Leaving a Family Legacy
For General Foreperson Jeff Harris, Wright Tree Service is a family tradition.
It all started on a crew in Minnesota back in 1978. Mike Harris was a WTS crew leader and needed help. He told his brother, Jeff Harris, that the work would only take a couple weeks. Mike went on to a 45-year career at WTS. This fall, Jeff will also retire from WTS with 45 years of service. “My dad cut trees for people, and I helped him growing up,” said Jeff. “So, I’ve always been drawn to it.”
After starting as a groundworker, Jeff progressed through the ranks to climber, crew leader and finally general foreperson. Over the years, Jeff had crews in North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. He recounted that if he wanted to see all his crews in one day, he would have to drive 14 hours one way.
“I’ve been a general foreperson for the last 24 years, and no two days were the same. My job changes almost every day – the location, different challenges – I just love the variety,” Jeff said.
“I’ve had some pretty cool jobs over the years,” he added. Back in 1980, Jeff was on a crew designated to analyze private Dutch elms via crane. Jeff really enjoyed riding on the crane and remembers many folks watching the crew take on the unusual work.
Jeff said he will miss the challenges this job has brought him and all the great people he’s worked with over the years who have become great friends. He’ll also miss connecting with the customers and forming those long-lasting relationships.
“Jeff is independent, dependable, and most of all, he does an outstanding job of keeping his customers informed and happy with his operation,” said WTS Regional Manager Adam Larson. “Jeff has earned everyone’s trust and respect. He is knowledgeable and generous. We will miss his leadership and helpful attitude.”
“Jeff has been a key contributor to our operations in the Minnkota division,” said WTS President Wade Myers. “It seems as if he knows every property owner on every transmission line in Minnesota. Jeff has had an impact on many employees and his knowledge and leadership will be missed. I wish Jeff and Sylvia all the best as they move into retirement!”
In his retirement, Jeff looks forward to traveling with his wife and family. “Next winter, we plan to spend a month in Hawaii and the summer after that Alaska,” Jeff said. “Our family will join us throughout the trip for a week or two. I am really looking forward to it.”
From everyone at WTS, we wish Jeff well in his retirement and thank him for his dedication for the last 45 years!