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Awards Program - Midwestern Chapter


The Midwestern Chapter of ISA annually recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations that have performed meritorious service in advancing the principles and practices of arboriculture and contributed significantly and unselfishly towards the progress of the Chapter.  Award winners are recognized each year at the MW ISA annual conference.  Awards are presented in six categories including:

  • AWARD OF MERIT: Recognizes outstanding meritorious service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of arboriculture. Granted only to members of the MW Chapter of ISA.
  • AUTHOR’S AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Recognizes authors of outstanding publications, news stories, radio and television programs for sustained excellence in the dissemination of timely information pertaining to the field of arboriculture. The information provided must have impact on the Midwest chapter audience.
  • PRESIDENT’S AWARD:  Recognizes an individual, group, company or agency that has provided a significant impact in the field of arboriculture during the previous two years.  This award would be presented at the discretion of the current MW Chapter ISA President.
  • AWARD OF ACHIEVEMENT:  Granted to members of the Midwest Chapter ISA only, this award recognizes sustained outstanding effort or contribution to the advancement of ISA within the Chapter. 
  • HONORARY MEMBERSHIP:  Recognizes individuals or groups who are not members of the Midwest Chapter who have provided outstanding or noteworthy service in promoting arboriculture within the Chapter.  Recipients will have made material contributions to the advancement of arboriculture through research, field practice, promotion, invention or literature.  They should have an ongoing interest and may include individuals, groups or organizations. 
  • HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP:  Bestowed upon members of the Midwest Chapter that have contributed materially and substantially to the progress of arboriculture in the Midwest Chapter and have given unselfishly in their efforts to support and advance arboriculture. 

In addition the Chapter presented the Arbor Day Gold Leaf Award.  The Gold Leaf Award is designed to recognize an individual, organization, or community in the Midwestern Chapter area for outstanding Arbor Day programs or community landscape beautification projects. This is an opportunity for the Midwestern Chapter to recognize projects that have had an impact on a community or region with an international award. Projects should show an impact over several years. 


Gold Leaf Nomination Award Form

 MWISA Chapter Awards Nomination Form


If you know an individual or group that has performed meritorious service in advancing the principles and practices of arboriculture, produced an outstanding publication or media program, contributed significantly and unselfishly towards the progress of the Chapter, held a unique or noteworthy Arbor Day activity, or completed a significant community landscape project, this is a great opportunity to recognize your peers, associates, citizens or other individuals.  




Gold leaf Award- Outstanding Landscape Beautification Award
Rotary Club of Fulton Missouri


Robert Sterner, Rotary Club of Fulton

Originating within the Fulton Rotary Club, an idea came about to plant trees on the Fulton School Districts 6 campuses to create Trees for Education, A 6-Campus Arboretum.  Rotary Club Member, Bob Sterner, headed up the initiative and solicited the help of the Fulton Garden Club and Fulton Public Schools. Plans were made and agreed upon to plant an average of 15 trees per site on public school property. Roughly half of the trees were donated by Forest Releaf of St. Louis and the others were purchased at a discounted rate from Forrest Keeling Nursery, Ellsberry. Tree tubes were purchased at a reduced rate from Mossy Oak Nativ Nurseries, MS and a load of mulch was purchased from Foster Brothers in Auxvasse. These costs were split between Fulton Rotary Club and Fulton Garden Club. In October, around 30 volunteers from FRC, FGC, Fulton High School FFA members, and others including the Fulton Public School Director set out and planted 90 trees on 6 public school sites. These trees were all Missouri Natives and will serve to educate students in a variety of programs as well as give future Fulton FFA Forestry team members trees in town they can study and identify in preparation for contests. The Rotary Club and Garden Club have agreed to water, mulch and care for these trees until they become able to self-sustain. The rotary club has agreed to purchase a trailer to haul a water tank (purchased by the garden club) to water the trees.  The Fulton High school has agreed to make plaques for the trees as a class project in their sign shop so each tree will be labeled. This was a great project that came together quickly and was executed well, and the public schools will benefit greatly for years to come because of the great cooperation between organizations.


Gold leaf Award- Arbor Day Activities
City of St Martins


Doug Reece & Mayor Eugene Strobel, St. Martins

The city of St Martins MO (Pop.1200) provides an excellent Arbor Day event for the children and people in their community. One of the most exciting aspect of the event is when arborist volunteers from Hentges Tree Service, sets up and provides a tree climbing experience for over 200 first and second graders in the St Martins city park. St Martins community members also plant trees, organize tree related activities and keep the students happy and cool with popsicles. This event is special in the manner in which a small community provides a first rate Arbor Day event to enrich their children’s appreciation and understanding of trees.    


