 1 student manual as the core curriculum for an entry-level utility arborist training course offered by the California Community College system.
The ANSI A300 Committee held fall (October 2019) and spring (March 2020) meetings. Committee members worked on updates to several standards. The spring meeting saw the completion of A300 Part 8: Root Management (2020) now available to the public. Members of the Committee spoke at numerous events highlighting the A300 Standards and educating the industry on their importance.
The A300 Committee holds
2 meetings per year.
ANSI standards need to be revised every
5 years, so revising each of our
10 current industry standards is a big job.
A long-term goal of the committee is to consolidate the 10 separate A300 Standards into one document for ease of use within the industry, this is a huge undertaking that we began early this year.
Finally, a core part of the ANSI A300 Committee’s mission is to increase awareness of the standards within the industry. By facilitating education to both companies and consumers on the benefits of standards, the A300 Committee directly increases professionalism in the tree care industry.