Joining the popular narrative of “embracing the trades,” I wanted to share a personal story about my daughter, Hannah, and her work in the trades. During her high school years, there was a tremendous amount of pressure for Hannah to enroll in a four-year university program, with little communication regarding skilled-trade programs. She, like so many of us, is a hands-on learner, was ready to enter the workforce and did not have the desire to complete a degree program.
Upon graduation, she enrolled in our local community college, where she earned her credential as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and later earned her certification as a phlebotomist. She began working locally in her field of choice and was finding her way through the many opportunities presented.
Fast forward to 2021, when she met a young man from Texas through mutual friends while visiting San Diego, California. He is enlisted in the U.S. Navy, and they hit it off. Several trips back and forth later, she decided to move west. She made a plan and shared it with us, including landing a job at a hospital, before making the long-distance move across the country.
She quickly discovered the atmosphere at the hospital was not for her and found alternative employment, first at a French café and later selling outerwear for a retail outlet. As parents, we were concerned, but she was happy and content, making new friends, and mom and dad were not bankrolling the adventure, so that was all we could ask for.
One day, Josh Morin – fellow member of the TCIA Board of Directors and owner of We Love Trees, in Colorado – and I were chatting back and forth and talking about my daughter and what she was doing. He offered a simple suggestion that ended up altering her direction and career-path interest. He simply offered that he had a good friend in her area who owned a tree care company with a great culture, and if she was ever interested in pursuing a career in tree care, to let him know and he would make the connection.
Personally, I thought there was no way it would be of interest to her, but while talking with Hannah on the phone one day, I brought it up in conversation. To my surprise, she was very excited to learn more about the opportunity, so I reached back out to Josh for the contact information of his friend in SoCal. We made the connection, they met in October 2021 and she was onboarded at the beginning of 2022.
Hannah is now a proud employee of Coastal Tree Care, an accredited, seven-year TCIA member company in San Diego, working for Joseph Eves, CTSP. Eves runs a great company, and my daughter has never been more passionate or happier to go to work every day. Her mother and I had the opportunity to meet Joseph in Hawaii at TCIA’s Winter Management Conference this past February, and fully understood how our daughter had “found her tribe.” She is in good hands – from the team embracing her, the company culture, the encouragement and support of advanced learning and her recent introduction to the world of plant health care, my daughter has found her way into the tree care industry.
We are thankful to Josh Morin for making the connection and to Joseph Eves for taking our daughter under his wing, and we’re proud of Hannah for joining the tree care industry and continuing her development within the skilled trades.
Jason Showers is director of tree care products with Morbark, LLC, a 42-year TCIA corporate member company headquartered in Winn, Michigan. He also is the corporate member representative on TCIA’s Board of Directors.