MW Chapter Award of Merit
James Hentges and Phil Rockers

Gerald Schulte accepting on behalf of James Hentges Phil Rocker

Gerald Schulte accepting on behalf of James Hentges & Phil Rocker

MWISA Chapter Members, James Hentges and Phil Rockers of Hentges Tree Service have worked with the small community of St. Martins, Missouri (population 1200) to provide an excellent Arbor Day program for the past few years. Hentges Tree Service has set up and provided a tree climbing experience for over 200 first and second graders each year to climb trees or observe their fellow students climb in the city park in St. Martins. St. Martins community members then plant trees, organize tree related activities, provide popsicles and let the kids play in the park. But, the center of the Arbor Day program is James and Phil’s tree climbing activity. Hentges’s customer base is primarily in the city of Jefferson City making their contributions in the small community of St. Martins even more generous and noteworthy.


Author's Award of Excellence
Alicia Chavez, communication specialist with the City of Olathe KS.


Rick Spurgeon & Alicia Chavez

Nominated by City Arborist, Rick Spurgeon,  Alicia is credited with creating an informative video on EAB aim on educating Olathe residents  on what the threat these insect pest posed and what residents can do about it. Alicia also created a page on the city website with additional details on EAB including links such as Kansas Dept. of agric.

Rick said that not only has Alicia’s work really raised awareness of the threat of EAB in Olathe, her efforts has saved city staff countless hours of repetitive phones by  creating this clearinghouse of useful  and important information for Olathe citizens.


Award of Achievement
Doug Seely  (Not in attendance, no photo)

In 2015, a concept was proposed to form a working relationship between the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the Non-profit, Beyond Housing. The idea was to provide a forester and natural resource management to undeserved communities in the North Saint Louis area.  In 2016 this concept became a reality and Midwest Chapter member Doug Seely was hired by Beyond Housing to serve as forester for the 24 communities encompassed by the Normandy School District. In relatively quick order Doug has been able to make a difference in the community’s urban forest through a cooperative effort which required coordinating with 24 different mayors, Public Work divisions and a multitude of citizens groups. Examples of the projects and accomplishments through these efforts include 4 TRIM grants from MDC, Chainsaw training , tree planting,  removals and pruning, and three of the communities  earned  their Tree City USA certification.


MW Chapter Honorary Membership
Bill Frazier (Not in attendance, no photo)

Bill Frazier has been an extremely active tree board member for the City of Sturgeon. Every year for at least the last 15 years, Bill has been applying for TRIM grants from the Missouri Department of Conservation for $10,000 each year to remove hazard trees and plant replacement trees on city property and rights of way in the town of Sturgeon, Missouri, population of less than 1000. He has brought in several tens of thousands of dollars into his community to improve the health of their community trees. And, even though the grant requires a 25% match for communities such as Sturgeon’s that are a Tree City USA, Bill will negotiate and physically work with the contracted conducting the removals to get the absolute best deal for the city, often removing the debris himself as part of the match. Bill also does most if not all of the plantings and watering of the trees that are replacements. With hundreds of hazard trees removed and more than that planted Sturgeon has the best managed community forest per capita in all of central Missouri and perhaps of the entire state due to Bill’s diligence and focus on community trees.


Honorary life membership
Tim McDonnell (Not in attendance, no photo)

Tim was selected for honorary life membership for his dedication to the MWISA Chapter and his many years of service in advocating for professional arboriculture. Tim is currently the District Community Forester for SC and SE Kansas, a position he has had held for nearly 15 years. Tim is an ISA Certified arborist, and is also a Kansas Certified Nurseryman through KNLA with over 30 years of experience in arboriculture, landscape design and installation, garden center operations and nursery production. He supports the Kansas Arborists Association Arborists (KAA) Training Course and the KAA Shade Tree Conference Serves as an Ex-Officio Board Member and committee member to the KAA, Serves as an Ex-Officio Board Member to the Kansas Nursery and Landscape Association (KNLA)

In addition to his volunteered hours spent on MWISA board, Tim also served as vice president, president and as past president. Tim has assisted MWISA for many years in helping to identify and solicited potential speaks for the chapter conference and has supported the chapter newsletter with numerous articles. In past years, Tim has also assisted and supported the tree climb championship working directly to help coordinate and tally scoring of the events.


President’s Award


Graham Herbst

Graham Herbst was selected by MWISA President Jim Bauer for this award as tribute to Graham’s dedication and effort in volunteering to be the certification Liaison for our Chapter. Jim noted that as the certification liaison, Graham receives many request throughout the year from all over our chapter looking for help in setting up CEU’s for a workshop or program. Graham’s Herbst currently works as a Community Forester Specialist with the Nebraska Forest Service




Wonder who has won in the past? 

2017 MWISA Award Winners! 

2016 MWISA Award Winners!

2015 MWISA Award Winners

Past Award Winners.

Past Gold Leaf Award Winners


For more information on the MW Chapter Awards, please contact Brett O’Brien, Chapter Awards Liaison. [email protected]  (573)874-7489

 ISA Awards Programs -  http://www.isa-arbor.com/events/awardsprograms/index.aspx



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