Wisconsin Arborist Association Strategic Plan: 2015-2019
Final draft prepared by Tina Johnson, Cathy Brodbeck, Eric Petersen, Elizabeth Dierickx, and August Hoppe. February 19, 2015.
Final edit completed by Tina Johnson and Eric Petersen on February 26, 2015.
Purpose: This document shall be used as a guideline to direct the decisions and efforts of the Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) Board of Directors (BOD) and committees. The focus of future WAA Board meetings should be on the decisions that need to be made based on these action plans. Each milestone has a target date and a champion who is responsible for completion. These strategies are in addition to the committee’s normal responsibilities as outlined in each job description and committee composition & strategy.
Background: Lisa Burban, Special Assistant and Associate from the USDA Forest Service, was asked to help design and facilitate a strategic planning retreat. Lisa was the facilitator in September 2004 and helped develop the WAA Strategic Plan for 2005-2010. Dick Rideout, WAA’s Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Urban Forestry Representative, helped with the facilitation.
Rich Hauer, Governance Committee Chair, designed an Importance and Attainment Study which was sent to past and present Board Members and Committee Chairs to rank how the WAA has done in regards to attaining goals developed under the last strategic plan developed in 2010. The study showed that several goals were met. The unfinished goals were incorporated into this strategic plan.
The Board planning retreat was held on October 3 and 4, 2014. Several Board members, Committee Chairs, and 2 people from the general membership attended. During the retreat, it was determined that the WAA’s mission statement, mission guidelines, and vision statement needed to be refined. In addition, two new strategies were developed and added to this plan. The planning committee did not finish over the weekend retreat and small groups were formed to tackle the individual strategies to develop additional milestones.
The plan underwent three rough drafts with Board reviews each time. The final draft was prepared in mid-February, 2015 and approved by the board on March 10, 2015.
Wisconsin Arborist Association 2015-2019 Strategic Plan
The primary resource for arboriculture and urban forestry in Wisconsin.
To improve the understanding of trees and the practice of arboriculture.
STRATEGIES AND PRIORITIES
- Improve WAA’s organizational vitality and viability.
- Sustain member education.
- Promote professionalism and public outreach.
- Strengthen and develop partnerships.
Long-Term Goal: To have strong organizational structure to empower committees and engage members.
A. Improve WAA’s organizational structure (Champion—Governance Chair).
i. By December 31, 2019, a policy and procedures manual will be completed.
The manual shall include:
- Job descriptions for WAA Board Members, Ex-Officio Members, Committee Chairs, and Representatives.
- Committee composition & strategies for standing committees.
- Policies compiled by reviewing past Board meeting minutes.
- Standard Operating Procedures for specific tasks.
ii. Job descriptions and committee composition & strategies will be reviewed and updated annually.
B. Improve and refine committee strategies and priorities, focusing on the following new actions:
I. Membership Committee
- Biannually review the WAA Code of Ethics for Arborists.
- By July 1, 2015, expand membership committee to include volunteers from all areas of practice.
- Create Member Care Initiative to include current and former members.
- By January 1, 2016, create New Member Welcome & Orientation program by identifying and communicating member benefits and volunteer opportunities.
- By January 1, 2016, determine demographics of current membership (include as part of membership survey).
- By January 1, 2017, explore expansion of member benefits to retain current members.
- By January 1, 2017, create a process to recruit former members.
- By January 1, 2018, explore a volunteer recognition program.
- By January 1, 2018, establish WAA Logo Usage Policy.
- By December 31, 2019, membership will have increased to 900 paid members.
II. Legislative Committee
- By January 1, 2018, explore the creation of “A Day on the Hill” event.
III. Certification Committee
- Biannually review the Certified Arborist for Hire service.
IV. Publicity Committee
- Continue to expand the Midwest Arborist Recruitment Committee (MARC) and promote it to the membership (ongoing).
- By January 1, 2017, explore the feasibility of making the MARC its own standing committee.
V. Finance Committee
- By January 1, 2016, formalize a Sponsorship sub-committee to attain financial goals defined by the Finance Committee.
VI. Nominating Committee
- By July 1, 2017, create Board member recruitment process.
VII. Program Committee
- By January 1, 2016, site selection for all conferences and TCC should be selected at least one year in advance of event.
VIII. Research Committee
- By January 1, 2018, reengage the Research Committee.
IX. Editorial Committee
- By January 1, 2016, launch new WAA website.
- By January 1, 2018, explore the option of going to a digital, non-printed version of the newsletter.
X. Safety Committee
- Improve the safety culture within the WAA (ongoing).
Oversee the preparation and the presentation of the Board Orientation (ongoing).
Oversee the Administrative Consultant’s bi-annual review process (ongoing).
By July 1, 2015, create committee report template and procedures on how to report to the Board at Board Meetings.
