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ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture Award Program

Award Nominations

The nomination period for the 2018 ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture has closed. Watch for the announcement of the 2018 True Professionals award recipients during the ISA Annual International Conference and Trade Show in Columbus, Ohio, 5-8 August.

Learn More about the True Professionals Program

What is the True Professionals of Arboriculture recognition program?

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is dedicated to raising public awareness about the importance of trees, the necessity for proper tree care, and the role today’s arborists play in tree care service and education. The ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture recognition program allows ISA to spotlight a number of deserving arborists, their best practices, and the successes they have had in educating their communities, clients, colleagues, and employees.

Why is the True Professionals program important?

It is imperative that members be skilled in communicating with and reaching out to the greater public to educate about the environmental health of our communities, neighborhoods and urban forests. By recognizing arborists who go above and beyond, celebrating their efforts, and providing ISA’s membership and certified professionals with opportunities to learn from the successes of their colleagues, ISA True Professionals can inspire others to learn and apply successful techniques in their own practices. ISA will promote these positive aspects of professionalism to its membership through its magazines, newsletters, and websites.

What constitutes a True Professional?

There are a number of qualities that particular arborists may demonstrate to be considered for recognition, such as special achievement in a professional setting, cultivating fruitful relationships with clients, successful initiatives in community education, unique contributions to the betterment of the profession, and the pursuit of professional development. The program in not a lifetime achievement award; however, some winners will have shown the ability for success over a long career. The ISA True Professionals program recognizes arborists in any stage of their careers who show a high aptitude in any specialized area that fosters professionalism in arboriculture. This could pertain to any of the aforementioned categories. but can also reference recent activities, such as the implementation of a specific successful communication or marketing tool (for clients and/or employees), the development of a promising educational program, or a successful collaboration project pertaining to arboriculture. Ultimately, those who receive this recognition will encompass an outstanding achievement or collection of achievements that can be modeled by other arborists and certified professionals.

Who is responsible for selecting the True Professionals?

The ISA Awards Committee reviews and selects the award recipients from a pool of nominations. The nominees are evaluated on a number of criteria including examples of building strong client relationships, inspiring public trust in ISA certified professionals and ISA members, promoting the image of tree care professionals, educating the public on the need for tree care, marketing their services with great success, and fostering professionalism in the workplace.

What benefits do winners receive?

The selected ISA True Professionals of Arboriculture receive recognition in their local newspapers and are featured in various case studies publicized in Arborist News and on the ISA website. Award winners can use this acclaim in their local marketing and recruiting efforts. Winners are announced during the ISA Annual International Conference.

2017 Award Winners

Scott Altenhoff, Ken Almstead, Jim Barborinas, Terry Flanagan, Joel Greifenberger

2017 True Professionals Video Bios

Past Award Winners

View complete list of previous award winners

Informative case studies on each award winner highlight the activities that were instrumental in earning them the title of a True Professional of Arboriculture. ISA members may view these case studies in the members only PR Toolbox.


2016 True Professionals of Arboriculture Bios

2016 True Professionals Video Bios


2015 True Professionals of Arboriculture Bios

2015 True Professionals Video Bios


2014 True Professionals of Arboriculture Bios

2014 True Professionals Video Bios


2013 True Professionals of Arboriculture Bios

2013 True Professionals Video Bios


2012 True Professionals of Arboriculture Bios

2012 True Professionals Video Bios

For More Information

To learn more about this program, contact ISA at for additional information.

©International Society of Arboriculture 2009-2018
PO Box 3129 • Champaign, IL 61826, USA • +1.217.355.9411

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