By - Jon Brown

Utility Vegetation Management Best Practices
October 22-23, 2018 | Atlanta, GA

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Many items impact the reliability of a utility system and vegetation is typically one of the largest.  Our industry often discusses best management practices, new technologies and tools available to improve our vegetation management programs, but we rarely are able to get together in the same room to discuss solutions.  This program is going to focus on sharing solutions that have worked for vegetation management problems facing utilities in the United States. 

The goal of this conference is to look at how specific challenges impact reliability and how utilities can reduce that impact.  The conference will begin by looking at the impact of major events such as storms, weather and pest epidemics.  How do the leading utilities in the industry prepare for these events and manage them to reduce the overall impact to the system? In addition to looking at how major events impact reliability, this conference will also spend time looking at the role of utilities in environmental stewardship along the ROWs.  

Utility Vegetation Management Best Practice will bring together speakers from VM groups within electric utilities companies, experienced arborists and tree consultants and vegetation management software specialists to identify how to improve utilities outage response, project planning and forecasting and overall environmental protection based on regional and seasonal changes.


Learning Outcomes  

  • Discuss storm response during major events
  • Demonstrate how trees react and respond to storm events
  • Explain techniques to manage ROWs in a high-risk zone
  • Utilize weather patterns and technology to prepare for storm events
  • Explain the value of environmental stewardship in the ROW
  • Examine a case study of environmental projects in the ROW
  • Discuss outage investigations and the relevant metrics
  • Explain how utilizing outage data can improve system reliability
  • Identify and explain FAC-003-4 and ANSI A300 Standards
  • Discuss how technology and data analytics are changing VM standards



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.  

Instructional Methods 

This program will include case studies, panel discussions and PowerPoint presentations.  


Monday, October 22, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. :: Opening Remarks  

  • Safety message
  • State of the industry and major issues facing VM professionals
  • Overview of FERC regulations and standards (FAC-003 -4 and ANSI A300)

Joe Anderson, Vegetation Management Specialist, JEA

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. :: Enhanced Reliability Trimming and Risk Reduction Programs

  • Regulations, best practices and the negative aspects of improper pruning methods
  • Utility Vegetation Management Project Planning

Gabriel Hack, Project Developer, Davey Resource Group

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: Networking Break

11:00 am – 12:00 pm :: Biomechanics of How Trees Dismantle

  • Discuss how trees fall apart during the aging process
  • Determine how wind and other forces impact the process of dismantling
  • Discuss how trees fall apart is critical in how utility managers think about risk and reliability

Anand Persad, Manager of Plant Sciences, The Davey Institute

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. :: Storm Response and Restoration

  • Discuss the process of contractors assisting utilities during a major storm response: lessons learned, best management practices and teamwork
  • Initial mobilization through complete restoration including documentation, communication and delay maintenance
  • Review storm-hardening practices and restoration management

Sara Dreiser, Project Manager, Davey Resource Group

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. :: Taking the Tree-Line-USA by Storm 

  • Discuss how the Tree-Line-USA program provides a blue-print for success when preparing for storms and natural disasters
  • Outline which outages to investigate and what information is collected during the investigation
  • Discuss what the findings were from the investigations and how that was applied to improve customer reliability

Joe Anderson, Vegetation Management Specialist, JEA

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. :: Networking Break

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. :: Integrated Approach for Managing ROWs to Maintain Environmental Compliance

  • ROW managers are facing an ever-increasing burden of providing reliable electric and gas service across a versatile environment
  • Short and long-term planning is crucial to ensure ROW management plans are in compliance with the growing list of environmental requirements
  • Discuss integrated solutions to managing ROWs in a holistic approach that combines environmental awareness and stewardship, community engagement, IVM and technological tools

Joe Anderson, Vegetation Management Specialist, JEA

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. :: Q&A and Wrap Up

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. :: Introduction to Day 2 & Safety Message Safety Message

  • Panel discussion on the future of Vegetation Management for electric utilities

Gabriel Hack, Project Developer,  Davey Resource Group

9:30 – 10:30 a.m. :: Technology and Innovation Discuss the use of storm tracking

  • Review how Clearion’s software improved utilities outage response in their area
  • Identify how geo-mapping has improved project planning and decreased outage rates

Michelle Vignault, Marketing Specialist, Clearion

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. :: Networking Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: “Outage Response Planning” – a Utility Case Study

Sara Dreiser, Project Manager, Davey Resource Group

12:00 – 12:30 p.m. :: Open Forum Discussion and Program Wrap Up


Joe Anderson, Vegetation Management Specialist, JEA

A utility forester for JEA, Joe’s primary responsibility is to ensure that the power of Jacksonville can be found in the canopy of trees. He holds a BS degree in Forest Resource Management from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y. Joe is an ISA Certified Arborist, and serves on the Florida Urban Forestry Council. Prior to JEA, Joe hiked, climbed, canoed, and camped as a Park Ranger within the forests of New York, Minnesota, Missouri, and South Carolina – to include the Park Manager for the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, inside the SC State Parks. Joe may not be originally from the Southeast, but he got here as quick as he could.

