More About Our Team
SCOTT McPHEE, ISA, MCA
Enrolled in the Arboriculture and Urban Forestry program at UMass Amherst, Scott's career began as a college freshman, when he joined the Hartney Greymont team. Young and eager, he learned the trade from the men who had trained through the lineage of the great Charles Sprague Sargent. He had the privilege of working with master craftsmen: those who were born with the eyes of an artist, the spirit of a pioneer and the tenacity of mother nature. These mentors were professional, efficient, and incredibly skilled in the art of pruning and all things of the earth. It was here that he knew he had found his passion and has spent the last 34 years working to emulate those great examples.
But here's some quirky stuff you can bring up if you run out of "tree talk"....
1. He cannot stay awake after eating pasta
2. You can't get him off the dancefloor at a wedding
3. His childhood nickname was Scooter
ISA, MCA, Hoisting License, Pesticide License, Past President of Massachusetts Arborists Association and New England Grows
Jen began her career in the horticulture industry 31 years ago. As a student at Franklin & Marshall College, she was pursing a path in entrepreneurship and live event production when she was hired as a summer intern for the Pennsylvania Nurserymen's Association, working on their annual summer trade show. This opportunity led to a full time position serving the New England horticultural industry, and several years (not to mention details) later, she and Scott married....he living the life of an arborist, and she an association event manager in the same field.
While taking a hiatus from the green industry to grow their family, Jen launched her own event production company and served on the board of the International Special Events Society-NE Chapter. There she nurtured her passion for doing business differently...drawing on the significance of creating meaningful experiences, and the unparalleled contribution they make to a business' success. It is this philosophy that drives her actions as co-owner of the company. Fostering a positive culture in the workplace, and creating spaces that delight our clients is her measure of true success. This might explain her slighty unconventional team meetings, laced with a precise balance of generative collaboration, skill development, and meaningful fun!
Oh...and while any loyal wife would embrace the duties that come with owning a family business, Jen did also reprise her role as a trade show coordinator in the green industry. And though her skills as an arborist are still limited to chopping wood (her favorite workout, by the way), she seems to have cobbled together that unique career she set her sites on so many years ago!
Cathy has worked in the horticulture field for 38 years...beginning at the age of 1, of course! She was the "voice" of Harrison & Associates since its inception 17 years ago and we couldn't be luckier to have her continue in that role for us. Her childhood nickname was Chatty Cathy and that makes complete sense given that her favorite part of the job is client interaction! Well, we certainly have no plans of slowing her down.
In addition to her incredible talents as our Director of Client Care, Cathy is an outdoor enthusiast who spends her free time biking, camping, kayaking, and scuba diving. she is a season ticket holder to the Providence Performing Arts Center, and when forced to entertain herself inside, you'll find her reading a good book, making elaborate quilts or playing with her three grandchildren.
Teri is living proof of the phrase "when one door closes, another is waiting to be opened". When our dear bookkeeper, Penny, retired, we were charged with finding the right candidate for her successor. The stars must have been aligned because Teri graced our presence at just the right time. She has swiftly embraced the title of Office Manager and is a dynamic contributor to all aspects of office efficiency. Maybe it's the classic rock that radiates from her computer - or maybe it's her self-titled obsession with personal finance, that keeps her energy up. But whatever it is, Teri always has something to contribute to the office activity. And if you really want to engage in some lively conversation, just bring up the topic of sports! She and her family love to watch and attend pro games. She would be hard pressed to pick a favorite sport but I think she would admit to the Red Sox being her favorite team.
Fun Fact: Teri and her husband share the same birthday!
JOHN HATHAWAY, MCA
John is a classic example of the term "Industrial Athlete". A recent college graduate, John lead his UVM Catamount rugby team to an impressive number of victories as Flanker, Lock, and 8-man. He's now a winner on our team as our newest arborist trainee and all around great guy. He's never missed a day of asking what else he can do to help before he wraps up...now that's impressive!
