From the Treetop: Will Nutter
This past May marked my 30th year with Wright Tree Service. When I started as a Groundman in Omaha, I thought it would be a great summer job. I had no idea I would end up making a career out of it. I’ve seen many changes in 30 years, but what hasn’t changed is our company’s commitment to healthy growth, safety and professionalism.
When I received my first company newsletter, I distinctly remember reading how we were growing. We were up to around 340 employees in 14 states. Today we have about 2,400 employees in more than 30 states, and we continue to grow. It is not uncommon for me to visit our worksites across the country and come across crew members who were born when I was working with their dads. We were a family company back then, and even after so much growth and the transition to an employee-owned company in 2002, we continue to operate with family values in mind.
One summer, Wright Tree Service introduced saw chaps to all of our crews. I was so proud to have new gear, I wore them most of the day. At the end of the third day, my Foreman told me to “get those silly things off.” Now it is second nature to get in a car and put on a seat belt, get out of a truck and grab a hard hat and safety glasses, and put on chaps when you take out the ground saw. We have always been a leader in safety, but this is more true today than ever.
The first time I ordered clothing, I couldn’t wait to get my new T-shirts with the company logo on them. I was proud to be part of a team and let everyone know who I was working for. I bought five shirts so I would have one for every day of the week. My sister saw someone riding a motorcycle up to the ballpark one evening and said, “Who is that goofball wearing a big tree on his back?” That would be me! I have carried that pride in professionalism with me, and when I arrived in Des Moines, I worked to ensure our employees had what they needed to continue representing our company well. Once, during a conference where the entertainment was a comedian, he quickly labeled our employees in the audience “the bowling team” because of our matching shirts! Our employees continue to be the best dressed, most professional group in the industry.
So where did the 30 years go? When they say “time flies when you’re having fun,” I guess I know what they’re talking about.
2013 will mark the 80th year for Wright Tree Service. As I think about the changes that have occurred in my 30 years, I can’t help but think about all the changes that occurred in the 50 years before that. But through that change, our values have remained the same, and that’s because of the kind of people who make up this organization. Employees of Wright Tree Service have always put forth great effort and dedication because we feel like it is our company. From General Foremen to payroll specialists, I hear phrases like “my guys … my equipment … my company.” We all take ownership and feel like we can make a difference on a day to day basis. Our company has a great foundation. This is very rare in today’s world, and one of my goals is to help Wright Tree Service retain those values for the next 80 years.