Sara Dreiser is a Senior Program Manager with ComEd. She works with a team to oversee ComEd’s routine cycle maintenance and ComEd’s interruption investigation programs. She has been working in the Vegetation Management industry for close to 15 years.
Her career began at the Morton Arboretum as a research assistant, working on projects including the study of tree biomechanics, urban growth of tree roots, and creating soil management plans.
In 2011 Sara entered the Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) field as a field planner with The Davey Resource Group. Over the next 10 years Sara worked in a variety of roles, ending her time at Davey as the Account Manager for the Upper Midwest. Sara oversaw many projects with both small cooperatives and large investor-owned utilities. She transitioned to her current role with ComEd in fall of 2022.
She has been involved with the UAA since 2018 as a member of the Women in Vegetation Planning Committee and as a conference speaker in 2019. She has previous board experience with the Illinois Arborist Association, serving as the Utility Chair from 2017-2021.
Matt Goff is a Transmission Vegetation Manager at Georgia Power Company. He lives in Brookhaven, GA with his wife, two daughters, and the family’s two dogs Sam, and Payton. For leisure, he enjoys sports with his family, bird hunting, and salt-water fishing.Matt holds a BSFR from the University of Georgia in Forest Resource Management and he graduated in 1997. He has worked in the vegetation management industry for 26 years. His work experience includes six years as a procurement forester for a forest products manufacturer, and 20 years in the utility vegetation management industry with Georgia Power.
Josh Beaver is currently senior vice president of CNUC, a utility vegetation management (UVM) consulting and operations firm. Josh has more than two decades of experience within the UVM industry. He is currently responsible for relationship management and oversight of long-term UVM contracts throughout the United States and Canada. He considers customer and community communication to be vital aspects of his role, and he has a proven record of success working with utilities.
Josh joined CNUC in 2010 as a lead consulting utility forester in Tennessee. He was soon promoted to regional supervisor, followed by regional manager and vice president roles. In his current position as senior vice president, his primary objective is to ensure excellent, safe and efficient production from CNUC employees by making quarterly visits to each of his contracts. He also provides on-site consulting and training. In addition to ongoing contract management, Josh works closely with CNUC’s R&D division, focusing on short-term UVM-related projects and tree inventory projects for municipalities throughout the country.
Josh was the 2018 recipient of the UAA Rising Star Award. He has been published in Utility Arborist Newsline and has presented on a variety of industry topics throughout the U.S. He currently serves on the UAA’s Professional Development Committee and Events Committee. Josh has also been instrumental in securing CNUC’s PinE Award status since the award’s inception, which entails active support of the UAA mission each year. In 2023, he was elected to the UAA Vice President Role.
Tim is the Vice President of Health and Safety for the Davey Tree Expert Company.
Tim is working on his doctorate, in ergonomics and safety. His research is looking at ergonomic efficiencies of different climbing systems. He has a Master’s degree in ergonomics from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. He has Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
He is a Certified Treecare Safety Professional, an ISA Certified Arborist and Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist. He is a voting member of the 2022 revision of the ANSI Z133 and has been involved with the Accredited Standards Committee Z133 for several revisions. He has served as a task chair for two task groups and has been actively involved in several other Task Groups.He has been the Champion of UAA Safety Committee and has served as the chair of the UAA Professional Development Committee. He is the 2022 recipient of the UAA Will Nutter Silver Shield Award, which is given to someone who influences and promotes positive safety culture within the tree care profession.He was named to the National Occupational Research Agenda Safety Workgroup. NORA is a partnership program to stimulate innovative research and improved workplace practices. Unveiled in 1996, NORA has become a research framework for NIOSH and the CDC.
Tim is a stakeholder/representative for the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation group interested in reducing potential injury/death of tree service workers in Ohio.Tim is a member of the Tree Care Industry (TCI) Magazine Editorial Advisory Committee.Tim has also been a climbing arborist for more than 30 years, has owned his own business, worked as a contract climber and worked with companies around the world.He serves on the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) Board of Directors as the Past President.
Brandon graduated from Minnesota State University–Mankato with a B.S. in Geography. Brandon has been with Rainbow Tree Company since 2009 and has gained experience in several roles, including Business Developer for our utility products division, GIS Tree Inventory Analyst, and Technical Arborist. Brandon has been the Director of VM Services, the fastest growing division inRainbow Tree Company, since 2012.