Sara Dreiser, Project Manager, Davey Resource Group

Sara Dreiser is the Upper Midwest Project Manager for Davey Resource Group. Sara has been with the Davey Resource Group since November 2012. Sara began as a distribution field utility forester in Northern Illinois, and has hands on experience work planning, performing quality control audits, and interacting with homeowners. Sara moved into the Quality Assurance Field Supervisor role before taking on her current position. Before coming to Davey Sara worked as a Research Assistant in Urban Forestry at The Morton Arboretum. Sara has presented as a guest instructor at the Davey Institute of Tree Science and has attended many Davey trainings such as Safety Leadership, Personal Excellence, and Growing Leaders. Sara is an ISA Certified Arborist and has a Biology and Environmental Science Degree from Knox College.

Gabriel Hack, Project Developer, Davey Resource Group

Gabriel Hack is a project developer for DRG’s Pacific Region with a focus on the ongoing and successful partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He is responsible for developing, improving, and expanding new and existing relationships to better facilitate UVM success and meet the growing needs of the industry. Gabe leverages his 10 years of experience and a network of nearly 200 professional foresters and program managers to provide vegetation management solutions throughout California. Gabe joined Davey Resource Group in 2009 as a Consulting Utility Forester in PG&E’s Central Coast division and has a wide breadth of industry experience holding such elevated posts as Customer Care Specialist, Enhanced Reliability forester and supervisor, and as an Estimating Arborist for electrical construction projects. He also has many years of experience in storm restoration operations as a Vegetation Resource Coordinator and Emergency Standby/Assessment forester. He most recently served as Project Coordinator of the North Bay division before being elevated to his current role. Gabe is an ISA-certified arborist and holds a bachelor’s degree in Plant Sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Anand Persad, Manager of Plant Sciences, The Davey Institute

Dr. Persad pursued postdoctoral studies in 2001 -2003 at the University of Florida, Gainesville-  in Invasive Species, Insect Molecular Genetics, Hi-Fidelity PCR. He has a PhD from the University of the West Indies in Entomology. Dr. Persad leads a team of industry focused educators and researchers at the Davey Institute, Kent, OH as Manager of Plant Sciences.  His current activities include: Chair of the Sustainability Working Group (SWG) of the Davey Institute; Arboriculture and Improving Tree Care Technology; Tree Biology, Structure and Biomechanics; Restoration of Urban Landscapes; Invasive Species Research; Ecology and Planning in Urban Landscapes Globally; Vertebrate and Invertebrate Interactions with Community Green Spaces. He is an Adjunct Professor at Kent State University Kent, Ohio: Department of Biology 2012- current and contributes regularly as a member of the Horticultural Advisory board. He has been an avid researcher and educator in the field of arboriculture within the Davey Tree Expert Company for about 11+ years and have been an invited speaker to numerous ISA –chapter meetings, the ISA national meetings, ISA-Bio-Mechanics Weeks and the Utility Arborists Association meetings along with several related international events. He is the author of several peer-reviewed manuscripts and is instrumental in transferring technology to the broad tree and turf care industry groups through collaborative research and joint teaching with several national and international agencies.

Kevin Baggett, Lead Consulting Utility Forester, CNUC and North Georgia Electric Membership Cooperative

Kevin Baggett, a 2016 graduate of the University of North Georgia Biology program, is the Lead Consulting Utility Forester for CNUC working in conjunction with North Georgia Electric Membership Cooperative. Kevin has a background in ecological research at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida assisting in data collection on projects such as early successional species in the Florida scrub forest post prescribed burn.

Erica Lewis, Lead Arborist, North Georgia Electric Membership Cooperative

Erica Lewis is an ISA certified Arborist and Utility Specialist.  She was the lead arborist for North Georgia EMC and has recently returned to graduate school to pursue her master’s degree in Environmental Science.  She has worked in the utility vegetation field for over 10 years and has a passion for all things outdoors.

Lori Jones, Maintenance Services, Salt River Project

Lori Jones has been with Salt River Project (SRP) for 25 years and has been managing people and resources for 18 of those years.  During that period of time, her career experiences encompassed energy services, sales management, strategic energy services, facilities management, design & construction management, customer billing, and metering & field customer services.  In her current role, she is responsible for Maintenance Services which includes lighting maintenance and vegetation management. 


Hyatt Regency Atlanta

265 Peachtree St NE

Atlanta, GA 30303

Reserve your room:

please call 1-404-577-1234

Room Block Reserved For:

Nights of October 21 – 23, 2018

Room rate through EUCI:

$219.00 single or double plus applicable taxes
Make your reservations prior to September 21, 2018.

Click here to book online.


EventStandard RateAttendees
Proceedings packageUS $ 295.00

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