President's Perspective - Spring 2020

By Molly Sinnott on Friday, March 27, 2020

The Power of Learning

It looks like 2020 is shaping up to be a Janus” moment for us all. If you are not familiar with what that is—it’s when norms for society, technology, economics, medicine, politics, etc., are changing. Such changes may be those we expect or have not anticipated, and they are not necessarily good. Nonetheless, they will affect us all. We have to look both to the future and to the past, and see what unfolds.

With spring just around the corner, we need to turn our attention to the upcoming WCISA Annual Conference in Olympic Valley, near Lake Tahoe, CA. We’ve planned another outstanding educational meeting, and have tried to include something for everyone in our profession.

Attending conferences like those WCISA organizes, is a means for professionals to stay abreast of the latest developments and information in their specialties and to maintain their professional standing. Taking advantage of these learning experiences, and connecting with other like-minded people works to everyone’s’ advantage. It also allows them to be more productive, provides new opportunities, and enhances their competitiveness and bottom-line. Just as soil is critical for tree growth and longevity, continuing education is crucial for our growth and long-term success. You just have to maintain a balance to assure growth and success. It pays to surround ourselves with knowledgeable people, who are experienced, conscientious, and passionate about the work they do. Make the most of this learning and networking opportunity, and professional growth. Our careers seldom happen overnight; they evolve.

When I started my career, I admired many of my more experienced colleagues for what they had accomplished, and how their careers had developed. It gave me some goals to strive for. It also encouraged me to build my knowledge base, so I could draw from it as needed. At the time, my parents were curious about why I was interested in arboriculture. I recall my response was: “I’m not sure, but it is something that I want to do.” I also remember thinking that although I enjoyed doing arboricultural work, I didn’t want to do it during the frigid winters in the northeast region of upstate New York. With that realization, I purchased a one-way ticket to Reno, NV to finish my bachelor’s degree in Integrated Pest Management. I’ve never regretted that decision. I’ve been out west for 40 years now, and I’m still passionate about my consulting work in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The only times I’ve had second thoughts about my career choice, is when I have to work in bitter cold and get around on snowshoes—too much like upstate New York!

I look forward to seeing you at the WCISA Annual Conference in Squaw Valley, the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics in November. It’s a magnificent, breathtaking site. Come gain new knowledge and ideas, and insights, come meet new professionals in our field, come make new arboriculture friends, and come network. Attending WCISA professional conferences is a means for helping new members get their start along their career paths and for others to keep their careers on track. You may be surprised that some of the people you’ll meet there will become part of your inner circle of associates, and perhaps life-long friends. These relationships often lead to sharing information, advice, or expertise, which can be mutually beneficial. The WCISA 2020 Annual Conference may be your Janus moment - look to the future and build a solid knowledge base. Learning is a continual process and essential for success in our careers, as well as our personal lives. Make the most of every educational opportunity that comes along. There’s always something new that will help you succeed.

Molly Sinnott