Award of Merit
The Award of Merit is the highest honor paid by TCIA to an
individual or company that represents leadership in the field of
arboriculture and long-term commitment to the industry. TCIA doesn’t
give an Award of Merit each year, one reason why this Award is
considered our industry’s most prestigious recognition.
Interested in nominating an individual or company?
September 22, 2017. Winners are announced at TCIA’s annual Winter Management Conference.
Tom Tolkacz honored with Award of Merit
The Award of Merit was presented by
Andy Ross, president of RTEC Treecare and
outgoing Board president, during WMC
2017 in Puerto Rico in February.
The Award of Merit is our association’s
highest honor. Members of the TCIA
Awards Committee this year were past
chairs Ben Tresselt, Will Maley and Jack
Guffey. The Board of Directors wholeheartedly
endorsed their selection of someone to
join this distinguished group for 2017.
This year’s honoree’s contributions to the
profession of arboriculture span many decades.
TCIA would like to recognize a former
Board member who has given far more
than his fair share of time, energy, talent,
experience and wisdom to the industry – a
decade after completing his Board service.
During his six years on the Board he
brought a fresh outlook and his impact was
felt from his very fi rst meeting. He served
on and has been a key player on the Nominations
task force and the Governance task
force, both of which involved new processes
for identifying and selecting the key players
in our industry for future leadership.
He served on the association’s fi rst Ethics
Committee, which established the due diligence
procedure for conducting investigations
and hearings into ethics complaints.
At the same time, he volunteered to serve
as the TCIA representative to the TREE
Fund’s Board of Directors, which also involved
serving on their Executive Committee.
This commitment required attending
at least three more meetings annually at a
time when the TREE Fund was fi nding its
way through a challenging reorganization
with a new executive director.
Yet we wouldn’t be honoring him simply
for his past Board service. He has remained
active in TCIA and industry affairs in the
years since. A regular at WMC – when injuries
from his outdoor activities allow – he
is a strong supporter of the Voice for Trees
PAC and Student Career Days.
More recently, he contributed his
time and expertise in three important
roles: First, he was a volunteer member
of the TCIA strategic planning committee
that met to devise the association’s
latest strategic plan. That process
launched both our regional outreach
coordinators initiative and a safety initiative
that became the Arborist Safety
Secondly, he continued to give generously
of his company’s time and his expertise to
visiting TCIA members. Groups of members
have spent days in his headquarters
– learning from key company executives –
examining fi nances, operations, marketing
and other aspects of running a successful,
multi-branch arboriculture business.
Finally, he has been actively involved
in TCIA’s workforce development efforts
in Colorado, where we hope to establish
a new two-year arboriculture program at
Front Range Community College.
For his engaged membership, which
spans almost two decades with the association,
and his willingness to selfl essly offer his
wisdom to others, we gladly honor Tom Tolkacz,
CEO of Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape
Care, with TCIA’s Award of Merit.
- 2016 Dennis Ryan
- 2015 Dr. John Ball
- 2014 Terrill Collier
- 2013 Jeanne Houser
- 2012 Jerry Morey
- 2011 Greg Daniels
- 2010 Dan Christie
- 2009 Tim Johnson
- 2008 Mark Tobin
- 2006 Peter Gerstenberger
- 2005 Robert A. Bartlett Jr
- 2004 Lauren Lanphear
- 2003 Gary R. Mullane and Robert Mullane
- 2002 Donald F. Blair
- 2001 Pat Felix and John Britton
- 2000 The Stockbridge School of Agriculture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- 1999 F. David Dickson* and Paul P. McFarland
- 1998 Robert A. Bartlett, Sr.
- 1997 Robert Felix
- 1996 John R. Hendricksen
- 1995 Asplundh Tree Expert Co.
- 1994 P. P. Pirone and Paul Wolfe II
- 1993 Dr. Alex Shigo
- 1992 and Dr. Richard Harris
- 1991 and George Tyler
- 1990 and Walter E. Money
- 1988 Hyland R. Johns
- 1987 Erik H. Haupt
- 1986 Richard G. Alvarez
- 1985 The Davey Tree Expert Company
- 1983 Professor Gordon King
- 1982 The F. A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company
- 1981 Earl J. Sinnamon
- 1979 H. M. Van Wormer and Dr. L. C. Chadwick
- 1978 Dr. Paul E. Tilford and Ross Farrens and Edwin E. Irish
- 1980 John Z. Duling and Freeman L. Parr
- 1984 Ray Gustin, Jr. and William P. Lanphear