Scott D. Packard, president and CEO of Wright Tree Service, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, was installed as the chair of the board of the Tree Care Industry Association at Winter Management Conference in Aruba. Packard, who will serve a one-year term, began his service on the TCIA board in 2005.
A member of TCIA since 1977, Wright Tree was founded in 1933 by John L. Wright. His son, John R. Wright, took over the reins in 1982 until his death in 2002. The company began as a residential and commercial company during the Depression and quickly moved into line clearance work — concentrating on that area since 1938. Wright still operates a residential and commercial company (Wright Outdoor Solutions) and nursery in Des Moines, Kansas City and Tulsa, but about 95 percent of revenues come from line clearance work. The company presently has contracts in 26 states with approximately 2,000 employees. Packard joined Wright in 1998, and in August 2001 was named president and chief operating officer. That year, John Wright gave him the task of putting together a way to transfer ownership of the company from the Wright family. Today, the company is 100 percent employee owned.
“My first involvement with TCIA was serving on the ethics committee and then with the Voice for Trees political action committee, which is of vital interest to our company,” he noted. “I feel that it benefits all of our companies to have a strong industry voice in Washington. It was also important to me to give something back, to help develop a common mission for the benefit of the industry. As board and committee members, we put aside our competitive differences to work together for safer workplaces and a better-trained, more professional industry that adheres to ethical best business practices.”
Long term, he would like to keep the association working toward an updated standard for line clearance tree trimming, keep pushing OSHA to write a specific standard for commercial tree care operations based on the industry standard ANSI Z133, and continue to advance safety in all segments of the industry.