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Dennis Fallon is more than a month into the job as UAA executive director, where he plans to lead with his passion for awareness, safety and professional development in utility arboriculture. In Part II of our conversation, hear more about how he views the association in an industry leadership role and what he feels is the greatest value of UAA membership.

The annual Trees & Utilities Conference is coming up in late October, the first time in two years members and industry influencers can come together. How important are these events to grow the organization’s base and the UA practice?

I recall attending my first Trees & Utilities Conference in Nebraska in the late 1990s or early 2000s, and it was my first real exposure to networking and learning from other practitioners.

It’s an incredible benefit. The people in this organization and the annual conference in addition to seminars and summits are what builds our momentum as a profession. There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom among the membership that is awe inspiring to me. People are incredibly willing to share their experiences to help others wherever they can be of assistance.

So, mentors are a critical component to find success in this field?

Yes. I have been fortunate to work with and learn from many outstanding individuals from all corners of utility arboriculture. I have enjoyed candid wisdom and critical feedback on my development. So many have influenced me along the way that I’m looking forward to being able to continue those conversations from my new paradigm.

Why do you think people in this field join or renew their memberships each year to be involved in the UAA?

Simply put, the resources UAA offers a member are of tremendous value. The Newsline magazine content and the contributors are outstanding. The peer groups and committees provide avenues for passionate people to volunteer, learn about and improve what we do across the industry.

How do you see the UAA as a leader in utility arboriculture across the U.S.?

The UAA value statement concisely sums this up for me: “A culture of safety, environmental sustainability, education, and operational excellence forms the foundation of our organization.” If we take these values to every corner of our industry, we will improve our practices and the individuals who execute our operations.

What about the association expanding internationally?

I agree that we should broaden our influence, but only when the time is right. If we start in North America by improving awareness, educational opportunities and operational excellence, it will allow the organization to organically extend our reach.

So, when you’re not at work, where can we find you?

When I’m not on the job, I like to be outside. I enjoy fishing – especially on the ice during our long winters. The best times with my family are when we discover good places to eat and cook a nice meal.

What’s something about you that most people might not know?

During the initial phases of the pandemic, I made charcuterie boards for the family when we were required to socially distance and needed to feel like we were socializing. I also do most of my own vehicle maintenance as well as mechanical repairs.