It's common to be quite tired at the end of a long, physical day at HMI, but it takes more than that to wear John out. He's always up for a good hike or cycle....and if he can find himself a mountain, you will likely catch him rock climbing up or snowboarding down!
Interesting fact? A few years ago, John learned that the Heimlich maneuver does indeed work on dogs, when he rescued his labrador, Max, who was chocking on some kibble.....a true hero to both of his dogs (Max and Boo) who are undoubtably in good hands!
6 Years Experience - Certified Hoisting Engineer, MA Certified Pesticide Applicator, MA Certified Arborist, ISA Certified Arborist, MA Certified Landscape Professional
STEVE VERNON, MCA, ISA
Steve (Verno) heads up our Plant Health Care division, which makes him a master of multitasking. He was the first new employee of Harrison McPhee, Inc., joining us amid the snowiest winter on record. We're glad he could see through the snowflakes to the adventures that awaited. Since his arrival, he has been an integral part of our evolution and remains a cornerstone of our company culture. But just when we thought we couldn't get any luckier, Leslie Vernon (Steve's lovely wife) brought her niche design talents within reach. Thanks to LVDesignhouse.com our trucks were branded and on the road in no time!
Steve enjoys reading, road cycling, camping and hiking with his family. He has ridden up Mt. Washington 3 times on his road bike and just complete a 100 mile bike race! When a 12 hour day at work just isn't enough to tire him out, he'll often commute on his road bike and squeeze in a lively game of soccer with his boys before bedtime. His current favorite author is John Krakauer.
10 years of experience, ISA Certified Arborist,
MA Certified Pesticide Applicator, MA Certified Arborist (MCA)
As the father of four (amazing but busy) children, it is no wonder that Tobin likes to enjoy some R&R on the weekends. Somehow we don't think that actually happens too often but we admire his support of mindfulness!
Tobin's horticultural experince spans twenty five years- beginning with mowing lawns on a golf course. He is a natural mentor to the next genration of arborists, and his knack for tapping into people's talents makes him a favorite among fellow crew members. He has a passion for giving back and heads up our philanthropy program. Under the umbrella of "fun facts", we recently learned that this "level head" used to sport a mullet! Where are those pictures?
20 years of experience, MA Certified Pesticide Applicator, ISA Certified
Outdoor * Physical * Challenging
Kyle comes to us as a well-traveled arborist and instructor, who spends part of his time training other arborists and utility engineers in rescue techniques, emergency response, technical rigging, chainsaw use, climbing and all aspects of safety in the industrial athlete sector. Kyle earned the 2019 New England Chapter ISA Tree Climbing Championship! He will be traveling in August to Knoxville, TN to represent New England in the International competition. Way to go, Kyle!
He is one of many avid bikers at HMI. And when not on the road, you will find him and his family on the slopes or jammin' on the guitar. Random fact? He can juggle.....chainsaws? Well, no we don't think he's gone that far, but we're sure if he put his mind to it, he'd master it. Kyle is always looking to conquer the biggest challenge (or tree) he can find!
Vermont wins his vote for favorite vacation spot. And if you top it off with Mexican food, some live music and his family by his side, he'd probably call it his best day ever. (Oh wait - you'd better throw a quick tree climb into that mix!)
15 years of experience, NATS Safety & Training Instructor, MA Certified Pesticide Applicator
Ken loves to spend time with his family and anything mechanical. A favorite hobby is collecting and repairing antique outboards.
Camping * Boating * Italian Food
Ken was part of the core crew of Harrison & Associates, having faithfully served for 10 years. We gladly welcomed him as a veteran of our team when we joined forces in 2015.
Some clients may best know Ken as the leader of our firewood division. Never without a smile on his face, he has delivered and stacked - with enviable precision, we might add - hundreds of cords of wood. We're quite sure that more than a s'more or two have brought smiles to family faces because of Ken's talent for keeping our New England fireplaces burning.
Ken is also quite talented at all-things-mechanical. On the weekends you'll often find him tinkering in his shop - bringing an old relick back to life!
