Staff & Board

Staff

Patty Williams

Executive Director

As PNW-ISA’s Executive Director since January 2002, Patty uses the Board of Directors' strategic vision to direct staff members, committees, and other volunteers. She holds a Master of Science degree in Agribusiness Economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She resides in Carlton, Oregon.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 503-312-0245
  • Email: pwilliams@pnwisa.org

Melissa Amrhein

Education Program Manager

Melissa Amrhein

Melissa has an undergraduate degree in Community, Environment, and Planning and graduate degrees in Forest Resources and Public Administration from the University of Washington. When she is not working on the Continuing Education Program, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, doing yoga, and exploring the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 206-617-8052
  • Email: melissa@pnwisa.org

Margo Thorp

Education Program Coordinator

Margo graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, focusing on science education in the K-8 classroom. She has worked as a Coordinator for the UW – Friday Harbor Labs Science Outreach Program and as a Program Coordinator with the University of Washington managing operations for degrees, certificates, and courses focused on the environment, engineering, and technology.

For the past four years, Margo has participated in Horticulture courses at Edmonds Community College with a general focus on arboriculture, pruning, and tree care. She is currently spending a year working as an intern with the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in the Seattle area. Outside of work Margo enjoys skate skiing, hiking, boating, gardening, and baking.

Contact Information

  • Email: margo@pnwisa.org

Dana Hatley

Administrative Assistant

Dana Hatley

Dana has served as PNW-ISA's Administrative Assistant since December 1999. She lives in Silverton, Oregon with her husband Roger. She enjoys gardening, bike riding, and family time with her three adult children.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 503-874-8263
  • Email: info@pnwisa.org

Board of Directors

Philip Bennett

President

City of Snoqualmie, in Snoqualmie, WA

I am the President for the Pacific Northwest ISA. I work as an urban forester for the City of Snoqualmie and as city arborist for the City of Clyde Hill. My daily work includes all physical aspects of caring for trees, including planting, pruning and removal. I also work on program development, grant writing, plan review, developing partnerships and educational programs.

Before becoming an arborist, I worked as an environmental educator and wilderness guide. I continue to be passionate about learning and teaching. I came into the field of arboriculture vocationally, and have learned along the way. I believe it's important to keep learning, as ideas and research are constantly evolving.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 206-491-0031
  • Email: pbennettarborist@gmail.com

Charles Ray

President Elect

Urban Forester with the City of Vancouver, in Vancouver, WA

Charles Ray is the Urban Forester with the City of Vancouver, Washington. Charles is a graduate from the Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources. He is certified through the International Society of Arboriculture as an Arborist and Municipal Specialist. He has worked in both the municipal and commercial arboriculture fields before starting with the City of Vancouver in 2001.

As Governance Director since January 2015, Charles is dedicated to working with the Board of Directors, Staff and Membership at PNW-ISA to enhance strategic delivery of our programs. His goal is to create and maintain a framework of Chapter Governance that is transparent and strategic resulting in the highest standard of excellence and service for our membership.

When not at work Charles spends time with his family, relaxing, laughing, and enjoys good music and coffee.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 360-487-8328
  • Email: charles.ray@cityofvancouver.us

Chris Rippey

Secretary

Seattle Parks Department, in Seattle, Washington

Chris Rippey is a third-generation arborist who works for the Seattle Parks Department in Seattle, Washington. He is a ISA certified Arborist, Municipal and Utility Specialist, and a Certified Tree Worker specializing in climbing. He has been Tree Risk Assessor Qualified since 2013 and is a Registered Consulting Arborist #633 through the American Society of Consulting Arborists.

Chris started his career in arboriculture at the age of 16 with his father’s company. His career has included working in both the commercial and municipal fields as well as owning and operating his own tree businesses. Chris spent 14 years working as an Arborist for Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

As Secretary, Chris is looking forward to bringing his insights as a current tree worker to the Board of the PNWISA. His goal is to represent the opinions and experience of a person who has spent 20 years as an active tree worker.

When not working on tree stuff or doing house chores, Chris enjoys competing in cycling events and taking his family to Seattle Thunderbirds hockey games.

Contact Information

  • Email: christopher.rippey@pnwisa.org

Kris Josey

Treasurer

ArborCare Resources, Inc., in Hailey, ID

Kris Josey graduated from University of Colorado, Boulder with a BS in Accounting in May 1989. Upon graduation she worked as a staff accountant with Coopers & Lybrand’s Denver, Colorado office from June 1989 to November 1992. She obtained her CPA license in 1992. Later that year, she moved to Idaho and worked in a local accounting office until June 1996 when she left public practice to be a stay at home mom with her 2 young sons. In early 1997, she and her husband, Bill, combined her business/accounting knowledge with his tree care knowledge to start their family business ArborCare Resources, Inc.  Kris continues to be actively involved with the management of the business.

In 2003 Kris was appointed to the ISA’s finance committee and in 2014 she joined ISA’s conference and events committee. Her goal as the Treasurer for the PNW Chapter is to provide a business perspective to the Board as it explores new initiatives and continues to grow membership services for all members.

In her free time she is a regular at the local CrossFit gym or outside enjoying the Sun Valley area skiing/snowboarding, hiking, or mountain biking.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 208-788-1611 ext. 102
  • Email: kris.josey@me.com

Anna Heckman

Member Services

Anna’s education in forest ecology, and urban horticulture led her to a career in natural area management and arboriculture.  Her career has grown her passion for understanding research and bridging the communication gaps between science and management.  Anna has over 15 years of service in government employment ranging from a backcountry field technician to a plant ecologist, vegetation manager to an urban forester.  Anna recently found a great fit applying her skill set as a consulting arborist with Urban Forestry Services Inc.