By January 1, 2016, create Board member and committee chair exit interview process.
By December 31, 2019, facilitate the creation of the new strategic plan.
XII. Past Presidents Committee
By January 1, 2018, explore creative fundraising activities for the Bob Skiera Memorial Fund.
Sustain Member Education:
Long-Term Goal: Provide educational opportunities and promote arborist credentials. Milestones:
WAA will have presented three education events for our members each year to include one of the following: (Champion – Program Chair).
An urban wood utilization component
A species diversity component
Large tree canopy maintenance
By October 1, 2015, explore the creation of a Certified Arborist Study Group to increase the number of Certified Arborists (Champion—Certification Chair).
By January 1, 2017, create opportunities to obtain the Tree Worker Qualification (Champion—Certification Chair).
By January 1, 2017, three additional annual training opportunities will be promoted by the WAA (Champion – Safety Chair).
By January 1, 2018, establish a guideline for the Program Committee for selecting educational topics (Champion – Program Chair).
Long-Term Goal: Encourage people, businesses, and communities to invest and sustain trees to achieve long-term economic, environmental, and social benefits.
Further advance the utilization of urban wood.
Incorporate urban wood products into arboriculture awards when appropriate (ongoing) (Champion – Nominating Chair).
By September 1, 2015, WAA Certified Arborist for Hire webpage to include Urban Wood Processing as a skill (Champion – Certification Chair).
By September 1, 2016, add content to the WAA webpage to educate and promote urban wood utilization by linking the DNR Wood Marketing and Utilization Database to the WAA website (Champion – Editorial Chair).
Encourage the use of trees for green infrastructure.
By December 31, 2019, apply to receive a grant from the Bob Skiera
Memorial Fund to communicate with architects and/or engineers on the benefits of trees and to encourage the inclusion of trees in their designs (Champion – Research Chair).
Promote Professionalism and Public Outreach:
Long-Term Goal: To raise awareness of professionalism for our industry both internally and externally.
By January 1, 2016, strive to perform a minimum of two public education events per year (Champion – Publicity Chair).
By January 1, 2016, successfully disseminate the WAA “Talking Points” to our members (Champions – Membership/ Publicity/ Editorial Chairs).
By January 1, 2016, a marketing and public relations strategy will be explored using input from outside experts and resources (Champion – Publicity Chair).
By January 1, 2017, make WAA booth appearances at a minimum of three non-WAA events per year, to include one of the following (Champion – Publicity Chair):
An urban wood utilization component
A species diversity component
Large tree canopy maintenance
Strengthen and Develop Partnerships:
Long-Term goal: WAA collaborates and engages institutions and organizations to achieve our mission.
Strengthen relationship with UW-Extension.
By July 1, 2017, create a taskforce between the WAA and UW-Extension to learn about the other organization and recommend potential partnership opportunities (Champion – Publicity Chair).
By January 1, 2018, develop a plan to contact UW-Extension employees to invite to become members (Champion – Membership Chair).
Strengthen partnerships with universities and student organizations (Champion – Educational Advisor).
By July 1, 2017, create list of current Midwest arboricultural college programs and associated student organizations and make list available as a resource on WAA’s website.
By January 1, 2018, develop a plan to contact these programs and organizations to invite to become members.
By December 31, 2019, have performed at least one WAA promotion presentation to each student organization. Continue this annually.
Strengthen relationship with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and better utilize their resources (Champion – ISA Representative).
By January 1, 2016, a list of ISA staff will be included in the BOD Orientation to connect the WAA’s BOD members with their ISA counterpart.
By December 31, 2019, all incoming Vice Presidents will be required to attend the ISA’s Leadership Workshop.
Expand the WAA’s collaboration with the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) (Champion – Safety Chair).
By January 1, 2016, a list of TCIA staff will be included in the BOD
Orientation to connect the WAA’s BOD members with a similar TCIA counterpart.
Strengthen relationships with other green industry or related associations (Champion – President-elect).
By July 1, 2015, create a taskforce between the WAA and the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association (WLCA) to learn about the other organization and recommend potential partnership opportunities.
By July 1, 2017, create a list of other green industry or related associations and make the list available as a resource on WAA’s website.
By January 1, 2018, develop a plan to contact these other associations and invite to explore potential partnership opportunities.
By December 31, 2019, have performed at least one WAA promotion presentation to each association. Continue this annually.
By January 1, 2017, explore creating a formal relationship with the WDNR through creating an Ex-Officio position on the Board of Directors (Champion – WDNR Urban Forestry Representative).
By January 1, 2017, collaborate with WDNR Storm Response Strike Team in the dissemination of information about the program (Champion – WDNR Urban Forestry Representative).
Future Ideas for Consideration
Investigate the membership’s support of a state-wide licensing program for arborists.