Brandon has also participated and been active on numerous UAA committees, and in 2016 he was awarded the Rising Star Award from the Utility Arborists Association. In addition, he has been on the Board of Directors for Saluting Branches, a green industry 501c3 non-profit since 2016. Brandon is also an ISA Certified Arborist. Brandon has been an active member of the Utility Arborist Association since 2012 and currently is servingas President.
A winner of the David H Nabi Award for dedication and service, Dr. Robert Vanderhoof earned his Ph.D. from the College of Forest Resources at Mississippi State University in 1995. A veteran natural resource manager, Robert spent 15 years as Florida’s Deer Management Section Chief during which time he coordinated range management activities across Florida’s seven-million-acre wildlife management area system.
In 2004 Robert was recognized by the Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society for “Extraordinary Vision, Leadership, and Dedication” in natural resource management. Until recently, Robert applied his management experience as a Utility Vegetation Supervisor for PacifiCorp across service territories in northern Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming for 15 years. An ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and Certified Utility Specialist, Robert is currently employed as a Certification Specialist at Tall Tree Learning, LLC. Robert has written several articles on the application of technology in natural resource management and routinely speaks on utility vegetation management issues.
Jodie Braskich is an experienced professional in the utility industry with a strong background in supply chain and vegetation management. With over 18 years of industry expertise, Jodie continues to contribute her time and knowledge to the continuous improvement of the professional field of UVM. She has been a member of the UAA since 2007.
Starting her career in 2003 with a large electrical transmission company in the Midwest, Jodie initially worked in the supply chain department. As a purchasing agent, she collaborated closely with the Operating and Maintenance departments, gaining valuable exposure to the utility vegetation management sector. Recognizing her interest and aptitude in this area, she transitioned to the site maintenance and vegetation management division in 2005.
In her role within the division, Jodie excelled in various areas, including workflow process innovation, UVM Program management, program and budget development, sourcing, regulatory compliance, and community relations. Her dedication and expertise have led to her current position as the Director of Midwestern Operations at Davey Resource Group, where she joined in 2016 as a Midwest business developer.
Amanda Opp, Certified Utility Vegetation Management Professional Flathead Electric Cooperative, Integrated Services Manager, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Course Facilitator
Amanda Opp is the Integrated Services Manager for Flathead Electric Cooperative in Kalispell, MT. Amanda is a Certified Utility Vegetation Management Professional and is an online Facilitator for the University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point, Utility Vegetation Management Certificate Program. She is passionate about education and engagement in the industry.
Amanda started as a Civil Engineer for the Forest Service working on the Flathead, Bitterroot and Cleveland National Forests. Amanda joined Flathead Electric Cooperative in 2011 and served as a GIS Specialist for the first part of her career. She always loved the trees and so she jumped at the chance to join her utility’s vegetation management team and became the Supervisor very quickly.
Amanda has been an active member of the Trees and Utilities Women in VM Workshop for the past three years and has been a speaker and moderator for the workshop. She also serves on the Member Engagement Committee representing cooperatives. She enjoys serving the members of the UAA. Serving others is a direct reflection of her values and she is looking forward to bringing those same values to the Board of Directors at UAA.
Jim Neeser is a business developer for the Davey Resource Group, a division of the Davey Tree Expert Company. Jim primarily works with utility companies to provide innovative and customized solutions. Jim earned his AA from Vermillion Community College in 1997 and his BS in Forestry with an emphasis on Hydrology and Soils from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Jim is an ISA Certified Arborist with the Utility Specialist endorsement. Jim has been involved in the UAA training committee for nearly a decade as a past chairman and is currently the treasurer and Champion of the finance committee. Jim spent his first 7 years in the industry as a field arborist in the commercial and utility markets. The last 10 years, Jim has been working with utility companies to enhance their Integrated Vegetation Management programs. Jim’s other interests include spending time with his family, sports, hiking, fishing and coin collecting. Jim is also active with the Boy Scouts of America as an Eagle Scout. Jim lives in Forest Lake, MN with his wife and 2 children.
Adam’s experience includes leading business development strategies for a utility vegetation management consulting firm, vegetation management field operations at two major investor-owned utilities in the southeastern US, project management at a variety of utilities in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions, and vegetation management program development and assessments across the country. His utility arboricultural experience provides a broad understanding of the many different methods used to create a successful utility right-of-way, vegetation management program, including remote sensing, data analytics, optimization, and the utilization of third-party consulting foresters for planning and auditing duties.
Adam has a BS degree in forestry from Virginia Tech and is an ISA Certified Arborist and an ISA Certified Utility Specialist. He completed the Utility Arborist Association’s Professional Utility Vegetation Management Development Program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to receive a certification as a Professional Utility Vegetation Manager. Adam is currently working towards his MBA at the University of Colorado Denver Business School. Additionally, Mr. Warf serves on the Board of Directors for the Utility Arborist Association and the Mountain Lake Vegetation Management Council.
