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It’s been a remarkable journey for Troy Ross working in utility arboriculture for more than two decades.

In 2023, Ross was named the UAA’s Utility Arborist in recognition of his significant contributions and profound commitment to the field.

Ross initially pursued a career as a forest ranger following graduation from Hocking College in 1998 with a degree in Ranger Services and Fish and Wildlife. However, a friend’s suggestion led him to the utility vegetation management sector, prompting his relocation to Tennessee. Joining ACRT at the Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperation marked the beginning of his enduring passion for UVM.

“He was hooked in his first job, falling in love with an industry of like-minded, hardworking, intelligent, and passionate people,” says his nominator, Michael Weidner. “He found the UA to be leading the way in safety, environmental stewardship, efficient operations, and reliability across the world.”

Over the years, Ross has demonstrated exemplary leadership, progressing from Operations Manager in Tennessee and Virginia to Director of Operations nationwide (excluding California) and eventually Vice President of all operations. In 2016, he assumed the role of President of ACRT, later advancing to the position of Executive Vice President of ACRT Services in 2018. His recent promotion to Chief Operating Officer sees him overseeing four operating companies under the ACRT umbrella.

His influence extends beyond his corporate roles, which is evident by his active participation in industry organizations. Ross exemplified a servant leadership style. He’s been a UAA director and has championed its Editorial Committee, and ensures that ACRT employees have complimentary memberships to the UAA. He’s contributed to the ISA Arborist Utility Specialist training program. He speaks at conferences, presents for webinars and shares his expertise in various industry publications.

Ross has played a pivotal role in advancing industry standards. He’s a staunch advocate of professional development, has volunteered on multiple committees and consulted on projects, including the Utility Arboriculture: The Utility Specialist Certification Study Guide.

“He never turns down an opportunity to collaborate in the industry, bringing together seemingly unlikely pairings for the greater good,” adds Weidner.

A lifelong learner, Ross’s continuing education includes a B.S. in Organizational Leadership from Union University and an MBA from Ashland University. He is a true industry leader whose commitment is captured in his mantra, “saving the world one tree at a time.”