15 Years of experience, MA Certified Pesticide Applicator
PAUL HUGHES, MCA
Paul is a veteran to the tree business, with 20+ years of climbing under his, uh "saddle". But don't let that tough guy exterior fool you...Paul is a wiz at plant identification and has a particular knack for fine gardening and landscape design. He worked side by side with Bob Harrison since the inception of Harrison & Associates, and we are thrilled that we all have a chance to join forces.
When the weather is nice, his Harley Davidson is the only way to travel. He dreams of visiting New Zealand someday. When he goes, we'll have to have that bike waiting for him when he gets off of the plane!
24 years of experience, Certified Pesticide Applicator, MA Certified Arborist
Martin/Gibson Guitars Arbor Observer
Dick developed an interest in trees early on, as a young boy while riding his mother's fat tire bike through the woodlands and parks of western Pennsylvania. He created a leaf and seed collection to assist in mastering his native plant ID.
As a Cub Scout, at age 9, he was required to climb 15 fee into a tree - as part of a requirement for a wolf badge. He crushed that goal and instead climbed 50 feet into a mulberry tree....much to his mother's chagrin! About this same time, his entrepreneurial skills began to emerge as he got his picture in the local paper for trying to shine and sell buckeyes at a roadside stand.
Dick began climbing professionally in 1976, and climbed every summer while attending Penn State University. He never looked back, and has made a long and successful career in arboriculture.
He met his wife, Jennifer in 1988, when he was called to remove a fallen sugar maple from her preschool playground after a damaging storm.
Dick has also remained very active in industry volunteer work and is a past president of the Massachusetts Arborists Association.
KAREN KERR, MCLP
Chicken hugger * Chocoholic * Spinner of yarn
So if you're ever looking for some creative input, Karen's your gal! Her passion for a plethora of interests can keep you in conversation for hours - and clearly results in the amazing designs we see her bring to life.
Gardening will always be at the top of her to-do list, but Karen can also be found spinning fiber from her own Angora rabbits into yarn, raising prize winning "show chickens", and has just taken up "mushrooming"! This all takes places in her family home, built by her husband and father-in-law, which she now lovinglingly shares with her oldest son Matt, his wife Adi, and their sons, Owen and Brody.
38 Years of experience, Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional (MCLP)
6 Years of experience, MA Certified Pesticide Applicator
JUAN CARLOS MANCIA
Pupusas * Soccer * Spending time with family
Juan Carlos recently joined our team, coming from a landscape construction background. He has a thirst for learning and is actively engaged in our Arborist Apprentice program. When he's not outside creating beautiful landscapes, Juan Carlos can be found spending time with his family, playing soccer, and tinkering with computers. He is so talented with computers, in fact, that he even assembled his own!
12 Years of experience, Certified Treecare Safety Professional (CTSP)
In addition to Juan's talents in horticulture, he is also a great filmmaker! He was inspired by the culture here at HMI and wanted to spread the word. He made the following video to make a positive connection with our clients and future workforce. Check it out here or in our Career Page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyDRjh12Rk8
JAMES TOBIN, MCA
Outdoors * Competitive * Learning
James joined our team in 2018, with extensive experience in arboriculture and landscape contracting. A graduate of Boston College, James continues to put his love of learning to good use, as he quickly ascends through the ranks of horticultural knowledge. He loves spending his days outdoors -- especially when he's on Cape Cod (his favorite vacation spot).
A wealth of random knowledge, James hones his competitive trivia skills almost every night watching Jeopardy. If you could throw a classic Town Spa pizza in the mix, his night would be complete! Well.....maybe we're going a bit too far there. James married his lovely wife, Courtney, in 2017. They are expecting their first child later this year. Jeopardy could take a back seat for awhile but we're quite sure it will be worth it.
Random Favorites: Pizza, Fishing and Game of Thrones
7 Years Experience: MA Certified Pesticide Applicator, MA Certified Arborist
BEN ANDERSON, MCA
Mental * Physical * Spiritual
Ben comes to the HMI team as a senior level arborist, with an A.S. in Arboriculture & Community Forestry, and a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation/Urban Forestry. A master climber, Ben serves as a skilled mentor for our Arborist Trainee Program.
