From the Treetop: Scott Packard
By Scott Packard, Chairman and CEO
2011 reminded me of the old adage for March, “In like a lamb, out like a lion.”
We began the year with the worst financial performance in our history; that was the lamb part. But as we approached spring, we began to claw our way back. By August, we had regained our footing and were poised to have a very respectable year, one that conquered several adversities. Then, we got a bit of help from a lady named Irene and finished the year out like a lion, posting the second best year in company history.
As we embark on our 80th year in business, we have a lot to be thankful for. While much of our nation is still struggling to recover from the recession, we are growing. This year marked our 10th year in a row of record revenue. We created more than 200 new jobs and formed new, valuable business partnerships. Just a few months ago, we embarked on a new venture with Sustainable Environmental Consultants that will turn wood waste into reusable products for the utility and construction industries.
The outlook for 2012 is solid for all four of our companies. Wright Tree Service will be adding distribution crews to complement our transmission work in Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana and Michigan. We will also expand into Louisiana, Arkansas, and the perennial favorite, Kentucky, as well as return to Lansing Board of Water and Light and Oklahoma Gas and Electric Properties. Finally, we have secured new work with Pacific Gas and Electric in California and Austin Energ y in Texas.
CN Utility Consulting is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in their market segment, adding three new large contracts this year and welcoming leadership from our industry associations to solidify our reputation as the “go-to” company for industry knowledge and expertise. Revenue is already up nearly 20 percent over the last year.
Terra Spectrum Technologies continues to develop and is a vital part of our overall strateg y. Our VMSuite software is gaining momentum, with new deployments in the works, and a partnership with New Zealand based Surveylab and their ikeGPS product will help establish us as a leader in cutting edge workflow solutions for our industry.
Wright Outdoor Solutions is starting spring in the best financial position in company history, setting up the 2012 season strong. As their new jingle says, “Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Wright Outdoor will do it all!”
But best of all, Wright Outdoor Solutions has a new neighbor. After 40 plus years hanging out in Valley Junction, it was time to say goodbye to a place that saw this great company grow from very humble beginnings into an industry leader. We’ve grown from a one-man, one-city, one-saw operation out of John L. Wright’s pick-up truck to a 30 state operation with more than 2,500 employees. But when the only spot left for a desk was a closet, we knew we had outgrown our home office. So on March 8, we packed up and moved a little further west to our new offices on Grand Avenue, just up the street from Wright Outdoor Solutions. It’s a bittersweet goodbye to Valley Junction, but we will still be represented, since a six-man crew started on the circuit covering that area the week we left!