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In 2023, UAA Safety Committee Members Jerry Staton and Adrienne Jones received the prestigious Will Nutter Silver Shield, an accolade bestowed upon professionals at the forefront of safety within their organizations. This recognition is reserved for individuals who prioritize safety within their roles, and actively champion and foster a safety culture wherever the opportunity arises.

ACRT’s Senior Operations Manager, Jerry Staton, stands as a prominent advocate for safety within both ACRT and the utility vegetation management industry.

“Whether preparing for adverse weather conditions, emphasizing situational awareness, or actively participating in the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) safety committee, Staton’s commitment to safety is unwavering,” says his nominator, David Burke.

As manager of ACRT’s Ready Force®, Staton leads a team capable of rapid deployment nationwide to aid utilities in storm response and restoration efforts. Beyond operational responsibilities, he has lent his voice to articles featured in industry publications like T&D World’s Vegetation Management Insights. These articles underscore the significance of having readily available weather reporting tools, ensuring safety supplies are stocked in vehicles, practicing situational awareness, and more.

With more than 12 years of industry experience, Staton joined ACRT in 2010 as a utility arborist and climbed the ranks, serving as an operations manager since 2015. His dedication to safety extends beyond his daily responsibilities, as exemplified during his tenure as a former member of the ACRT Services Board of Directors. In this role, Staton advocated for his peers and championed safety practices.

Staton holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry wildlife management from Stephen F. Austin University and boasts credentials as an International Society of Arborists (ISA) Certified Arborist and Utility Specialist. His contributions underscore his commitment to advancing safety within the utility arborist sector.

“Since immersing herself in the utility vegetation management industry just a few short years ago, Adrienne Jones has embodied a culture of safety,” says her nominator, Kevin Puls.

As the Safety Manager for ACRT and ACRT Services, Jones is dedicated to ensuring the well-being of every employee, employing various platforms such as face-to-face meetings, presentations at industry events like the annual Trees & Utilities conference, and contributions to publications like the UAA Newsline and T&D World’s Vegetation Management Insights. Jones, a Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP) and National Safety Council (NSC)-certified Defensive Driving Course Instructor, actively shares her expertise through safety-related webinars and more.

Beyond her role, Jones contributes to safety initiatives as an NSC First Aid/CPR/AED Instructor, a member of the Utility Arborist Association Safety Committee, and a graduate of the 30-Hour General Industry Safety and Health training through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Education Center. Jones, who holds a bachelor’s degree from DePaul University in Chicago, epitomizes the commitment to safety that is crucial in the utility vegetation management field.