As always, skills are key, but if you want to know about the important things that makes Ben tick, here are a few of his favorite things:
Vacation Spot: Cape Cod
Music: Crosby Stills Nash & Young
Book: A Natural History of Trees
And the coolest random fact.......Ben is ambidextrous!
17 years experience, MA Certified Arborist
MIKE HICKMAN, MCA
Unconventional * Interdependence * Compassionate * Hungry
Mike is passionate about spending time with his family. He will tell you that his favorite vacation spot is wherever his wife and daughter are! They are lucky gals for sure, as they are not only adored but often find themselves the lucky recipients of his cooking and baking escapades. He loves to share his obsession with the natural environment with others, and finds great joy in observing the ways Mother Nature has figured out solutions to seemingly insurmountable hurdles. And while we're on the topic of hurdles.....Mike loves to hike and climb.
A rapid-fire introduction would include proclaiming his particular love for jazz.....although in his words "all music scratches my itch except for new country". Good Stuff Barbecue in Blackstone gets his ultimate vote, and the book he's most likely to recommend is The Trees in My Forest, by B. Heinrich.
Mike always has a spring in his step, and a good word to share with clients and teammates. He enjoys helping others find happiness in their day, which is oftentimes just by sharing his passion and joy for the small things in life. He believes Mother Nature provides us numerous gifts....we just need to recognize and experience them.
25 years experience
ARTIE SHAW, MCA, ISA, CTSP
Active * Chill * Hungry
Maybe we should have listed Artie's fist trait as hungry because he loves trying new foods - both eating and cooking them.....he will try anything! He has also mastered the tricky art of gluten free cooking/baking, to provide better options for family members with celiacs. He started an epic victory garden this summer and has big plans to make that part of his summer meals. And while he's on this new kick of growing things he's planning to add bonzai cultivation to his collection of talents.
Spring doesn't allow much time for an arborist to take off, but when he's off the clock you can find Artie playing with his kids, reading, climbing trees (yes, he loves to do that in his spare time too), working out, or taking in a good movie. He and his son have a particular fondness for the classic Star Wars series.
Are you a Kurt Vonnegut fan? If so, be sure to strike up a conversation with him about Sirens of Titan.
Artie is one of our most decorated arborists, earning several certifications in technical skill and safety.
20 years experience
Adventurous * Outdoors * Relaxing
Maren could be the poster child for our #NextGenArborist. As a recent graduate of Vassar College, this statistics major has found a way to combine her talents in analytical thinking with her love of outdoor adventures, and create a rewarding career in arboriculture! Maren began her journey with us as an intern between her junior and senior year and fell in love with the work. Her talents were quickly recognized and it wasn't long before we were making plans to have her return for Christmas break. Now that she has graduated, she has joined us full time and we couldn't be happier. She must feel the same way because she would tell you that the most rewarding part of being an arborist is " working with people that inspire me both personally and professionally".
If you strike up a conversation with Maren, be sure to ask her about her favorite book, Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury......or one of the 12 countries she has visited! But although she is well traveled - and her favorite restaurant is "anywhere in Italy", there truly is no-place-like-home. Maren's favorite vacation spot is Truro, Cape Cod.
When she's not swinging through the trees or learning the artistry of pruning, you will find Maren busy at one of her MANY pastimes that include: reading, yoga, playing guitar, working out, and OF COURSE (her words) eating and watching Netflix!
MA Certified Pesticide Applicator
Green * Active * Self Sufficient
Hellllloooooooooo Cailley Culotta! Aside from having a name that is wicked fun to say, our newest #NextGenArborist.,Cailley brings with her a killer climbing background, having started her career as a climbing surveyer for the Asian Longhorned Beetle in the Worcester area. She loved it instantly and will tell you that the best part of being an arborist is spending time at the top of a beautiful, healthy tree. And that syncs perfectly with her version of following her bliss, which includes staying as true to her values as possible and being close to nature.
