Jordan Tielmann: Reshaping and Elevating the Role of Women, One Lift at a Time

Jordan Tielmann says the tree care industry has not only become more open and welcoming toward women in recent years, but she also stresses that being part of the industry is not limited to field operations. Translation: There are a lot more opportunities for women in the industry than meet the eye.

Tielmann with her family
Tielmann with her family. “We have two heavy-equipment simulators the boys love to use,” says Tielmann.

Tielmann, a Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP), should know; she is executive director of both Noble Oak Safety and Training and its subsidiary, NJ Crane Expert, a five-year TCIA corporate member company and a certified woman-owned business. Both businesses are based in Flemington, New Jersey. Noble Oak is an arboriculture training and consulting company operating throughout the U.S. and Canada, while NJ Crane Expert is focused primarily on heavy-equipment training and certification.

“I’ve been around tree care for 10 years now, with my in-laws being in their 50th year of business – Pine Valley Tree Service based in Gillette, N.J.,” Tielmann says. “I’ve been in a leadership role with our training company for three years.”

Tielmann has set herself smack in the middle of the industry alongside her husband and business partner, Hans Tielmann III. Jordan focuses on operations and logistics in both businesses, while Hans operates as the master trainer and brains behind their curriculum and programs, which are offered in both English and Spanish.

Jordan Tielmann, front center, joins her team for a photo
Jordan Tielmann, front center, joins her team for a photo in the Demo Dome, originally a domed football stadium, at TCI EXPO in St. Louis last fall, and where her company was able to conduct live crane training.

Transition to tree care

A little more than 10 years ago, Tielmann was plying her hospitality-and-hotel-management education into a career doing marketing and event production. “I worked in a business-to-business marketing environment for a decade,” Tielmann says, “while my now-husband, Hans, a second-generation arborist, was working in tree care and simultaneously doing part-time training for crane use within the tree care industry. I was introduced to the tree care industry in November of 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey while we were dating. I married into it in 2015.”

In 2018, Tielmann reflects, she was still working full time in her old career “in corporate America” while managing the operations of the training business part time. By 2020, it became clear that the demand for tree care training was substantial enough that it needed to operate as a full-time business and required all of her previously divided attention, Tielmann says. Thus, she made the formal transition out of her corporate desk job to her current role managing both NJ Crane Expert and Noble Oak full time.

She explains that, while both companies offer training, NJ Crane Expert is separate from the Noble Oak business because of crane-credentialing requirements attached to the former. Together, the businesses run the gamut from crane and knuckle-boom use and safety to aerial rescue, chipper and chain-saw use and navigating requirements for OSHA compliance.

Being a woman in tree care

There are challenges that come with being a woman in tree care, Tielmann says. “I struggle with being a woman in tree care, as I’m sure many women in the industry do, because I am not in production. What I do – running the company and managing its logistical needs – supports my staff and tree care industry by providing education and training, with the goal of making training accessible to all companies.”

Establishing a role

“It wasn’t easy to get involved. I spent the first few years always being introduced as ‘Hans’ wife.’ I recently went to a conference by myself on purpose, and was introduced as ‘Jordan, the owner,’” she says. “So my advice for women would be that it’s OK going places on your own in tree care, creating your own identity, even if you’re the only woman there.

“It may be uncomfortable at first. However, people are more supportive than you think, so give them the benefit of the doubt. This is 2024. People are getting more comfortable with women in the tree care industry, whether that’s in production or management,” Tielmann notes. The fact that her own trainers “love to get me in the crane or up a tree” is evidence of that, she offers. “Everyone has always been appreciative – and patient – with my interest in learning more.”

Jordan Tielmann, CTSP
Jordan Tielmann, CTSP

Passion in the industry

Despite being a minority in the field, Jordan says she loves the industry and the passion of those who are in it.

“I’ve worked in events across dozens of different industries,” she says, “and I’ve never seen people so passionate that they literally eat, sleep and breathe what they do. You go to a show like TCI EXPO or ArborFest and everyone genuinely wants to be there. Everyone is so excited to network and learn, you never feel as though people are there out of obligation.” Full disclosure: Noble Oak manages ArborFest, a Sherrilltree event, which is held each spring in Asheville, North Carolina.

Tielmann reflected on her early days in the business and the disconnect between tree care and technology. “Back then,” she says, “I thought this was hindering the industry.”

In reality, her and her husband’s understanding of information technology helped their company and their clientele, she says. “Small- to medium-sized companies may see it as intimidating, but it helps us and our students grow. When used properly, technology can truly help businesses that don’t have the resources of large-scale operations,” Tielmann says. One of the consulting services they offer is marketing and web development, and they have helped build websites for students to help them with their technology and marketing capabilities.

Family time

In addition to the rigors of business ownership and management, Tielmann is also the mother of two sons: Hans IV, a soon-to-be 6-year-old, and Axel, a 3 1/2-year-old. “We are on the road a lot, mostly in the field and at industry events,” Tielmann reports.

“Hans, our master trainer, works with our trainers on curriculum and does a lot of the training himself. If he is not out training, he is visiting customers, auditing their safety policies or keeping his own education and experience up to date.” While she shares his passion for traveling, she says, “With a new business, it is difficult to do other things.”

Despite having run 181 classes last year, Tielmann says she and her husband prioritize spending time with their sons. They focus on their children and try “to embrace their toddler years,” she says. As it turns out, the business is more kid friendly than one would expect, she says, and just may turn out to be a business that gets passed down to the younger generation.

“We have two heavy-equipment simulators the boys love to use, and they are the first to get into the cab of any machine. When you ask them what they want to be when they get older, the answer is always crane experts.” She and her husband encourage their enthusiasm and also point out to their children that their mom and dad are working together and running a business. “While we might not be home as much as we’d like, we hope they see us working as a team and are proud of what we are building and accomplishing together.”


Tielmann knows that her experiences and the road she traveled to get where she is today may be unique. That said, all of her experiences reinforce the reality that there are many opportunities for women looking to build careers in tree care.

Not only are there countless opportunities for women in tree care in production, safety, training, marketing and management, but women are becoming an accepted norm in the industry.

Rick Howland is a veteran newspaper reporter and editor, former national magazine owner and editor and retired international consultant in public relations, advertising, merchandising and training. He lives in the upper Hudson River Valley of New York.

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