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.
Dr. John Ball is a Professor of Forestry at South Dakota State University where he instructs courses in arboriculture, forestry and emergency medical technician training. He also serves as a campus arborist. John is a Board Certified Master Arborist, a Tree care Safety Professional, and an Advanced EMT.
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.
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.
He began his career with Georgia Power as a Utility Arborist, and he has held various roles in the Forestry and Right of Way Services organization. Matt has been in his current role of Transmission Vegetation Manager since 2012 and he currently is the manager of the Transmission, Substation and Generation Vegetation Management programs at Georgia Power. He leads a team of 12 employees. The team is responsible for 12,000 corridor miles of transmission rights of way, 163,000 acres of transmission rights of way, 1850 substations, and property maintenance at 10 generation sites.
Additionally, Matt began serving the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) in 2019 when he was first elected to one of six director positions. Next, in 2022, he was elected to the UAA Vice President role. At home, he also volunteers time to support the development and growth of the Community Forestry and Arboriculture program at his alma mater: The Warnell School of Forestry at the University of Georgia. Go DAWGS!
Matt holds the following professional credentials/qualifications:
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.
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 serves on the Utility Arborist Association (UAA) Board of directors as President. 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.
Geoff Kempter is Technical Services Manager for Asplundh with 28 years of experience in arboriculture and urban forestry. He has served on the ANSI A300 Committee since 1996, and has served as ISA Certification Chair, the ISA Board and the TREE Fund Board. He also serves on the Michigan Urban and Community Forestry Committee, and the Grand Rapids Urban Forestry Committee. Geoff is ISA Certified, a TRAQ instructor and holds a degree in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan.
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 in Rainbow Tree Company, since 2012.
Brandon has been an active member of the Utility Arborist Association since 2012 and currently is serving on the UAA Executive Board as a Director. He has also participated and been active on numerous UAA committees, and in 2016 Brandon 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 is looking to expand his commitment to the Utility Arborist Association and currently is serving as President-Elect of the organization.
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.