Multi-talented for sure, Cailley loves to rock climb, garden, keep bees, backpack, garden, AND she plays the viola. Random fact about that.....in 2018 she tried traveling to the West Bank to play her viola in an orchestra with a Palestinian music school. She was detained in Israel upon arrival and deported! Now she can never enter Israel again. Wow....we'd like to here that story!
Helper * Relaxer * Teacher
Kent has a rich and decorated career in arboriculture. He spent years as Tree Warden for the Town of Wellesley. Now retired, Kent is our plant curator, tagging the right plants for the job, and ensuring that they get delivered to your jobs on time. It's the perfect part-time job that allows for wandering through beautiful nurseries. Who could ask for more than that?!
Kent really lives up to his descriptive characteristics, as someone who is passionate about helping others. Kent volunteers time with older people - assisting with their yards so they can experience the joy of their surroundings. He believes in simple pleasures like spending time with his wife, working in his wood shop, reading the bible or eating a simple meal at home. And of course, we would be remiss if we forgot to mention that Kent loves spending time with his three grandchildren!
We don't think the expression of gratitude is lost on Kent. We appreciate his calm, enthusiastic presence, and look forward to hearing to his words of wisdom as our newest arborists immerse themselves and grow within the world of horticulture!
Outdoors * Learning * Family
Tate made a big leap to move across the country to join our T.R.E.E.S. Class of 2021! A graduate of Purdue University, Tate graduated with a degree in Forestry, with a concentration in Urban Forestry. Searching for a career where he could work with like-minded arborists, Tate introduced himself to us while attending a national conference. We were blown away by his initiative, professionalism and enthusiasm. As he approached graduation, we discussed the option of him joining our team and are thrilled to say it all worked out perfectly. Tate's extensive education will be put to immediate, practical use as he joins us during our busy summer.
Arboriculture first sparked Tate's interest when he worked at a tree farm in Indiana...and the rest is history. If you were to dig a little deeper into his tree care related preferences:
Chainsaw or Axe? Chainsaw
Summer Tree Work or Winter Tree Work? Summer
Husquvarna or Stihl? Stihl
Battery or Gas chainsaw? Gas
Affectionately nicknamed Tatertot by his family and friends back home, we're happy to welcome him to his newest tree family in MA!
Varied * Nerdy * Communal
Peter comes to us with a nursery background. He is an avid plant lover, Crossfit athlete, and reader - and that reading comes in handy when it comes to striking up interesting conversations....one of his favorite things! You'll find a common theme in Peter's interests - Positivity!
What do you love about being an arborist? "Appreciating all that trees can do in the landscape and helping people develop the same appreciation."
Biggest Pet Peeve: "I try not to have those."
Would you say you are following your bliss? "Yes, during most parts of most days"
What's your next goal in this profession? "To earn all of the certifications that are available and pertinent."
Dream Vacation Spot: "Patagonia"
What has this profession taught you about yourself? "The more I learn the more I have to learn."
MICHAEL DOUGLAS, CTSP, TRAQ
Outdoors * Learning * Family
Lily's Best Bud * Naps * Mama's Boy
The Office Romance
Puppy Workouts * Looking Cute * Hanging on the Farm
Lilly is the newest lady in the office. She happily travels to work each day with Karen. Her morning routine includes sprints across the shop - in a vain attempt to get Bruin's attention and affection. The rest of her day consists of alternating between naps, gratefully accepting treats, and getting some good puppy exercise. Of course, she is most excited when the crews return - showering her with almost more attention than any one puppy can take. Lilly has chutzpah the size of Texas, which is where she traveled from to become part of her home (and work) families. Welcome Lilly!
1 year on the planet.
Holly is a three year old rescue dog from Georgia. She is a Lab-Boxer-Shepard mix that loves to swim, hike, camp and sleep at Cathy's feet in the office. She shares her home with a five year old rescue dog, Oakley (Lab-mix), at cat, a chameleon, 12 chickens, several fish, and frogs.
6 years of life experience.
Chasing squirrels * Long walks in the woods * Camping