Craig works for Pacific Gas and Electric as a Principal Program Manager in Land Management. His career spans 30 years in the utility industry serving numerous roles. He is an ISA Certified Arborist, Utility Specialist, and hold his TRAQ and is a TCIA Certified TreeCare Safety Professional. Craig has been engaged and involved in the UAA for many years, starting back in 2008. He then wanted more so he ran for UAA President and was elected in 2014. Today, Craig looks back over his 30-year career and wouldn’t change a thing, he’s made life-long friends and considers many as mentors. He also claims he would not be where is in his career if it weren’t for these people, and pledges to pay it forward to support others in their success.
Erin Creekmur has been in the UVM industry for over 20 years. After graduating with a Bachelors in Botany from Northern Arizona University she relocated to Northern California to start her professional career. Starting as a consulting utility pre-inspector with Western ECI she quickly moving up to the ranks to Supervisor under the tutelage of folks like Nelson Money. In 2004, Erin joined PG&E as a Quality Assurance Auditor for the VM program. Eventually becoming the Program Manager for the North Coast Division, helping stand up the beginnings of CEMA as the Emergency Drought Response Initiative Lead for the Enhanced Inspection & Mitigation Program, targeting off-cycle hazard trees across the system. In 2015, Erin moved back to her home state of Arizona and took the role of Division Supervisor with Arizona Public Service, managing both transmission and distribution UVM programs out of the Flagstaff area. As part of her role with APS Forestry Fire and Resource Management Department, Erin had responsibility for creating a Hazard Tree Mitigation program. maintaining APS’s ROW Stewardship Accreditation, FERC reporting, and the Transmission Lidar program. In 2021, Erin took a shift in her career and is now Supervising the Customer Construction and Design team for APS, expanding her overall understanding of the Utility industry. Erin continues to maintain her ISA Utility Specialist Certification and TRAQ. She has also completed certifications in both Six Sigma and Lean Sigma Green Belt through accredited universities. In addition to her current service on the UAA Board of Directors, Erin spent the last 6 years as an officer with the Arboretum at Flagstaff Board of Directors. In her free time, you can find Erin in the woods taking pictures of native plants and beautiful western landscapes.
Fallon is a Utility Arborist and Executive Director of the Utility Arborist Association. Prior to his current role he was responsible for leading vegetation management programs across several upper Midwest states on behalf of a large investor-owned utility. He’s also been an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where he facilitated the Utility Vegetation Management Certificate Program – a combined effort of the Utility Arborist Association and the Utility Vegetation Management Association. Fallon has an undergraduate degree in Urban & Community Forestry and a Master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Minnesota-St. Paul.
Kevin Puls is the president of ACRT. He has been with the company for more than 25 years and began his career with us as a work planner in western Ohio. He worked his way up to become an operations manager, senior operations manager, and director of operations. During his tenure he has managed utility vegetation contracts, municipal forestry programs, performed environmental compliance inspections, and many more items. He has worked with over 50 customers in over 40 states. He attended Mount Union College where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in ecology. He completed his internship at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts as part of a grant from the National Science Foundation. Kevin performed studies on plant-soil-air interactions and presented his research in multiple forums. Kevin also holds an MBA in Executive Management from Ashland University. Kevin also serves as a committee member on multiple BSA troops and conservation organizations.
Renée is our Member Services Manager. She is available to UAA members for questions on committee assignments, educational opportunities, scholarships, CEU questions, and any other assistance.
Prior to her time with the UAA, she worked in corporate banking, group insurance, public relations, magazine publishing, and technical writing. Renée holds a BS degree in Communications. In her non-working hours, she likes to go camping, read, watch odd documentaries on Netflix, and find new things for her Wonder Woman collection. She lives in central Illinois with her family.
Diona has been with the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) since December 2015 and has worked in various capacities within the organization.
Diona has over 25 years experience in Client Service and over 15 years experience in the non-profit and tree care industry. She is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and holds an Associates in Science degree with an emphasis on veterinary science.
Prior to joining the UAA, she worked as the Director of Client Services at Rainbow Tree Company in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Her years of service have included the co-creation of Saluting Branches, sitting on the local Safety Council for Treecare Workers, participating in youth programs such as 4H, FFA, Girl Scouts and volunteering her time as well in other capacities.
Diona is married to her high school sweetheart and together they have two college age children.