When not watching baseball, fishing, or listening to great music with her family, you can find Anna trekking through the mountains with her dog, biking through town, playing in the snow or volunteering with habitat restoration organizations.

Contact Information

  • Email: Heckman.ecologist@gmail.com

Kurt Fickeisen

Certification

Symbiosis Tree Care LLC, in Seattle, Washington

Kurt is the owner of Symbiosis Tree Care in Seattle Washington and has worked in arboriculture since 1989. While most work takes place in the greater Seattle area, Kurt spent three years working for a tree service in Boulder Colorado.

Work in these areas has expanded his knowledge of how tree growth patterns can vary from region to region. The primary focus of work is as a Consulting Arborist.

Prior to work in arboriculture, Kurt graduated from the University of Idaho.

In his free time Kurt likes to hike, climb and backcountry ski. In addition, mountaineering from Alaska to California has been part of his life since a young age.

Micki McNaughton

Continuing Education Director

Arborea, LLC, in Olympia, WA

I own and operate Arborea, LLC, as an urban forestry planning and programming consultant. I am also currently employed as an Urban Forestry Special Project Coordinator for the Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources Urban and Community Forest Program. I am an ISA Certified Arborist and Municipal Specialist, and a graduate of the Municipal Foresters Institute as well as the Pacific Northwest Community Tree Management Institute.

I am passionate about the role of trees in our lives and our world, and a strong proponent of continuing education for arborists and urban foresters. I am excited to have this opportunity to help build the Chapter’s education program, to provide tools and skills to help us as arborists evolve with the changing landscape around us.

I enjoy traveling with my partner by boat and by motorcycle. Other favorite activities include sailing, gardening and cooking, and a current obsession is knitting!

Contact Information

  • Phone: 360.790.6294
  • Email: mickimcn@gmail.com

Nadia Chan

Public Outreach

Hi, my name is Nadia Chan and I was elected to the Board in September 2013 as the Director of Public Outreach. I have been a Certified Arborist since 2005 and a Certified Tree Risk Assessor since 2007. I have a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and currently work for the City of Surrey as the City’s Natural Areas Coordinator. My current job involves managing over 1500 ha (3700 acres) of natural areas in an urban environment. From the management of forest health, trail systems, invasive species and wildlife, my day-to-day work can be extremely varied. This can bring a lot of challenge, but also a lot of rewards!

I live in Vancouver, B.C with my husband and two children. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, playing soccer and hockey and spending time with family and friends.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 604-501-5167 (office)
  • Email: nchan@pnwisa.org

Dylan Saito

Editor

City of Portland Urban Forestry Division, in Portland, OR

Born and raised in Hawai’i, Dylan became very close with his natural environment.  His love for the surrounding landscape and the people that cared about it inspired him to eventually become the arborist he is has become. He is knowledgeable in all aspects of commercial arboriculture: as a grounds-person and as a climber, in rigging, consulting and sales, and for 10 years, as a crew leader.

For the last three years, he has been active in the municipal realm and has been working as a tree inspector with the City of Portland Urban Forestry Division. He assists with the development of the local tree ordinance, regulates permitting for all tree activities, and is a first responder to all "tree-mergencies" citywide.  He has also been a volunteer with the Pacific Northwest Chapter as a head judge for the regional climbing competitions for over 11 years.  His current credentials include Certified Arborist, TRAQ, FEMA Incident Command, Oregon Pesticide Handler, and EHAP.  

“I am grateful to have learned everything I know surrounding arboriculture in the Pacific Northwest, and I am very excited to be able to pass along what I’ve learned to the wider population. The Tree Community in our region has great impact on the entire Society of Arboriculture. Other areas of the globe look to the PNW for insight on how to better care for the world’s tree canopy. We have the opportunity to make changes to bring people and trees into the present.”

John Hushagen

ISA Council of Representatives

John has been an arborist since 1980 and a member of the ISA since 1984.  In 1987 he completed his Masters’ of Science in Urban Horticulture and co-founded Seattle Tree Preservation, Inc. He owned and operated this tree care company until its sale to Bartlett Tree Experts and his retirement in February 2018. He has been a certified arborist since 1992, and currently works part-time as a consulting arborist in the Seattle area.  He was elected to the PNW ISA Board in 1988 and served as vice president, president, and ISA representative until 1994.  After hiring the first paid chapter administrator in the early 90’s, and promoting the newly-minted Certified Arborist program, the growth of the PNW Chapter was phenomenal.

In over 30 years of running a tree care company, his greatest challenge was finding enough young men and women who wanted to work for a progressive and innovative company and make arboriculture their career.  John would like to work with the whole ISA to develop strategies for increasing the visibility of our industry, and recruiting a larger slice of the young work force that may or may not be college bound.

John lives in Shoreline, Washington, with Jan, his wife of nearly 38 years.  Together they tend a huge garden and enjoy traveling to S. California often to visit their granddaughters.  John sings in two choirs in Seattle and has been on three European choir tours in the last six years.  He has been known to turn well-known tunes into tree themed parodies.

Evan Sussman

TREE Fund Liaison

Sonshine Tree Care, in Stanwood, WA

Evan Sussman is the owner of Sonshine Tree Care in Stanwood, WA. Evan’s career in arboriculture began in the tropical climate of Hawai'i. In 2012 Evan moved to the Pacific Northwest.

Evan is an ISA Certified Arborist (WE-9274A), and ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. He is actively involved in the furthering of the arboriculture profession in our chapter through community engagement, as a professional tree worker instructor, and in the development of apprenticeship programs.

Contact Information

  • Phone: 360.474.7787
  • Email: evan.sussman@pnwisa.org