Small Companies Benefit from Having a CTSP as Part of Their Workforce Development

Bill Foery founded Black Diamond Tree Service 26 years ago in Southern Vermont, and quickly developed a reputation for safely removing the most hazardous trees around homes. Since he loved skiing and particularly skiing the most difficult trails – black-diamond trails – it was a natural fit to name the company Black Diamond Tree Service, according to Denise Foery, his wife and co-owner of the company.

“Safety, excellence and integrity have always been a top priority for this small company,” says Denise.

Black Diamond Tree Service is a 22-year TCIA member company based in Wilmington, Vermont, specializing in residential tree care, property beautification and emergency services.

“Becoming a member of TCIA early on in our business gave us the resources and support to build our business,” says Denise.

In the early years, the Foerys consistently attended training events and TCI EXPOs, and found that TCIA helped them advance their business in every area. They attended one of the first CTSP workshops 10 years ago. Last year, Black Diamond earned TCIA Accreditation, and having a CTSP-credentialed employee is a requirement of the Accreditation process.

Bill Foery, left, shows son Ethan a knot during an ArborMaster training session they took together in 2019. Image courtesy of Black Diamond Tree.

“Attaining the CTSP credential was one of our first steps in becoming accredited,” says Denise.

But earning the credential has done a lot more than satisfy that requirement.

“Becoming a CTSP taught me how to develop a culture of safety and formally displays our commitment to a culture of safety in our company,” says Denise.

“Our team has a policy of holding each other accountable and openly discussing incidents in a way that is respectful and caring. We regularly encourage our team to give Bill and me feedback that would create a safer work environment. Their input is invaluable and insightful. I believe in empowering our employees to take responsibility for safety while giving them the tools and resources to do so.

“Always train to a higher level than where you are,” says Denise, who has worked in the field, manages the office and also works in sales and customer service.

Denise, son Brendan and Bill Foery in Hollywood, California. Brendan also used to work in the business, but now lives and works in Los Angeles. He still creates Black Diamond’s videos. Image courtesy of Black Diamond Tree.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a large or a small company, every person going home to their family at night is the highest priority,” says Denise. “I believe having a CTSP is essential for all tree care businesses, and I encourage every member of TCIA to have at least one person in the company complete the training. No company is too small for this.”

For information about the CTSP credential, visit tcia.org.

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